by Jamie Jo Vittetoe on February 27, 2012
Remember that saying “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure”? Never is this more true then when planning a new venture, like a new app. The more research and thought you give it, the more likely you will foresee issues and be able to prevent problems before they happen.
At InspiringApps, we like to run new projects by as many minds as possible, as early in the process as possible. Because no matter how thoroughly you think you have thought through an idea on your own, there will always be something that slips through the cracks. Involving more people with different mindsets can reduce the things that get missed.
Planning with stakeholders, project managers and potential users is obvious. But for unique input, involve developers and designers early in the process. Not only are they a fresh set of intelligent, experienced eyes, but they have important insight that will impact process, timelines, and budgets.
Developers’ brains hold a treasure trove of valuable information relating to your project. They naturally have the gift of foresight and can see how decisions made now will impact other parts of the project down the road. They can shed light onto what functionality is reasonable to implement, what might exceed the budget, and what will impact other parts of the project. They know what tools, frameworks and plugins are available and how they can be customized to save resources. Developers are also curious by nature. Chances are, they will ask questions about things that never crossed your mind, exposing important decisions that need to be made.
Initially, designers may not seem necessary until the UI or visual design phase, but they are skilled at design thinking, which could lead to innovative features previously overlooked. They are naturally empathetic so they have the ability to see the world from different perspectives. They can imagine how different user types will interact with your app and can visualize potential issues and solutions. Designers are also compassionate and obsessed with creating a usable product. They will encourage everyone to focus on creating a user friendly app from the beginning.
Lastly, involving developers and designers early in the process gives them extra time to think about your project. Some of the best ideas and inspiration happen when least expected, outside of deadlines and meetings.
Getting everyone’s input early in the process is a lot easier and less costly than making significant revisions later on. And if everyone is informed and involved, expectations, budgets and timelines will be more realistic, and the team will be happier. And that is a good thing.