In the first installment of this post, I looked at the importance of user experience in Nearshore mobile application development, as well as how companies seeking to engage a provider for development projects should consider those who can create a customer feedback loop to determine the features that will ensure apps are both downloaded and kept on the devices by their users.
In this installment, I’ll look at another key tactic companies can use to ensure that their providers are developing apps that can provide an optimal user experience.
Find a Provider That Makes Creative and Development a Unified Process
In many Nearshore app development projects, companies will engage an outside user experience (UX) designer to define the usability and design components of their apps. It’s always beneficial to bring in a proven resource that genuinely understands user interaction, and can effectively use this knowledge to bring the development team a well-developed concept of what should and should not ultimately be included in the app.
Typically in these scenarios, however, too much time is spent on the up-front design and creative work before any actual coding takes place. A UX designer can spend months building wireframes for the app, then creating visuals, mock-ups, taxonomies, flow diagrams, and other components before the development team actually does any developing. It’s done in a standard waterfall approach that separates the creative designers and developers into silos, ultimately creating waste in the value chain.
What companies should look for are providers that make UX design a unified, continuous process. In such a system, developers and the design team start working together from the beginning as a solution finding team, with developers coding as early as possible so features can be tested as they’re built. By combining this approach with an agile development methodology, providers can ensure they’re delivering working software faster, and can then iterate based on feedback from actual users, so any new features that are brought to the app can be proven to have value to the intended audience.
If providers try to figure out the entire creative design end of app development before they test any actual software, make no mistake, they’re going about it all wrong. By allowing creative and development teams to interact in the same process by working toward the same goals and solving the same problems, they can get a head-start on making sure that the app produced will have real value for the user.
When you think of great mobile apps on your own phone, you think of the ones that provided you with a great, intuitive user experience, right? It sounds simple enough, but design disciplines are thought to be alien to developers’ way of thinking, which is more focused on firmly established processes and rituals. By working with a provider that incorporates user feedback early in the development process and breaks down the walls between designers and developers, companies can help to reduce waste in the overall app delivery process while helping to achieve the holy grail of Nearshore development – a great experience for the clients’ users.