How to Design Your App with Hatch Apps
My coding experience doesn’t span beyond customizing pre-made Tumblr themes at age 16, and to be honest I didn’t even know I was coding then. That is all to say– I’m no coder. I like to write, tweet, and send emails. That’s why I love Hatch Apps’ platform to create apps, and I’m not just saying that because I work here. I use Squarespace for my personal website, so naturally, no-code solutions always sound good to me, but the idea of a no-code app builder? At first it all seemed kind of lofty, I wondered how making an app without code could be “simple,” — there are lots of moving parts to apps. That’s when I decided to build my own app.
I love working remotely, but I often find it kind of difficult to focus from my home “office” (a.k.a. the kitchen)– that’s when I had the idea to create a test app called “Remote,” I’d create a directory of the top 10 co-working spaces in the greater Washington D.C. area.
Initial App Creation
First, Hatch Apps walks you through a few questions to figure out what kind of app you want to build. There are a few different types of apps (right now) that you can build with the platform, for example: curated multimedia app, curated e-learning app, and content app. I’ll talk more about those in a little bit. The first thing that you do when creating an app with Hatch Apps is select what type of app you want to build.
These types of questions help them figure out which type of app template they recommend for you.
I chose to design a curated content app:
This came up as an 80% match for me, which makes sense given what I want to build. But, we have other…apptions as well:
- Curated multimedia app
This app allows: user generated content and uploading; video, photo, audio and text uploads and captioning; an interactive gallery featuring all multimedia content, and the ability to tag media and catalog favorites
This is an app template that allows anyone to build a multimedia sharing app for their company or organization. The template functions a little bit like instagram, but you can customize it to work for your company needs.
- Curated e-learning app
This app allows: user generated content and uploading; multiple choice, free response and true/false formatted questions; additional materials and resources; the ability for app users to collect points and achieve levels
The e-learning app is great for anyone looking to conduct mLearning (mobile learning) experiences. mLearning makes a HUGE difference in employee satisfaction, retention rates and a company’s bottom line.
(Pssst: don’t see the kind of app you’re looking for? Just schedule your initial consultation with a product specialist.)
Basic Design and Functionality
Next comes your app’s functionality and design. You’re able to choose (or customize!) your color scheme, fonts, and your button and logo designs. For my app I chose to use the “Global Design,” this has a lighter color palette. For the font I used “Roboto” (regular). This is the “professional” font in the fonts selection page. I chose these two designs because I felt that the lighter and more playful color scheme complemented the professional feeling of the font well. It looks business, but not lifeless. This, when building a remote working space, made sense to me when considering who might be using my app: I believe “Remote” would have a younger-leaning audience.
When choosing a design scheme, it’s important to think about how your font will complement your color scheme and vice-versa, and to think about how your user base would feel about the look of your app. For example, if my target audience were an older crowd, I might chose a more traditional, or darker color palette.
And of course, what’s an app without security measures? The next step when building your app is choosing who has access.
Hatch Apps’ platform gives you a series of options you can use your app:
- Anyone can register and use my app
- Anyone can register but they’ll need approval before using my app
- Only users I invite can use my app
- Anyone with my company email can access my app
- I have a database of users I want to upload to my app.
For the security options, I chose for anyone to be able to register and use my app. Since I was building an app to find the best remote working places, I’d want anyone to be able to access it. If, on the other hand, you were building an app that was for internal-use at a business– like a training app for your employees– you might want to have anyone with your company email access your app instead.
App Editor (More Detailed Design and Functionality)
Now that you’ve designed the basics, it’s time to get down to the nitty gritty. You will now be taken to the app editor. The app editor allows you to do overarching customization of your splash page, your sign-up page, and your content types (articles or categories).
For my app, I chose to upload a sub-header: “Best co-working spaces. Confirmed,” as well as a splash photo (that’s what you see in the center, my splash is the same as my logo).
This first panel for the splash page is the first thing your users will see. Here, you can also upload a logo, choose what you want your sign up / login buttons to say, and change the color scheme of the page. You can also resize all images (splash image, logo).
You can continue to go through each of the pages on the editor, and customize all the moving parts of your app as much as you’d like. You can change up your filters, text labels, descriptions, tag settings, and more. Truly anything you would need customized, you can switch up in the editor. These settings can also be adjusted at anytime!
After you’ve customized your splash and sign-up pages, and any other pieces you need to in order to match your branding and preferences, you can move on to the content editor.
Content Editor and Management for your app (The Good Stuff!)
The content editor is where you have the ability to add individual content types: categories and articles. These are what will really make your app feel alive.
For my co-working app, I included 10 articles– these were each of the co-working spaces that I wanted my user to be able to read about and click through to.
Each article allows you to add links, images, a title, description, keywords, and other advanced features.
Your articles are the most basic content type, and your categories allow you to organize your articles.
For example, if I wanted to make an app that allows you to find the best coworking spaces in the USA, I could make each of my categories one of the 50 States, and then organize my articles into each of the states, based on location. You can add as many articles and categories as you want.
App Analytics Dashboard
Last but not least, one of our coolest features is our analytics dashboard. When you build your app, you’ll have access to a full dashboard with customer insights. We’re able to track app metrics, content statistics, engagement metrics, in-app user feedback, see what users are searching for, and even allow you to manage your users. Not only are you controlling the look, feel, and content on your app– you even have the inside scoop at your fingertips.
I never thought I’d be one to build an app– but lo and behold, I was able to do so in an afternoon. I think three of the most important things to think about when your building your app are these:
- Who is using my app?
- What do I want them to feel?
- How can I create that experience?
For your users, it’s all about what they want, and how your app can give that to them. From the smallest details to button size and shape, to content, you want to build an app that is going to feel seamless and professional. That’s why Hatch Apps has made it so easy to be able to customize your app. Have your initial ideal customer built out before you dive in. Ask yourself: what would optimize your app’s performance, what is your target audience looking for, how can you benefit from — and they benefit from — the features on the platform?
Do it up, build it out, make it awesome. What I’m trying to say is, with no-code experience I’m an app builder now and with our extremely powerful tool, you can be too.
Book a 15 minute conversation with us to learn more!