Admitting Defeat

Earlier this afternoon, I realized that it made no sense to develop my tool as an iPhone app. There is too much data to get onto an iPhone screen, and I don’t want to give up all the fields I want to use, or the collections of fields I feel are necessary. What’s more, the translation of an iPhone app to an iPad app would have been rather difficult, especially after people got used to everything they could do easily on an iPad.

So where does this leave me? Well for starters, I think it makes things simpler. I have a working example of all the features I want to use, and I can continue to use that version for managing all the work I will need to do. The iPad version can emerge from all that data I have already accumulated. All I have to do is recognize when the app is running on an iPad versus a regular computer and go to a completely different set of layouts. Both interfaces will exist in the same file, which means I can get a sense of how things look on my laptop. And if the iPad user interface works out to be easier than the laptop interface, I can suspend development of the laptop version and let the iPad interface drive everything.

In the end, I think an iPad version would be quite acceptable on an laptop. It will probably be faster overall, as there will be fewer fields on each layout. And things might end up being simpler for both environments. The web version might turn out better as well.

Sometimes it just makes sense to accept that what we thought we wanted is not where we should start. I hope I can remember that in the coming weeks and months. There will be more opportunities for insight coming my way, and I need to be willing to say no more often. I will document the things I decide not to do however, in case they inspire something else later. You never know when an idea discarded for one reason will be useful in a different context.


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