Written by Anastasia Makarenko, Business Analyst at Idealogic
In the era of digitalization, there are solutions just for everything one could possibly think of. There are apps to order food, make appointments at the doctor or beauty salon, or purchase stuff online. There are also apps that remind you to water plants regularly, plan your day or budget, and many more. In other words, if you have a need to fill, there are probably dozens of various solutions that might serve the purpose. We usually try all or most of them to compare the options and see which one works best for us. Eventually, however, we tend to stick to one particular solution while the rest are dismissed and forgotten. So what is it that makes people keep on using one solution over the others? What is it that helps some apps stand out and brilliantly fulfill the users’ needs? The answer is really simple – a good digital solution starts with unambiguous and crystal clear requirements for the software.
There exist various methodologies for managing IT projects – Waterfall, Agile, RAD, etc. Which one is the best to choose depends on the type of project. From my experience, for small custom projects, the combination of Waterfall for a product design stage and the Agile method for development stage work the best – just like yin and yang.
During the product design stage, which is my cup of tea, we reveal all the requirements to the future SUD (system under development) as well as future functionality and design. All of it is done before moving to actual development. By doing so in advance, we know exactly what, how, and when we are going to deliver to the client. Having decided on the technologies that will be used, the look the SUD will have, and the functionality it will perform at this stage, we are ready to step on a happy path of further development, save everyone’s nerves, and avoid unexpected surprises on our development journey.
So if you still hesitate whether you need a product design stage, here is the quick summary of why the answer should be ‘yes.’
1. PD helps to really deep dive into product requirements and make a solution better than that of your competitors.
2. PD helps to foresee and prevent unexpected issues that might happen further in the development. Little time spent at the beginning makes your development stage shorter, safer, and more efficient.
3. Scope creeps usually lead to exceeding of approved budgets. with a client. PD helps to avoid any possible scope creeps, and believe me, it’s a win-win situation for everyone.
4. PD helps to deliver expected results, functionality, and look. Your client will definitely know what he will get at the end.
5. The PD deliverables provide a product owner with an ability to get primary feedback on the application’s design and functionality before starting any development activity.
To summarise, a good product comes from a great idea, and a brilliant solution starts with clear requirements. Our company approach is pretty simple – we may not be experts in your field, but we’re good at software development, and the Product Design stage helps all Idealogic teammates to understand your vision and expectations.