Experience that yields results
Over the years we’ve honed and crafted a repeatable and flexible process that focuses on quick, iterative releases into test environments. A singular, holistic strategic foundation leads design and product definition. App level services are built ahead of UI development, all feeding back into design and constant stakeholder visibility. Robust QA ensures the right thing was built the right way then establishes user story functional test automation so that future changes can’t somehow accidentally break what has been approved and previously developed.
WHAT WE BELIEVE
1. Partnerships work
2. Be flexible in process and execution
3. User is a source of truth
4. Test early
5. Release often
6. Be agile-hybrid
Step 2: Design
When our UX team has a thorough understanding of the task at hand, we’ll begin creating detailed information architecture diagrams which outlines how users will interact with your application. These details serve as the roadmap for wireframing, high level interactions, page elements, and hierarchy. Then, wireframes set the foundation to test via clickable prototype. We’ll finalize the aesthetic with pixel-perfect comps.
Step 3: Sprint Planning
As soon as the design team has completed enough of the wireframes and user interaction models, we’ll get started with development. By moving quickly, we discover and fix problems early and have the development and design teams working collaboratively. Every two weeks, we hold sprint planning meetings to assign tasks to specific engineers. The goal is to have a collection of completed features at the end of each sprint.
Step 4: Development
With clear tasks assigned, we begin to build your app. Each morning, we hold a stand-up meeting to report what has been accomplished, what we intend to accomplish by the next meeting, and anything that stands in our way. This process keeps the entire team in the loop and any potential impediments on our radar.
Step 5: Final UAT + Launch
Before we ship your app, we run it through a final User Acceptance Testing process. We perform end-to-end testing with real or simulated users in order to ensure the complete system achieves your business goals. Once our Quality Assurance team gives us the green light, your app is ready for launch!
Partnerships work better
A collaborative, transparent relationship is key to successful product launch.
Discovery & foundation
US Appers strives to become subject matter experts in your business. By creating case scenarios and defining your users, we establish the requirements essential in moving forward. This process enables us to finalize a feature list and ultimately kickoff the project with project management, the design team, and the development team working collaboratively.
Weekly sprints & bi-weekly reviews
1. Stakeholder & user interviews
We interview and gather requirements from subject matter experts, end users, and key business stakeholders to ensure we’re designing an optimal solution to meet their needs.
2. Information architecture
Outline the overall architecture of the app, ensuring that we encompass both short term and long term plans and product goals. This is achieved by analyzing user flows as well as structural and navigational features.
Move quickly and test often with lightweight prototypes that highlight key interactions. This is an iterative process based on feedback, testing, and edits, typically with bi-weekly reviews of deliverables with the stakeholder and development teams.
4. Prototypes & user testing
Outside of the core stakeholders and product team, the best way to get valuable feedback is to put the product in the hands of real users as features are completed.
5. Visual design
Perfect the layouts created in wireframes and create a flexible and unique design system that works across multiple devices. Add moments of delight to expected behaviors with animations, transitions and fun interactions.
6. User stories & acceptance criteria
Ensure that all epics and user stories are documented with acceptance criteria outlining all expected behaviors. This ensures that everything is built to proper specs as intended by the product team.
Our agile-hybrid development begins as soon as we have enough of a backlog of user stories and approved designs. We find it works best to have design completed ahead of front-end development. Part waterfall, part agile = agile-hybrid.
1. Story grooming
Each sprint iteration begins with a grooming session, where stories are analyzed, improved if necessary, and divided up into tasks.
2. Pull requests & builds
As tasks are completed, pull requests are issued and reviewed by other members of the team. Pull requests are merged with the build as they are approved.
3. Design scrubs
Prior to the end-of-sprint demos, the design team reviews the latest build for completeness, satisfying design intent and expected behaviors.
4. End of sprint demos
At the close of the sprint the development team demos their completed work to the client and the project team. All project stakeholders are invited to take part in the demo.
5. Build releases
All sprints culminate with a build. You have instant access to the work that was completed. In the case of mobile applications, we use tools like HockeyApp and TestFlight to provide the application to all interested project stakeholders.
With sign off on all sides we’re ready to push to production and/or submit to respective app stores.
Test early and test often
1. Test cases
QA begins writing functional test cases in Zephyr based on the prioritized functionality discussed in sprint planning, linked to relevant JIRA stories.
2. Regression testing
This suite of tests will scale as the deployed functionality throughout the life of the project scales. This serves as the basis of the project’s automated tests that run the deployments in every sprint.
Prior to the end of sprint demos, the design team reviews the latest build for completeness, satisfying design, and expected behaviors.
4. Test on real devices
Execute all testing on real devices and operating systems relevant to the product so we see what your users see.
Transparent oversight is key
Your success is our success. We do everything we can to meet milestones and ensure deliverables either satisfy or exceed your expectations. Effective Project Management is one of the most critical aspects to project success as it ensures the following communication and milestones are met:
1. Project & sprint plan
We create a comprehensive project sprint plan for both design and development phases of the project. We establish clear milestones, deliverables, and relevant stakeholders for each deliverable. This ensures that the project team knows what we plan to work on, in what order, and when we plan to review each milestone.
2. Weekly project reports
Stakeholders will receive weekly project reports that recap what the team worked on, their hours, the budget for each team member, and any risks/impediments we’ve faced.
3. Daily scrum
The team is in constant communication throughout the day. Project stakeholders are invited to participate as we cover: what was completed the previous day, what is being worked on today, and if anything is in our way.