by Tope Abayomi | February 14, 2013
Cocoa Controls has become the go-to location to get custom controls for your app. All you have to do is take a look the requests on StackOverflow for an Android version of the site and you can see that what Aaron has created here is truly unique.
Apps like eBay, Evernote and Facebook messenger use controls from here. Imagine the bragging rights you can get by saying “Facebook uses my control.” That’s going to look good on your CV, won’t it?
Hold on there is one small problem. There are lots of controls listed on the site, over 2000 the last time I counted. So if you upload your own control, how do you get noticed and get recognition for your work? That’s what I hope to show you with this this post.
There are six tips to get you heading in the right direction and get your app rated in the list and get community recognition for your work.
Develop a Useful (Spelt Non-trivial) Implementation that Benefits Developers
If you create a control that implements new patterns or gesture interaction present in popular apps, this is going to benefit other developers. ODRefreshControl is a good example of this, it shows you how to implement the pull-to-refresh animation in iOS 6. No real wonder why it is currently rated in the Top 10 iOS controls.
Create useful and non-trivial controls and developers will in turn be willing to purchase or license your genius going forward for use with their own apps. If you have created an app control that does not bring anything new to the party, say a flashlight control, no one is going to be interested.
Consider how other iPhone app developers think when you are discovering smarter, more reliable app controls.
Having Good Documentation on Github
Github is a collaboration source where app developers can communicate and collaborate on the the next killer app. When your app controls appear on Github, make to list all the information about how to implement the control.
Participation in Discussions/Comments on the Site
When you participate in discussions, or respond to comments about your control, others feel a sense of ownership and responsibility to share with others. You are giving them exactly what they want if they are having a problem with your control.
Take a cue from Nick Lockwood who has the No.1 Control on the site with iCarousel. Make sure to answer questions from developers on the site. This is an incredibly powerful tool, and will boost your reliability and loyalty rating in no time.
Fixing Bugs and Issuing Updates
Following up on the previous point on participating in discussions is fixing any issues people raise. No app is free of bugs, controls are also not exempted from that rule.
Listen to your users and collaborators when they tell you there is something wrong with your control, develop a solution for it as soon as possible and issue an update. Reward the people that take the time to try out your control and give you feedback.
Do this and you may see your control used in the next killer app, all because they have the confidence that you will be there when things go wrong.
Boost Your Ranking on Github’s Objective-C List
Aaron also told me there is a correlation between ranking well on CocoaControls and Github’s Objective-C list. Github is effectively a social network for developers. You can watch repositories, follow repositories etc.
Invite people to fork your repo and watch it so you can get on one of those lists. “mot watched”, “most forked” etc. This helps more people to discover your control.
Have a descriptive screenshot
Humans are visual people. Anytime I receive the round-up email from Aaron every week, the first thing I do is quickly scan through the screenshots to see which one I will check out.
Having a good screenshot is one of the best ways to stand out from the rest. Check out the shots from JTGestureBasedTableView and DACircularProgress. They express the function of the control and lets you know what its about in seconds.
I hope you are now empowered and have some good ideas to implement to get your control highly rated. Do not be afraid to spread your genius around to those who can benefit from it. There may be a lot of people competing with you but there are ways to stand out.
If your control gets used in the next Facebook app, please let me know!
This is a guest post by Tope Abayomi, Founder of App Design Vault . He believes developers need to have an edge over the competition to succeed in the App store. Having a great design is a good place to start. Go here to get an app design template that helps you stand out.