IDEAS TO WIREFRAMES – A SIMPLE 3 PART TUTORIAL FOR NON TECHNICAL APP FOUNDERS
In this first step called IDEA BRAINSTORMING we come up with as many credible (and incredible ideas) there are no holes barred, this can be great fun, in part two IDEAS TO FEATURES, we take the ideas and turn them into features that we will add to the app, ill explain the significant difference between ideas and features. in the final step WIREFRAME MVP we take those features and map them into an end to end wireframe that we can show to potential users of the app to further iterate on.
Lets get going.
Ill assume that you already have an idea of the type of app that you want to create and many things buzzing around in your head at the moment, its vitally important to get these down otherwise they will get lost once excitement takes hold.
The usual way is to use post it notes to write ideas on then attach these to a whiteboard, but there is no reason to use a whiteboard, you can just use a large window or a wall.
It is possible to do this whole event virtually, using something like trello or even a screenshare of an app like Balsamiq Mockups
1 Make the brainstorm an event, buy cakes.
The brainstorming is possibly the most important phase in the whole app creation procedure, do not make the mistake of doing this alone. There are three types of people that you should try to bring in.
What will really improve the outcome of the brainstorming is to enlist the help of anyone who has an understanding of the domain, even if you do, having someone else will help as you might have a slight narrowed vision based on the ideas that you have been thinking about.
Your next door neighbour or mum are great examples but almost anyone will help including local business people, these outsiders can be very useful as they will have ideas that you wont have thought of and also maybe question your assumptions.
1.2 App Specialist
Someone with app experience, try to find anyone who has created an app before, if you need one just give me a shout!
A melting pot of ideas is what we are looking for here, bringing skills and knowledge from inside and outside your area of expertise.
1.3 How to brainstorm
Give each person in the group post it notes and a pen then let them independently write down their ideas, spend 10 minutes or so doing this, you will know when you have run out of ideas. At this point, read through the ideas, remember this is not a name and blame excercise or a popularity contest, if there is anything that you don’t understand try and flesh out the ideas, so that when you come back to them later you will fully understand, talk about the ideas within the group to see if ideas can provide inspiration for new ideas, if you do get any write these down and add to the board. Carry on until its clear no further progress has been made. then celebrate as you are now have the most important phase of creating an app done.
The 6 golden rules of brainstorming
1.Assign someone as a leader, probably best if this isnt you. their role will be to ensure that the rules are followed. would be ideal if someone has done this before, they should be in charge of the board, and ensuring that the other rules are met.
2.You dont need to know what is technically possible, just put the idea down and put on the board.
3.Write down all of your ideas, however outlandish, they might give insperation to more crededible ideas. also ideas that have been done before are fine, the app will probably not be completely unique anyway.
4.Think independently, do not have a group mentality or follow the leader, have ideas, write them down and put them on the board.
5.Dont allow negativity or mocking, this needs to be stated from the outset to the group, negative thinkers should be told to bring only positivity to the brainstorm or be asked to leave.
6.Set a time limit, and find a quiet place, remove all phones, and let everyone get into the zone. This is very important.