4 things to do now in preparation
So December may not be when you’ll get that development project off the ground per-say, but it is still a time of opportunity, and you should take the month to get as ready as you can.
So here are the 4 things that you can work on:
1. GET YOUR USE CASES DOWN
It isn’t enough to just jot down a few thoughts on what you want your application to do. You also need to spend a little time working through the different use cases for it – so who are your users going to be, what will they be using your software for, how will they be using it, and so on.
To make it easier, create a flow diagram of each user journey, including the top level touch points that should form part of their path around the application.
We (Shorke and other software companies alike), can often help with all of this by the way, but it doesn’t hurt to work through it as an exercise, as it builds understanding of your audiences needs, and what the software will be delivering for them.
2. CREATE YOUR BRIEF
Very few people like surprises. Especially mid way through development work, where you realise that you have left out a crucial stage of what you are wanting the application to do, and suddenly everyone is scrambling around revising timescales and costs.
So make sure that you write out a solid brief for the product, including all of its aims and goals, i.e., what you want it to achieve in the 1st year of launch, through to its 3rd year if possible. This should include the use cases that you have completed above.
Don’t worry too much about the order by the way – you can write your brief first and then complete use cases, or vice versa. It’s up to you.
3. USE SOME HOLIDAY TIME
December is a popular month to take time off, and if you have some leave available, then now is the perfect time to do it – apparently your brain does better creative work when you’re tired and relaxed! Something about creative insights coming from letting our minds wander along tangents and into seemingly unrelated areas…
So book that time off, relax, unwind, and spend some quality time with a glass of wine / beverage of your choice, and give yourself the time to put pen to paper to work on your product brief!
4. ADD MORE DETAIL
Consider the type of application you’ll be creating and examine your competition. Maybe there’s something you haven’t thought of that they have, that you can incorporate into your own product. Take time to develop a core USP that will differentiate your application from everyone else’s, along with choosing a style of design that you like that you can add into the software brief.
The more polish and depth you can add around your brief and use cases, the more information your chosen designers and developers / software house, have to work with, which ultimately means – the better the quality of the application out the other end.
Even just starting the process can make a big difference to how you think about your application and what you ultimately want to achieve from it.
BEING RESTED AND READY WILL PAY OFF
While December can be a hectic month, use the time to prepare your user cases, product brief, and to recharge your batteries.
Do things like setting up email alerts for software houses, bookmarking the websites for those you like the look of, register for their blogs, follow them on social media etc, so that you can start making an informed opinion about which ones you would like to contact in the new year – on the basis of course, that you don’t already have a team / company in play.
There is only so much you can prepare of course, but doing what you can will make it easier to kick start things quickly in the new year.
If you would like any advice / help on creating use cases and product brief’s, then do reach out to us – we are offering free initial product briefs or prototyping to any clients that sign up with us prior to the 31st January.