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This is the phase is to really understand inside-out what the client wants to achieve with this project. Unlike other companies, we make sure we spend enough time before the project stats to get to know our client, their DNA, and the motives that drive them. By learning this, we can walk in the shoed of our clients in order to come up with the right business strategies. Next, we deep dive into the functionalities and to define user scenarios so we are not looking at a list of to-dos, we are re-imagining ourselves as the end users and discover how they would interact with the product throughout the day. This way, we can focus on the features that make sense to users and avoid unnecessary features and distractions.
This is the phase where our client can envision how the product will work and confirm whether it matches their expectations. After we cook a list of user scenarios and user stories, our PM an Designer will work together to define the workflows, screen wire framing and major interactions on paper, we call this the first version blueprint of the of a product. Using this blueprint, our developer will create an early sample of a product or proof of concept which the client can test-drive and provide early feedbacks to shape the product into what the client really expects.
After the last phase, the major project flow and structure of the product is then optimized to meet client's expectations,and the final blueprint for the product is created. UX Designer, with the expertise in Human Computer Interaction, will complete the entire end-to-end interactions for each user story, this is what we call the "UI spec" as well as the "look-and-feel" of the product. After the UI spec is done and confirmed with client, the Designer will come in and create the actual "visuals" (like the icons and color setting) and their "placements" (like where the icons, texts, lines are placed in the screens), this is what we call the "Visual spec." At the end of the phase, we are done with the actual planning of the product design and development is ready to be kicked off.
This is an iterative phase where the team starts working on the real deal at full-speed in predefined cycles. As we follow the Agile Development Process, our team of experts from different disciplines (App Developers, Website Developers, DB Developers, UX Designer, Designer, PM) work together and develop the product in iterations, allowing for a more flexible and efficient workflow, with a higt-quality product management standard. At the end of each development cycle, the client can get hands-on with the deliverables and again product in a timely fashion, before next cycle starts. With the well-defined Agile Development Process, not only does the team work very closely with each others during development phase, we also collaborate with the client, down the path to ensure the product aligns with the strategy and stays on track with the expectations we previously defined.
As quality is always our #1 goal, during Agile Development phase, we dedicate a good portion of time on acceptance testing, based on user stories. That is not enough. We need to dedicate more time on integration testing to make sure everything goes as expected. This is the phase where our team works closely together with the client to uncover any remaining issues before we get the product out the door. We don’t call it done when the Quality Assurance part is done and the Apps are uploaded to App store. The team will provide necessary materials and trainings for the client so that the involving divisions in client’s company will get first-hand, professional walkthrough of the product and its highlights. We will ensure the product goes through a smooth Launch phase with the client.