Today my supervisor and I talked about the creative process and how I usually do in terms of combining programming work with the design aspect. I remember that when we met, we talked about it and as I did not have much experience I thought that design would come first, and then I would code to make things work. But today we brought this up again and I realized that in practice it does not work like that – ok first I did some design, some visual prototype, but when I started coding, I did not stop working with the design either. It was not like first I do the design and then the code, period! You work with both all the time.
After discussing the project task, we met and had a brainstorming session – we went through functions that he wanted for the application. In this session, he explained first the problematique – within his branch there isn’t a all-encompassing app, where the personal trainer can use to both enter information about the client, screening test results and enter a workout plan that can be easily mailed to the client. So we went through some of the existing apps and platforms, so he could show the flaws. So we together came up with some ideas on how our app could look like in terms of functionality and user-friendliness. After this meeting, I looked for other examples, similar applications, in order to see what has been done, and what needs to be done. Most of these apps are inflexible, since the user can only enter an exercise that is already in the app database – what if the trainer wants to enter a completely customized exercise? I actually found ONE app where the user can enter customized exercises, but after the trial period, you have to pay a monthly fee or something. It is called Volt and is niched for sports, and athletes, the same niche as my customer works within. However the app is directly to the trainers’ clients, whereas a work tool for the trainer is what we are looking for.
So after this session, it became clearer what our application would be like – which functions it would have, and how it would address the aforementioned issues.
My first days as an intern were somewhat overwhelming. I was not quite sure if I would be achieving anything usable. Let’s just say that my self-confidence level was pretty low. As I would be working basically on my own, since I got my own project and customer, I was feeling intimidated. My supervisor would help whenever necessary, of course, but when it comes to the coding part, there was nothing she could do, since her expertise is the design part.
From the very beginning I developed a close contact to my customer, IFC. We discussed the project, what was expected from me and so on. The customer was always understanding that the focus is the learning process, rather than developing a “ready to ship” product.
We also had to establish some delimitations, due to lack of time and resource – initially there was some wish to develop an iPhone app. But I made it clear that such type of app would require much more time, and as I am the only one programming, it is not realistic to develop an Iphone app during this time, but of course this wish could be pursued once the internship is over.