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Get ready to design your first app

Our course assesses your knowledge and understanding of the app world at the outset and then tailors itself to your needs. The course is written by best-selling author Chris Stevens, who has shipped over half-a-million mobile apps. He'll teach what you need to know to sell your own mobile apps and potentially make a fortune.

Take a look at the course syllabus below to see what's in store for you. We've carefully designed the syllabus to appeal to both aspiring programmers and designers. If you're interested in actually programming an app, you'll enjoy our in-depth Code Zone sections. If you'd prefer to hire a programmer, we cover this extensively too. Good luck with your app!


Our 18-Unit App Design Syllabus

Units 1-9

1. Introducing the app

The state of the market • A short history of the app and its future. Grasping the market differences between Android, iPhone and iPad • Choosing a category of app • What to expect at launch • Understanding app design principles

2. Basic platform considerations

Deciding between platforms: iOS or Android • Differences in spending patterns and device popularity • Android vs iPhone sales and profits • Choosing a platform to target first • 360 degrees of rotation • Basic mobile platform ergonomics.

3. The killer app idea

How to dream up a killer app idea • Understanding the mass-market customer • Maximizing profit in one of the world's most competitive creative app marketplaces • Anticipating and avoiding conflicts • Insider tips on app ideas • Anticipating marketing requirements • Dealing with a cut-throat marketplace

4. Dealing with customers

Explaining the mobile market to customers • Learn how to pitch app ideas • Come to quick agreements on designs • The basics of revenue sharing and other common business arrangements in app markets • How to remain profitable • Pitfalls to watch out for

5. Finding a programmer

How to find a programmer for your app project • Understanding the cost of indie programmers vs agencies • Managing international programming operations • Interacting with the mobile app programming community • NDAs • Using overseas programmers • Deciding whether to learn coding.

6.  Working for yourself

Understanding the risks of the market for independent designers • Learning lessons from the world's best-selling indie apps • Using forums and other online resources • Budgeting considerations • The state of the app market for indie developers

7.  How to handle Apple and Google

Understanding the app retail model • How to interact with Apple and Google and others • Focusing on the quality of your work • Dealing with rejection • Common reasons for app rejection • Negotiating with the gatekeepers

8. Planning an app

Basic organisational tips for app designers • How to plan and schedule your project • Communicating app ideas visually • Project management and working methods • Drawing plans • Providing documentation to programmers.

9. Partnering with a programmer

Learning how to communicate with a programmer • Making efficient use of the programmer's time to minimize expense • A basic overview of the major languages used by the leading mobile platforms • Interacting with complex coding systems • Novel approaches to discussion.

     Units 10-18

10. The Code Zone: Programming Google Android and Apple iOS 

Discovering Xcode • Figuring out the Android SDK • Understanding code repositories • Programming your first app in iOS/Android • Learning from real code-samples from a global hit-app • Dissecting Alice for the iPad • Exploring successful utility apps • Choosing an app design helper suite • Introducing the amazing GameSalad.

11. Top tips for touch-screen design

How to strip-down features and design elements to maximise impact, usability, and sales • Understanding the ergonomics of the human finger • Exploring the possibilities for touch interaction.

12. The ‘feature fallacy’ and how to avoid it

Understanding the Feature Fallacy • How to creatively reduce the number of features in your app • Learning from examples of good and bad interfaces and feature sets • Reviewing app successes • Limiting functionality to increase sales

13. Prototyping

Learn about mocking up designs on mobile platforms and the importance of testing in-situ. Trends in mobile UI design and typography • How offering fewer choices frees the user: Why less is more • Evaluating designs • User testing

14. Innovative app design

A review of input options • Creative solutions to control systems • Working with the accelerometer • Making your app sell • Creative design solutions

15.  Integrating sound

How to use sound to give user feedback or create an atmosphere in your app • Where to source free music • How to commission professional music and sound.

16.  Understanding games

An introduction to the world of mobile gaming and how you can get involved • The risks of game design • Learning from the world's most successful mobile games companies • Exploring sales statistics and modern gaming trends

17.  Submitting your app

How to name your app • Talking to the press • How to deal with journalists • Using YouTube as promotional tool • Making a video. Strategies for dealing with rejection from the Apple App Store • Advanced app store gatekeeper negotiation methods

18.  Marketing your app

Learn app-pricing strategies • Understand the growing potential of in-app purchases and the evolution of apps from products to services • Keep up-to-date with sales statistics and adjust prices seasonally to maximise profit • Reviewing sales data • Adapting strategies to increase sales.