Postmortem: TickerMenu (Part 1 of 2)
The story of a product's development
Issue: 7.3 (March/April 2009)
Author: Will Phillips
Article Description: No description available.
Article Length (in bytes): 23,705
Starting Page Number: 13
RBD Number: 7308
Resource File(s): None
Related Link(s): None
Known Limitations: None
Excerpt of article text...
Perhaps my story is similar to yours.
I am not a professional developer. I describe myself as an enthusiastic amateur. For years I developed software for myself, friends, and family, mostly because of my own interest but sometimes by request. Countless projects were just fun experiments, but a few of them evolved far enough to become useful tools for me or a few others.
But something was missing. I felt that my development was faltering, and my enthusiasm waning. It took me a while to figure out why. I realized that the next step in furthering my ability, and in finding satisfaction, was to put my work out into the world, to make it public and promote it. Building an application for public consumption would force me to stretch my skills and would provide a fresh challenge. It would also be very satisfying to me if a wide variety of users -- not just friends and family -- found my application useful.
What resulted was TickerMenu, an application that puts current stock prices in the OS X menubar. In this series of two articles I will be discussing TickerMenu and how it came to be. I will discuss the evolution of the idea behind the application and the application's basic design, as well as its development, debugging, and testing. I will also cover marketing and distribution issues that I faced, such as getting an icon, developing a website, creating and distributing a press release, creating a demonstration video, making decisions about help systems, and other items. I will then discuss the experience of releasing TickerMenu to the world: following download and usage statistics, customer support, developing and releasing updates, and similar issues.
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