In our Programming iPhone Apps class, students use the design thinking process to develop a mobile app that solves a need or issue they are interested in pursuing. This project is part of their Genius Hour, a.k.a. 20% time, project. Students are given class time to purse their personal app project and ideas range from check-in systems for the senior parking lot to mobile apps that help educate individuals about water conservation.
The project kicks off during the first week of class when students begin the brainstorming process. Before diving deeply into the programming and GUI design of their apps, students think about potential mobile app ideas and sort them based on the app store’s categories. After grouping their app ideas students quickly see patterns amongst their classmate’s ideas and find that certain app store categories are more popular than others. This information is then used to research their ideas further and also to look at revenue models used by similar apps.
Starting the brainstorming process before we dive deeply into programming concepts is critical because students have not placed an artificial ceiling on their ideas because of their limited knowledge of mobile app development. The end result of the brainstorming process is pictured in this post.