Development Approaches: Waterfall Versus Agile

Web design and developers in Chicago and all over the world will tell you how important it is to come up with a game plan for how a project process will go. Agile and Waterfall are potentially two very different ways of delivering project. As an agency that specializes in UX services, we’ve learned time and again why these two ways are very important to understand.

The choice you make on which to use of course impacts how your team will operate, and while it totally depends on the project and requirements you should understand the difference between the two.

Waterfall has been known as the traditional methodology for software development and its rapidly losing popularity as agile methodology is increasingly being adopted by companies.

121Agile methodology follows a linear sequential approach while providing flexibility, waterfall is a sequential model where software development is segregated. This agile methodology provides flexibility in a way that as project requirements change so does the methodology approach.

So what are some advantages and disadvantages? This is a great way to put these two models into perspective.

Advantages of the Agile model:
This is focused on client process which in turn keeps them involved at every stage.
Agile teams are motivated and self-organized which is likely to end in a better result.
The process is totally based on the incremental progress.

Advantages of the Waterfall model:122

  • An easy model to manage with each phase having specific deliverables and a review process.
  • Results in a faster delivery of the project.
    Works well for smaller projects with easy-to-understand requirements.
  • And, of course, there are some disadvantages.

Disadvantages of the Agile model:

  • Agile only works best when members of the development team are completely and totally dedicated to the project.
  • The involving nature of Agile development may lead to a frequent rethinking if the full scope of the system is not accounted for in the initial architecture and design. Without this rethinking, the system can suffer from a reduction in overall quality.

Disadvantages of the Waterfall model:

  • It can be time consuming to gather and document requirements on each step since its difficult to assume things about the project at the beginning.
  • In general, the risk is higher with the Waterfall approach because the scope for mistakes is higher. If something goes wrong, fixing it can be hard because you have to go through a few steps back.

Still not sure on which to go with? Think long and hard about your project requirements and what the best possible outcome could and should be. Looking to work with a ux company or a mobile app design and development agency in Chicago? Are you wanting to develop an app or website or simply want more information on our UX design agency? Visit Codal’s blog, or come talk to us here! We’d love to hear from you.

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Development Approaches: Waterfall Versus Agile

What Will IoT Be Like in 100 Years

The Internet of Things (IoT) is something more than a hype that will fade away. The IoT has already changed how we work, live, and play! It is being used across all industries; real estate, healthcare, manufacturing, education, and more. According to Statista, by 2025 there will be over 75 billion connected devices, and according to McKinsey, by the same year, IoT could have an annual, global impact of $3.9 trillion.

This is a large impact on society’s economy, and over the next 100 years, we will start to see these changes in action and truly evolve. As a ux ui design company and a IoT mobile app company chicago based, we have to stay on top of trends and statistics within the world of IoT in order to provide our clients with the best business solution possible. Two areas where we can expect to see great changes in IoT are with smart homes and agriculture.

b111Smart Home
App developers in chicago have seen a major boom in the need for mobile apps where Internet of Things is changing real estate with HVAC systems and smart devices. HVAC systems and smart devices now can respond to the presence/absence of occupants and can adjust air conditioning, heat, and light. When someone lives in the home for a long period of time, the system starts to pick up on usage patterns and find the best way to cut down on energy costs and maximize performance.

For example, having a smart home device such as a wifi enabled water heater gives homeowners the control to choose how long and when the water heater runs during the day. This device provides hot water when it’s needed the most by optimizing water temperatures.
As a home ages, of course maintenance and issues are unavoidable. But, what if homeowners could see these problems and fix them ahead of time? IoT predictive analytics enable homeowners to identify issues and address system failures even before they happen. Through this idea of predictive maintenance, there are sensors and real time energy monitoring that can keep track of any irregularities and have the power to alert you when it’s time for maintenance, when an issue is about to occur, and can predict a maintenance schedule by knowing how much energy has been consumed.

