December saw us get into the festive spirit with some mince pies while we discussed topics such as techniques to focus, use of continuous design during app development, useful sources of information and more. Then we went to the pub!

To start, we launched a new section offering the chance for people to demo / show & tell anything they’ve been working on recently at future events. This was well received with some some great ideas so hope to see some exciting projects at January’s event!

And don’t forget - if you’ve got a talk to give, or a topic you want to hear about, whether it’s a people, product or a process based mobile interest then do let us know to get scheduled at a future event.

Then, once the pizza had been devoured, we continued with a ‘lean coffee’ approach to the discussion, allowing everyone to suggest topic ideas and then we vote on the ones to talk about. This week we spoke about:

Pomodoro Technique

  • A couple of people had had great success managing their time using the pomodoro technique - doing a task for 25 mins and then having a short break before starting again.
  • One tip was to have a pomodoro at the start of the day to plan the pomodoro for the rest of the day.
  • Additionally, people found it useful as a tool for both prioritisation and estimating.
  • But some people noted that to be successful, shielding from distractions during a pomodoro is important.
  • And, it was asked, can it affect ‘flow’? And can some company cultures support it?

App Store Rating

  • Question raised about how useful the ratings are for the success of an app.
  • How damaging to the brand and the developer is a 1 star review, and how do you respond?
  • Some people use reviews to vent in the absence of other avenues - we considered how to divert that frustration to more suitable channels.
  • Finally, we discussed how to mitigate users leaving bad feedback by interception tactics.

Continuous Design

  • How can the #nopsd movement and continuous design ideas from web design apply to mobile app development?
  • Has anyone done it, can it be done or is there something similar?
  • Some people suggested that using React native or Storyboards in Xcode to rapidly iterate could help. But does this add a learning cost on the designers?
  • Finally though, is the real difference between client and product driven work? Can you do continuous design for client work?

Android Studio 2.0

  • Recently launched and promises faster build times and ‘Instant Run’.
  • We debated how the build times could be improved without changes to the underlying build tool (gradle) which might be coming later.
  • Some people had good experience with ‘Instant Run’ which allows for the ability to change code in the app while running on the device during development.


  • Quick discussion on whether anyone had used React Native and what they thought of it.
  • React Native allows you to use JavaScript code to define the experience and have it compiled to native controls.
  • Not much use so far - suggestion for a demo in a future Mobile Dorset.

… and finally …

Sources of Information

And then

At this point we went to the pub, leaving behind a few topics that we didn’t manage to get to:

  • Measuring code quality
  • MixPanel and A/B split testing
  • Swift being open sourced
  • What are good Android frameworks?
  • Are wearables actually useful?
  • Anyone done anything cool?

Maybe next time. :-)

Next Week

Do you have some interesting thoughts on the above topics? Maybe you would have liked the ones that were missed to have been delved into? Or maybe you have got other topics you want to talk about with like minded mobile developers? Then come along to the next Mobile Dorset on 13th January 2016!

Until then - Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!