Written by Stephen Harber
Not long ago, we were able to catch up with the creator behind Amount, Marco Toretta. Amount is the most intuitive iOS app available for unit conversion, great for students and professionals alike. Special thanks to Marco for sharing his rich wisdom on mobile design with our readers.
UI Palette: What inspired you to make such a well-executed application?
Marco Toretta: As every early developer experience in his life, when I decided to develop my first app for iOS I didn’t really know what to do.
So I remember I started digging the AppStore looking for an inspiration, and I noticed that almost every unit converter on the AppStore used the same structure that, in my opinion, is just too much time spending.
So I had the idea to develop an app that let the user spend less time and get more informations.
UP: How long was your creative design process?
MT: Once I thought exactly what to do, it was really easy. In fact the thinking behind Amount took me less than a day.
Then, the first release of Amount took me almost 3 weeks of developing. Sure it was just a newborn app and it didn’t have all the features available now, but the entire structure is the same you can see in the actual release.
UP: What was it like designing a flagship iOS 7 app before the operating system was released?
MT: It was not difficult at all, probably because I always preferred a simple and flat design compared to a more cluttered one.
Of course, when iOS7 was announced it gave me more ideas on how to better integrate the new “flat version” of Amount into the OS.
UP: What’s your advice on workflow? Do you have any tips on how to work with developers to best translate your design?
MT: The first thing to do when you plan to make a good project is to have a good idea first. If this step is done well you did 50% of the work and all the rest will come by itself.
Then, when you need to implement new features in your app, don’t let your new idea change the original one. If you develop an app with a concept behind it should stay the same for the entire app life.
UP: What is your philosophy when approaching mobile design?
MT: To cite a famous quote: “Less is More”.
I always try to simplify every aspect of the design, including little details. I really think mobile apps should be as intuitive and easy to use as possible, focused only on the main purpose and nothing else.
Despite simple works could seem easy to do and little thought, behind simplicity there’s always a profound meaning.
UP: What are some the design tools that you relied on during the production of Amount?
MT: Basically just the developer IDE Xcode for developing and vector graphic software. That’s all you need to do great works!
UP: What’s one thing you wish you knew before making this app?
MT: Honestly nothing in particular. The great thing about developing Amount is that it has grown together with my design ability and creativity. If I look back I won’t change nothing I did, because every misstep and every error I did with Amount has helped me to become better.