You could also be interested in:
Why you need business development
Listen, this will definitely hurt the feelings of hyper-controlling CEO's who painfully micromanage every element of their company, but it NEEDS to be said. We know the Facebooks, Twitters, Apples, and…
//= __('Ready to talk?', 'sage'); ?>
//= __('Feel free to consult with our team.', 'sage'); ?>
//= __('GET A QUOTE', 'sage'); ?>
A problem faced by many software development companies is how to translate and implement a prospective client's project from concept to a real, tangible design. After working on countless project scopes and kick-offs, we have learned it is critical to map out the initial concept before the start of the development process. With the design sprint and the incorporation of traditional Agile-oriented principles, our team is able to plan, sketch, and estimate a concept while maintaining the ability to further modify the design in an organized way. In other words, the design sprint allows our team to generate an outline for the development phase helping them to better address potential challenges without slowing down the overall process. This not only leads to more effective software solutions but reduces development time and saves client's money.
Although many software companies have their own internal philosophy, our design sprint is configured according to our team's capabilities and specializations. Think of it as a developer's road-map, enabling streamlined communication between project managers and engineers. The design sprint is more or less a blueprint that supports a fresh, positive, and creative environment.
Through experience, we have found it most effective to divide the design sprint process into four specific stages. During the first stage, our developers and project managers set up an open space in the office. This exclusive space is for the purpose of defining the goals of the project and what the client is trying to achieve. The main objective is understanding the client's interest in the project, the core values, and the fundamental idea(s) the concept is predicated on. At the beginning of all our relationships with prospective clients, we know nothing about their project and software needs, so this stage gives client's the opportunity to challenge themselves and discover any lingering potential issues/obstacles. In a way, the first stage is similar to a pitch by business to a potential investor.
The physical environment of the second stage might seem a bit informal on the surface, but for our team, it is the most effective way to communicate ideas between all people involved. We are constantly writing notes down – sentences, words, images, etc - and sticking them to walls for later reference. Afterwards, the notes are compiled into a design document and sent to the client for feedback.
For the third stage, the focus is setting up something we call “mood boards.” Mood boards are designs that help identify the client's preferences and goals. They illustrate the graphics component of the project and provides a visual aid for our developers to understand the project more completely. The process itself is about discovery and not definitive. Once the mood boards are finished, we share them with the client for their input and ultimate approval.
The fourth and final stage involves prototype sketching. We first print out wire-frames of the device for the product. Ideally, the client – or a member of his team – is involved in this step. Our developers then evaluate all the production's functionalities and layout assumptions. All developers involved in the project work together to sketch screens and analyze each one individually. Notes are recorded and solutions are identified as needed. Normally, this process takes around three hours but often times it can take two or three sessions.
Once all the data is collected, we send the designs to our UX team and they create a digital-ready wire-framed prototype. By using Sketch, MarvelApp, and Principle, we have been able to reduce the digital prototyping process to 2-3 days. After the UX team finishes the design, the client and team test the prototype. If approved, our engineers take over and development starts.
Our design sprint is highly effective in guiding our team to achieve the ultimate goals of the client. This not only manages costs but also ensures quality control during the entire development process.