In 100 years, all homes will be smart homes, this will be part of everyone’s daily lives. The technology will of course improve and evolve. This IoT technology will become more mainstream in the future.

b112Agriculture
IoT livestock management solutions are changing the livestock management paradigm. Livestock wearables are used for monitoring heart rate, respiratory rate, temperature, blood pressure, and even digestion. These monitors also track the location of an animal. This data gathered is sent to the cloud which allows farmers to identify and fix problems in their livestock via user interfaces. As a mobile app design and development and a ux design services agency, we’ve seen the rise of these interfaces and it will continue to grow.

Modern farming involves heavy machinery and equipment to perform a variety of farming operations. The farming sector is continually struggling because of a shortage of skilled workers and also lacks people’s interest in working on a farm. IoT helps farmers in this situation with automated tractors, plows, cultivators and other machinery to meet the need for minimum or almost no human dependency. Just like smart homes, the agriculture industry will continue to advance with technology and you can expect to see many advances in 100 years.

Looking for more insight on UI design services, UX services, or a mobile app design company? Are you wanting to develop an app or website and you need to know more information on how this web development agency chicago based company is? Visit Codal’s blog, or come talk to us here! We’d love to hear from you.

What Will IoT Be Like in 100 Years

5 Reasons You Shouldn’t Be Ignoring Your Websites UX

Web and app developers in Chicago and all over the world will tell you how important it is for users to have a great experience on your website. As an agency that specializes in UX design services, we’ve learned time and again the reasons why your website’s UX should never be ignored. Here are 5 reasons you shouldn’t be ignoring your websites UX.

1) First impressions are everything. Good design and first impressions are important and visuals make up for much of that. In terms of user experience design services, its very crucial to not let your design get in the way of how the user interacts with the site.

b1012) You want your site to be trusted. The last thing you want your user to feel is uncertainty or ask if they can trust your site with their information. If a user is asking themselves questions and is unsure of the answers they think in their head, they probably want to get far away from your site and won’t want to ever come back.

3) Slow loading site. It’s more than frustrating when you come across a website that takes forever to load. It’s a frustrating experience for the user and if they were unsure about your product/service and wanted more information on it, this is a sure way to make them turned off. UX research services have proven there are numerous ways you can speed up your website even if you have tons of imagery and multimedia or are making it very creative; there’s always a way to speed it up.

4) A positive user reaction. Safe, comfortable, happy; these are the feelings you should want your user to have when they see your site. The user should feel comfortable that they’ll find what they’re looking for on your site and that you’re the website that will make everything good. Feeling validated, that you’ve done the right thing and made the right decision in your click.

b1025) Lack of contact information for next steps. Picture this, a user ends up on a site that has the products/services their looking for, they go through product information and details and are meticulous about what they’re searching for. They believe the information satisfies their needs so they search for the business’s contact information but its not there. No form to fill out, no physical address, no phone number, no email. This makes the UX crash down.

If you’re a beginner just getting into UX design, or a seasoned vet who’s forgot what the basic tools are, these are some good examples of what you should never ignore in your UX design.

Looking to work with a ux company or a mobile app design company in Chicago? Are you wanting to develop an app or website or simply want more information on our web design agency? Visit Codal’s blog, or come talk to us here! We’d love to hear from you.

5 Reasons You Shouldn’t Be Ignoring Your Websites UX

Is the Future of Shopping VR?

Going to a store to shop or even browsing online may soon come to an end. Virtual Reality (VR) technology has the power to transform, and is starting to change consumers shopping experience. Working at an ecommerce mobile app development agency we constantly see new technologies changing the way people shop.

b61Not only does VR let consumers view products in a unique way, in some cases it takes them to another world. These are some examples of how the future of shopping will be changed and transformed by VR, as well as some of the brands that are already testing the new waters.

Some car companies like Lexus are now allowing customers to use VR to test drive a car around a race track. Instead of sitting in the actual luxury car behind the wheel, VR lets the customer see how fast the car goes, look at the interior/exterior and learn about features. This is a great, convenient way for customers to see new models, test them out, and see what the car has to offer.

