I have created or contributed to a number of apps throughout my career. Here are some of them with an explanation of each.
Carrier grew from a need that I had to send messages to people at inconvenient times. I usually arise at 6:00am and would often think of messages I wanted to send to people, but wanted to wait until a more reasonable hour. Carrier allows for composing the message, choosing the recipient and the delivery time, and then a notification comes to allow you to send the message. The app also works great for scheduling messages for a birthday, or other special occasions. For Valentines Day, I scheduled a message every hour to go out to my wife, and then I was ready throughout the day to send her something thoughtful, even in the middle of a meeting.
Pointedly is the first iOS app that I ever made, and continues to be one of my favorite projects to work on. I had the idea to make a small sample project into a real app as I found that my family needed something to keep score for our board and card games. I worked together with my oldest son, who was six at the time, to come up with the features that should be included in the app.
O.C. Tanner decided to bring all of our digital products into an integrated platform called Culture Cloud. As the mobile engineering manager, I worked to help define what would be in the app, and coordinated with all of our product teams to make it a reality.
When I became a manager and started running meetings, I found there was not a simple way to prepare and present agenda in those meetings. I created Agendum to do just that. You can quickly and easily type up your notes, and then without any work at all, display a beautiful presentation to keep everyone engaged and on topic.
This app originally had a very different purpose than the final version. After having an Apple Watch for a while, I would wish that I had a simple light to use on the watch when I checked on kids at night. I realized that a very small amount of light would be sufficient in a dark room to see whether the kids were safe and comfortable. While on a trip visiting family, I put together an app I called “Watch Light” that would serve that purpose. The app was rejected even for TestFlight on the grounds that it was essentially a flashlight app, which are explicitly prohibited.
Tanner Labs is a research and development group inside of O.C. Tanner, which is a global rewards and recognition company. The purpose of Tanner Labs is to explore new product opportunities that could one day fit in with our existing offerings at O.C. Tanner to help companies recognize and encourage great work. Starting around October 2015, a team was formed to investigate building a tool for employee sentiment surveys. After more than 50 interviews with potential customers, the original product plan was pivoted to focus on improving managers by leveraging the one on one. Our focus is to make managers better leaders by helping them prepare for, deliver, and follow up on meaningful one on ones.
This app was the reason that I became an iOS developer. As a family, we follow the Charlotte Mason scripture memory system, which involved a box of index cards. We would recite scripture verses on the cards every morning. The problem was that our young children would regularly dump out all of the cards, and we would lose our progress. I wanted to make a simple app that would replace the box of cards, and pursued iOS development to create that app.
When I was hired at Tanner Labs, I was tasked first with being the sole iOS developer on our health and wellbeing offering, Welbe. The app had an Android and web counterpart as well as a custom backend. As I looked at the app, I immediately identified some gaps in the user experience and put together a release to improve some rough edges. Over the next year, I implemented features such as HealthKit integration, social groups and messaging, and custom graphs and charts.
In October 2015, I participated in my first Startup Weekend in Salt Lake City. The new Apple TV had been released to developers, but was not yet available to the general public. My group decided we should make a bowling game for the new Apple TV after doing some quick market research into the success of bowling games on the iOS App Store.
One of my good friends is a designer and entrepreneur, and he had the idea to build an app to encourage people to get together in person more often and more easily. We collaborated on the UX, and he did the visual design, while I did all of the coding. The custom UI that we came up with was both exciting and challenging to implement.