Selling a project

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Selling a project

Postby drpitcairn » Wed Nov 02, 2011 3:24 pm

After I have completed my project, is a standalone, and I have it for sale on my website. Does anyone know how to set up the sales process? I am thinking of software I buy, shareware for example, that will have a demo to try, then when I go to purchase there is usually some site or service that handles the payment and then sends the information to the purchaser on how to activate their software. How do I find out about those services? Or would it make more sense to have a shopping cart function on my site?

Thanks for any suggestions.

Richard
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Re: Selling a project

Postby Scott » Mon Nov 14, 2011 9:40 am

Big question!

There are a variety of checkout services available if you wish to integrate purchasing from your web site… from behemoths like Authorize.net, PayPal, and Amazon, to smaller players like Mal's E-Commerce.

There are also turnkey providers like Kagi that handle everything for you, albeit at a higher cost/sale. It all depends on how much dev time you want to spend on it.

And then there is the Apple Mac App Store which takes a 30% cut and manages everything from payments to installation and updating, but imposes restrictions. Currently SuperCard apps would not be allowed in the MAS, but we are looking to change that if there is enough interest.
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Re: Selling a project

Postby drpitcairn » Mon Nov 14, 2011 10:06 am

I think having access to the MAS could be very advantageous. The distribution would be much wider than what I can do with just my web site.
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Re: Selling a project

Postby Scott » Mon Nov 14, 2011 10:52 am

Agreed. But, there are additional hoops to jump through.

In your own store, you can sell anything you want. But when submitting an application to the Mac App Store, aside from the technical issues, your application will be held to Apple interface design standards. Apple will decide whether or not your application has the look and feel of a professional quality Macintosh application. If it doesn't, it will be rejected.

Over the years I have seen quite a number of SuperCard authored applications that do exactly as the author has intended, but look a little bit like they were constructed in an old garage out of spare parts. Designing an attractive, intuitive interface can be a lot of work, over and above the underlying functionality of your app, and involve design skills and artistic abilities that not everyone is comfortable with.
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Re: Selling a project

Postby drpitcairn » Mon Nov 14, 2011 11:06 am

I understand. Considering my skill level (not high) then mine look a little garage like though I try my best. Maybe I should just sell it myself.
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Re: Selling a project

Postby JoeKoomen2011 » Mon Nov 14, 2011 4:14 pm

Scott's right about garage quality apps. I've gotten a lot of great help from fantastic programmers on this list over the years, but some of the interfaces were just awful.

Check out Mike Yenco's site and apps http://www.yenco.com/ to see how a professional SuperCard user handles the whole shebang. His apps have a time limit for testing so you can check out his interface design as well as his site.
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Re: Selling a project

Postby drpitcairn » Mon Nov 14, 2011 6:16 pm

I see what you mean about Mike Yenko's site. Perhaps you can tell me how "old garage" mine looks.
analysis card.gif
Casework page
analysis card.gif (49.11 KiB) Viewed 10584 times

rubric list page.gif
Symptom list
rubric list page.gif (55.9 KiB) Viewed 10584 times

rubric page.gif
medicines
rubric page.gif (60.97 KiB) Viewed 10584 times
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Re: Selling a project

Postby JoeKoomen2011 » Mon Nov 14, 2011 7:21 pm

Well, the best thing to do is compare your work with successful software that you already use.

I see a lot of bright colours here, as well as buttons that are not all the same size and icons that are uneven in quality (looking a lot like clip-art in some cases). Also the icons on the buttons don't really relate to their function all that much.

You also have some groups of fields that aren't all the same size, even though there seems to be plenty of space in your layout.

These are just immediate impressions from giving your images the once over. Apple is much more particular about YOUR app meeting THEIR standards. I emphasize this because some of Apple's own apps don't meet their own criterion.

