The Sophisticates Process
Your business depends on the applications we build together. Our process evolved to clear away risk of failure and ensure successful projects.
Every project starts with a casual first meeting: We’ll chat with you over a cup of coffee to get to know each other and learn more about your plans. We want to figure out how we can support you to achieve your objectives.
We’re happy if the chemistry is right and you want to proceed with Sophisticates. However before we can throw ourselves into building your product and write a bunch of code, we have some prep work to do.
This is our tried and tested, 3-step process to make sure everything’s there to make your web app a success:
Step 1 of 3: Defining the Minimum Viable Product
Web applications we built before coordinate campaigns at call centers, help farmers manage their fertilization using satellite data, or simply organize a company’s knowledge base to support their customers.
The software you need is going to be an important part of your business. What your application is going to be depends on what your business needs – that’s where we start.
To kick off the project, we’ll meet with you for a two-day workshop and pinpoint your “minimum viable product”. Together we’re figuring out the smallest possible set of processes the application needs to support to hit your main goal.
We might discover that you really need that sign-up box to get in touch with people, but offering support via live-chat can wait.
Now we know your MVP. That’s crucial to actually focus on the important parts of your application, so we don’t fritter away time building things that might be beneficial in the future, but aren’t really helpful right now.
Knowing the MVP, we can give you a first version of the roadmap for your application’s development – and you can plan your budget and time frame to decide what’s the next step.
Step 2 of 3: Sketching the User Experience
After finding answers to why you need a web app and what it needs to do, it’s all about how it’s going to work.
Thus we meet for prototype workshops: Using printed parts and drawn elements on paper, we align your expectations with our designers’ ideas and our developers’ experience.
Paper, crayons and scissors – at first it sounds trivial. But it’s the first de facto contact with the product we all have: Using simple tools we explore different options and discover hidden issues. In this stage we’re able to make fundamental changes to the inner workings of your future web app without breaking the bank.
The resulting paper-based application is something you can manually page through, and show it off to colleagues, friends and investors. Though the main reason for its existence remains the same, of course: It leads all of us through the further iterations until the launch day of your app.
Most people make the mistake of thinking design is what it looks like. That's not what we think design is. It's not just what it looks like and feels like. Design is how it works.Steve Jobs
Step 3 of 3: Designing the Interface Concept
To make sure your product is a success, we want it to work great and please the eye as well: Both helps future users reach their target.
Depending on your use case and already available resources, like your corporate design, our designers create the guidelines for your app’s interface.
Applied to a digital version of the previous steps’ paper prototypes, we deliver a cleaned up digital demo you can actually click through and already experience the final product.
Now that we know why we need to build what, how it’s going to work, look and feel like, we’re ready to go. Let’s get down to crafting the real thing!
We develop applications during so-called sprints. Each sprint lasts two weeks and starts with a planning meeting. During this meeting, developers and project management sit down with you and discuss what we’ll get done during the sprint.
As requirements come up, we’ll break them down into well-defined features. We estimate the effort needed to implement them and prioritize with you to make sure we always work on the most important parts of your app.
This process allows for the flexibility needed to change direction once priorities undergo changes – which frankly happens all the time while software projects are being developed.
Each two-week sprint concludes in a review meeting, where everybody sits down again to discuss the advances that were made.
Following the Sophisticates Process means you get a working application as a result of each and every two-week sprint. It includes all previously planned features and is ready to ship.
You can decide whether you want to pick new features and continue with the next sprint, or call it a day and launch your finalized web app!