(X) Hide this
    • Login
    • Join
      • Generate New Image
        By clicking 'Register' you accept the terms of use .

Gergely Orosz on Cocktail Flow WP7 application

(7 votes)
Svetla Stoycheva
Svetla Stoycheva
Joined Sep 25, 2009
Articles:   25
Comments:   8
More Articles
0 comments   /   posted on Nov 17, 2010
Categories:   White Papers , Interviews

Since the release of Windows Phone 7, a number of applications from WP7 marketplace have been reviewed and discussed. We wanted to pick for you some of the most impressive ones and discuss with their authors what it took them to design and launch an application meeting a lot of UI and performance requirements.
We introduce you now to Gergely Orosz and the application he and his team developed – Cocktail Flow.

Q1. Gergely – most SilverlightShow readers know you as one of the winners in our WP7 quiz. We are glad that we meet you again to discuss a very curious WP7 application you developed – Cocktail Flow. Please tell us more about it - what are the key functionalities, major differences from other similar applications on the market, why do you think people would want to install this app on their WP7?

A. Cocktail Flow is probably one of the slickest and feature rich mobile cocktail applications on any platform and is currently the 2nd highest rated application on the Windows Phone marketplace. Its visuals immediately set it apart from all competitors and it’s useful features – like selecting ingredients from the home cabinet and shopping recommendations with price estimation – make it a very handy and useful application. If you’re interested in cocktails even a little, this is a definite must have application on your phone.

Q2. What was the motivation behind creating this application? How did you get the idea?

A. I’ve previously built a small, Flash based cocktail site that has been getting great feedback, but could never attract a significant number of visitors. I’ve been planning on porting the concept to mobile, however saw the iPhone market overcrowded and the Android platform fragmented – I wasn’t sure if developing for either would pay off. Windows Phone 7, however seemed like a great choice to do a simple port for – the marketplace is not yet overcrowded and developing for the platform is possibly the easiest for all.

After starting work on the prototype with some of my friends at Distinction, we’ve realized that we are able to create a much better user interface than we originally thought. Originally we only aimed to create a cocktail application providing a comparable user experience as on the iPhone or perhaps Android, however after numerous iterations we were confident to aim for possibly the best mobile experience among all cocktail mobile applications – a goal which – based on the positive feedback we-re getting - I think we’ve managed to achieve.

Q3. What were the main challenges you faced when moving from Silverlight in/out of the browser to the phone environment?

A. We’ve done a great deal of research and prototyping on how to fit in to the Windows Phone 7 user experience in a native way, how to make the application really “Metro”. Some official guideline documents are available on this topic, however it took us a considerable effort to work out an interface that felt truly “Metro” while not giving up our application theme. We found that user interfaces that look good in the browser had to be completely rethought and iPhone user interfaces also didn’t feel right on WP7 – we had to come up with an original and new design which was much more work than we expected.
Q4. Have you faced any performance challenges with your application? Was it hard to optimize your app so it may run smooth on the device?

A. We weren’t lucky enough to secure a developer device prior to launch, so we were only able to test the application three times (mostly on Microsoft events) before releasing to the marketplace. The first time we did, the results were quite shocking: performance on the emulator is much better than on the device. Most of our performance issues have been with the Silverlight ListBox on WP7 being quite inefficient – we’ve tried all of the suggested performance improvements, but finally settled on implementing paging within the list for decent speed. Our application also uses lots of images, so we’ve had to spend a lot of time making sure images loaded in a lazy way and stayed in memory afterwards.

Q5. Your application features an impressive interface - in terms of both colors and imagery. How did you decide to go for it, does the interface contribute to the success of the application?

A. Most of the people who look at the application compliment the interface, which we worked a lot on to make it as slick and as “Metro” as possible. We’ve worked with a great designer at Distinction who’s influenced the final design a lot, as well as the numerous design iterations we’ve gone through. However I think the real value of the application is that apart from the impressive presentation is that its actually really feature rich and the features integrate nicely in the interface.

Q6. How do you see the future of WP7, and applications for WP7?

A. Before the launch on various talks (like TechMeetup and Alt.Net) I’ve expressed that I believe in a few years’ time the smartphone market will be dominated by iPhone, Android and Windows Phone 7. I think at that time mobile application developers will almost exclusively be focusing on these platforms. Having experienced the new phone myself I think this is still the case – which is great potential for developers targeting Windows Phone 7 as it’s really easy to gain visibility in the marketplace right now, which is huge potential on the long run.

Q7. What is your opinion on the recent announcement by Microsoft on the future of Silverlight and HTML5?

A. As my day job I work at a UK based financial consultancy, Scott Logic, where we’re delivering business solutions to the financial sector. We’re seeing a lot of growth in the need for Silverlight and WPF development, while currently no demand for HTML5. An important part of this is that Silverlight code written to run in browsers can be easily ported to the desktop – and with Windows Phone 7 – to mobile as well (see the white paper of my colleague on this). I think Silverlight will have an even more important role in cross platform (web, mobile and desktop) application development, while HTML5 will mostly be used for web and mobile content presentation, but not complex applications.



No comments

Add Comment

Login to comment:
  *      *