STEM report for week 3

We met with Emmanuel Estrada as a possible addition to the team. While he is still in high school, he has documented expertise in app-building. He brought an app he and one of his classmates developed for Android units. His experience will certainly bring a welcome set of new eyes to look over our previous efforts.

Don Bittinger is trying to locate a set of maps of the campuses that had already been digitized, but the search hasn’t yielded much success. Solomon and I discussed the possibility of having to design our own maps.

One of the larger goals for this new version of the app is updating the look and feel. I submitted the style manuals for the colleges to reference the color schemas used by the school. I suggested we streamline the icon graphics so we can quickly replace the existing icons, some of which are copied from unapproved sources. Reimagining the graphics will save us from having to purchase the images to fulfill changing all the icons.

Solomon submitted multiple versions of the icons to consider, and the team selected one that we all agreed on. Solomon is currently working on creating the graphics for the icons. I will assist in the creation of the graphics if he needs help.

A Mac computer has been assigned to us in the second floor lab. A current version of the app will be kept there for all of us to use.


Redesigned buttons/icons

I’m currently (re)designing all the buttons to be square, using only the college’s approved palette. In this case, that would be black, white and process cyan (#0099FF) and all shades of these three colors.

I suggest reducing the images used in the beta version to their minimal components, i.e. vector representations of their basic makeup.

The icon template I’m creating is a 175px square, which should fit comfortably across the iPhone 4 screen and float fine when redesigned for the new phones.

I am using Helvetica regular and bold in the design, as I would hope that future developers of the app can use the iOS default fonts to save memory and load time, without sacrificing time to recreate images with fonts attached. We might be able to implement proper font use for this release? It’s also easier to fit and, most importantly, to read.

Here’s some samples:

black_on_gray white_on_blue black_on_white black_on_bluegrad

By the way, this is what the original icon looks like:


STEM report for week 2

Our main focus this week was in gathering all the work done in the previous semester, assuring that all of our data sharing apps were up to date, and that all team members are a message, a phone call or even just a text away and that all materials are available to all of us at a moment’s notice.

As mentioned earlier by Chris Henderson, the team interviewed Solomon Ochola, who in our opinion will be of great value to the team. His experience in graphics and marketing is a welcome addition and we look forward to working with him.

We are now all in communication using this blog, plus we all have access to the project materials using Dropbox.

The team hit a snag with HR — our face time with the representative was a bit short, but all was well and worked out soon enough.

We will soon be meeting with two more students interested in joining our team. We are in need of someone who is familiar with programming to help us perform testing and debugging as we move along.

DCCCD Style Guide and Graphic Standards

The district has a page with information about the style used in print and online communications — not only for El Centro, but also for the other colleges in the system. There are PDF guides available in the Tools & Resources page, as well as web versions of the logos for the different campuses.

I’ve saved the PDFs in this blog’s archive just to make sure we have copies readily available:



2/4 Weekly Goal


Here’s a recap of this week’s activities:
– Interview Solomon Ochola and provide feedback to Stem deadline – Tues 2/5
– Develop detailed project calendar and task list – Thurs 2/7
– Develop initial comps of new icon – emergency button, parking icon (revise Main Campus to Downtown) – Fri 2/8
– Develop revised layout of app home page to integrate new home button design, emergency button – Thurs 2/7
– Begin updating app code to have the logo at the bottom of the page link back to the main page – Thurs 2/7

Thursday 2/7 agenda:
– Provide access to blog
– Share access to drop box
– Create a master document for Google drive to share a document
– Review project calendar
– Define team member roles


iOS development on a PC?

Some time ago I decided to list a couple of options available for iPhone development on Windows and iPad development on Windows. Now, months later this is still something that has been brought up recently. So I have decided to expand the list, and include some of the other solutions that have cropped up since the original posting, and some upcoming that look interesting.  Please note, that there is no official solution for developing for the iPhone SDK on Windows (and it’s doubtful there ever will be).


STEM report for week 1

What started out as a class project has now become a STEM team effort: Construct and submit an iPhone app for El Centro College that can help new and prospective students find their way around the three campuses.

Our project initially consisted of five members, who all contributed a great deal of time and effort into the development of the app, culminating in the presentation to the President’s council at the end of the semester. The review of the application was well received, and the council agreed it would like to see the app fully developed, adding some comments and advice on content the app could include.

This brings us to the spring semester, where two of the original members of the team are now able to continue the development of the app and hopefully submit it to the Apple store by the end of the semester.

The team has agreed to meet once a week to discuss progress on the work performed and set goals and expectations to push progress in developing the app.