There is something that far too many people ignore when writing applications. The importance of the first impression is something that cannot be understated. Just today, I was involved in a basic phone application ‘hackathon’. The goal was to develop the app that the most people liked, within 12 hours after a brief 1 minute presentation.

Many of the contestants had brilliant ideas for applications. A game similar to duckhunt that uses a projector to create the game scene and phones as small guns. An app that simulated bacteria evolution for fun and profit, apps that solved sudouku puzzles through OCR. Great ideas, but hard to pull off within the time span alloted.

The result of this was a highly feature-oriented development cycle for most teams. Several teams got most of their features done, but their applications lacked any polish. My application was designed to be a very feature light application - all it did was to read from a few subreddits, like Fire, chosen for their striking visuals, and display them with as much flair as possible. To be honest, there would be very little difference between the application that I submitted and the combined subreddits /r/fireporn and /r/spaceporn.

But the polish made the difference. 80% of the work is getting the features done. The last 80% of the work is making it look good. And, to be honest, it is often the last 80% that is the most important