Vision to Paper
“A really great talent finds its happiness in execution.” – Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
You’ve got your idea. Yes! Awesome. You’ve gone through as many of the different scenarios as you can in your head to find holes in the business logic. You’ve got a great story to tell and an incredible vision to paint. Let’s hire a developer and rock and roll!
Not so fast.
Before you walk into any developer or designer shops, you need to take everything in your head and put it down on paper.
Clearly, these are only very, very rough drafts of first thoughts, but you get the idea. They begin the process of laying out your plan so that you can illustrate what’s in your head through a logical and meaningful way.
Tip: Remember who you’re dealing with – developers and designers. These types love detail and love direction, so give it to them. Be an overwhelming wealth of information and they’ll love you for it, both in their work and in how little they charge you.
I would recommend building something along the lines of a hierarchy – the top being the opening screen and then every path representing a possible path for the user to take. Take into account as many different scenarios as possible and give each an “if -> then” type of logic. Make every “what if they do this?” question be merely your pointing to a spot on the hierarchy.
Similarly, do not feel like you need to do this all on your own. Many of us don’t think this way and have a very hard time conceptualizing big ideas into tiny parts. You can go with a developer with more of the broad strokes, and they’ll walk you through as much as they can. BE WARNED – this is usually going to take on a Q&A type of relationship with the developers/designers firing questions at you left and right.
Essentially they’re going to build that hierarchy for you, but will do so by asking you “so what do you want it to do here?” instead of you doing this all yourself. It’s up to you, but you can imagine which costs more 🙂
If you are looking for a developer to “run with the idea” and just implement whatever best app practices are or whatever they think would work well, you’re in for a disappointment. THIS IS YOUR APP AND YOUR DREAM! Take the time to go through the details and don’t let anyone else fill in the gaps for you. This is especially true if you’re working with a firm overseas, which I will get into later.
Bottom Line: Map out your ideas with an extreme level of detail – you won’t regret it. It’s not sexy, it’s business.