As I moved through the process of turning rough sketches into legit wireframes, I set some personal developmental goals that influenced Nearbuy’s development. For one thing, I was determined to build something that looked like a thing that would exist in the world. Coming back to my earlier thoughts about building fancy technological gizmos, I was determined to ensure that my thesis looked — and, ideally, functioned — like a legitimate app that one would download from the App Store. This meant finding a balance between following iOS conventions, where appropriate, and adding enough personality and purpose to be meaningfully distinct.
Setting up these constraints helped me develop a finer-grained understanding of app development, even before I began working on my functional prototype. For example, I came to appreciate all the great arguments people make against hamburger menus — that they allow designers to get lazy and stuff all sorts of things inside a hidden menu. By constraining myself with a tab bar instead, I was trying to ensure that I didn’t add needless features, scopes or UI elements that I couldn’t justify.