Interviews

Exclusive Interview With Xtrafolio iPad Portfolio App Developers, Jeroen Van Kempen and Sigurd Kranendonk

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Xtrafolio is one of the most customizable apps of its kind available, it has some very valuable additional features including the choice to back-up portfolios to iTunes or Dropbox as well as the option to keep multiple iPads up to date automatically from one nominated ‘master’ copy of the app.

This is a must have app for any serious creative professional who want to use the iPad as a portfolio to show their work. The Xtrafolio App is designed for Photographers, Art-Directors, Food-stylists, Architects, Graphic designers, Models, Real Estate agents, Stylists, Make-up Artists, Travel agents, Sales Agents, Artists, Fashion designers, Florists, Set-builders, Product designers and more.

We wanted to find out more about this app from it’s very inception to the future, read our exclusive interview below…

This app retails for $16.99/£11.99 and you can download it here.

The Beginning

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Please explain how your app was originally thought of and what were your thoughts behind the marketplace, specifically?

As a professional photographer I soon realized the power of the iPad presentation-wise. As an addition to my own printed portfolio it seemed ideal to me. A printed portfolio shows one’s photos very beautifully, and is not easy to be replaced. The iPad however is able to show a larger quantity and variety of work, more flexible and very handy to bring to meetings. But the standard Apple photo App wasn’t able to set up a portfolio as I liked, it didn’t have the features to personalize it so I decided to develop a portfolio App for my own and realized that there must be more people like me with the same wishes.

The Design

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Explain the design, how you came up with the colors and themes.

The current version of Xtrafolio is of a very basic design, functionality is the goal, the user is challenged to explore the possibilities and make the best looking portfolio possible. We realize this is annoying to some, searching and looking through the App can be a bore when you want to setup a portfolio in a hurry. We are working on the 2.0 version at the moment which will be super intuitive and much more user friendly, responding to the wishes and suggestions from thousands of people via email, Facebook and Twitter. We are pretty sure that we are the most adjustable portfolio App for iPad around, and the 2.0 version will make it even better.

Target Market

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Who do you see as the main target market for this app in terms of age, genre and expenditure?

Xtrafolio was made with photographers in mind but anyone serious and creative can use our portfolio to present their work. Because of its complexity and possibilities it is a higher priced App but we feel that this is no problem for the people in the business. In addition we never charge for updates or ask money for extra features as other Apps do. Even the new 2.0 version, which actually is a complete overhaul, will be free of charge. I don’t feel age has to do with it, but what all our clients have in common is that they want the best portfolio App on the market.

Production Process

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How long did it take from the original planning to the production process of this app?

From the first idea till the release in the Appstore took about 8 months.

Sales

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How do you predict sales to be, is there a good solid market for this style of app?

Sales have been pretty steady I must say, we have high hopes of Xtrafolio 2.0 which has all the features users suggested and asked for.

Obstacles

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What has been the hardest obstacle you have had to overcome regarding this app development?

There are a few, getting the best possible quality images and the Apple review process. The way the review system works is very frustrating. You can’t defend yourself to people who can’t find the the iPad’s on/off button and write a 1-star review.

Third Parties

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Would you consider developing apps for third parties?

We already do and it is a very exiting process.

The Apple App Store Experience

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What have you learnt from the App Store?

It is very hard to get a grasp of how the AppStore works, just type in any keyword and you see apps popping up that sell only one app a month and other apps that sell a lot ranked lower. It would be nice if Apple gave more insight in how the AppStore ranks apps. Having many different languages helps a bit in getting found, although Apple should credit the producers who take the effort. Xtrafolio comes in 6 languages (English, German, French, Spanish,Chinese and Dutch) As mentioned above, Apple should allow for developers to react on untrue 1-star reviews.

Apple Developer Support

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Have Apple supported you well with your App development?

Apple is a great company with great products and a solid App development department, some regulations are very vague and hard to deal with but the future will hopefully deal with that.

The Future

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What next, are you developing another app, would you go for the same genre again, if not which?    
    
At the moment we are very busy developing the 2.0 version but yes, we are planning more Apps most probably in the same field. We will also be coming out with an iPhone player of Xtrafolio, so you can view your portfolio on your iPhone.

Android App Development

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Have you considered developing apps on other platforms such as Android? If so, what has the experience been like?

In the niche we are playing, iPad is the word I’m afraid, so probably not, unless there is a serious rival Tablet to the iPad.

TheAppWhisperer.com Experience

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What do you think about TheAppWhisperer.com? Have we helped you? Would you recommend us? Have we been supportive?

The AppWhisperer is an independent blog that writes good reviews. We have had a good increase of our ranking in the AppStore after TheAppWhisperer did a comparison review. We are waiting for the stand alone review.

Many thanks Jeroen for this excellent interview, we can confirm that we will review the new version 2.0 when it is released to the App Store. We’re really looking forward to it.

Joanne Carter, creator of the world’s most popular mobile photography and art website— TheAppWhisperer.com— TheAppWhisperer platform has been a pivotal cyberspace for mobile artists of all abilities to learn about, to explore, to celebrate and to share mobile artworks. Joanne’s compassion, inclusivity, and humility are hallmarks in all that she does, and is particularly evident in the platform she has built. In her words, “We all have the potential to remove ourselves from the centre of any circle and to expand a sphere of compassion outward; to include everyone interested in mobile art, ensuring every artist is within reach”, she has said. Promotion of mobile artists and the art form as a primary medium in today’s art world, has become her life’s focus. She has presented lectures bolstering mobile artists and their art from as far away as the Museum of Art in Seoul, South Korea to closer to her home in the UK at Focus on Imaging. Her experience as a jurist for mobile art competitions includes: Portugal, Canada, US, S Korea, UK and Italy. And her travels pioneering the breadth of mobile art includes key events in: Frankfurt, Naples, Amalfi Coast, Paris, Brazil, London. Pioneering the world’s first mobile art online gallery - TheAppWhispererPrintSales.com has extended her reach even further, shipping from London, UK to clients in the US, Europe and The Far East to a global group of collectors looking for exclusive art to hang in their homes and offices. The online gallery specialises in prints for discerning collectors of unique, previously unseen signed limited edition art. Her journey towards becoming The App Whisperer, includes (but is not limited to) working for a paparazzi photo agency for several years and as a deputy editor for a photo print magazine. Her own freelance photographic journalistic work is also widely acclaimed. She has been published extensively both within the UK and the US in national and international titles. These include The Times, The Sunday Times, The Guardian, Popular Photography & Imaging, dpreview, NikonPro, Which? and more recently with the BBC as a Contributor, Columnist at Vogue Italia and Contributing Editor at LensCulture. Her professional photography has also been widely exhibited throughout Europe, including Italy, Portugal and the UK. She is currently writing several books, all related to mobile art and is always open to requests for new commissions for either writing or photography projects or a combination of both. Please contact her at: joanne@theappwhisperer.com

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