It’s hard to believe that a project originally conceived in January is finally live. I often liken the process of projects like this to that of giving birth …. it takes similiar dedication, pain and commitment to successfully launch digital assets. And once they’re born, the real work begins. (Of course, I have no children so maybe I should stop using the metaphor.)
The concept was lofty and ambitious at inception: create one engaging place where all three of our constituencies can (and will want to) consume our research, roundtable overviews, executive publications and videos at all times, no matter where in the world they might be or what mobile device they may be using. Yes, an “ALL THINGS EVERYWHERE” type of goal.
So, the massive considerations around responsive design, html5, native apps, web apps and website integration reared their lovely heads. I had to dive deep into pros and cons of all these approaches and discuss them with our team. Weeks of research, speaking with experts, exploring success stories and arming ourselves with lessons from epic failures finally led us to an RFP that outlined the project.
It’s important to note how we did well to remind ourselves constantly who this content is intended for and to always ask ourselves, not what is most simple for us to manage from a backend, but what is most attractive, valueable and engaging to our audiences on the front end.
In the end, the RFP was titled: Center for Digital Strategies iPad Content App
All the research and considerations and discussions with developers combined with careful consideration of our audiences led us to develop a mobile app for use on the iPad. The user experience on the iPad is truly the richest available, the majority of our constituents are rocking an iPad already and our content may be enjoyed even when the iPad is offline, while in an airplane for example, where many of our readers spend a great deal of their time.
Through the creation process, we explored the iOS developer library, implemented the accelerometer so the iPad may be held either portrait or landscape, bit our nails (again) while waiting outside the app store delivery room as our app went through the lengthy approval process. Overall, we learned even more about the massive apposphere. However, I believe the lessons learned before we even began development are the true nuggets of gold mined from our app expedition.
Did we realize omnipresence? No, we did not – but we came close and I’m now the beaming proud parent of our first iPad app. Please, give the app a try and post your comments, I’m very curious to know your thoughts. The screen grabs below show our app's main page and the splash screen.
Special thanks go to my colleague Tim Paradis, the entire CDS team and our developer, Blue Pane Studios, for their collaboration on this project.