TOUCHINSPIRATION

Getting started with your software application

Kamz

So you have a great idea! Something revolutionary for you, for your business, for the world!!! You know you need an “app” but unfortunately you don’t know where to start. So like most; you start with social sourcing. You ask your friends and acquaintances and they either know a guy or advise you to head to the closet tech hub to find a tech guy.

Either way, you find your guy; explain your idea and they promise to deliver on it in x number of months. Happy and confident, you pay your 50% deposit on his estimate, sign a loose agreement and part ways eagerly waiting the delivery of your fantastic product. As time rolls by, whether due to the continuous “next week” promises, or the break down in communication, or worst case scenario, no communication at all, it slowly dawns on you that your product will not be delivered on and that your 50% down payment shall be chalked off as a bad investment. After a while, communication between you and the tech guy completely dithers off and you move on to the next idea/project slightly scarred by this experience. You may even promise to never use a local developer ever again.

In this article, I’ll discuss web application development thereby arming you with enough information to successfully get your software built from start to finish, with minimal hitches.

1.Websites vs. Web applications:

The most common question we receive at TouchInspiration is: “Do you do websites?” The answer to that is a resounding “NO!”. Coming to TouchInspiration for a website is a bit like going out of your way to visit your local mechanic to put air in your tires. You can do it…but…you’d rather use your mechanic for more involving tasks.

So what’s the difference?

To put it simply, a website is content-based with minimal interaction by the user, while a web application is interaction-based.

Think of your favorite blog site or your favorite newspaper site. Your interaction with these sites is to simply click on to the next story. The main thing that differentiates a website from a web application is the collection and subsequent use of data collected.

A web application shall collect data and use that data in different ways to satisfy different requirements. This data can have one point of entry/exit or it can have many points of entry/exit.

Let’s touch on a few common examples of web applications and look at how they work:

A shopping cart (eg: amazon, jumia)

Shopping Cart

In the case of a shopping cart, the data collected (Order, payment and address) is used to make delivery of the items ordered happen.

Online Banking

Online Banking

In the case of online banking, the data collected (transactions on an account) is used to inform the client on their account.

The data collection avenues are pretty much endless and comprise of both in-application and off-application input.

Another cool aspect of web applications is data visualization and data sorting. Forget digging through your stacks of papers and dusty files while crunching numbers on your TI-89 (for the cool kids) to understand what’s happening. Simply choose your search parameters and BAM!! You have your data in front of you to consume. This data allows you to drill down and make informative decisions.

Example shopping cart data dashboard

Data Visualization

Do you see how web applications can work for you from day to day? Contact us for more information

2. Mobile apps

Oh the mobile app question!! Every time we say we do web applications, 9 out of 10 times the next question is “Do you do mobile apps?” The answer to that is…”We do apps. Since they say a picture is worth 1000 words, let’s try put my first 1000 words in the picture below.

It's all about presentation

IT’S ALL IN THE PRESENTATION!!!

3. Building Software is personal

7 out of 10 (and we’re being terribly lenient here) of the conversations we have at TouchInspiration go like this:

Client: I’d like an application built

TI: OK, What would you like it to do?

Client: I would like it to help me manage my filing/streamline my processes/ help people understand our business better.

TI: Sounds good. When can we schedule a sit-down to discuss your business in depth and tailor-make your software to reach your goals?

Client: I’m a insert profession here, make me a(n) inserted profession app.

TI: OK, This sounds good, but we need to know exactly what you want out of the application so that you’re satisfied with the results.

At this point we get one of two responses, either the client comes in but doesn’t see the need to be there, or they don’t come in at all. Either way, we’re pretty sure that at this point, the client has already thought of us as incompetent imbeciles and is ready to move on to someone who doesn’t need as much details as we do.

The truth of the matter is that getting your software application built is very personal.

We shall dig into your mind in order to understand what you want while; asking you tough questions in order to deliver what you need. It’s an uncomfortable process and, trust us, we feel very stupid while doing it (none of us have psychology degrees), but it must be done.

We cannot assume to be mind readers and do not dare to deliver anything but what you envisioned. Think of it as our personal Hippocratic oath.

4. Building software is time-consuming

While the full-time job of building your software is ours, for the next 45 or so days, you will spend significant time with us walking through the process and maintaining direction. While we try and cover everything required to build your idea during the planning phase, there will be questions and clarifications that come up during the building process. Just like you have to sit with your architect to build your house, you’ll be required to sit with us to build your application. There will also be commitments you’ll be required to make as far as getting things up and running, such as server details, 3rd party app details, etc.

5. RESPECT YOUR APP!

When most people think about building an application, they think about “finding a guy”. The common myths they have are:

  1. I think I’m too small to use an established software company.
  2. I think my idea is too small to engage a software company.
  3. A software company will cost an arm-and-a-leg to get an application built.

Let’s dispel that myth!!!

There’s no idea too small to bring to the web. The web is comprised “small” ideas from people who had the guts to give that idea the respect it warranted. Don’t be afraid to sit down with a professional and discuss how to bring your idea to life.

Whether it’s to make your life easier, your business run smoother, to build the next great thing: You have that idea for a reason.

Please feel free to contact us for more information, questions, clarifications, etc