Although grateful to earn a living by building web products for our lovely clients (and will continue to do so into the future), Grafton Studio recently made the leap into developing an idea of our own for the first time.
In addition to fulfilling personal goals, we are now able to empathize first-hand with the client position in the process of web product development, outside of simply being a ‘service provider.’
We officially started development this week and can report that there have been plenty of lessons learned to date. Communicating the initial idea was a straightforward task as we have been fleshing out the concept for some time. For version one of the wireframes we were able to sketch out 80% of the screens during a whiteboard session, and our design lead Daniel solved for the other 20% when he had time to properly think through some solutions and talk to a few potential users.
The real challenge emerged in the feedback and iteration phase. Triple checking each user flow for any potential issues seemed like an endless task. However, understanding just how critical it is to get every issue identified and solved before handing over to development, pushed us to create a comprehensive and actionable list in a tight timeframe - and under more pressure than we perhaps had empathy for before.
But, in addition to underestimating the time and mental effort that goes into reviewing and providing concise feedback, we also underestimated how enjoyable the process can be! Seeing an idea we pieced together with sharpies on a whiteboard transform into a polished prototype has been incredibly rewarding.
As we head into the development phase, you can expect to hear a lot more about the product, what we have learned throughout the process, and possibly be asked to test it out!