Every business has difficult and unique challenges that they face every single day. At Phase 2, when we decided to move out of the website business and focus on custom software development, our goal was to help companies address these difficult needs using technology. We’re essentially creating something out of nothing, which is a big, abstract idea that is hard to wrap your mind around.
For some, software development can be hard to understand, and many people think of it as developers sitting in a dark room behind a computer screen writing code that somehow becomes the software our businesses can’t run without. But software development is much more than that and we wanted to create an experience for our clients that is so much more than what is described above.
Our process begins with discovery. What is your company’s biggest challenge? What do you want to be able to do that you can’t today? The information we have to find out during this discovery process is what doesn’t exist now that will take you to the next level? We create that for our clients. This takes a lot of creative thinking because as humans, we tend to focus on what is concrete and what already exists. Our discovery process revolves around possibilities. What could exist that no one has thought of quite yet?
Custom software development is exciting for us because there are very few businesses that have the ability to actually create functioning tools that people can use every day that make their lives and businesses better. And it all starts with identifying something that doesn’t even exist yet.
The process doesn’t end there. Once we determine the need, we have to figure out what steps to take to get to the end product. This allows us to build a close relationship with our clients and study the end user so that upon completion, the software not only functions and fulfills the need, but interfaces with the end user in a way that is not complicated or confusing. It is this step that sets us apart from other software development companies, because this process allows us to fully understand the user and build the software around their specific needs, and sometimes even help them to determine what those needs are.
An example of designing for the end user can be something as simple as the placement of a button on a screen. For instance, when you check out at a store’s kiosk and swipe your credit card, the kiosk typically asks you a series of questions. Have you ever pressed the “No” button for getting cash back and accidentally pressed the “No” button for the following question which might approve the amount of your purchase? This is an error in design for the end user.
Our solution to this problem would be to make sure the placement of the answers does not conflict.
The video below is a great example of why we seek to make software easy to use and designed around the user.