Planning your App

Get ideas

One of the best ways to think about how to approach your app is to look at what other people are doing. Remember, all apps had a planning stage, and it's a great to see the end result. Check out what some of our users are doing and note things you like about them. Here are a few examples:

Cultural Tourism DC

Cranbrook Educational Community

Saratoga National Historic Park

Historic Johnson Farm

Strong Museum of Play

As you go through these tours, you'll begin to see they have elements in common - a home page to introduce the app, a map, a list of sites or points of interest, an about us, or info page or both!

You also have to remember that as an organization, you are connected to hundreds if not thousands of people. Ask your future users what they would like to see or hear in your app. Ask your front desk what questions your patrons are asking - you'll probably begin to see a pattern.


Think about your content

Now that you've done a little research, ask yourself some questions:

  • What kind of content do I need to make my app? (Are you converting an audio guide into a smartphone app? Do you need videos? Photos? Text for all of your pages?)
  • How many tours/routes will I have? How many points of interest will there be?
  • Do I need a map to accompany my app? How many? (Do you want to use the geo-locate capabilities of a Google map because the tour is outdoors? Do you have access to a custom map for the property?)
  • Do I want my users to accesss an RSS feed or blog?
  • Do I want to present my users with a survey?
  • Is there a need for a keypad? Are my points of interest numbered and on easy to spot?
  • How can I use the app to promote my organization?
  • Is it important to give your users quick access to visitor information? Hours? Contact info?

Think about the flow of your app

We find it helpful to visualize what your final app will look like. You don't need any fancy tools to do this, a pencil and paper approach will work just fine! Try creating a mockup of the general flow of your app, it will help keep you organized while building your app and serves as a great tool to start a conversation with members of your team.

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