01 Jan 2021
It’s been a long time since I wrote a post on the blog. Tough year this one, this virus has changed our lives in a way that was impossible to predict one year ago. Last year I didn’t set any goals to reach for, and for sure, if I would have done it, I wouldn’t have achieved them.
In this post I would like to recap the year because although it was challenging many things changed for the good.
Just Draw It iOS
We started the iOS version of Just Draw It in February and was live at the end of the month. We tried to keep it simple from the beginning but nowadays both apps have the same features 🎉.
It was downloaded more than 15k times during 2020, which is not as impressive as Android that was downloaded more than 180k times, but it is still a very good number. The goal for this 2021 on Just Draw It iOS is getting more than 50k downloads.
Just Draw It
We thought that the lock down and restrictions around the world would make Just Draw It to decrease, but out of the blue this year has been a success for Just Draw It!
We appeared on Xataka Android and Microsiervos, two spanish blogs that reinforced us during the quarantine and its impact was huge.
The goal for this 2021 on Just Draw It is to continue with this tendency, we will work harder to build the best features for our users.
Just Draw It was created with the goal of learning new Android architectures and how to deal with maps. We didn’t know at the beginning if the product would be used by users, so we made the code as flexible as possible.
This flexibility allowed us to create a simple but useful app reusing most of the Just Draw It code. We had Area and Area iOS ready in a couple of weeks.
The goal for 2021 on Area is to continue growing, improving and adding more and more features.
This year has probably been the toughest year of our lives (we are not that old after all) but it is already gone and we are ready to embrace the new 2021!
Happy New Year!
15 Mar 2020
We are glad to announce that Just Draw It is available on iOS! It’s been almost a year working on the Android version and we wanted to offer the same experience for iOS users.
This first version is an MVP with the same features we released in the very first Android version. It just does what Just Draw It should do: draw on a map and know the distance of the drawn route.
This new app was released at the end of February. We follow the “Iterate Fast and Release Often” philosophy and that is why we released it as soon as we had a minimum working version. Although we had clear the potential of the Android app version, we didn’t want to develop all the features at once before releasing. We just wanted to try out the App Store and learn all about its functionality.
Since the release this app has been downloaded more than 200 times. This might not sound impressive, but having into account we haven’t done any marketing or advertisement campaigns at all it is a pretty good number.
Maybe you are wondering, what now? Here it is, now it is closer to his Android big brother version. We prioritize the features that our users use the most:
This is still a small taste of what Just Draw It could be, but we are in the path to build an awesome iOS app.
To finish this post we would like to talk about the damn COVID-19 in our country. These days are being tough for all of us. Spain is suffering one of the worst scenarios of our history and we would like to say thank you to all the doctors/nurses and people working hard to overcome this. Together we win.
26 Feb 2020
This time I would like to share with you our experience with ads in Just Draw It. We decided to start monetizing the app using ads because of its easy setup and because we already had some experience with them. We didn’t know that it wouldn’t be an easy task.
There are two main types of ads: Interstitial, which is a full screen ad, and Banner, which is a small size ad that is rendered as any other layout component. Of course, they don’t monetize the same, Interstitial ones gives better results.
So, we decided to show an Interstitial ad whenever our users open a saved route. Everything was setup as we expected, but after one month Google stopped serving ads to Just Draw It 😭. We didn’t know if the problem was on our side or theirs, but we didn’t change our code, so… oh damn Google.
This issue was fixed after a month, but it continued to go up and down after some weeks. Thankfully, this is not happening any more 🥳
By the way, our initial implementation of ads monetization was using just one Interstitial when a user opened a saved route and it was going good. This approach gave us a regular income each month, but as the app was growing in users, the ads income should be growing too. This didn’t happen.
We have almost every user interaction tracked in our analytics service provider, so we investigated the actions that a free user does the most. These actions would give us most impressions in Google ads, so which ones were them?
- Click undo
- Click close
- Click save
These actions are sorted by its usage. We discarded the save action because we already show an ad in save flow. Between undo and close, although undo has more usage than close we thought it wasn’t a good choice. Undo is an action that the users needs to undo the last drawn segment of the route and usually they click on it several times in a short period of time. It wouldn’t be a good user experiencie if we show an ad on each click.
So, we decided to show an Interstitial every time our users click on close route. This was risky because we didn’t want bad reviews or a decrease in our downloads rate (or even worse, an increase of our uninstalls rate), so this was just an experiment. And… it works! We didn’t receive any bad feedback/review, the downloads went normal and.. the most important, our ads income grew!
Here it’s a chart about our ads income. As you can see, in July and September Google stopped serving ads. After September, everything started to go back to normal until our change in February that our income grew by 80%!
To sum up, track your users actions, investigate your users behavior and take decisions. Don’t be afraid to make experiments and take some risk!
18 Feb 2020
It’s been a long time since my last post. I started a blog about code twice and twice I failed. Why do I fail writing about my passion? It requires a lot of time finding a different topic, investigating it and finally, writing a good blog post. There are a lot of blog posts that are based on very small features and not about a final product.
This past year I started a pet project together with my uncle. We have been working on it since April and the journey has been painful and joyful, and completely worth it. We like running and walking and we realized that most of the apps out there were developed to track runs but not to plan them beforehand. I know, probably all of you are thinking on Google Maps but it doesn’t have this feature exactly.
With Google Maps you can create a route and add waypoints between the starting and finishing point. This is pretty similar to our idea but it doesn’t allow you to measure the distance between waypoints before adding them. We wanted to have this information in realtime and in the easiest and quickest possible way.
Just Draw It
This was the very first start of Just Draw It by Lapacadevs. We spent two weeks in the first version of the app, an Android application that the main (and only) feature was to draw with your finger on a map and render the distance of the route while drawing. After this initial release, we kept adding small features almost every week.
This is how the application looks like now
Why start talking about this? Working on Just Draw It has been amazing so far. We learned a lot on the way, not only about code but also about product and business strategy. This is the direction I would like to move this blog in, writing about product, about the decisions we take in Just Draw It and their impact.
Just Draw It has now more than 50k downloads in Google Play Store and a rating of 4.5⭐. We are very proud of this. On this journey, we made some really good decisions, a few more not that good, but so far we are enjoying it
Stay tuned, this project is just starting and we wanna share this with you!