Defining What You Want an Application to Do: The RoadTrip Application

Necessity is the mother of invention, and the RoadTrip project was inspired by a necessity of a sort. My evil twin, Skippy, was about to leave on a 7,000-mile road trip around the United States in the family’s pink 1959 Cadillac Eldorado Biarritz convertible. (Driving a car that gets only 8 miles per gallon is merely one of the reasons we call him evil.)

I walked in one day and found him on his living room floor, with maps and tour books spread out every which way. “Okay, brother,” he said, “since you’re so smart, can’t you figure out a way so that when I’m traveling, I don’t have to spread out these maps and paper all over my car? Can’t I just keep all the stuff I need on my iPad?”

Being the good brother that I am, I started to give the idea some thought.

To make RoadTrip a useful application, I had to move from Skippy’s problem — all those maps and tour books all over his car — to the app’s solution, which is to present information that’s relevant to one of the following questions:

check.png Where are you?

check.png Where do you plan to be?

check.png What do want to do, or where do you want to go when you get there?

By concentrating on what ...

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