So I thought I’d do an update post on where I’m at with the design of my Prototype. As I said in my last post, my on-going tasks for this project are now to do market research in terms of what’s already out there for consumers in order to assess what they might require/find useful in my app design. I also need to find a programmer who can programme applications for iOS!
So my quest to find a programmer to collaborate with on this project has been moving slowly but, moving nonetheless. I’ve managed to get in touch with the course leader for the Computer Science BSc at my University and tracked down the most likely lecturer on that course who can point me in the right direction. There’s actually an optional module for third years on the Computer Science degree called ‘Programming Things’. I’ve frequently heard that programmers are perhaps not the most creative bunch and are more productive when working to a tight and descriptive brief, therefore I think a student taking this module would be a perfect person to work with – I can provide the ideas and they can provide the programming! I’ve arranged a meeting for next week to discuss my ideas with the module leader so, I’ll be writing a post about how that went soon!
In preparation for starting on the actual programming for this project I wanted to learn at least a little more about how it would be done. Although I won’t be doing the programming myself I wanted to know a bit more about the programme and language that is used in order to create apps from iOS. I went looking for some tutorial videos/websites and found one that was very handy, the creator had uploaded video guides to get you started using Encore – an Apple programme that is used to create apps using Swift – which is the language you use. Although I wouldn’t fancy doing all the programming for my app myself, it’s nice to be able to understand a bit more about it than before. even though I spoke to my programming friend about it, since he spends his time on Java, he wasn’t much help when it came to the ins and outs of programming for iOS!
The website I found was a massive help and showed me the basics of using the programme and language usually used for making iOS apps. The website is called Code with Chris and I’ve linked the introduction video below in case you might be interested in checking out his stuff.
On to the research then! I’ve found 3 apps that are relatively similar to my app idea but, they are all different in certain aspects. I’ve outlined below the 3 apps that I looked at, as well as some of their pros and cons and which points I will be adding to my own app to build upon.
Bandsintown is a great little app that allows the user to find local events, buy tickets for them, add friends and view what they’ve been doing using the ‘Activity feed’ page and more. It has a very user friendly interface and is really simple to navigate around. It also allows users to create their own profile and since you can login by creating an account or through Facebook, it connects easily to your social media. It also connects to the music apps (iTunes, Spotify etc.) you’ve been using and the artists/bands pages you’ve liked on Facebook and lets you know which of your favourite artists are playing and where.
- Clean, simple layout that’s easy to use
- Can buy tickets in-app
- Syncs music recommendations based on what you’ve been listening to on iTunes, Spotify etc.
- Links easily to social media so you can share what gigs you’re going to, connect to friends and see what concerts you’re friends are interested in
- No GPS/map – doesn’t alter based on where you are located
- Doesn’t benefit venues
- Small artists/local bands not featured – usually not on Spotify etc.
- ‘Cloud’ page populated by random suggestions
- Tickets can be more expensive through the app rather than online as they need to take commission
Gig Pic also allows the user to create a profile of sorts and connect with friends. Although the app does include a map, it doesn’t connect to your location and instead shows popular event locations. It allows you to share images you’ve captured at gigs and there’s a handy news section where you can see what tours etc. have recently been announced. All in all it has some great features but again, it’s not very focused on small/local artists but rather focuses on household names. It’s also not very user friendly – especially when compared with the competition!
- View pictures of recent gigs
- Extensive lists of upcoming/recent concerts, events and festivals
- Not very easy to navigate
- Quite boring looking
- Features lots of artists but, has them on there even if they have nothing upcoming
- Doesn’t allow the user to add much to their profile/customise it
Now here’s an app that has a lot more detail than the other two I’ve looked at. Rather than catering for people looking for music based events, festivals, gigs etc. it goes by what ‘tag’ words you enter. There’s also a funky, image heavy home screen that lists different categories such as ‘what’s hot’, ‘go tomorrow’. ‘theatre’ and ‘culture’. When you login you can choose what you’re interested in order to personalise your user experience. You can use the app to find events, buy tickets and create a rudimentary profile where you can link with friends, check out what they’ve been doing and connect with social media accounts.
- Choose tags based on what interests you
- Book tickets in-app
- Create a basic profile and connect with other users by following them
- Has a lot of information on it and lots of events
- You can favourite an event that catches your eye and go back to it later
- Tickets you buy are featured on a separate page so you can keep track of your purchases
- Although you can connect with friends you can only follow them, meaning it’s not very social
- Although you can choose your location for better results, you can only choose from a small list of big cities
- There’s a map but it’s based on the short list of locations
- Some of the tickets are quite expensive due to commission
- The events are big names rather than local artists
- There’s not much you can do in terms of altering the settings once you’re setup the app
So, I think that’s my market research completed, I’ve got a few examples to show when I present my prototype and some pros and cons to show to people. I now need to create definite list of what features I want my app to have and make sure I know why – so I can reference this in my presentation! Out of the apps I looked at for my market research, Bandsintown is definitely my favourite and I think I’ll keep it even when I’ve done using it for this project. Although it has some downsides, I like the layout on the whole and most of the features, and I’ve picked up a few ideas for what I’d like my app to look and feel like.
Also, if you want to find any of the apps I’ve featured in this blog post, you can find them online – just click on the app name section headers.