Navigation is king.

So in coming up with the screens for my app. I immediately ran into how is the user going to navigate this application?

Tab Bar? Nav Bar? Pages? Facebook style? (Don’t know what to call that one).

I started by laying out the very bare essential screens I needed. I didn’t even consider navigation. Then I started drawing lines to and from the screens. The navigation options started to jump out.

I’m not building any kind of utility application, so using Pages or flipping back and forth between a couple view controllers won’t work. I’ve got to assume 90% of apps come to this conclusion pretty early… unless they are making a flashlight or a task list. So really you end up at navigation controller or tab bar controller… or a combination of both. You could always go ahead and come up with something really dramatic like Path, but that would take me way past MVP. I told myself no custom navigation elements. I’ll never get this done in a short period of time.

I’m gonna do a bit of paper prototyping tonight. See if one of the patterns really jumps out at me. I’m going to use the UI Stencils iPhone Sketch Pad and their app to test the prototype. I ordered these a while ago and so its time to put them to good use.

After that I’ll probably take a break until tomorrow morning. Then the code starts. I’ll be posting about the issues I run into or any a-ha moments I have with things like location, searching, and camera (yes that was a bit of a hint).

I’m also going to throw together the rails backend tomorrow morning. Should be easy, not going to do much except design the url routes and models. I’ll just hard code some JSON responses for now. I think that exercise will help me determine what objects I might be dealing with in iOS early on.

I should have something ridiculously rough tomorrow… that’s the goal anyway.

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