Our process follows the lifecycle model depicted below. Our model prescribes that we work iteratively and NOT sequentially from one stage to the next like a classic ‘Waterfall’ approach. It outlines (and even advocates) the need to allow one phase of work to inform the next but it may be necessary to revisit a particular phase to apply changes that have been dictated by a previous phase.
Understanding your requirements will make or break your project. We approach the projects requirements phase with the goal of analysing and documenting your business rules, identifying needs and any possible constraints on the project such as timescales or technology.
We can tailor the frequency and method of our project management activities to suit your particular working practices. You will be formally introduced to a skilled project manager from our team who will be there for you every step of the way. But every member of the Accent team is available to you via email or telephone to either aid you directly or assist in steering you towards the most appropriate colleague to answer any specific query you may have.
We encourage regular project progress meetings which can take place at our Norwich-based studio, your own offices or an appropriate third-party venue. We’re also very happy to accommodate regular Skype conferences.
In many instances we use the online project management application Trello for organising ongoing project work. We encourage our clients to work with us to use this tool to improve its effectiveness during the course of the project.
This phase isn’t simply graphic design (or ‘visual’ design) but may also encompass software modelling and prototyping activities.
With hand sketched, low-fidelity wireframes that can be seen, understood and signed off, you have the assurance that we have understood your underlying requirements and have proposed an appropriate solution.
With a thorough understanding of users habits and expectation we can put their needs and priorities at the centre of the application. All system functions utilise familiar patterns & metaphors that are appropriate to the user ensuring that all buttons, toggles and other interface widgets are selected and designed to meet a users expectations whilst making concessions for their working practices and environment.
We prefer an iterative approach that relies upon client feedback once a design has been presented, respecting change whilst challenging the usability objectives. Users who are involved in the design feedback are critical to ensuring the effectiveness of the application.
In this phase we apply all our understanding of a project into something functional either in the shape of an interactive prototype or a build of the software itself.
Whilst words are important when specifying an application this process alone can leave many gaps open to interpretation. We prefers to accompany any written documentation with an interactive prototype showing the important screens of the application for both mobile and web applications. Building upon our earlier wireframe & UX design work, these high-fidelity prototypes allow us to demonstrate the application without the overhead of a fully functioning system and to be flexible accommodating changes in the prototype quickly and cheaply.
These interactive prototypes can be presented to you one of several different forms but in many instances we use the online prototyping application InVision because its features allow us to build a robust prototype quickly and effectively.
Alongside the prototype we encourage the use of contextual annotations which allows us to explain the functionality of the application that cannot be represented visually. Everything is documented and the scope of the project is clearly defined.
Application are developed using an Agile development methodology. This approach allows us to focus on creating usable functionality at every step of the development. Applications are developed using a range of appropriate technologies, typically ‘Open Source’ technologies for Web and Mobile based applications.
We assess and appraise our work on a continuous basis but we also undertake several formal evaluation activities.
We follow a Test Driven Development (TDD) approach. TDD is the only way to provide measurable quality and confidence in software. Creating automated unit tests allows Accent to validate the sanity of your application’s logic and behaviour. This allows for complex applications to be updated with the confidence that functionality across the site has not been compromised.
We can manage the rollout of your application utilising the most appropriate combination of technologies to meet your hosting requirements.
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Your business will evolve and we will be there ensuring the application evolves with you as you grow. We provides on-going support options to cope for your requirements, features and new functionality.