Launch Delays. That's what!
 

And at Time Traveler Tours & Tales (TTT&T), we are no exception. On my trip to the States earlier this month, I gathered members of team TTT&T as well as a dedicated group of major supporters to alpha-test the first iteration of IN THE FOOTSTEPS OF GIANTS. 
 

It was exciting. It was fun. It was also very tasty for apropos the Renaissance Italian theme of our launch story app tour, we met at an NYC restaurant: Osteria del Principe. Highly recommended!


Our hope was to be able to turn the app right over to YOU for beta testing. But we encountered two unanticipated technical issues too serious not to fix. (*If you want to know more about what these were, continue reading beyond the pictures below...)

 
Fortunately, one of the greatest benefits the digital revolution has brought to publishing is "iterative development." It allows us to build and test in iterations until we are ready to share what most call a "Minimum Viable Product," but I prefer to call it our "Minimum Lovable Product."


So it's now looking like late July or early August before our fledgling will be lovable enough to take flight. Rest assured I will continue to keep you posted.


In the meantime, on behalf of Team TTT&T, I wish you and yours excellent adventures this summer season. Be sure to ping me if you find yourself in London. I'll be here all July. Working on the app.


Best and more,
Sarah


What did we find in this alpha-testing round?

Two technical issues that compounded with each increase in screen size, thus compromising our user interface design:


One of the earliest decisions we had to make as a team was whether to limit our app to Apple devices or go broad to include android devices as well. BEWARE MADAME LA GUILLOTINE launched before there were such things as android devices. But once other smart Apple competitors hit the streets, our market for BMLG shrunk to half the size.


Our present goal is to make all future apps equally readable from the smallest mobile smart phone to the largest tablet. But that makes development exponentially more complicated as you then have to program for multiple screen sizes. Team OnCell did an amazing job of enabling our images to grow in proportion to the width of each screen. But none of us imagined how that would affect the height of the image with each larger screen size. During our alpha test of 14 June 2016, which included 11 people and 12 devices, we found that as the screen sizes grew larger, the vertical images grow longer and thus fell further and further “below the fold.” 


The team and I didn’t want to make that same mistake again. So we agreed to develop all subsequent Time Traveler Tours to be accessible to the greatest number of mobile devices -- and therefore users -- as possible.

Our present goal is to make all future apps equally readable from the smallest mobile smart phone to the largest tablet. But that makes development exponentially more complicated as you then have to program for multiple screen sizes. 


Team OnCell did an amazing job of enabling our images to grow in proportion to the width of each screen. But none of us imagined how that would affect the height of the image with each larger screen size. During our alpha test of 14 June 2016, which included 11 people and 12 devices, we found that as the screen sizes grew larger, the vertical images grow longer and thus fell further and further “below the fold.” 


This means, quite simply, that beyond the iPhone 5, you could not see an entire vertical image on the screen, as in the image above taken on an iPhone 6. The team and I feel very strongly that you should.


Secondly, while we’d worked hard to ensure that images grow with screen size, we had neglected to apply the same logic to the text blocks. So at present as images increase from phone to tablet they become disproportionately large in relation to complementary text. An easy fix, I’m told, but one that should be made.

 
So it’s back into the studio we go to tinker with the tech a little bit more. Which gives us a bit more time to gather use permissions for the images we wish to populate the app.


Wish us luck!

And don't forget to pre-order your download of
IN THE FOOTSTEPS OF GIANTS.

 

Special thanks to Dan Blank of WeGrowMedia for taking the pictures featured in this post.
That's why he's not in any of them!
 

Comment