Now you have a bit of an idea about what you're up against. My own apps look very corporate because I only spend creative energy on the splash screen and finder icons.

http://home.cogeco.ca/~jkoomen/wildcards/app1.png

http://home.cogeco.ca/~jkoomen/wildcards/app2.png

http://home.cogeco.ca/~jkoomen/wildcards/app3.png

Don't mean to be a downer, but for every user that finds an exciting colourful interface to be great fun, you'll find 3 who think it looks distracting or unprofessional. Interfaces should be clean and uncluttered like a hard-boiled detective novel. Hope that helps.
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Re: Selling a project

Postby Lisa » Tue Nov 15, 2011 9:33 am

Scott wrote:Currently SuperCard apps would not be allowed in the MAS, but we are looking to change that if there is enough interest.

Hey, Scott. I noticed a while ago that Solutions Etcetera has an app on the store, and your name is on it -- literally. :D I had been wondering if it was a SuperCard app... How is it that SC-based apps are disallowed, but apps that run Windows code through wine translation are acceptable? :x

@Richard -- I would also note that the Solutions Etcetera app has a very attractive and colorful interface that is no doubt appealing to the target market. There are many apps on the store that don't have the standard gray Apple look. So I'd keep that in mind: you know your target market better than Apple or anyone else does.
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Re: Selling a project

Postby drpitcairn » Tue Nov 15, 2011 9:43 am

Joe and Lisa,
Thanks for the thoughtful replies. I understand your critique. I will just mention the button icons are pictures of the different pages the user will go to, so for recognition. Also the extra space you see actually is filled with two other fields that pop up during the use. But I understand what you are saying. I will look more carefully at the commercial aps that are out there already.
The project is for a very particular audience, veterinarians that practice homeopathic medicine, so the appearance probably not as important as the functionality.
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Re: Selling a project

Postby Scott » Tue Nov 15, 2011 10:35 am

drpitcairn wrote:The project is for a very particular audience, veterinarians that practice homeopathic medicine, so the appearance probably not as important as the functionality.


IMHO… that is a very dangerous assumption if your goal is to successfully market your app. An automobile, cell phone, laptop, microwave oven, <insert just about any other product category here>, etc., even though fully functional, will experience significant resistance to writing the check if it looks and feels like a rusted out hulk from the '70's.

Do you own an iPod or iPhone? If so, why? There are plenty of cheaper mp3 players and phones with similar functionality, but Apple's initial decisions about this class of product were that it was not about functionality, but instead focused on usability. Think about it; the original iPhone was offered only on an obsolete EDGE network, was missing features that many phones of the day already had, but still took the market by storm due to beautiful design and an interface that made it second nature to use the features that were there.
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Re: Selling a project

Postby 1nperson0z » Tue Nov 15, 2011 1:07 pm

Scott wrote:Currently SuperCard apps would not be allowed in the MAS, but we are looking to change that if there is enough interest.


Up until now I'd assumed the technical issues excluded that possibility, but now you've opened the door just a little, I'm interested. What is required to get SC apps on the MAS?

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Re: Selling a project

Postby drpitcairn » Tue Nov 15, 2011 1:41 pm

So I am assuming, considering the pictures I put up, that it looks rinky dinky,right? Is the chief problem with the icons I have used? Or is it the whole look?
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Re: Selling a project

Postby 1nperson0z » Tue Nov 15, 2011 11:18 pm

Hi Richard,

Rather than try to critique your work - something I'm eminently unqualified to do anyway - I'll suggest a bit of reading that has been beneficial to my own work. These are or were intended originally for print and web design, but I think the principals apply to user interfaces too.

The Non Designers Design Book by Robyn Williams is full of great examples of applying simple principals of Contrast, Repetition, Alignment and Proximity (which despite the unfortunate acronym are really worth giving attention to) to create visually consistent and interesting design with a focus on what is trying to be communicated.

Ordering Disorder by Khoi Vinh seems simple but demonstrates applying the concept of a grid as a design constraint to provide an underlying consistency and connection between (in the example of a web site) different page types with varying functionality. As your app has a number of screens, this might be a good approach.

You might detect a theme here - something that does make a big difference to perceived quality in layouts is attention to alignment and sizes and the interrelationship between elements. I know I said I wouldn't, but if I can offer just one suggestion, it is to work on how the elements in the design interrelate by focussing on those principals.

