Snowflakes is the first app from my start-up, Hado Labs. The app is sort of like digital stamp art. It allows users to create art by tap, with custom background and color options. There are two modes; single, which displays an isolated snowflake with over 9,000 shape combinations, and multi-mode, where you can layer different colored and shaped snowflakes. Creations are saved to your photos and shared from the app via email, Facebook, and Twitter.
To start, I researched the app market. I looked at reviews in the app store, posted online, and recommendations from friends. I evaluated their success with analytics from AppAnnie. I downloaded dozens of apps, took screengrabs, and made notes of inspirational interfaces.
I worked closely with my developer to understand the constraints and resources we had available. Because of my design education background and the success of my earlier kaleidoscope app Annamika our focus was on creative apps. I came up with at least a dozen concepts. We decided to create Snowflakes first.
I used Photoshop to create high-fidelity wireframes and AppCooker to develop a prototype of my vision.
For simplicity, I followed the iOS Human Interface Guidelines and used Apple's standard design patterns. I also created custom icons.
Once establishing the framework, I created all the necessary assets in Photoshop. This included icons, illustrations, backgrounds, and loading screens.
I conducted a small focus group with moderated usability testing. We fixed the bugs from my findings, and I refined the user experience by adding in suggested features like custom color and additional background controls.
We started our project in September and launched six weeks later. We created two separate versions of the app due to the screen difference, one for iPhone and one for the iPad. Collectively we had thousands of downloads. A few months after Snowflakes, we released a separate app on the same engine called Hearts. The process itself was invaluable in transitioning my industrial product design knowledge into useful digital products.