Planning Your Web App. Don't Skip the Prototype.
posted 2 years ago

So you’re going to do it! You’ve come up with a crazy good idea that you know is going to change the way you do a certain task or daily activity, or you’ve come up with a great startup idea and its going to need a technical build out. You have to figure out how to communicate what is in your head to designers, developers and mobile application developers so that your idea can take that critical step that separates the billions of ideas into the small handful of startups that actually took the initiative and built out their dreams. Where do you start and how do you go about getting this thing developed?

User Interface Design and Wireframing.
I’m going to use our Studio and processes as an example, but I have worked with many teams and it always goes just about the same way when it’s done correctly. The first phase in building out a product or web application is a good, solid planning phase. Many times we have customers come to us with ideas and they want to jump straight into design. This is a huge mistake. User interface and experience design is a huge portion of the project and by jumping straight into design, you’ve just put ALL your trust and the future of your applications user interface design into the hands of a graphic designer.

Let’s be clear about one thing. A user interface designer and a graphic artist are two entirely different things. Don’t get me wrong, a person can be both, but they can also just be a great graphic designer who thinks they know user interface design. This is a huge mistake in proper planning for a web application build. Web applications and product builds should ALWAYS start with a solid set of wireframes drawn up by a qualified user interface designer. This person knows the ins and outs of how the vast majority of internet users are accustomed to interacting with a web application and will design the interface accordingly. Once you have gone back and forth with your user interface designer and decided on a set of wireframes that accomplishes your goals, it’s time to move on to technical planning.

Technical Documentation.
Technical documentation is not always 100% necessary, but ANY time that it is possible or accepted by your team to have technical documentation drafted it is a Godsend for developers. Technical documentation is a set of documents that outline all of the functionality of your application. These are not just a high level view of things, but a detailed outline style roadmap to all the extensive features and functionality for your application. This documentation can literally save weeks of back and forth with a development team that only has your wireframes to go by. Sometimes wireframes cut it, but most of the time, the extra week that creating technical documentation takes is so worth it in the end.

Getting a Planning and Documentation Quote.
Most of the time when you ask for a proposal from a web design and development company, you’re going to get SOME sort of planning or wireframing phase in the proposal. You want to make sure that if you are creating a web application, technical product, SAAS app, or any other application that has high levels of functionality and non-standard features, that you get a proper wireframing and technical documentation creation included in the proposal. Resist the urge to jump straight into design and you will end up with a much more polished, clean coded project that accomplishes all you set out to accomplished and sacrifices no functionality just for the mere fact that your application was not perceived well by the developers because proper planning was negated for speed purposes.

Get a Web Application Development Proposal From 422 Studios
If you’re interested in getting a web development proposal for your web application just head over to our proposal request form and let us know. We will include the proper wireframing and technical documentation for your level of functionality and the requirements of your project.

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