I would like to tell you about one of the things I’m the most proud of as an app developer and why I consider my app one of the most useful and successful apps out there.
The app started off as an idea to help a good friend who was hospitalized and lost the use of his voice due to a medical condition. To help him I developed an app which used computer speech synthesis to speak for him when he touched software buttons on his iPad.
At first my friends hands where so shaky and weak that he missed touching many of the buttons necessary to speak. So I made the buttons bigger and placed them in areas separated enough from each other to reduce most input errors. Also, I considered what situations he might need to speak in, different conversational settings, hospital, home, shopping and on the go.
My second redesign seemed to improve his communicative results. Fortunately he later recovered the use of his voice and he no longer needed the app to communicate to be understood. That is when I decided to sell the app to help others who might be able to use it to communicate.
I realized the app was not going to sell in any volume, this was not an app for the masses since most people never find themselves speech impaired. Luckily one of the other things I realized early on was that it wasn’t going to be a free app filled with advertisements because business wise I had to recover my cost of software development, email support and advertising.
It would be so annoying to me if I where using the app daily to have any ad in front of my face when I’m trying to communicate with someone. Or even asking me to buy some new software feature even with an in-app purchase. No the app would be purchased one time only and include all the features.
Also the idea of privacy was paramount, people don’t usually want to be tracked or have their medical information sold (illegal anyway). So we don’t do that as well. However, I still needed a way to take peoples feedback to improve the app, so I let others contact me to tell me what is working or not and I used that information to tweak and improve the app for all when I could.
Now it is finally the time that I have to mention the disclaimer for legal reasons: There is no guarantee that the app will actually help others to speak or communicate, or that others would recover the use of their voice. So let me be very clear up front, I make no such medical claims, promises, or guarantees. You must purchase and use the app at your own risk.