Building a Storyboard in Xcode

by Moms With Apps on October 10, 2012

My “do it yourself” app development efforts have been slow but sure. After trying some of Kevin McNeish’s tutorials, I waited for his iBooks about learning iOS programming to go live on the iBookstore. His first three titles are now available, so I bought the first one and dove in.

What I learned is that Xcode has an entire library of visual building blocks within the “storyboard”. While following Kevin’s tutorials, it reminded me a little of my old PowerPoint days back in Corporate America. Click and drag. Select the details. Connect the dots.

I did not expect that Xcode, Apple’s development tool for building apps, would have a visual component. I expected it to be lethal (from a non-programmer’s point of view). But here is the result of some hashing around between the book’s prototype and my own iterations. You will notice an index on the left, a visual workspace in the middle, and specific attribute settings on the right. The yellow buttons on the bottom left are objects that you can drag into the workspace (like tables, buttons, and map views) to plan your app.

What Kevin’s first book accomplished is confidence to continue moving forward. If you can get to a point where you can successfully map out the workflow of your app, and see the simulator run, then maybe creating an app from scratch isn’t such an impossibility.

Here is a photograph of my home office, where it’s all going down. I’m finding it difficult to count on my cat for support. She tends to be snoozing most of the time. But I can count on Kevin. After finishing Book 1, I was curious enough about Objective C to take the next step. I want to understand how much of this can be done with the storyboard, versus tweaks in the code. Will I mess up the code? Will there be bugs I cannot troubleshoot?

So I purchased the second book to find out. I’ll keep you posted.

 

{ 5 comments… read them below or add one }

Jeoud October 11, 2012 at 2:31 am

ah ah, we’ll stay tuned :)

Mindy October 11, 2012 at 5:20 am

Hi, Lorraine!
It looks like you’re making great progress. And the books you are using sound good too- I may have to check them out. I can’t wait to see your first app.

Pierre - L'Escapadou October 11, 2012 at 5:36 am

Lorraine,
I see that you work hard ! Is there a reason why you focus on UIKit (I mean the iOS user interface) ? Most apps for kids are using a lot of graphics and animations using cocos2D for example (and I think there are great books about cocos2D). Of course UIKit it is always useful if you want to display some data (e.g I’m currently using it to display progress reports).
Good luck !
Pierre

Moms With Apps October 11, 2012 at 7:16 am

Thanks for your comments! @Pierre, a huge reason for this process is just to understand how it works, and therefore my first app will be very simple, probably following mostly the prototypes in the tutorial. I’m want the basic Apple tools, no third party environments yet. The idea for the app is merely a reference guide for animals and activities we saw on our Yellowstone trip – so a family travel reference for kids. It can be done in table view, and with some images. I’m not a graphic designer, so I want to see how much of this I can do with 100% my content.

Kristin October 12, 2012 at 3:04 am

I really love to read this! If only I had more time I might take a look at that book! But to be honest I am happy to have a good excuse not to start coding- seems extremly difficult to me!

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