Building Custom Software (with Rippler) - Whyable

Building Custom Software (with Rippler)

Rippler makes the custom software development process faster, cheaper, and better. The software creation process is still an art form which has a lot of complexity to it, and certainly has a personal element to it as well but with Rippler, it’s simplified. At Whyable, we’ve been building custom software for over seven years, and we’ve refined our process a huge amount, this article outlines the key aspects of the process and the decisions you’ll need to consider along the way. It’s a high level guide;

Step 1 – Pick Your Process

While the type of process is important, we don’t think it is fundamental to a successful project, particularly in small technology teams. We use Agile, which provides flexibility in the project process, runs using sprints and provides a well accepted best practice in software delivery that is now migrating into other industries, due its success. One thing to say about Agile, is that it’s not 100% defined, that’s its beauty, it’s not too rigid.

Step 2 – Understanding Your Requirements

Starting to build something without a clear destination has risks, and is not an effective use of a limited budget. We like to create user stories (e.g. as a user I want to be able to view my profile) but there’s a number of ways you can do it, and simply getting a written or visual description of your application is a good start. The challenge here is keeping the requirements down, less is more is a useful adage and why the minimum viable product is a very popular approach. Don’t get bogged down in too much detail unless you need to prove something is technically possible.

Step 3 – Design

The design aspect of an app is usually best left to the professionals but if you’re competent in UX & UI there’s no reason you can’t make a start. This process will involve working through the requirements with the designer, considering the brand and application aesthetic and logically starts with UX before moving into UI, although some people might launch straight into UI and not worry too much about the UX.

When we finish designing an application we sometimes like to put the finished UI on to a prototyping application like Invision.

We do have a few design templates for Rippler as well.

Step 4 – Development

Every application requires front and backend development, and then the integration between the two. So we’ll break it down along those lines.

With Rippler, the vast majority of your backend development is already completed, perhaps as much as 80%, depending on the size and complexity of your application.  We provide detailed technical documentation and dedicated support, to ensure using Rippler is super easy, as there is naturally a bit of a learning curve to understand the technology.

On the front end side you can use any language you like alongside Rippler’s core node js backend product. As already mentioned we also have pre-fabricated templates to speed up the front end development further. Front end development can be challenging, particularly if you need to ensure a high quality outcome, i.e. for a consumer facing application, so you must make sure that your developers are capable.

Assuming they are, we have one tip for non technical people, look at the front end UI work that’s in front of you, it needs to work well, don’t get too bogged down in the detail of whether every pixel is perfect or that it’s not matching the designs created. It’s better to keep the software process moving. One more, while we’re here – talking is the best form of communication, it can be very laborious writing out bug sheets endlessly!

Step 5 – Testing & Bug Fixing

The testing and bug fixing is often where projects falter.  It’s easy to assume that these products are going to be delivered perfectly for you, but even with the best engineers you’ll have a litany of bugs and thus you must test with patience in order to ultimately deliver a product of value.

Step 6 – Deployment

We recommend a staging and a live environment to allow for proper testing to be done before going live. That will allow you to test new features, fix bugs and create that rapid build measure learn cycle which is so critical to quality software development today. We can host Rippler for you on our servers or you can set up your own, like Agile, we want Rippler to be flexible and to work for you.

 
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