Choosing the Right Software Partner, Part 2: Evaluating for Great People

Engaging with a service firm isn’t like buying a product. It’s about hiring a set of people to do work on your behalf. Yes, the company as a whole matters, but you also need to be confident that the people there have the right set of skills for your project. Read more on Choosing the Right Software Partner, Part 2: Evaluating for Great People…

With Jetpack, Android Development Has Leapfrogged iOS

Over the past six years, I’ve done a lot of iOS development (and written a lot about iOS). I would say it’s been the primary focus of my career. But as a software consultant, I need to be flexible, and I’ve done my fair share of Android development as well.

I’m currently working on a new Android project where I got to use the latest Android Jetpack Components, and I am really impressed. Read more on With Jetpack, Android Development Has Leapfrogged iOS…

Choosing the Right Software Development Partner (with or without an RFP), Part 1: Evaluating Longevity

Finding the right custom software development firm for your project is a tough job. Even a thorough RFP process won’t save you if you’re not looking for the right things.

Software projects are notorious for being late, over budget, and frustrating. Why? Making useful, valuable software products takes a lot more than technical know-how. Read more on Choosing the Right Software Development Partner (with or without an RFP), Part 1: Evaluating Longevity…

How to Set a Budget for Your Custom Software Project

Software is never done—there are always more features and functions you could add. So how much should you budget for a custom software project?

Some companies keep throwing money at the project without any budget at all. But they can miss out on early client feedback and end up wasting money on the wrong things. Read more on How to Set a Budget for Your Custom Software Project…

Using “Last Thursdays” to Discuss Exceptions with Users

Most people call them “exceptions.” We call them “Last Thursdays.” I’ve mentioned this term in a couple of my previous blog posts, and I think it’s important to touch on it one more time, to better explain what it means, and to discuss how changing the name has helped us communicate more effectively with our clients. Read more on Using “Last Thursdays” to Discuss Exceptions with Users…

Is Your New Feature Worth It?

When you’ve created a successful application, it is tempting to relentlessly add new functionality. You think that if you stop building, you’ll fall behind. New features bring in new business. They show your existing users that you are still active and adding value.

However, it’s important to step back and consider how new features will affect your existing system. New features mean new complexity, both technically and for your business. So, how do you know if your new feature is worth it? Here are two questions to consider. Read more on Is Your New Feature Worth It?…

Design Thinking Toolkit, Activity 16 – How Might We…?

Hoping to turn problems into opportunities for design? Look no further than How Might We (HMW). This is a classic Design Thinking activity—and simple, to boot. Begin with a problem area that is challenging for a person/organization/system/environment/etc., and add HMW, reformatting the problem to suggest that a solution is possible. Read more on Design Thinking Toolkit, Activity 16 – How Might We…?…

Wireframing for Non-Designers – A Crash Course

Wireframes are not just for designers! As a software maker, you can and should be using them to eliminate risk and validate concepts.

These tools benefit the entire team, and they can be created by any member of the team. This crash course will teach you why wireframes are important, when you should utilize them, and how to best present them to your stakeholders. Read more on Wireframing for Non-Designers – A Crash Course…

Writing Context Scenarios? Start at the End

If you’ve watched as many YouTube videos as I have, you’ve inevitably seen some ads for Master Classes. These are online classes taught by some of the most renowned names in their respective industries—Ron Howard on directing, Gordon Ramsey on cooking, Steph Curry on dribbling and shooting, etc.

In the ad for Malcom Gladwell’s class about writing, he offers this bit of advice: Don’t start your story at the beginning. Start it at the end, because when you have the end figured out, you know what you have to do in order to get there.

This same idea can be used for writing context scenarios: With the end goal in mind, work backward, step-by-step. Read more on Writing Context Scenarios? Start at the End…