Monday, July 30, 2007

Totally tired with this app

I'm exhausted! I've been working on this melody Facebook app for around a week now. At first it was very exciting. I had big dreams of making a hugely popular app, but now that the app is becoming more concrete it is starting to become obvious that this will be marginally popular at best. Why? Well, turns out it's a lot more difficult to express yourself with music than by drawing!

Currently in the app you can selected between a piano, a cat's meow, a dog's bark, human voices or drums. The app allows you to make a very short composition, around 30 seconds at the longest perhaps. There is a staff on which you can place notes to make your tune. I haven't done the sending part completely yet, but the idea is that you could send these tunes to your friends.

The path from an idea to reality is always less smooth than one would hope. An idea is very vague. Even if you try to work out an UI on paper, it's still vague, even if you don't know it. There are just so many little details that you will never be able to think about until you make the app. And that's fine, because making the app is all about describing those little details to the computer anyways. I'm struggling to provide a concrete example here, but for example in this case the idea was "a graffiti-like app for sending melodies". Then in the paper UI mockup I realize that there has to be some way to put different instruments on a staff. Then when really trying to make it, I realize that when you are placing those instruments, there has to be some kind of indicator of what you are selecting. But that indicator shouldn't be shown if you are outside the area ... and if you select drop-down menus they should appear ABOVE all the notes, not below. And a million details like that.

After you spend days just basically tangled with these small details, you become very exhausted even though from previous experience you knew that it would be like this, while of course secretly hoping that this time would somehow be different. There is some satisfaction in seeing your idea become a reality, to interact with what you have created, but at the same time you have to face the depressing reality that perhaps your idea wasn't as great as you had hoped. What seems like a fun idea often isn't as much fun in reality.