Some years ago Alec Hole make a project that drew alignment guides between objects on (super) cards. IIRC it was a drop in project script and was great, it made object placement in Supercard work like Interface Builder. It's been a while since I've done much in Supercard (sadly) so I can't find it easily - hoping someone else can fill in the gap with a link here...

Anyway, hope some of this is useful. If your project works and does something people want, it's worth spending a bit of time on the polish - even though it doesn't necessarily add anything to the functionality, it does add to the experience and perception of it.

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Re: Selling a project

Postby LorenzT » Wed Nov 16, 2011 1:41 am

drpitcairn wrote:Is the chief problem with the icons I have used?


On the web there are several pages where you can get good looking icons for free or a low price.
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Re: Selling a project

Postby LorenzT » Wed Nov 16, 2011 2:05 am

1nperson0z wrote:Some years ago Alec Hole make a project that drew alignment guides between objects on (super) cards. IIRC it was a drop in project script and was great, it made object placement in Supercard work like Interface Builder. It's been a while since I've done much in Supercard (sadly) so I can't find it easily - hoping someone else can fill in the gap with a link here...


It is the Guides Snapper project and you can find it on Alec's SC page:
http://www.hairyhighlandcow.net/softwar ... jects.html

BTW, I love the Non Designers Design Book it helped me a lot in finding better design solutions for apps and web pages.
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Re: Selling a project

Postby drpitcairn » Wed Nov 16, 2011 6:28 am

Much appreciated information. I ordered the Non Designers book, looks good. Also checked out Alec's site and downloaded some useful looking externals. Looks like I have some study to do.
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Re: Selling a project

Postby marksch » Fri Nov 25, 2011 6:05 am

Hi Richard,

Reading about interface design is a very good idea.

A prerequisite to selling apps is that they look as good as any other app released by Adobe, Apple, Miscrosoft etc. Well, maybe not MS ;-) The customers don't know whether you are an amateur programmer or a professional, but if they have to pay for your software, they expect the highest level of quality in every respect. It means you shouldn't go up by one or two notches but really a whole bunch of notches and exceed all imaginable limits regarding the functionality and design of your software.

I have published several applications, for my own company and for customers. Sometimes, customers don't want to invest in a good design, even if I tell them they should. These projects simply don't sell. Period.

I really hope this motivates you to invest a little more time into your project to make it a real killer app.

If you need help setting up a website with automatic payment and licensing through PayPal, ask me for a quote and I'll be happy to keep the costs low for you.

Kind regards,

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Re: Selling a project

Postby drpitcairn » Fri Nov 25, 2011 7:47 am

Mark,
Thanks for the advice. I will keep in mind your offer. I have someone right now that is doing the web site support for me so, for the moment, handled.
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Re: Selling a project

Postby Didier Gross » Sun Nov 27, 2011 9:23 am

1nperson0z wrote:The Non Designers Design Book by Robyn Williams is full of great examples of applying simple principals of Contrast, Repetition, Alignment and Proximity (which despite the unfortunate acronym are really worth giving attention to) to create visually consistent and interesting design with a focus on what is trying to be communicated.


Ian,

Thanks for the advice. I've found this book on eBay UK. The best piece of crap I ever bought. :D

Reading this years ago would have spare me a lot of time finding myself part of these rules.
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Re: Selling a project

Postby Scott » Mon Dec 12, 2011 6:34 pm

Lisa wrote:
Scott wrote:Currently SuperCard apps would not be allowed in the MAS, but we are looking to change that if there is enough interest.

Hey, Scott. I noticed a while ago that Solutions Etcetera has an app on the store, and your name is on it -- literally. :D I had been wondering if it was a SuperCard app... How is it that SC-based apps are disallowed, but apps that run Windows code through wine translation are acceptable?

Dear Lisa,

Please accept my apologies for letting your post fall off my RADAR. Please see my post at:

viewtopic.php?f=20&t=1568&p=7746#p7746

for more info.
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