Defining the requirements for web application
Defining the requirements for Internet applications is not as easy as you think. Inaccurately assessed requirements quickly lead to failures in programming, even though it may be very convenient and tempting. But it is not our goal to frighten anyone with consequences of incorrectly prepared requirements. This is obvious. Using our knowledge and experience we are going to 'arm' you with awareness that will allow you to understand what exactly it is that you need.
For starters, click on the picture to the right. This is how realization of your application may look like. We'll show you how to avoid this :).
What do I really need?
The answer to this question is: this is the most important part of the entire Internet project. The basic principle here is to define your needs rather than to describe the application features. Leave the application functionality to people who design it. Below we show examples of a well-defined requirements and their 'alter ego' which should never be used. We hope that this helps you prepare properly for the next negotiations with IT companies.
|Well-defined requirements||Ill-defined requirements|
|The application should reduce/eliminate the number of paper invoices, replacing them by electronic ones.||After being clicked, the application should save files on the computer disk and automatically send an email with attached invoice.|
|The application should make communication between departments easier, not further wasting employees time/productivity.||By clicking on somebody's picture a chat window should open, but first information, whether the called person is busy or not, should pop up.|
|The application should solve the problems that arise during customer service, especially in case of long contact waiting periods with the customer and rotation of employees on our side.||On the day when the client should be contacted, the application will show a message after logging in, and in case the employee no longer works for your company, that message should be shown to the manager who will delegate that task to someone else.|
As you have noticed, well-defined requirements focus on the final effect you expect, not on the way application operates. This way the application acts is a task for the people who will design it. Do not worry, you will be asked for sure about the details and all aspects you want to achieve. For larger projects description of the system in thorough documentation and a mock-up will be prepared.
Dedicated solutions or ready-made applications?
I will admit, the answer it not easy. :) On the one hand, as a company creating Internet applications, we you should point toward the advantages of dedicated solutions in contrary to ready to use solutions available on the market. On the other hand, it would be cynical of us to do that. After all, we use a number of ready-made solutions, written by other companies.
Below we present some advantages and disadvantages of both choices. When deciding, please take this list as a quick review and a reminder.
- Longer and more expensive process of creation.
- Lack of support from the "community" using the product.
- Lack of possibility to influence application development.
- The need to adapt business processes to the application and not the other way round.
We know that the process is not easy. The above-mentioned advices are really only an outline of important things to keep in mind when defining requirements for Internet applications. It is worth, at this stage of the project, to benefit from the knowledge and experience of IT companies. A meeting or even a short phone call can work wonders in determining your business needs.
We encourage customers or potential customers to contact us at this early stage. Only exact requirements will allow us to build a great, dedicated web application or find on the market ready solution which meets your expectations.
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