In the Yuspm Group web Studio, we adhere to the position that it is necessary to design future applications together with a client. With this approach, we have implemented dozens of projects that are now working successfully. In this article, we shared our experience of joint design.

Usually, a client contacts an IT company with an idea. He or she has many plans and ideas about what the product should be, but the customer does not always understand the technical side of the issue well. Our task is to go together with the client from the idea to a clear plan of action.

Conducting an interview 

The first thing we do is ask the client key questions. The answers will help us understand how to go ahead.

The questions:

  1. Who is the target audience of the product? Here we find out the potential client's profile: gender and age, location, income level, and so on.
  2. What problem does the product solve? And does the future app cover users ' needs?
  3. How will monetization work? Let's find out how the client sees earnings on the product if monetization is supposed to be a project at all. For example, for a social project, profitability may not be taken into account.
  4. What effect is expected from the product? Finding out what the client wants to get from the app. This can be earnings, simplification of business processes, growth or PR of the company, practical benefits, and so on.
  5. Has the client studied the market? It is important to understand what decisions our competitors made, what we can take into account, and what we can do differently. If the customer did not conduct monitoring, we take this task on ourselves.
  6. Who will promote the product? We will find out if the client has their own marketing capabilities or needs recommendations from us. 

Discussing roles in the system

It is important for us to understand who will use the product and what roles users will have. For example, there are two roles in the system for recording passengers in transport and recording drivers ' working hours:

  • the Driver role;
  • the Passenger role.

Depending on the role a user story will change. That is the interface and functionality of the software.

So, before starting the app, the driver needs to enter their identification number, medical parameters (pulse, blood pressure, presence of alcohol in the blood) and just before entering the route line, click the "start" button. Accordingly, the passenger will have a different user history.

We discuss with the client how many roles are needed and how they will interact in the system. We also determine which apps are needed (web and mobile apps, admin panel, and so on).

Creating a set of artifacts

We create an individual set of artifacts for each project.

  • The MindMap is a mental map of features. Here we indicate which applications will be required within the project, specify the roles (administrator, moderator, and so on), and how the roles interact with the future application.
  • User stories. We reveal how each role interacts with the system.
  • The BPM diagram clearly shows how roles interact with the system and each other. This artifact helps to avoid holes in business processes. When we see a schematic interaction in front of us, it immediately becomes obvious which important processes in the application were not involved.
  • Concept design. We definitely recommend that our clients make this artifact. It consists of 2-3 versions of the screen of the future product.

Each artifact is approved by the customer. At this stage of work, we communicate closely with the client: every day we discuss the prepared parts of the business process together to achieve the best result.

Before the work starts

After all the procedures above are done, we get a set of works for the analysis and design stage. Before starting the next stage, we once again look at the features together with the client and, if necessary, reduce them for a minimum working product. This is the MVP of the future project.

P. S.: it is very convenient to highlight MVP using colors on MindMap. This way you and the client see a complete picture of the features and what is the minimum working product.

Thus, in the discovery phase, we design the future application together with the client.