There is a certain process that you have to take in consideration when building a product. As our target are startups, we've had our share of ups and downs in figuring out the best solution to consider when building a product. The steps to take in consideration in building a great product, getting it launched on the market and having a positive feedback from final users are not that difficult, but they are needed to be followed in order to build up revenue and profit.
“Whatever your mind can conceive and believe, it can achieve.” - Napoleon Hill
Everybody has a lot of great ideas that want to get launched out there and have a great turnover from the very beginning. But, as a first step, you have to start defining your result through some very simple questions:
- What are you building?
- Why are you building it?
- How does it work?
- What main features do you need to get your product on the market?
- What actions do you need to build in order to launch?
- With what main features can you get out there?
We did talk a bit about MVPs and their necessity when starting to build up your product. The vision and strategy all represent this MVP and make a clear understanding of what features need to be present from the very beginning and what features could be easily added during the process, based on your user feedback or simply based on your budget or resources.
A website wireframe is a kind of a blueprint, a guide that represents the skeletal representation of the website framework. In short, "a wireframe depicts the page layout or arrangement of the website’s content, including interface elements and navigational systems, and how they work together". (Wikipedia)
Basically, in this step you define:
- what the screens are going to look like
- what the actual product is going to do.
You can easily do this step on a piece of paper, powerpoint, or throughout any application that you find suitable. You really have to think about the whole user journey on this and realize what happens when the information reaches the user and how you translate that information into viable coding with real data. The fun part regarding wireframing is the fact that it can be done by anyone in your startup, meaning that you don't really need to be a tech person in order to envision how your product should look like.
3. UI/UX design
The difference between wireframing and design is that on a wireframe you don't have any design, no colour, no style, being focused on the screens, the functionality and the user flow. The design is based on:
- bringing to life your wireframe
- creating a colour palette that would work for your product and brand
- selecting the fonts that you're going to implement in your product
- developing a workable style.
By the time you are done with UI/UX you should have a clear realistic picture of how your user will interact with the product. This also is a great time to get some feedback from people on what they really think about your application.
On this step, you can actually start thinking about the engineering team. You can start building one, or if you already have a team prepared you can start sharing this info with them. We do guide you that you select a team of developers dedicated to having functionality for front and back-end development and also choose the right amount of developers needed for your product.
This step is reserved for the technical standards that you want to include in your product:
- What technology/es you are going to build in
- What frameworks are you going to use
- What other tools or platforms are you going to integrate into your product
Of course you can change and adapt the architecture while you are building your product, but we do encourage you to start up front with these details as well, in order to not rebuild some aspects later in your project.
Now we come to the "getting down to business" part. In this step, you start doing stuff that you can see and quantify. It's all about breaking down each part of your project, each screen from the wireframe part, in user stories. This means that you'll need to direct your team into what functionality they will start building first and with what they should continue.
At this part you can include what management tool you're going to use, communication tools, building your Daily Stand-ups and how you're including them in getting your product out on the market.