Need a Web App idea?

Project ideas, resources, awesome public APIs, and more

Looking to be productive and build a project during this downturn but don’t know where to start? I’ve broken down the thought process of how to drill down and decide on a project idea that you would be both passionate about and proud of!

Find your Passion [Project]

To decide on a project that you would be passionate about, you need to first find your passion. If you’re passionate about your project, you’ll be excited and naturally driven to put in the energy and effort needed to make an awesome app that you would be proud of. Grab a pen and jot down whatever comes to mind as you answer these 3 questions:

  1. What are your interests? hobbies?
  2. Are there specific skills you want to learn? (Technical or non-technical)
  3. What bothers you that you wish you could fix or improve? Apps you wish existed to solve a problem or fulfill a need?

Interest-based

Think about your interests, things that make you happy — this should be easy! Next, drill down into the specifics. For example, if you like playing games, do you wish you could keep score and track your progress over time? How can you connect with more people that also like to play? Maybe you want to display your game achievements and build a stats page?

Connect with people with the same interests? Maybe you want to display it and build a portfolio?

Here’s an example of how deep of a tree I drew when I sat down and thought about topics relating to my way-too-many interests by category.

  • Art: calligraphy, sketching, oil & acrylic painting
  • Sports: Scuba diving, rock climbing, hiking, tennis
  • Games: group trivia games, tabletop games, deck-building card games (Unstable Unicorns, Telestrations)
  • Travel: blog, itinerary planner, expense tracker, photo journaling — with mindful prompts and location notes
  • Food: recipe box, trending foods by region

Educational (for you)

Building projects from start to finish, at any stage of your coding career is an optimal way to hone your programming skills. There are many types of apps that are great practice because they will help you develop the specific skills and experience needed to build that particular type of app.

Building a project is also a great way for you to learn a new skill. Do you want to be able to build a cool new feature like have a chatbot on your page? How about those fancy modal — now commonly seen, but never ceases to be cool. If you’re learning a new language or a new framework, its time to put put your new knowledge to practice!

What if I don’t want to learn a new technical skill? What if I want to learn French? You can always build an app to help you learn a skill as well.

Oftentimes there are just too many apps for the same thing, but do you ever wonder why? Each one typically has its own niche, its own star feature. There are always ways to improve upon existing apps, and maybe YOU can be the one to build a better version. A good way to gain this experience initially is copycat a popular app you like. That will give you the foundation to go further.

Simple app ideas for practice:

  • A blog engine
  • Recipe app
  • Conversion calculator
  • Tic-tac-toe game
  • Expense tracker

Do Good (with Tech)

Are you a millennial trying to save the world? Do you want to make the world a waste-free, happy green space? Are you an advocate of Corporate Social Responsibility or believe in your civic duty to do right by your community? Your app could fix a local problem but improve the world!

  • recycle
  • feed the hungry
  • help the homeless

API’s

Finding a solid API is a great way to decide how to seed your project database, saving you the time and effort of creating your own database.

Public APIs is an extensive collection of free APIs. It includes topics from anime to cryptocurrency, photography to games. Even APIs of cat pictures on tumblr to productive cloud storage options.

Rapid API is also a great resource, connecting thousands of APIs to be used through them. Meaning you only need one SDK, one API key, or one dashboard to access any API you find in their API marketplace.

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