22seven 2.0 for iPhone has just been released. To find out what’s new about it and what went into making it, we asked our designer Zubeir (Z) and developer Chris “T” Rex some serious and some not very serious questions about their excellent adventure.
Is it true that you’re known as Bill & Ted?
Was your adventure as totally bodacious as theirs?
Do you always answer questions with questions?
Do you ever give more than one word answers?
Seriously though. New app. What was wrong with the old one?
Z: Well, the design was old, it didn’t adhere to the new principles for iOS7 and iOS8. So we’ve adapted the feel, and it’s more fresh, more friendly, easier to understand.
Chris: Also, the old app was missing a few features, so we’ve added a bunch of new ones and now you can do almost everything that you can on the web.
So what was the starting point?
Chris: Initially they pretty much left us to our own devices. Then later they pulled us back a bit. But we appreciated that freedom. And there was value in it.
Z: We cracked the design in that time.
Chris: And what we built initially, the framework and the logic, was sound.
How did you find the process once you got going?
Chris: The way we work here at 22seven is liberating. There’s opportunity to give input. You tend to have a lot of ideas as you’re working, and here those ideas are embraced, whereas at a lot of other places the process is too rigid to incorporate them.
Z: It’s also very collaborative. Traditionally, the designer sets up all the wireframes and artwork, in isolation, then passes it on to the developer, then his work is done. Here we worked together as a team throughout.
What about the other teams?
Chris: You mean like Harold and Kumar?
Z: Dude, I think he means Android
Exactly. Is there a healthy competition?
Chris: Ja, the Android app’s been getting a lot of great press, so the pressure was on us. But that pushes you. I think that desire to leapfrog the other app is good for the end result.
Another part of the journey was that you did a lot of testing.
Z: Right. Developers and designers tend to get blinkered by their own work. You know what you’re trying to do and you expect everyone else to understand it. But when you go out into the real world, it gives you perspective.
Chris: What testing does is it puts the app into the hands of people who are going to use it without any explanation. And that very quickly shows you how people are responding to it, and what is and isn’t working. We were able to do a lot of that because we have our own testing lab here. It was extremely valuable.
And now that it’s done, how’re you feeling?
Z: He’s had many sleepless nights.
How did you get through them?
Chris: With a lot of Coco Pops and chocolate Steri Stumpie.
22seven version 2.0 for iPhone is available for download. We’d love to hear what you think of it.