Sunday, 16 December 2012

6 Months Journey.

6 months ago, the engineering team and I were on a mission - to build our first mobile client, an search application for iPhone. We dream big. We don't want to rush something out, or settle only for something good enough. We want to build something matter, something we ourselves do want to use.

Every day was a baby step for us, engineers getting their hand wet with the programming language, guided by a newly hired iOS programmer. Me, myself start to explore the task of a project planner and product/UX designer.  

Brain storming, planning, benchmarking industry leaders, stealing ideas, saying yes and no to a long list of features, sketching wireframes and mockups, building prototypes, toss them off to the trash and start from scratch again. The cycle repeats till we had a solid vision of the final product. 

Moving things forward, and connecting the dots was the most challenging part of the project. To share the thought and describing the aesthetics goal with visual designers. To explain each screen transition, animation and UI decision with the engineers. To listen to their feedback, to admit that my idea sucks, and also to insist on what needed to be done.

The journey was bumpy, internal security team caught some critical bugs, the first application to the app store was rejected by Apple and many minor episodes. But luckily at the end of the day, we managed to pull the project off and had it on store in time for the holiday season.

The feeling was great, and we really think that we had something solid. And personally one of the best from Rakuten. Although the search engine is target on Japanese market, we did make the app international with English support. You can get the apps on the App Store worldwide. Please check it out here, or visit our website (only in Japanese)



**I was pretty helpless when getting the apps  programed except being a cheerleader to the engineers. Oh, ya! I did have a chance to code some CSS and they did shipped in the final products. At least some minor contribution. :)

And sorry readers if you are looking up for a photography post, NEXT post will come with pretty photos. Finger crossed!!



   

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