boxes of lovable Sumo oranges

Throughout my career as a product manager, I’ve followed one primary philosophy: Focus your product on just a few things you want to do better than anything else out there — and execute.

My business partner Eric and I brought this approach to ArcTouch when we started building apps for phones in 2008. Clients would regularly come to us with grandiose and complex app ideas with hundreds of features. We helped guide them from the mindset of doing more things to doing fewer things, better.

We had variations of the same conversation dozens of times. “Don’t try to do too…

We believe apps are either lovable or, well… not lovable.

We always aim to build the former. In our blog post about building a Minimum Lovable Product, we explain how to create something useful and delightful to use.

Often that means ensuring your app is leveraging the latest technologies from Apple and Google — and following the best practices in user experience (UX) and interface design.

And for any existing app, it means keeping your app modern and updating it regularly.

Many companies have taken a ship-it-and-forget-it mentality — resulting in a digital dinosaur. There are business consequences for allowing…

Like most people, one of the most important criteria I use when choosing an app to install is the app store rating. Both the Apple App Store and the Google Play store provide a 1- to 5-star rating scheme. If an app has high ratings, I’m more likely to give it a try.

In our experience, more users proactively go to the app store to give a rating when something negative happens. Over time, this skews ratings lower and leads to negative review bias.

That’s why we recommend our clients implement in-app review features. This best practice allows app users…

ArcTouch DevOps tool box

Building a DevOps infrastructure for apps and web sites starts with having the right DevOps engineering tools. In this post, we’ll cover the essential software our DevOps engineering teams depend on. Let’s start by putting our heads in the clouds.

Cloud platforms

There are many benefits to leveraging cloud services for your server infrastructure. Most important is the ability to add computing power and storage with just a few clicks, and the flexibility to scale up on-demand as your product grows. Developing in the cloud also means applications aren’t dependent on your on-premise resources or subject to data loss if your internal…

ArcTouch’s app design team collaborates with Figma

I recently posted a question on our app design team’s Slack channel asking about the advantages of using Figma vs. Sketch. The thread went on for a while — our team members were pretty passionate in their support of Figma’s increasingly popular app UI design tool. As the thread was growing, I was thinking it might be great source material for a useful blog post. Initially, I imagined the title of the post could be something like, “12 reasons we use Figma over Sketch.”

But as I looked more closely at our design team members’ responses, there was really one…

some of the app design tools we use to create lovable apps

Like any craft, the quality of app design is dependent upon the tools that designers wield. At ArcTouch, our app designers are constantly evaluating the latest technology and tools to see which might fit into our app design stack.

Our go-to app design tools evolve over time, just as the entire app ecosystem continues to mature. When ArcTouch started building apps more than a decade ago, there was no Sketch or Figma. Designers mostly used Adobe’s Creative Suite (before Creative Cloud existed) in combination with built-in user interface tools on iOS and Android. …

We’ve seen it many times: Designers and developers become so completely focused on a new software user experience that they neglect the infrastructure to power it. To grow it. To be secure. To be agile enough to adapt to the many unknowns in the future. Without this infrastructure, new apps and websites start to feel old almost as soon as they are released — especially in dynamic industries.

And that’s a big reason why we’re proud to share the story of our recent (and ongoing) work with The Draft Network (TDN). …

The question of Kubernetes vs. Docker is often raised when discussing cloud computing and containers. However, it’s not really a valid question. Kubernetes and Docker don’t compete. In fact, they are fundamentally different technologies that work well together for building, delivering, and scaling containerized apps.

Understanding how Kubernetes and Docker containerization fits into your app and web infrastructure is an important part of DevOps engineering.

First things first. What are containers?

When developers need to use a new application on a new computer, there are multiple steps to take first. Install the application. Configure it. Add a framework. Maybe even update the operating system.

What if…

iOS 14 Widgets on the home screen

Some of the biggest news from Apple’s recent Developer’s Conference was how the iPhone home screen is now easier for users to experience “glanceable” information. The most important change: a completely redesigned iOS Widgets user experience that gives developers prime placement for their apps on this valuable first screen.

In this post, we explain the redesigned iOS 14 Widgets experience, and why businesses should take advantage of them to increase app user engagement.

What is a Widget?

A Widget is a component that can be used to display a small amount of timely, relevant information, so people can see it at a glance. …

Today’s app experiences run the gamut — from fully immersive, highly interactive sessions to a snippet of information at the very moment you need it. Apple recently introduced App Clips for iOS, which offers users a micro-experience without downloading an app — and gives businesses the chance to acquire new users outside of the crowded App Store.

How App Clips work

An App Clip is a valuable “clip” of an application available when it’s most relevant and valuable to users. In some ways, it’s like the classic try-before-you-buy experience. Users have a chance to have an engagement with a business before they fully commit…

Team ArcTouch

We build lovable apps and digital products. ❤️ Join us!

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store