Why You Need Pre-Planning for App Development (Part 2)

This is a two-part series on app development pre-planning, or mapping, as we call it. In Part 1, we shared what app development mapping is and why it’s an important part of a software deployment strategy. Here in Part 2, we will explore the steps involved in the mapping process so you can plan your next steps with confidence. 

 

Before any development or coding is done to create an application or software, there is an important process that will help minimize obstacles in the development journey. This pre-planning process, or “mapping” as we call it, can be the most vital part of a software deployment strategy.

As such, if you are considering a new business software or application, here are steps to help prepare you to launch your app effectively.

1. Define your app concept

Start by clearly laying out the concept of your app. Prepare a short description of your app so you can convey the core idea in simple terms. Broadly define the concept by answering these questions:

  • What business need or problem are you trying to solve?
  • What are your expectations for the app?
  • How will the app function?
  • How will it engage and be useful to end-users?

2. Identify target users

Have a clear understanding of the intended end-users. Additionally, invest time and effort into researching and understanding their characteristics. Create an empathy map to describe those characteristics, which will ultimately serve as a guide to how your app will be designed. 

An empathy map describes the characteristics of the software’s user(s), which will ultimately be a guide to how it will be designed.
An empathy map describes the characteristics of the software’s user(s), which will ultimately be a guide to how it will be designed.

3. Identify key project stakeholders

It’s also important to identify the roles and responsibilities of each person who will be involved with the app development strategy. These roles may include a project manager, who will communicate with external contacts, such as developers; and decision-makers who need to be involved in the approval process. It is recommended to include people from different departments in your organization in order to gain a variety of insights.

4. Consider the user experience

Using research on your end-user(s), determine what the app’s user experience will look and feel like. For example, if the end-user will be using the app on a construction field with gloves, you may want to consider screens that have minimal typing fields. Make a list of requirements for the best user experience.

5. Create the application flowchart

The creation of a flowchart allows you to translate your app idea into a visual aid illustrating the app idea, workflow and functionalities. A flowchart should represent the anatomy and high-level functionality of your app. 

The flowchart is a visual aid that represents the anatomy and high-level functionality, showing the complete flow of the application.
The flowchart is a visual aid that represents the anatomy and high-level functionality, showing the complete flow of the application.

6. Create wireframe models

Wireframes are essentially blueprints to detail each screen within your app. They are the first step toward defining the user experience of the application. Low-fidelity wireframes show basic content, while high-fidelity wireframes are more complete representations of the end product.

Low-fidelity wireframes are created as the first step toward the user experience of the application.
Low-fidelity wireframes are created as the first step toward the user experience of the application.
High-fidelity wireframes are more complete representations of the end product.
High-fidelity wireframes are more complete representations of the end product.

7. Create a prototype

A prototype is an interactive interface that mimics the actual look and functionality of the application. Typically, the prototype is created as the final stage of the design before development begins. An application prototype is powerful in two ways:

  • Having a holistic view of the design, functionality and user flow allows you to make calculated decisions prior to development, which can save money and time spent on changes further down the road.
  • The prototype can be used to showcase your app idea to potential investors if you need to gather early-stage investments.
A prototype is an interactive interface that mimics the actual look and functionality of the application.
A prototype is an interactive interface that mimics the actual look and functionality of the application.

One last step…Once your app is launched, it will eventually require updates and maintenance like bug fixes. In your deployment strategy, consider the level of support and maintenance that will be required based on your internal resources and budget.

The app development journey may seem daunting. We get it. That’s why we offer mapping services to help guide you through the pre-planning phase. 

We will also help you determine whether the best deployment strategy is to utilize existing software or build your own if you are unsure. We will guide you through the steps above and create deliverables that are yours to keep – everything from user research to wireframes and prototypes to technical scope documentation. 

By the end of the mapping process, you will be equipped with a software deployment strategy so you can plan your next steps with confidence. To explore more about FUSION OF IDEAS’ mapping process, contact our App Development Business Development team at info@fusionofideas.com

Why You Need Pre-Planning for App Development (Part 1)

This is a two-part series on app development pre-planning, or mapping, as we call it. In Part 1, we begin with what app development mapping is and why it’s an important part of a software deployment strategy. In Part 2, we will explore the steps involved in the mapping process so you can plan your next steps with confidence. 

 

The app development process begins as early as the initial idea of creating a business software or mobile app. The process of pre-planning, or “app development mapping,” guides you to a deployment strategy, whether that means utilizing existing software, or building your own.  

What is app development mapping?

Mapping is the exploratory phase of your app development strategy, in which you identify and explore fundamental questions about the app. 

We call this process “mapping” because building an app is a lot like taking a road trip. It can be long and time-consuming but having a strategy to get to your destination will save you time and (gas) money. To create an effective app solution, you have to have a good plan – or road map – to know where you are going and how you’re going to get there.

The mapping process of app development is like drawing out your route on the road map in preparation for your trip. 

During the process, you clarify things like:

  • What will the app do? 
  • What business problem(s) are you trying to solve?
  • Who will be using the app?
  • How will it function? 
  • Is the best solution to buy existing software or build your own? 
  • How long will it take to deploy and how much will it cost?

Why is pre-planning important?

Investing the time upfront to identify and answer the critical questions about your business needs can help define your software deployment strategy and reduce time to market. The end result might be a technology solution that will jumpstart your new business idea, an efficient tool to help your employees’ productivity or a completely custom solution that will help your business scale and gain a competitive edge.

