I finally finished my Udemy course at the end of December. After looking online and talking to people, it seems that the next natural progression in this learning thing is to try and make my own app from scratch. So it’s officially time to kick off the training wheels and the comfort of watching an instructor, and see how much more I have to learn on my own.
Coming up with an App Idea
From the start of this, I decided that if I am going to build an app, it’s got to be something good enough to be published on the App Store. I figured that this goal would keep me up to high standards of quality, and I would get to experience the full life cycle of developing an app. So… what to build?
If I have learned anything from months of listening to ‘How I Built This‘ and ‘The Pitch‘, some of the most successful products are the ones designed to solve a problem. When I started thinking about what I wanted to do for my first app, I decided to embrace this notion.
I started the Ketogenic diet back in September of last year. For those of you who don’t know what it is, in a nutshell it’s a lifestyle change where you eat foods in high fat, moderate protein, and low carbohydrates. The idea behind it is that your body will change over to using fat instead of carbs as its primary fuel source for energy, and then you no longer store fat. Now four months later, I’ve lost 35 pounds so far and just feel good.
When I go out to eat with my wife or with friends, I do my best to pick foods that are low carb. The problem is that most restaurants don’t exactly post their nutrition information on the menu. So time after time I find myself sitting at the table, looking at the menu, and trying to figure out what I should I eat. I usually will pull out my phone and Google ‘Buffalo Wild Wings Nutrition Menu’. I can generally always find some type of nutrition menu, but generally it looks like this. Trying to scroll through a spreadsheet on your phone SUCKS! So I thought, “Hey, I can fix this!”
I have decided that I am going to build an app that will serve as a quick reference guide for myself, and anyone else who wants to quickly browse a restaurants menu for the lowest carbs meals. If nothing else, I figure this will make my life better and be something simple enough to design and build while learning along the way.
Research and Planning
Once I had decided on this idea, I went to the App Store and did some exhaustive searches to see what I could find for related apps. I know that I don’t want to compete with the MyFitnessPal’s of the world, I am just aiming to make a quick reference guide. I was only able to find one app that was doing the same function as I intended, and it was three years old and had poor ratings.
I then grabbed a sheet of paper, and just started jotting down all of the different features I could think of, and how the data should be presented.