Beginnings 3: Early Design Decisions

So, I'm set up with all the tools to write an Android app, give it a pretty interface, and test it. So this seems to open the question - what do I want it to do?

There are thousands of apps already available, to do almost anything imaginable. You can get an app to play The Sims. You can replace your touchscreen keyboard. You can add an archery scoring tool.
According to the might wiki, there are 450,000 apps for Android! How can I do something that's never been done before?
Well, bluntly, I can't. I may not even be able to do something better than it's been done before. That's okay though - it means rather than searching Google Play with ever odder search terms to find something that hasn't been done before, I can just come up with something that seems achievable and get cracking.

I've been spending a lot of time lately helping my fiancĂ©e in planning our wedding (for anyone interested in that side of things, her blog as linked there is a good place to start) and the number of lists and pieces of paper to keep track of everything is insane!
Everything has a different timescale; different participants; costs to budget for; and so on.
Basically it is one of the largest events that people are likely to find themselves organising in a non-professional context. Maybe I can do something to help?

Thinking about this, I can think of a lot of things that an 'ideal' version of wedding planning software would do for you. The key thing is to start with a core functionality that's actually useful and then add capabilities once the core is up and running - otherwise it becomes a huge project for one person, I have to learn a lot more before I can get started, and I'm more likely to give up with it incomplete!

Ideal Version:
Keep track of budget - how much things cost and what proportion is paid for.
Keep track of RSVPs - to the main event/reception (if separate), hen and stag.
Replace all the little bitty notes - to-do lists, records, contact details, ideas.
Count-down - knowing what day is W-Day, and being able to categorise tasks by 12 months before, 6 months before, the day before, day of the wedding, whatever.
Tracking primary responsibility for tasks - is the groom handling the music? Is the bride mostly dealing with the caterers?
Be able to synchronise between multiple devices - the bride and groom, and possibly also the best man, maid of honour, ushers, even parents.
With the above, ideally be able to output something (be it a spreadsheet, Google Doc, whatever) to a computer for handling on a larger screen.
BACK UP AUTOMATICALLY - this is a big deal. The more of the critical pieces of paper that are moving onto an Android, the more careful we need to be that one inopportune crash, or getting your phone nicked, won't mess everything up; and relying on busy people to manually backup is going to lead to some failures. I have no idea how easy this is - have to look into it later.

That's quite a lot of features, and different pages within the app, all of which would have to interact smoothly with one another. What's the core of it? I reckon the combination of a to-do list and count-down will do the trick - key reasons being I think it's enough to be useful, but it doesn't require interacting with other phones or linking to PC; it will have easy room for expansion in noting responsibility for tasks; and phones are obviously *already* good for noting contact details, so integrating those into the app aren't the highest priority.

So some form of calendar function - allowing you to set your date, then keeping track of a countdown; then an ability to enter notes with target completion dates; ability to check back previously created notes; and probably a display with the next few tasks. That sounds like a pretty good initial feature list to me.

I can start breaking that down into what I'll actually need code-module-wise next time. Then I can give myself a specification - to write code able to perform these functions - and then I can maybe start writing some actual code!

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