Common roadblocks to communication between clients and software developers may come from something as simple as lack of information. This is why, prior to contacting the software house, it pays off to sit down and agree on a couple of details.
The benefit: faster and more efficient planning process.
Make sure you have the essential information necessary to move your project forward with a software house – follow a simple checklist below.
Our checklist covers the key information every software house will need to decide if they can build the product and deliver it — on time and within the agreed budget.
So, before you actually grab the headset and contact a software house, take a deep breath and relax. Make yourself a cup of coffee and spare a few moments to go through the text.
1. Why bother
There are really only a few reasons companies decide to develop new software: making more money, saving money, or avoiding some risk of losing money.
This is why, when contacting a software house, it is important to reach an agreement as to the business goal the final product is expected to achieve.
While the details of the project will probably go through tweaks as the collaboration progresses, the ultimate goal of the application should remain unchanged. Leave the interview to the sales team who, due to their experience with similar projects, can see the bigger picture. They will assess your project in terms of viability, and let you think even bigger. Or more realistically.
2. How will it work
You do not necessarily need to go into many details at this point, but it certainly helps if there is a general agreement on how the final product is supposed to work. Say what the software is expected to do.
Since you are not likely to have a ready prototype, there are a couple of things you could do:
- Use competitive solutions as examples. This can provide useful analogies for designers and software architects.
- Decide if you want to run it on desktops, mobiles or both.
- Prepare a list of technical must-haves such as login, profile setup, maps etc. Some clients do it though it can be time-consuming and frustrating. User stories are a good way to illustrate your feature list.
- Schedule a blueprinting session with a software house and have them come up with ideas and features for your application.
Blueprinting sessions may not be free of charge but some software houses like Briisk do them for free if you decide to develop your application with them
No matter which way you choose, it’s all about simplicity. This is a starting point to create various scenarios that focus on the essential features of the product.
3. How will it look
As soon as there is an agreement as to what the application is generally expected to do, you can go into more detail in terms of design. It is good to align ideas of what the layout should look like so that both you and the development team are on the same page.
Again, what can help here are:
- Competitive solutions as examples. Mark all the things that you love in those designs. You’ll want your users to love them in your solution, too.
- Sketch simple screens in your notebook (paper copies are as good as digital).
- If you’re a tech-savvy or like to do things yourself, use one of the tools for wireframing. Most probably the software house will also use them before they start the development. But don’t worry if you don’t have them ready. A good software agency will take care of it.
- Schedule a blueprinting session with a software house and have them come up with ideas and sketches for your application.