7 minutes with Adrià Sánchez&Ivan Ruiz

Adrià and Ivan are the professionals that, together with Bernat Galindo, made come true a project that was in my head since I became an entrepreneur, 4 years ago: to create my own talent app, Talent Tracker by Emma Giner.
I met Adrià years ago in a different setting: his Marlowe Bar project. But Adrià is also an app User Experience virtuoso (he created for example the famous Spanish platform Wallapop). Thanks to him I met Ivan and his incredible programming powers (the Spanish app Nannyfy, where he’s also the CTO, is one of his latest creations). Working and learning with and from both of them has been a pleasure.

1.We are in an app fever time, but … What’s indeed an app and how does it work?
We can define an app as a tech tool developed to solve a problem. In this sense, there is no much difference between an app and a web. However, apps are developed by thinking into the specifications of the digital surface that will run it. Therefore, we are taking advantage of the device’s resources. For example, if we use a phone as a surface, our app can take advantage of functionalities such as geolocalisation and chat systems. Apps are easy to access from your phone, so they are easier to reach in comparison to a web, where you have to get into a site first.
There are two big app categories: the ones which stay in the device (such as the picture-embellishing apps) or the ones which are connected to a server (for example messaging apps).
Essentially, we could say that apps have a front side, they are kept in a server and they are used by human beings.

2.Which are the roles we need to take into account when creating an app?
It will depend on the kind of app we want to develop: a professional app or a simple app to launch an idea.
If we want to create a simple app, technically speaking we would only need a programmer to develop it. This app, though, would lack of the front side: design, user experience,… That’s why an app needs a front end specialized profile (Adrià’s expertise) to draw the app’s workflow, the actions that should be taken to solve the problem and the screen design. It is also needed a back end expert (Ivan’s case) who works on server programming, development of functionalities and who turns design into reality.
When we are talking about a business project that involves an app which has to have multiple users and functionalities, then we need to add new profiles on board: A QA (Quality Assurance, who checks the process to minimise error), a PO (Product Owner, who links market and user with the project), a Scrum Master (who makes sure the delivery is according to the agreed timing), … And we could also talk about anthropologists to do some research on social behaviour or psychologists to conduct focus groups.

3.Which tools or procedures can evolve into an app? Which would be the advantages?
An app might be the perfect solution for all kind of procedures implying repetitive tasks or data management. A data management app, precisely, is very useful to keep and process data in a quicker, more effective way. On the other hand, an app is a fantastic tool to withdraw intermediaries and create a direct bond with the user, without handbooks nor instructions.  A good example of it is the success of the apps that connect people.

4.What do we have to take into account to develop a meaningful app?
Definitely, we need to think about the process. In this sense, there are two kind of apps: the ones which do not need market fit (such as the internal apps which are used within an organisation) and the ones which do need it (such as the app-product based startups). In both cases, the tool has to be meaningful for its user. We will always start with a Minimum Viable Product (MVP), a very first simple tool we will test with the user. In that sense, we can execute different iterations according to the user’s feedback. Iteration by iteration, we will add more functions and make the tool evolve. Development has a cost, so we have to be sure that with the next step we take with the tool we will solve user problems. MVPs will allow us to test and achieve maximum results with minimum effort and resources.

5.How can I see that an app has been properly developed?
You can notice it by using different perspectives. From a front end point of view, attention to detail is key: buttons, margins, look &f eel, drawings, the steps that the user must follow to reach a screen, …. From a back end perspective, we notice a good app by checking the way programming has been solving the front end ideas. However, to see how good an app is we have to watch the user’s reactions when executing it. All in all, a good app is the one that solves the specific problem for which it was created. It is really fascinating that, amongst the thousands of apps that exist nowadays, the most famous ones are the apps which put people together. Technology helps to connect us.

Many thanks for allowing us to explore your world, Adrià and Ivan!

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