Here at WebOnyx we tend to focus exclusively on innovative custom web applications that provide a competitive advantage to a company. Whether it is a knowledge management system for a fortune 100 company (whatissix), or a entrepreneurial consumer facing web application that takes messaging and instant notification of local events to a whole new level (knowberry). While we are not above taking a Joomla job, or making the occasional brochure site for customers, our projects usually take a month or two of development (or longer), and require some serious thought into how the user is going to interact with the product. The next couple of posts here at WebOnyx are going to focus on what it takes to create a successful web application and what the process should look like from start to finish for those who are interested in working with outside companies to create custom web applications.
There are 4 stages to a successful web application
- Development of the idea, and choosing who is going to develop the product
- Creation of the web application
- Implementation of product and successful adoption by users
- Ongoing support
While there are many sub categories in this list, but it works well as a general overview of the development process.
Development of the idea
For most companies and individuals that are looking to create a custom web application they know what they want to accomplish, but they do not know exactly how to bring their ideas to life. Most people do not say “I want to create a knowledge management system”. They say “communication between departments and certain teams is really bad, we need to make it better”.
The genesis for a web application idea usually comes from two sources
- It will solve a specific pain point inside of a company
- There is a need for your companies consumers to control and access data in a certain way
The reason that development of the idea and choosing who is going to develop the web application goes hand in hand is because the vast majority of the time the project owner (the person with the idea) is not a technical geek who knows the ins and outs of software development. So he, or she, must look to others to develop their idea into something that accomplishes the goals set out in their vision. Most people have two choices. Find someone inside of the company who can create the product, or find a company who specializes in creating web applications. There are pros and cons to both, but as WebOnyx is a company who specializes in creating web applications these articles will focus on how to choose an outside company to bring and idea to life.
But first before we do that there are a few things about an idea that needs to be expanded upon before we look at how to choose a development company.
Be as clear as you can on what you are trying to accomplish. Write down what the pain points are that you are trying to solve. Give specific example of where the current system fails and what you hope a new system will be able to do. Don’t over think it though. Don’t worry about the details, just get down on paper the general idea of what you want to do. Ask the end users what they like about the current system, what do they really dislike? Lastly what are your metrics for success? What are the statistics that you can look at that will represent a successful project completion. For some companies it will be the click through ratio, for others its user adoption, and for some it is time spent on the site. If you do not know exactly what your metric for success will be that is alright, because a good web development company should be able to help you figure that out.
Which leads us to the next post “choosing a web application development company”