Putting it out there

I’ll finally be releasing an app. It’s going to be out there on the internet for anybody and everybody to use, abuse and lose. Its taken way too long to put it out there though.

I wrote a note to myself months ago, well actually more of a checklist, of “What would Company X I Admire do with Bastion?” They would just release it. They would let people use it. They would not be precious. They would make a thing that is useful, and to do that, you need to let it go.

I’ve been tapping away at this thing that lives there on the bottom left corner of the second page of my phone’s screen for what seems like forever. I’ve also tried the secret, cool, clever way of getting people to test it, and it just isn’t working. This is usually called a “closed” or private beta and typically involves hundreds of emails, complicated provisioning and way too many hoops people have to jump through. It’s proven itself to be just way too much to hide a thing until its supposed to be ready – whatever that means.

Originally, I wanted it to be perfect before it went into the App Store, mainly because I read way too much about how other people launch things instead of worrying about what I’m launching. What I’m launching doesn’t really depend at all on ranking in the App Store, and I’m not going to have a launch or anything, so just going for it seems to be the best course of action. I know that because waiting hasn’t been working out that amazingly.

Designers like to make things nice, probably too nice. Its what we do. Its what we think about. Its what we talk about even. We like things to be perfect because we pour so much into things we design that it gets way too personal and you feel that any bad reception to what you’ve done is a bad reflection on you. This of course doesn’t work when you’re trying to make a thing for other people and especially not if its for a lot of other people. Someone will invariably not like it.

When you design things it’s terrifying. Believe me, I’ve done it a lot. Designing a thing means, in theory, that someone else has to use it. So now that I’ve finally gotten around to designing and actually building my own thing, it’s a whole hell of lot scarier. Its scarier because its mine, but its not supposed to be mine, its supposed to be there for everyone else to use as well and it took me a bit to realise that. So here goes nothing.