Some simple App Development Zen steps that anyone can follow

Forget the list of requirements and features you want for your app.  The truly important piece is the detailed wireframes that map out the final interface and workflow of the app.

These are the map, the guide, the ‘object’ that is being created.  Think of them like the architectural plans on what is going to be put together for you.

If something on the final product doesn’t match the wireframes, then you can clearly point this out and there is no argument, no discussion and no back and forth about whether something is a ‘change request’ or not.

Perhaps coolest of all is that detailed wireframes give you a sense of certainty and give the developer an accurate sense of direction.

The big takeaway here is to take your time on this phase – you are prepping your car, making sure everything is running smoothly….  and now sitting there, patiently waiting with the engine purring binoculars up against your eyes.

You want that target clearly in site before you toss the binoculars and floor the pedal.

But there is more…

Within any exchange of information, there is always going to be some area that is ‘lost in translation’.

–       Anonymous

Yep, detailed wireframes is just one part.  The other is over-communication.

It’s quite cool actually, as often in life if we’re working together with someone we don’t want to ‘bug’ them too much – whether that be a contractor, doctor or work colleague.

But with a developer, they are sitting there behind their chair eager to receive any information that really, makes their job easier.

And it does make it easier!  Tasks will be completed quicker, there will be less back and forth and your app will get to market sooner!

And they will love you for it!… instead of being the client they complain about, you will be the person they use as a standard for other clients :).

Enough said, here are three simple steps to Project Zen –

 1/ Instead of just telling the developer what you want, put together some drawings of what you want built.  They don’t need to be complex, and can be done simply on paper (perhaps the best medium).  A big tip to save you hours of time is to find other apps that have done what you want really well and model how they did their UI in your drawings.  For example, I’ll take 4 different awesome apps and ‘borrow’ the awesome parts from each of them to create my own vision :).

2/ A good developer should then be able to put together detailed wireframes (which include workflow) based on what you have shared.  It is through this back-and-forth process that you both agree on a final vision.  Like an architect designing your house :).  If they can’t do this then you are going to have problems, and you should look elsewhere.

3/ On the other side of the fence, a good client should always over-communicate on a regular basis.  Providing feedback and instead of just saying please add ‘x and y’, they also provide detailed drawings, sketches, examples or anything else to help out.

As you can see, none of this has to be complex and you don’t need to be a design or layout whiz to get this done.  All it takes is just a little extra work at the beginning, holding your developer back before you release them to go in for the perfect kill – aka, nailing the delivery of your app.

To your App Success! 🙂

Cliff

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