484 words — 3 minutes read

98 - Details

Yesterday saw the Mobino team work a 16 hour day to release another iOS version of the Mobino application. What took us so long? An incredible amount of attention to detail.

For good or for bad, JF (the CEO of Mobino) has an incredible attention to detail. Every word is judged, every pixel and color investigated. And those are the easy things. Submitting an app to JF for QA brings us bug reports that leave the development team either shaking our heads in disbelief or banging them on the nearest hard, flat surface.

Who in their right mind would start our app, but have a locked SIM card? (which leads us to not being able to extract the country the SIM is registered in, leading to a crash) Who drags out the most puny Android phones available on the market and then complains about the app not looking good? Who wants to fiddle with the exact milli second values in a pulsing animation (this one caused us to build a special version with sliders that allowed him to set the precise amounts for each phase of the animation). And so on and so on.

The result of this is of course a lot of time spent polishing, that we could have spent on other issues. Me, I’m much more pragmatic, and I would like to push forward with “real” new features, not polishing the existing ones.

The release we pushed to Apple this morning at 03:30 has one “big” new feature, that will only be used once in the whole life cycle of the app, when a user registers. It allows the user to log in to Facebook, so we can retrieve his name and picture. A small thing, only used for a few seconds, but polished no end. My question on twitter

mobino_detail_tweetdrew this response:


With a link to the Kano model. I have heard of this model before, so this was a good refresher. However, I don’t find the attention to detail immediately fitting to the model. It might be a “delighter”, something that the user didn’t expect (the app doesn’t crash in an absolute edge case) or the way we hide a “resend SMS” button for around 30 seconds. See the video below for how it works (and notice how we try to format the phone number as you enter it and how we check for a correct (mobile) number)

Many of these details will only be seen once - and they aren’t really game changers. They take a lot of time to implement and even longer time to iterate over.

Is it worth it? I’m torn myself. On one hand I can see and feel how good our product is and I can see how people react to it. On the other hand, it takes away time from developing other features.

What is your opinion? Details or features? And why?

Jens-Christian Fischer

Maker. Musician