We get a lot of inquiries. There are lots of people with good ideas. The calls or emails go something like this:
I have this idea (5 minutes of explanation). What does something simple like that cost? Or, I’m on a committee for my company, and we are looking to build something that does (5 minutes of explanation), can you put together a quote for that by Friday?
My reply is always the same, “It would be reckless to submit a cost proposal with so little information. Do you have a requirements document or legacy system to evaluate?” My request is often met with a reluctant “no.”
I completely understand that cost is a crucial decision variable, and sometimes determines if a project can even be explored. I also know that we have created a culture where no one wants to go through the rigors of documenting a thorough explanation of the proposed application. In response to these realities, we encourage our clients to begin with the popular and effective exercise of creating a “prototype” first. A bit more thought-provoking than the common approach of “wireframing” layouts, a prototype is an interactive representation of screens and workflow navigation on a device.
Simply defined, developing a prototype provides a bridge between concept and creation.
Think of your idea as a block of stone – the medium. Only you have the vision in your head, and the only decision you have made is that your creation will be made of stone. The metaphor here could be the web, or mobile, or IoT project as a medium.
Through the prototype design phase, as you describe and discuss your idea, we can start to “rough cut” the stone and develop some shapes. These help us with defining the architecture and general design.
As you continue to explain your process and flow of your idea, we can design some screens and forms, even navigation until your plan begins to have a visual appearance.
These concepts of UI/UX are akin to shaping and sanding your stone in a more refined shape. At this stage, your idea would not need much of an explanation, because the prototype would convey your concept intuitively.
One of the most powerful things that can be realized through this process is the ability to get creative and experiment with feature design. The cost to adjust an image is nothing compared to that of code. While all of this is happening, our developers are translating the features that are appearing into requirements. These requirements afford us the opportunity to apply realistic budgets for the development effort so that there are no unpleasant surprises down the road.
When we are finished with the prototype, you have a responsible budget as well as a visually appealing presentation of your project to share with key stakeholders.
Best of all, you don’t have to document a single word – we got it.
NEED A PROTOTYPE?
SMARTER SOFTWARE SOLUTIONS
550 E Main St
Rochester, NY 14604
290 King of Prussia Road
Wayne Pa 19087