The development of any product, such as mobile or web application, is a multi-step process that needs to be clearly structured. This process should begin with a solid understanding that people need this product and it will definitely benefit them.
At the very start there is an idea that does not have a form yet. The first stages of work on the project are described below.
The customer discusses his/her wishes and general vision of the future product with the business analyst. When the business analyst has taken into account all the wishes of the client, he is sure that they talk about the same thing, the research phase begins.
Stages of mobile/web application development:
- Description of the product idea
- Conducting interviews and preliminary market analysis
- Follow up contact with the client
- Project evaluation and proposal
- Product design
- Development of technical specifications
- Application programming and testing
- Mobile app publishing
- Support of the app release and post-production analysis
Let’s speak about the essential stage of good UI/UX research.
Creating the product for the client and keeping the end user in mind is important but for this stage it is vital. Will the user quickly and easily understand the product? Will he/she get confused or not? Do not leave this part of the work to developers. What is clear and convenient for developers, for ordinary people is really difficult and incomprehensible.
It is a stage when information is collected according to the needs and requirements of future users. If the work at this stage is not carried out at all or is not carried out properly, then the chances are high that the product will be a failure. Companies that do not have a research department can be consulted by other specialized companies that will conduct only one stage, namely, research.
Methods of Researching:
- Interview. This method allows getting the opinion of real people about the product in detail. This is the most reliable and integral method for collecting data. The bigger the sample of people, the more reliable the results will be.
- Сompetitor analysis. The market is filled with new products every day. In such conditions, it is difficult to preserve non-trivial approach and follow trends at the same time. That is why it is necessary to apply the method of analyzing competitors. Thus, it hits two targets at the same time. The customer will not miss the important details that are required by users in a particular business segment now, while the hackneyed or uninteresting elements of a competing product will not be repeated.
- Brainstorm. A team discussion of the obtained results should also take place in the research. The effectiveness of each team member increases during a collective discussion. All collected data is assembled, analyzed and expressed in reports, on the basis of which the first product mock-ups are developed.
- Usability testing. This method is utilized to test the convenience and usability of the app on real people who play the role of testers. The difference in the thinking of the ordinary tester and the simple user helps to determine accurately possible bugs and failures. Findings of such tests are also collected, analyzed and formed into reports. After that, the product must be sent for revision according to user comments.
We want to share the process of conducting research for the mobile application development of the product of our partner – an electronic document signing system – Deals. It allows speeding up and simplifying the signing of any types of documents, to which any employee can sign up remotely. The system also creates reliable storage, access to which is possible 24/7.
The creation of such a multi-functional system requires carefully studied data about the wishes and convenience of future users. This is why obtained data is the basis for a cool, competent and convenient UX design.
The Interview Stage
The beginning of the research process starts with determining the needed focus group and its size. Focus group members should be interested in and
be slightly related to the business segment for which this product is being developed.
Our specialists selected 10 people who are interested in the use of electronic document signing frequently.
The interview stage involves conducting a thirty-minute interview with previously well-considered questions with focus group participants.
Answers to all questions are carefully recorded by a research specialist, and then the data is analyzed and compiled into reports.
The Analysis of Competitors Stage
During the stage of competitors’ analysis, one should remember that research should be carried out not only among direct competitors. Exactly in the applications of indirect competitors may be interesting features and functions. It is also worth looking at both domestic and foreign similar products but it needs to remember about possible differences in perception of people. For example, the legislation of some countries has not yet allowed electronic signing of documents, or the difference in business practices makes the product irrelevant. Collected data on the analysis of competitors is also generated in reports.
The Brainstorming Stage
All prepared reports are subject to a thorough discussion by the whole team. Specialists decide which features and functions to leave in the product, and most importantly, how to arrange it in simply and clearly for future users. Mock-ups are created, based on the results of brainstorming.
The Usability Testing Stage
The final stage in research is usability testing. Finished mock-ups are provided by focus group members who evaluate a future product according to many criteria. Thanks to their assessments and comments, research experts can improve the future product by eliminating the shortcomings.
The fundamental place is occupied by the research process. A good record is only possible due to a thorough and precise approach to research. The product will be used or not is depends on this level, because the main thing in each product is simplicity and clarity in use. No matter what incredible features the developer or customer laid into the product. The user may not even know about it and not reach them if they simply do not understand how to register in it. In the first place should always be user convenience.
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