Have you ever wondered how a digital product goes from an itch in the back of someone’s head to a widely adopted app or site that people use on a daily basis? Instagram, Salesforce, and Slack all started somewhere – with an idea and a team who believed in it. Ideas are one thing; making those a reality are entirely different. There’s a mountain of tasks in between you and a product launch, and it’s daunting to know where to begin. It’s a big step, and you want to make sure you do it right. Don’t worry, though, we’ve got you covered.
Here at TangoCode we’ve been perfecting our process over the last seven years. With each design and each launch, we’ve meticulously refined our approach to maximize the viability of your ideas. We break the process down into bite-sized bits, ensuring that we validate each new feature along the way, so that by the time your product goes into production, all that’s left to do is make the small, perfecting iterations.
Sounds great, right? But what about the actual process? Let me break it down for you.
The first step is what we call Inception - a proprietary workshop where our team meets with the client, discusses their vision, and formulates an actionable roadmap for their product. This multi-day collaborative session helps to both validate their idea and foster radical thinking that drives innovative ideas. And if the client is unsure about their vision, we help them to understand user needs and use that information to nail down what they want to build. In three short days, clients go from an abstract idea to a well-defined implementation plan.
In order to validate the vision, we take into consideration the competitive landscape, key demographics, and the overall viability of the product - asking questions like who is this product for and how can we set ourselves apart from existing products that are also trying to serve this need. This is an integral step that helps us make a data-backed gameplan and refine the scope of the endeavor.
Minimum Viable Product
An integral component of the product roadmap that we develop during Inception is the project’s Minimum Viable Product, or MVP. Rome wasn’t built in a day, and the same goes for your product. There is a standard life cycle for software, and the first real stepping stone for each is the MVP. You need to get people using the software as quick as possible so that their usage and feedback can continue to validate and inform the overall direction.
It is at this point that we ask ourselves - what is the driving force behind this idea? What is the most important thing that should do? The MVP is the backbone of your product, the main character that needs to be introduced before we meet the supporting cast of features and functionalities. Having an MVP helps us streamline the process because it shows us where we need to focus; it shows us where that initial push needs to happen, so that we have a solid foundation to build upon.
Once the viability of the product has been confirmed and the MVP defined, we might recommend a Design Sprint prior to starting development, depending on MVP success metrics. This is another mult-day workshop during which a design team of ours will work with you in sketching sessions, sharing UI inspiration and creating low-fidelity mockups of the desired features. You’ll be able to choose the must-have ideas that come out of the sketching session, and our team of designers will create a medium/high fidelity prototype according to these requirements.
The prototype as well as the content from the sketching session are the deliverables for the Design Sprint. If any User Testing is completed during this time, we will also hand off a full report with all the statistics and findings. With these assets you can bring your idea to life, and use them to strengthen pitches to your team, potential clients or investors.
After the Design Sprint, you can choose if you’d like to move forward with us into the Development phase. If so, we launch into our Foundation Sprint (1-2 weeks), during which we will prepare high-fidelity designs and everything the team will need to succeed in development. During development, we use the same format of two week sprints, but the team assigned to your project will grow. Breaking work into two-week bits with defined goals is referred to as Agile/Scrum methodology, and is the most effective workflow used in tech companies today.
During a Development Sprint, the team consists of developers, a designer, a QA analyst, and a solution owner. The solution owner will be your main point of contact. They will help plan the sprint and ensure all goals are met by dividing desired features into ‘stories’, which are then assigned to a developer to code. The designer will design the screens needed to complete these stories, and the QA will ensure that the execution performs properly as expected.
The dynamic of this team is one that moves quickly and efficiently (hence the term ‘agile’). We prepare all the stories and designs before the sprint begins, and refine them with you and the entire scrum team, so that we have time to adjust and answer any potential questions.
The result? Once the sprint begins, we hit the ground running. At the end of the sprint, we present to you all the new features, as well as a detailed KPI report of everything we’ve accomplished. During these two weeks, we also work with you to make preparations for the following sprint, so that there is no lurch in the velocity of our work.
We’ll continue to work with you for as many sprints as it takes for your product to match your vision. And after the initial offering is complete, we offer continuous support, training, as well as any additional development you may need in the future. We don’t consider ourselves a development shop so much as long-term technology partners.
From ideation to market, we have the team and the experience to ensure that your investment is in good hands. Now that you know a little bit more about how we do things here at Tangocode, we look forward to hearing from you soon!