The benefits of pre-planning include:

  • A clear understanding of development processes, including design concepts, phases of development and expectations, and time to market
  • Early insight into design trends, functionality, and best practices 
  • Cost and time projection for development.

A lack of pre-planning could result in:

  • Lack of clarity in concept due to insufficient information
  • Time constraints or deployment delays due to considerations that were overlooked before development 
  • Extra costs due to a lack of planning, organization and communication.

At the end of the mapping process, you should have a clear understanding of the look, feel and flow of your intended software solution. You will also have expectations for budget and estimated time frames to build and deploy. 

 

In Part 2 of this series, we’ll tell you how to get there. We will take you through the steps of the mapping process to help you launch your app in a manageable way.

Our Response to COVID-19

“During these times with many uncertainties, we must anchor everything in what’s most important: the health and safety of people in our community and around the world,” said Russ Taylor, CEO. “I have been inspired by the stories of the many companies, particularly businesses in our community, that are making a change in the way that they do things in order to serve others during this unprecedented crisis.”

In response to the shortage of personal protective equipment (PPE) amidst the COVID-19 pandemic, FUSION OF IDEAS is utilizing our laser machines to produce face shields and utility hooks for individuals working in essential service. If you are a business or organization with employees in essential service, you can request our COVID-19 protective gear at no cost on fusionofideas.com/covid19

The face shields and utility hooks are made using our in-house laser machines. An initial batch of 1,000 face shields and 2,000 utility hooks have been produced and we will continue making them based on demand and supplies. 

All products are manufactured and distributed from our facilities in Southern California.

FUSION OF IDEAS' face shield and utility hooks are intended for assisting in personal protection. Please follow CDC’s recommendations for guidance to help prevent the spread and transmission of COVID-19.
FUSION OF IDEAS is utilizing its laser machines to produce custom face shield and utility hooks during the COVID-19 pandemic. The products are offered at no cost for essential workers.
The custom face shield covers the entire face. The shield design eliminates blind spots and offers a wide, unobstructed viewing area.
The custom face shield covers the entire face. The shield design eliminates blind spots and offers a wide, unobstructed viewing area.
The utility hook reduces surface contact by hooking door handles to open and close doors without using hands. It also helps with pulling and pushing objects and buttons.
The utility hook reduces surface contact by hooking door handles to open and close doors without using hands. It also helps with pulling and pushing objects and buttons.

For more information, or to request custom face shields or utility hooks, visit www.fusionofideas.com/covid19.

Creating the Best In-Home Work Experience for Your Employees

Recent events have forced companies to instruct individuals to work remotely. Remote working is not a new concept and technologies like video conferencing, texting and file-sharing have thankfully made working from home easier.  

Here are some other ways that organizations can help employees create the best in-home work experience:

Let them be hands-free

A good pair of earbuds will allow you to talk hands-free while on the phone or on a video conference call. Noise-canceling earbuds like Apple AirPods Pro are particularly great for those who live on a noisy street or anticipate lots of background noise while working. 

Apple AirPods Pro on OtterBox OtterSpot

Equip them with the power they need to stay connected

With laptops, phones, tablets and other devices in use all day, something is always in need of charging. Rather than having several chargers, which may end up in a mash of wiring, help your employees stay powered and connected all day with a wireless charging system like OtterBox OtterSpot. The stackable charger is capable of charging multiple devices at once and it’s wire-free, which also means clutter-free.

OtterBox OtterSpot Wireless Charging System

Remind them they are valued

Working from home comes with many distractions. Remind your employees that they are a part of something important. Many of the technology they use on a daily basis can be customized with your company logo. A branded product also serves as a great gift to show your appreciation and your employee’s value during this difficult time.

Apple AirPods Pro with OtterBox OtterSpot and iPhone

Whether you have already shifted your workforce to remote working or are still transitioning, we are here to help you through it. Contact us today for a commitment-free consultation and get a complimentary digital rendering to see your company logo on your mobile devices and accessories.

OtterBox OtterSpot Brand Experience

As the workforce is moving to remote workplaces and virtual meetings, it’s more important than ever to stay powered. 

The new OtterBox OtterSpot Wireless Charging System, the world’s first stackable charging system, has the ability to charge multiple batteries and devices at once to ensure fully charged devices all day long. This charging system comes with a charging base and two wireless charging batteries, each offering the perfect canvas for creating a brand experience with your company logo. 

With FUSION OF IDEAS’ full-color UV direct printing process, you never have to worry about the artwork chipping or fading. Additionally, we can offer a customized device sleeve that fits snuggly around the OEM packaging for a pristine unboxing experience, or customized gift wrap for a unique employee or customer gift.

Right now, we are offering an OtterBox OtterSpot Brand Experience that includes the OtterSpot Wireless Charging System with a base and two batteries, with a single artwork on all pieces. Variable design options are available for a unique design on each battery ($10 for each additional design).

Additionally, we are including:

  • Complimentary Personalized Insert Card from the company leader or host to help keep the company brand or message.
  • Complimentary Multiple-Destination Shipping & Handling*

*Actual shipping rates still apply. Individual boxing, labeling and handling will be waived.

OtterBox OtterSpot Brand Experience

To get a complimentary digital rendering of your company logo on an OtterBox OtterSpot, email us at info@fusionofideas.com or call 949-453-0740.