OddBird met for a work retreat in April. On the Oddgenda: grow the company, and redesign OddSite. I came home from retreat tasked with reviewing OddBird’s eb presence, and proposing ways to improve communication about our process and services in order to attract new clients.
It was easy to talk about technology options. OddBird was both flexible (working within the constraints of our existing systems) and opinionated (bringing context from past experience).
What You Get
This process delivers all the information required to take your project to the next step. We’ll help you understand the full scope of your vision, experiment with interactive visualization, define the Minimum Viable Product (MVP), get to know your customers on a new level, and see a full estimate for design and development. Use the Research & Concepting deliverables to present your idea to your board or CEO, or to take the leap into creating your web project!
Together we’ll discuss the goals, scope, and requirements of the project and create a map for our journey. Some of the information may be available in planning documents you have already created. This process includes a review of technical, brand, and marketing goals as needed. Below are a few sample questions.
Next we will create User Profiles to help us imagine a day in the life of your users. When and where do they use the application? What are they trying to do on the tool, and why? Below is a sample excerpt from a User Profile.
We will also create a basic, interactive design of the application, showing the movement of users through core interactions. We’ll make it look good, but lo-fi and unbranded, including several linked gray-scale pages. Wireframes are a great way to start visualizing your web product or site – helping us get into the specifics of what your app should do. Wireframes are also a fantastic tool to get investor, CEO, or board approval.
Using the Goals, User Profiles, Interviews, and Wireframe we will create a list of expected features or ‘stories’ written from the perspective of individuals. The final list of User Stories represents all the ways people will interact with the web application or site. User Stories help us provide an accurate estimate, and collaborate with you to prioritize tasks, keeping you in control of the cost. Below is a sample set of User Stories. Large projects can have over 100 Stories.
What are the core concepts/objects around which the application is built? These are the data models. What are the relationships between the models? What data attributes does each model have, and what is the data-type for each attribute? Giving everything a name and describing the relationships will help guide development, and keep the entire team on the same page.
Itemized & Prioritized Estimate
We’ll estimate each User Story individually, providing you with an itemized hourly estimate, organized into phases where appropriate. We’ll work with you to add, remove, and rearrange features to find the right balance of functionality and budget.
Get to Know Your Industry
The purpose of a web app or site is to improve life for people. We offer these additional items to help you get to know the people who will interact with your digital product more fully. Let’s find out what’s familiar to them, where they are struggling, and what would make their lives easier.
Let’s take a look at existing web apps and companies that serve a similar audience to get an overview of industry trends and potential pitfalls to avoid. We’ll do a more detailed analysis of a direct competitor, asking questions like ‘what are the specific features this competitor is using to serve people?’ and ‘how comfortable do users feel when using this competitor’s web app?’
Because your digital product needs to serve different people with distinct needs, we would like to have direct conversations with a variety of users in order to create something they will all find useful. These interviews can happen over the phone, via video chat, or through an online survey.
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