How Founders Save Time and Money in App Development
Friday, September 9, 2022
If you’re a founder, CEO or manager of any online platform, then you know this sentence all too well “it’ll be simple, just one extra screen!” — I have a truth bomb for you, it never is just ONE extra screen!
So, how do you figure out if the new feature idea you have is actually in fact SIMPLE or DIFFICULT?
Here is our 3 steps to making sure you don’t deep dive into a feature in your platform that you’re just not ready to build out fully.
Step #1: Create a Simple User Flow
This process is where you put yourself in the shoes of a user. Where does the user begin to get to this feature? Are they at the home screen and they click on the “Save” button? Then where do they go from there. Here’s an example of a user flow:
Each bubble represents a step in the flow. The key here is that you’ll want to make sure you have a screen design for every step!!
This process ensures that you don’t get caught up in the design, but you’re looking at the flow as a whole to make sure you’ve accounted for all the functions a user can make.
Here are a couple of free tools you can use to make a user flow:
This is an important step to start to understand the hierarchy of where all your functions will live on the screen.
For example, how many functions are you going to have on the screen? Where will those functions fit?
It also gets you thinking about exactly how many screens you’ll need to account for these functions.
Step #3: Coordinate with Teams to Estimate Time and Effort
Now that you’ve understood how the user interacts with this function and you have a screen count, you can work with a development and/or design team to figure out the time, cost and effort.
This is important because a feature you may have previously thought was low effort may be high effort due to any design or technical complexities. It also may turn it out that there’s more screens involved and interactions that you originally thought! By going through this process, you can fully map out a feature before spending time and money in design and development.
If you DO decide to move forward with this feature, make sure you add it to your product roadmap so that it doesn’t get in the way of any other features that your team is currently working on.