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Best practices and legendary insights on product design & development, innovation, apps, IoT, VR, software, and more.

March 23, 2017

3 Mistakes Your Product Development Team Might Be Making

Years ago, while working on the second version of Weathermob — a social weather app — we made a mistake. The app had traction, but it also had flaws that we were correcting to help it reach the next level of growth. Rather than solicit user feedback on our new developments, we built and released the new iteration based on our assumptions about the product’s existing user base. While the relaunch was a success, it did upset a small-but-vocal cohort of users. Small things like font size and interface changes, which we thought were improvements, frustrated a key user base: seniors who enjoyed talking about the weather. We’d failed to do our homework, and we had to make last-minute changes to address the situation. Worse, we’d missed a big opportunity to show our users that we understood their needs.

March 21, 2017

Get the Most Out of Git: 7 Best Practices for Budding Developers

If you work with software, like most developers, you probably use Git and know the basics of it. (If not, check out our “How to use git? A beginner’s guide” blog post.) But are you getting the most out of it? Although every team’s workflow is unique, some best practices stay constant. Let’s take a look at a few of my favorites:

March 14, 2017

10 Tips to Designing & Developing an App That Keeps Users Coming Back

Nobody wants to build a forgettable app. But with more than 2.2 million apps currently on Apple’s App Store, standing out in consumers’ minds is easier said than done. When developers and designers get it right, apps are big money. This past December, the App Store posted $3 billion in purchases. In fact, New Year’s Day 2017 marked the App Store’s busiest day ever, in no small part thanks to Nintendo’s newly released Super Mario Run. The throwback app made history with a whopping 40 million downloads in just the four days following its release. How can developers follow in its footsteps? The following 10 best practices are key:

March 06, 2017

Does Your Creative Brief Contain These 10 Elements?

Imagine trying to build a product that you know nothing about. Who is the user? What features do those users need? What’s the budget and deadline? What should the interface and color scheme look like? A product’s creative brief — also known as the “product overview” or “project brief” — provides developers and designers with answers to those essential questions. Without it, they’re forced to hunt for basic project information, opening the door to costly errors and missed timelines. 

With a creative brief in hand, however, product developers and designers can confidently and quickly jump in. On a recent healthcare product, for instance, a client brought us a very comprehensive creative product brief — complete with product flows, a timeline, and a description of success. The brief allowed us to quickly understand client needs, fashion a product roadmap, and hit the ground running.

February 23, 2017

5 Common App Design and Development Mistakes to Avoid

Finally finishing development of your first mobile app is an exhilarating feeling. And it’s one that quickly fades when that app is rejected from Apple’s App Store. Thousands of iOS developers endure this emotional roller coaster every week. But acceptance isn’t the end of the road. A whopping 59 percent of apps generate so little revenue that they don’t even recoup development costs. Beyond painful rejections and inadequate monetization, poor development practices can also hurt users and cause PR nightmares. Just ask the developers of EnergyRescue. In January, the battery- saving app was booted from Google’s Play Store after a security vendor discovered it had been embedded with ransomware because of a development oversight.