Although pricier, bespoke software is gaining ground against off-the-shelf software, as enterprise owners are starting to understand that success is dependent on creativity and flexibility. This trend is definitely encouraging, as it increases chances of progress, especially among small start-ups, but one must still keep in mind that the mere selection of a professional software developer may not always guarantee the best results. As you can read on this page, software development is a complex process where all the clogs need to move seamlessly together and in the same direction in order to work. Unpleasant situations can occur even when the developer is good at their job, so here are some tips to communicate effectively, stay organised and avoid disappointment.
Tell your developer exactly what you want – spare no details
Client-developer communication is vital in the software creation process. To get the exact product you need, you should have a detailed discussion with your provider in advance and tell them how you expect your software to work. Answer big picture questions, such as what its purpose is, who will use it, what features do you need, but don’t hesitate to be specific either. The more information you offer, the more the developer will understand your vision and give it shape.
Create a long term development plan
Even the simplest applications can take a long time to develop, so establish a larger time frame. Discuss with your developer the possibility of splitting the process into several steps and give feedback after each one. This way, if you do not like something or want it modified, it’s easier to do. Ideally, you should have weekly or bi-monthly meetings with developer(s) to discuss progress and brainstorm ideas.
Pay attention to UX and UI
When building the perfect software, functionality is the most important, but do not underestimate the impact of user experience and user interface. After all, a solid application can receive bad reviews because it is unintuitive and difficult to interact with. No matter if the end user is one of your clients or a member of the staff, pick a design that everyone can understand easily. This way, you reduce the need to extensive training or frequent customer support.
Invest in user testing
Contrary to common belief, user testing is not something that occurs when the development is over and you’re running out of time to launch the product. Testing is an integral part of the process and should be done methodically and regularly, not just at the end. This way, if there are any bugs, they will be detected and fixed on time. In addition to bug detection, user testing is important because you can get valuable feedback regarding software design, functionality and user experience.
Last, but not least, remember that you can get a quality product only if you work with a professional software development agency, preferably one that has worked on similar projects before and is capable of handling advanced enterprise requirements.