Turn Content into Apps

UPA Boston Application Home Screen

Mad*Pow designer with no experience in Xcode and little experience on the Mac platform uses Raizlabs’ CoreContent to develop an iPhone app for the Boston Usability Professionals Association annual conference.

WALTHAM, Massachusetts (June 9, 2010) – Imagine being tapped by your company to produce an iPhone app for a conference of 450 usability professionals. Now imagine that you had never built an app before, didn’t know Objective-C (the language in which iPhone apps are written), and didn’t own, use, or have regular access to a Mac or an iPhone. That’s what happened to Chris McKinney when his employer, New Hampshire-based experience design firm Mad*Pow partnered with Boston’s Raizlabs on a joint project to build an iPhone app for the 2010 Usability Professionals Association conference. Raizlabs offered CoreContent, it’s content-based application development technology and Mad*Pow offered its visual design resources and Chris McKinney to put it all together.


“It was a high-stakes test of our technology,” said Dave Counts of Raizlabs who provided technical support. “Even after Chris proved CoreContent’s ease-of-use, his app would have to face the scrutiny of a conference full of usability experts.”

McKinney borrowed a Mac laptop, downloaded Xcode – Apple’s Software Development Kit – and spent a day in Boston at Raizlabs learning the ins-an-outs of the CoreContent technology.  Two weeks later, the app was coming together.  The application was completed and Apple approved the UPA Boston app a few days later, making it available to conference attendees for free through the iTunes Store.

Thanks to McKinney’ skills and hard work, Mad*Pow’s visual design resources and CoreContent’s flexibility, the project was a big success.  “We received much positive feedback including hearing that many attendees were using the app more than printed materials,” said McKinney.

Gregory Raiz, founder of Raizlabs had this to say: “We think there’s a lot of creative designers and we want to enable those designers to produce quality content based on native applications. Our technology can speed the development process and we’re excited to work with Mad*Pow and other design firms to help them deliver compelling mobile apps. ”

Not only was the application completed in just a few weeks but it was fairly full featured:

  • the full conference schedule
  • presenter’s bios and photos
  • presentation abstracts
  • interactive floor maps and area maps
  • the daily menu
  • suggestions on what to bring and wear
  • public transportation and taxi information
  • Feedback options for commenting on presenters, presentations, and the conference
  • Flickr and Twitter feeds for the event
  • Sponsor logos and web links
  • Information about UPA Boston and UPA International
  • Instructions for volunteers
  • Wi-fi instructions

While the event has passed users can download and explore the app by searching for “UPA Boston” in the app store.
Mad*Pow is an experience design agency that specializes in developing intuitive user experiences for internal systems, customer facing applications, marketing sites, ecommerce sites and interactive media. http://www.madpow.net/.

About Raizlabs Founded in 2003 Raizlabs builds iPhone, iPad and Android applications. The company focuses on strategy, experience design and development for mobile products.  For additional information please visit http://www.raizlabs.com.

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