Don’t panic! It’s all good! I know a quote can be daunting but lets break it down. Lets eliminate the Fear, Uncertainty and Doubt that comes with it.
Here we explain:
- User stories
- Craft CMS
- Responsive design
What are user stories and why do u want me to pay for it?
User stories are the bread and butter of your app or website. They are super simple sentences that make the who, what and why of your application crystal clear. And they look like this:
#3: As a returning customer, I want to buy a product with a single click, so that i dont waste time filling in my details.
Without them, we’d been building software in the dark. We would just be making pretty pages, for the sake of pretty pages. We’re not addressing any needs or delivering business value. User stories are there to clarify why a customer is paying for your software. It is the most crucial part of software development. And also the most underrated.
Because they are so in your face, most people skip them, and forget that whats in your face for you might not be for your design, development or documentation team. Thats why we write them down, and prioritize them on business value. So we can communicate them to our teams and remind everyone why they are working and adressing your business value.
We also use them to prioritize and estimate development tasks on them and use them as a means of communication. “Hey Chris, did you finish user story #3? Yep, working on user story #5 now.”
At the end of the user story session you have a big list of user stories, called a backlog, prioritized by business value. We know EXACTLY what and for who we’re building the app or website. You will be able to communicatey crystal clearly what needs to be build in order to deliver business value. We can use those for input to our wireframes, designs and tests.
I short we use user stories and the backlog to:
- Identify who, what feature, and what problem that feature solves.
- Prioritize business values in a clear human readable list.
- Use stories for input for our wireframes, content, documentation, and development estimates.
Seriously if there is only one thing you are gonna pay for please let it be userstories. Here you can read more about How and why to write great userstories
What is an Mimium Viable Product (MVP) and why do I need it?
An MVP is a minimum viable product. A product that solves a business problem for you. A product that you can use to validate your business and your market. Think about it as a site or an app. It should be a super minimal thing just to prove that there is market and bring value immediately.
In the case of a flight booking site. It should just be able to book a flight. You can think of an MVP for such a site as. Find a flight and pay.
That is the absolute minimum. No account creation, no seat selection, no extras etc. This would be the absolute minium. Ofcourse its not enough to compete with the big boys and you will need things like account creation and premium carry on pet features. But thats not necessary to validate your market unless that is your market.
We usually deliver MVP’s in a month or so. Not necessarily because that is how long it takes. But that is how we make it intentionally. We start stripping all the features to its bare minimum so that development of an MVP fits in a month while still fullfilling your business need. This means that you can test your MVP quickly.
What are these wireframes you keep talking about?
Wireframes are the simplest way to convey a site or app without getting caught up in beauty of visual design. They are super simple cheap sketches of how your site should look like and they are the skeleton and input for the visual design. We make sure that the most important busines value is on the first screens and we make sure that all important features are above the fold. In order to make the most important screens, we need the prioritized userstories so we only spend time on the most important features that bring business value.
Making wireframes is cheap compared to actual pixel perfect design. So thats why we make them. Its much cheaper and easier to change the text of a sketch, then of a fully prepped pixel perfect visual design. It also helps designer to focus on content an not on visual design pixel alignment. And content is what brings people on board. Not designs.
We also test our wireframes with actual stakeholders to see if they understand what we’re trying to build and convey and ask for their comments and input.
What do you use CraftCMS as a content management system?
CraftCMS became our defacto CMS after the bloody battle of the CMS’es. The contenders were Wordpress, Joomla, Typo, SiteCore, Kentico, Umbraco, Drupal and many others who didn’t make it. Craft CMS is especially good for highly customizable content and the interface is super friendly. It just works out of the box and has amazing features like multi-language, live editing and is a breeze to use and to build sites in.
We and our copywriters feel empowered using it. On top of that we use the GraphQL plugin to expose the content to our react or mobile apps.
It is also super opnionated which means that it has clear standards and best practices resulting in lower maintenance costs.
To sum it up we chose CraftCMS because:
- It is easier to maintain thus lowering maintainance costs
- It is more secure then Wordpress
- Easier and well documented to develop for lowering development duration thus lowering costs
- It has a strong user interface making creating content easy and fast thus lowering concent creation costs
- It has a super flexible content model allowing to model even the most complicated content heavy sites thus eliminating the need for additional code thus lowering mainteance and shorten development cycles.
We we’re so enthousiastic about it that we even build a dedicated service out of it.
Why do you charge for making things ‘responsive’?
Making designs responsive means making sure that they scale (look good) on other devices. Iphones, Ipads tables. Making things responsive is basically making another version of the page, so it fits on smaller devices. Because of this, we charge a little extra.
Why do work with external designers?
We work with mulitpe designers and everyone has their speciality. Depending on the client (you) we choose the designer to work with. This way I can ensure that we have the best client/design fit possible.
Some designers focus more on clean design, which gives it a formal look. For apps or more formal products. Other more on emotional design that resonates more with an emotional product. Such as service oriented sites, user branding etc.