The making of Coffee Buzz iPhone app (2009)

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Information about The making of Coffee Buzz iPhone app (2009)

Published on January 22, 2009

Author: katielips



"The Making of Coffee Buzz" (an iPhone app) Presentation given by Katie Lips (Kisky Netmedia at Ignite (UK North) in Leeds, 22nd January 2009.

Coffee Buzz is an app made as part of the Amazing iPhone project; a report for businesses on the iPhone opportunity.

The Making of... Coffee Buzz What we learnt about the iPhone Application Business Katie Lips Kisky Netmedia I’m Katie from Kisky Netmedia all the way from Liverpool to talk to you about “The Making of Coffee Buzz” - an application for iPhone. Coffee Buzz has been in the App Store now for over a month so I’m here to share some thoughts. This presentation is a snapshot of “What we learnt about the iPhone Apps Business”

Amazing iPhone Report Back in the Autumn of 2008 we embarked on a project with ICDC called ‘The Amazing iPhone’. We created a 40+ page report on the iPhone platform and the opportunity it offers to consumers and to businesses. So that we could talk about the iPhone platform, we thought we’d better also make and launch an iPhone app!

Coffee Buzz Our app is called Coffee Buzz: ‘the social coffee app’. It’s available at And as you can see it has a pretty nice logo!

So what does it do? Well, Coffee Buzz lets you... 1. Find Local Coffee 2. Share your Coffee With Others 3. Integrates with Twitter, so you can easily say ‘I’m having a coffee’ Yes it’s true - a lot of people do that! If you don’t believe me check out

Things we learnt! Following making the Coffee Buzz App, submitting it to the iPhone App Store, launching the app, and monitoring our daily sales, I am going to share 10 of the many things we learnt about iPhone application development. (Or, our top 10 tips!)

#1 Get a Mac! Awesome! Erm.. Get a Mac and an iPhone (Some people don’t realise this)

#2 Sign Up Today! Developer Program Sign up early with the app store! Sign up as an individual (you don’t have to sign up as a company first off) Start playing with the SDK (that’s the Software Development Kit’!) as early as you can Fill in all the forms. (Even the IRS, and the Tax ones!)

#3 “ lets people find and share great coffee experiences everyday. makes it quick and easy to say ‘I’m havin’ a Coffee.” Define your product! Create your product definition statement. Don’t skip on this. Here’s the Coffee Buzz (then named Coffee App) definition statement.

#4 Read Me First! “iPhone SDK Development” If you are not already an expert Objective-C programmer, learn some new skills! There are a few things out there to help you. We tested a lot out and like this the best: The Pragmatic Programmers publish a great guide. Also make sure you read Apple HIG guide & then read it again. Of course you might also be interested in these lovely books published by O’Reilly! (iPhone Open Application Development)!

#5 Paper Prototype! Paper prototyping - do this properly. Don’t just start programming and building. It’ll most likely not be very usable or intuitive. It takes longer to make your mistakes in Code than on Paper!

#6 Design! Design. Design. Design. This is very very very important. Don’t skimp on the styling, the user interaction design and the finish. There’s arguably a lot of crap in the App Store and you want your app to stand out!

#7 Field Test! Field test! Field testing is very important. If you’re used to creating software for desktops or the web; you need to learn this. iPhone is portable, mobile and functions in changing, and uncontrollable environments. Get on a tram, a train or bus!

#8 Localisez! “50% of iPhone users are from outside UK and USA” Localise your app! French people might not buy your app if it’s all in English (although a few have bought ours). There are lots of users outside of the U.S. and UK.

#9 Be nice to bloggers! Don’t ignore the 4 ‘P’s! “Perhaps this is the iPhone app @starbucks should have built?” “CoffeeBuzz is a slickly-produced app” - Mashable Marketing Do not assume being in the App Store means you’ll sell a million. Marketing is very very important. The basic Marketing principles of ‘Product, Price, Place and Promotion’ apply! Or if you’re lucky - make sure your app enjoys infamy as a banned app. Then blog about this. Then blog about it again when Apple lets your previously banned and now famous app into the App Store!

#10 Pricing is er...tricky! $$$ Pricing! This is still a dark art and the subject of much debate. We experimented. You can always drop, not increase the price of your app.

£2.39 Coffee Buzz retails in the App Store at £2.39 We did a poll at a previous presentation and most people thought this was outrageous. However the rationale for the pricing is that it’s the same price as a venti Latté! Which when you think about it like that seems like very cheap software!

S a le s e n t no u ncem A n We sold 92! How many copies of Coffee Buzz did we sell? 92 copies sold? Not zero, but certainly not ‘insanely great’

v1.2 Custom locations Custom Drinks! Version 1.2 is coming soon. (February 2009) It’ll contain some new features that make it super smooth to use. And some requests from our (92) users. Coffee Buzz version 1.2 will include “Place me here” and “Create your own custom drinks” - thanks Imran for the suggestion; you will be able to ‘have a Chai’.

59p Price drop. Yes there’ll of course be a credit crunch style price drop. Of course it maybe that this works as a free app - but this is an exploratory project so we want to see what happens at 59p first! Other monetisation options right now are also pretty exciting. We’ve been having a chat with a few coffee chains!

We’ll share our statistics & insights We’ll let you know how we get on in future versions of our report: Thank you for your time, and if you are embarking on an App Store journey I hope you enjoy making iPhone apps as much as we did.

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