New Version Released Today

I’m pleased to announce that a new version of Booth Scout has been released today.  This new version (1.3.0) has several changes that I made based on customer feedback.  (Thank you to all the Booth Scout users who have shared their feedback!)

In-App Purchase Changes. I heard from customers that the in-app purchase process could be improved.  In the prior version, users could initiate an in-app purchase from many points in the app.  Although their in-app purchase had been successful, the purchase was not immediately apparent on some of the screens.  To increase the transparency of the purchase process, now the in-app purchase can be initiated only on the ‘Categories’ screen.  Immediately after an in-app purchase, the categories are reloaded to show the complete set.

Another source of some confusion was that the categories which came with the in-app purchase were all shown with lock icons.  Some users were confused about what making an in-app purchase would unlock (all of the categories? one of the categories?).  Also, the many categories shown with locks decreased the visibility of what was available free-of-charge.  To increase the visibility of the free-of-charge information and to decrease confusion about the in-app purchase, only those categories that are currently available are now shown. This aspect of the app is very important to me, because I want users to be able to personally evaluate Booth Scout before purchasing a complete guide.

Improved Artist Search Functionality. Customers also told me that they would like to be able to search for an artist.  Searching was possible in the previous version, but the search box on the artists listing would scroll off the page.  I’ve locked it to the top of the screen now and given a background color for greater visibility.  Also, the order of the list and map has been switched.  Instead of initially viewing the map and tapping for the list, now the list is shown first.  Users can still access map information via three paths – (1) by swiping right on a row in the artist listing; (2) by tapping on the map button; and (3) by viewing an artist’s profile and then tapping on the map pin icon.

Map update.  Speaking of the map… prior to an in-app purchase, some of the booths on the map did not lead to artist information.  However, there was no indication of which booths had artist information and which did not.  Customers asked for more transparency about the status of the booth on the map. Now booths without artist information have numbers displayed in a light gray font.

There are several other smaller changes that I have incorporated into this new release.  As always, I welcome your feedback. I can be reached at ‘hello -at- boothscoutmobileapp.com’. Or you can send feedback and screenshots directly from Booth Scout by just shaking your device and following the prompts.  Happy booth scouting!

Revisiting Booths When Shopping

Panic.  Frustration.  It doesn’t seem like these emotions could happen when shopping at a craft show, but they do. This was highlighted recently when Tricia and Jennifer from Handmade Arcade were invited to appear on KDKA to preview the great items that will be at the show.  At the end of the segment, they also mentioned that Booth Scout was a new feature at Handmade Arcade this year (timestamp 7:30).  Tricia described how a shopper can use Booth Scout to note favorite vendors. The host, Kristine Sorensen (a Handmade Arcade attendee herself), remarked “Yes, that’s good. I ran into that…Where was that one that I loved?! I can’t remember!” A shopper with Booth Scout in hand can easily note favorite artists and then locate and revisit their booths. Problem solved.  Happy shoppers.

Launching With Handmade Arcade 2016

I’ve had a connection to Handmade Arcade (H.A.) since it’s very first year. Back in 2004, my colleague Dan mentioned that his wife, Julie, was helping to organize a new craft show.  I attended that first H.A. at Construction Junction and many since.  It is amazing to see how much it has grown.

When I was first starting to code for iOS, I had a framed H.A. poster and booth map on the wall above my work space at home. Those images were motivating and reminded me of my goal.

Minette, another co-worker, was also involved in organizing H.A. in more recent years. When I finally had the courage to share my idea for Booth Scout with others, I shared it with Minette.  She put me in touch with Tricia, the current Director of Handmade Arcade. The rest, as they say, is history.

I beta-tested Booth Scout at H.A. last year and got great feedback. And now I’m so excited to officially launch Booth Scout in conjunction with Handmade Arcade 2016.  It seems like something that was just meant to be. Thank you so much, Handmade Arcade!