Since the last week, we have talked about the development of the new features in your hotel application. As this topic is pretty extensive, we had to divide all important information into separate blog posts to not overwhelm you with everything at once.
Just to summarize what was told last week, if you have any new great idea about new functions in your application, don’t go mindlessly to get it. First of all, find out if there is a real need for this feature (if it is nice-to-have or must-have) and if the additional value you bring is worth the money. Otherwise, you will blow your budget and it will be worthless.
Today, we can start with sketching or prototyping your new features. So let’s hop in!
Why should you be sketching or prototyping?
Sketches, wireframes or prototypes are simplified visualizations of functionality you are trying to achieve. It provides a picture of what will user see when interacting with your application. The cool thing is that it could be as easy as hand-drawned.
Sketching/prototyping/wireframing/name-it-as-you-want has its benefits for all stakeholders – yourself, your management, your developers and your guests. You know, it doesn’t mean that if you can imagine something, other people do, too. If you are that naive, you will probably get new product that will not match your vision. Let’s break down how can sketching help to individual stakeholders.
Sketches will help you complete your idea and think about additional areas you haven’t think of in the process of idea creation. As your features become more and more visual, you will start to get the full picture about how complex the features are, how they will approximatelly look like and if they can be produced in some meaningful manner.
You probably need some support from your management, especially if the features you are developing are out of scope of the budget you have. In this case, wireframes or sketches might come in handy in order to get the management on your side. First of all, you have the specification for your graphic designer to create some mockups so your ideas have proper visual representation. Another benefit is that you don’t have to explain features that much because proper visual representation is self-explaining.
Now you understand what you are going to do and you have the full support from your management, too. However, the most important (and costly) part is development itself. If you have wireframes or skatches that are end-to-end, it is great for serveral reasons:
- Your development team knows your expectations and thus, they can meet them with the need of fewer additional changes that costs money.
- Your development team has easier job to evaluate the cost of your solution so there is less degree of uncertainty regarding the price.
- Your team can create some kind of advance preparation for additional features that might appear in the near future.
In one sentence, wireframes will help you get on the same page with your development team. Don’t miss this opportunity!
The most important ones. You will probably get in touch with your guests in order to find out if the solution you thought up is easy to use. You should let your guests interact with your wireframes (even thought they are only pictures) and watch their reactions. Are they confused? Do they understand what will be done pressing this or that? Is there anything missing?
Getting in touch with your guests will help you confirm that what you created is worth developing. You can also get some great ideas about how some parts could work in the different way. These insights might be of value for you and your future users.
You should never trust your gut (unless you are Steve Jobs) when developing new features for your hotel application. By taking more rigorous approach, you will be able to get more people on board and make them understand your vision. Last but not least, your will be also able to confirm your ideas among guests to find out if they make sense.
If you need to discuss how you should approach the development of new app features, we are here to help. Feel free to book a spot in my calendar and we can discuss your precedures and how we can help, too. I am looking forward to hearing from you.