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In the Engineering and Design process, you move through a series of steps to examine what you are designing from a number of angles in order to produce the best possible product. We will use these steps to help us design a new App that could be the next big thing in technology. For each snow day we have, you will work on one step of this packet.

Step 1: Define The Problem

Brainstorm ideas for a new app. It can be a new form of social media, a new game, a new tool for using your device, a way to help empower those with disabilities, or any other thing you can think of. Here are some questions that can help you think up ideas.

  1. Will you use this app with other people or just one person?

  2. Is it an app for play and leisure or for work and business?

  3. How is this different from other apps that exist?

  4. Will this app be a positive contribution to society?

Write down your ideas as you think of them. You should have a bunch of different ideas. They don’t need to be fully thought out just yet. Write down your ideas below.

Example: An app that lets you keep track of noise levels in a classroom

Your Ideas:

With these questions answered, you now have some specific details to your problem that we can now find out more about.

Step 2: Research The Problem

Now that we have some app ideas in mind, we can look for specific information to work with. Keeping the apps you thought up in Step 1 in mind, research the following questions.

  1. Are there any existing apps this is similar to?

  2. Is there a demand or need for this app?

  3. How do apps like this make money?

  4. What are the concerns for this app with digital citizenship?

Answer these questions for some of your favorite app ideas below.

Step 3: Brainstorm Possible Solutions

Here is where your research and creativity meet. You are going to narrow your ideas down to 4 different app ideas from your brainstorm earlier.

Now, before you roll your eyes, just keep in mind that not all brainstorm ideas have to be successful, let alone good. Obviously, some of these ideas are going to be flops, but that’s OK! In the next step, we will leave the flops behind and pick a winner. For now, just write, sketch, or draw out your ideas. Label each separate idea.

You may use a computer program such as Google Drawings, Paint, PhotoShop, Sketchup, etc. and add the picture to this packet as a .JPEG or .PNG. If you would rather draw things out by hand, you can then scan it or take a picture of it and include it here.

Step 4: Choose The Best Solution

Here is where you can move past any ideas that really didn’t work out the way you were thinking they would. When trying to select your best solution, make a PRO/CON list for each idea. These lists should include the following considerations.

  1. How expensive would it be to create this app?

  2. How simple or complex would the app be?

  3. Are there other apps similar to yours?

  4. How would this app make money?

  5. How would you get people to use this app?

  6. Would this app have any potential negative consequences (cyberbullying, etc.)?

Once you have made your lists, choose your best solution and move on to the next step.

Step 5: For your chosen app, come up with the following:

  1. A catchy name for your app

  2. A visually appealing icon for your app

  3. Drawings or sketches of what your app would look like

  4. A description of what your app does that would go in the App Store

  5. Costs, microtransactions, in purchase apps or other payment info