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Using Research to Set the Foundation for Development Success

What makes the difference between a failed development project and a successful one? 

There’s a huge range of factors at play; the vision, the technology, the developer, some might even say the budget. But one thing that’s always vital for success is thorough, in-depth research.

To build an effective software solution an agency must genuinely understand the challenges your business is facing. Sure, you might meet with an agency for a meeting or two before embarking on the project, but a couple of face-to-face discussions won’t provide the depth of understanding required.

Here are a few ways you can work with an agency to make sure they have all the information they need to build the perfect software for you.

An Initial Meeting

It goes without saying, but the initial meeting is a crucial part of the preliminary process. Not only is the meeting your opportunity to get to know the agency, it’s also their chance to learn more about you, your business, your customers, and the problems your project should resolve.

It may be just the first step toward complete understanding, but it’s one of the most important.

User Observation

The behaviour of your users provides a crucial insight into the existing software. During this close analysis the developers will learn about your users’ goals and the problems they face. Equipped with this information they’ll be able to identify areas of improvement, where processes can be shortened, and how gains can be made.

User Interviews

To make sure that nothing is left to interpretation, we recommend all agencies host interviews with users. It’s another fantastic way to find out more about their usage of the software, as well as the problems they face on a daily basis. The findings from the interview can be used in conjunction with the user observation to establish a fuller understanding of the problems the new software must solve.

Market Analysis

If your software is to perform similar tasks to existing applications, or its functionality builds upon that of an out-of-the-box solution, the agency may conduct a thorough analysis of your competitors. By gaining knowledge on what is already available, the developers will understand how your project is different and how your bespoke software will stand out.

Researching for the Skills Builder Rebuild

Research is central to all of our projects, and it was no different when we worked with Skills Builder. Before commencing with the development we visited a number of schools, conducted interviews, and watched the Skills Builder resources being delivered in the classroom.

In doing so we were able to see how the Skills Builder website was used, analyse the habits and behaviours of its users, and understand the frustrations and limitations users were experiencing. As a result the redeveloped Skills Builder gives educators better and easier access to the resources they need to guide young people toward brighter futures.

Committed to Project Success

At Isotoma we’re committed to achieving success in every project we undertake. That’s why the initial stages of our work always involve thorough research. Whether it’s interviews or observations, we’re adept at using the right methods to gather the information we need to succeed.

If you’d like to work with an agency that works tirelessly to understand your project and deliver the perfect end result, get in touch with the Isotoma team today.