I’ve had an iPhone developer account for about two years, and since the start of the year I’ve been doing more and more programming; prototyping ideas and working on a business case for them. It came time to renew the account last week, and so I decided to make a quick, useful app to dip my toe into the app store.

Solvetica is a minimal calculator for iPhone, that features gesture support, a calculation history and – of course – helvetica. 


The app itself is only part of the story of course. I did this to get a feel for what it’s like to bring something to ‘market’ – where it appears that marketing something as ‘good design’ is just as important as actually designing it well. I’ll admit, the app took about 5 hours to make (most of that was making sure the interface was pixel perfect), but the supporting material took four times as long.

It included:

  • A logo and icon
  • iTunes screenshots
  • A marketing website (including a few iterations)

Seeing three things in a list here doesn’t seem like much, but getting these right involved multiple iterations, and I’m still not sure if they’re as effective as they could be.

Given the main purpose of releasing Solvetica was to learn about the app store and “what it takes” to get something released and released properly, I haven’t skimped on the time spent on these activities. I’m about to set up A/B testing on the marketing site to see what I can find. I’m paying close attention to app store rankings and correlating that to sales. I’m even trying a few marketing channels to see what gains it attention and what doesn’t. All of these will be valuable lessons when it comes to doing something more weighty next year.

I’ll be posting findings from these experiments as soon as I find anything interesting. In the meantime – check out Solvetica. It’s actually very nice to use!



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