Miniseries Part II: The Kickoff
Posted by: Jesse Mauro
"If you look at history, innovation doesn't come just from giving people incentives; it comes from creating environments where their ideas can connect." - Steven Johnson
Episode II focuses on conceivably the most crucial aspect of app development: The Inception. The Kickoff is what we call the first meeting with a new client. The meeting typically lasts anywhere from 1-2 hours and consists of you, the client, and the assigned members of Devshop who will be crafting your shiny new application. We like to start the meeting by having you provide all members of the team with your "elevator" pitch. That way everyone in the room understands the goal of this project and the "problem" we're going to be solving.
In The Kickoff meeting you'll get your first introduction to the members of Devshop who will be assigned to your app. We commonly refer to these members as your "team". Your team will consist of the following roles:
Coming out of The Kickoff meeting, we like to have a clear vision of what the app looks like. Your UI/UX designer will lead the discussion on constructing the app's sitemap and user flow. We like to sketch the page views of an app right in front of you so that everyone has a beneficial understanding of the app's foundation. Don't worry, this doesn't mean anything is sketched in stone (it's usually an erasable white board to tell you the truth), it's simply used as a roadmap to understand visuals and database architecture. Site mapping helps the developers understand the complexity of the features at hand as well as provide you with confirmation of your scope tailored around your visual requests. When the site map has been completed a screen shot is taken to be uploaded to our project management software for later reference.
What's our expectations of you other than your vision? Nothing that's expected. If you have a current brand we'll ask you for a style guide and/or logo to work with when creating high fidelity mock ups. If you don't have either, we'll work with you to create a logo and branding. If you enter the project with an idea of a particular look in mind for your app (whether web, mobile or both) we always welcome examples of favorable sites for design inspiration when custom designing yours. What you can expect to walk out of The Kickoff with is a solid roadmap of what's getting done and when. Don't worry, we won't let you leave until all questions have been answered on both sides.
The Kickoff meeting is an essential step in the development of your application. It's the blueprint for building the house. We know problems and changes arise throughout the development of the app process but the plan we lay out can help avoid some of the foreseeable road blocks. Now that we have the blueprint, it's time to design the house. Up next, Episode III: The Design Process.