I was recently asked by my friend Carl Smith at nGenWorks, (@ngenworks) “Have you ever built an app in the order the user experiences it, i.e. starting with the login instead of core functionality?” My first thought was no. We’ve never done that. But, I’ve seen many ‘entry experiences’ in applications that are terrible! Given that this is a person’s first impression of an app, if that experience sucks, the app sucks. A user may never get past the front door. So, there could be some consideration to this question. Hmmmm.
Here’s how I answered Carl’s question:
“I think the answer from my side would be yes, but my approach is usually to nail the biggest, gnarliest design challenge first. Then, the rest should fall into line behind it. Normally, the most complex bit wouldn’t be the login, but I do know we’ve worked on gigs where the login was challenging based on whether or not it would be a custom social network type deal or using facebook / twitter / email for that purpose.
“I would absolutely recommend at least storyboarding out the totality of the experience early (including the login) to marry the concept with the business goals and user needs. I’ve seen apps that we’ve had to save, where the original developer shit the bed on the simple first phases of the app and killed the rest of the concept because they didn’t spend the time to get the simple things right. That’s probably your bigger danger to avoid – don’t glaze over the simple things. The opinion of the experience will be set early whether it is good or bad with the user.”
You can read the rest of nGenWorks article here: http://www.ngenworks.com/blog/first-things-first/.