VIMML was our first project as Intunio and our first iOS app. When presented with the idea (which came to us through our friends at Invencon), our first impression was that of a seed of greatness, but one that needed refinement. Through a series of ideation sessions, the general idea ended up being that of an anonymous picture sharing app, where focus was on things happening right now, in relation to your current location. With focus being on the now, this meant that the app was limited to only show images taken close to the user’s location, and also that the images were at most about a day old. We didn’t want to save anything that was older than a day, and as always, this meant a trade-off between convenience and security, which is a challenge to balance.
Could we build a privacy-conscious app that still held value to its users?
In hindsight, our biggest challenge ended up being growing the greatness we saw in the idea. What does that mean? It means the idea was predicated on the app having a healthy number of users. In other words, the app’s value was correlated with the number of active users. However, it’s hard to build a user base unless the app has some kind of value in the first place; a classic catch-22. Another challenge with VIMML, was the fact that we wanted to build an app that was completely anonymous, where not even the content was persistent. Because of this, being greeted with an empty feed when opening the app was not an improbable scenario. This is not something most services want, since they are monetising your attention, meaning they want to keep you engaged in the app as much as possible, and an empty feed likely means the user will close the app. This made everything a bit trickier since VIMML was based on the idea that privacy and anonymity were central parts of how the app worked. Could we build a privacy-conscious app that still held value to its users?
In the end, VIMML is a great app in terms of what we achieved and the quality of the result. While the product itself didn’t survive, due to not attracting enough users fast enough to keep it afloat, it doesn’t take away the fact that we are proud of the concept, and the execution of the app. VIMML also lay the groundwork for our future projects building apps, as it provided us with the opportunity to showcase what an app designed and built by Intunio, is all about.