Trying on or testing merchandise using VR helps customers see product in context. One area where VR is impacting the eCommerce industry is by helping customers visualize the product their looking at and how much physical space the product will take up. Ecommerce web design in usa like IKEA has a VR app and website that helps shoppers visualize how the furniture would actually look in their living room, bedroom, office, etc. Through this app shoppers can change products, switch colors and sizes, and see how different pieces of furniture will complement each other. Because of this, VR can help consumers in their product searches and speeds up the purchase process.

VR helps customers be able to take creative reign and make custom orders based on their imagination. In past years, creating a custom order used to be a time consuming task. Nike’s Makers’ Experience combines AR, object tracking and AI and IoT as well as digital signage to allow a customized, unique design to appear on a pair of shoes that the customer designed. As soon as an hour later, the customer can even go pick up the finished product and walk away with a totally customizable product.

b62Lastly, Tommy Hilfiger has recently been making headlines in VR through letting customers experience the high end runway show via virtual reality. Not everyone, barely anyone actually can afford a front row seat to a popular fashion show in real life. Through VR, people have been able to explore backstage, see the models up close. This experience is only available in a few Tommy Hilfiger stores for now, but guests can see clothes virtually on the runway before the hassle of trying them on in a fitting room in real life.

In a few years, AI tech will completely change the way that people shop for specific items (if it hasn’t already). Consumers will virtually be able to “try before they buy” making it easier and more efficient to online shop.

As a ux design company and mobile app development chicago based agency, we have seen many instances of VR and AR coming into play. Virtual reality can be used in so many ways to alter how customers interact with products and brands and its really starting to take off. As technology continues to develop, we’re definitely going to see more and more ways that VR transforms future shopping experiences for consumers.

Looking for more insight on UX design services? Are you wanting to develop an app or website and you need to know more information on how this web development agency chicago based company is? Visit Codal’s blog, or come talk to us here! We’d love to hear from you.

Is the Future of Shopping VR?

4 Ways to Boost Engagement on Your Mobile App

Creating a mobile application that keeps users engaged takes more than just an interesting app idea. Along with having an application that is actually useful to the user, you need to entice the user to interact with the app.

The more engagement you can create around your app, the more users that you could potentially gain. As a Chicago mobile application development company, it is mission-critical for us to understand how to keep users engaged.

Push & Local Notifications

While there are many misconceptions of push notifications, push & local notifications are one of the best ways to boost engagement and overall increase user retention. Notifications like this will allow you to also reach users when they are not only using the application.
A push notification can display any message that you want, play a sound to get the user’s attention, and provide different actions that the user can take, without even opening up the app.

SiriKit

If your iOS mobile app falls into the below categories, then you can use SiriKit to allow your mobile app to converse with your users via Siri.

  • Messaging
  • VoIP Calls
  • Payments
  • Ride Sharing + Ride Booking
  • Workouts
  • Photo Search

Allowing your users to talk to Siri to engage with your app, is just another way to increase overall engagement on your app. Your iOS development company will absolutely be able to assist you in integrating SiriKit with your app.

Social Media

As the years go, social media continues to dominate users time they spend on their smartphones. Embracing the culture of social media in today’s world can only increase engagement, as social shareability is absolutely critical to user engagement.

While you should not be intrusive and should not interfere with the overall user experience, social shareability is important and can bring your business a handful of new users every day. If you’re working with a user experience design agency, they can conduct UX research services to validate the fact that your target users will want to engage on social media websites.

Deep Linking

Another way to increase user engagement is to employ deep linking to your mobile application. This is the practice of using a within-app linking structure to direct your users to a specific screen in the app, instead directing the user to the app’s homepage.

This form of engagement will keep your users in the app for as long as possible. Taking your user to a new page that they may have not seen before will keep them interested and more likely to keep browsing through the app. This is something that your iOS or Android app design company can help you strategize.

What now?

If you need assistance with your mobile app, reach out to Codal to discuss what you may need to do in order to gain more users. Adding a few simple integrations, or redesigning a few new screens can really change the way in which users interact with the app.

4 Ways to Boost Engagement on Your Mobile App

How Does a Persona Fit Into the UX Design Process?

Persona’s have been in place for decades, and are not only used in the user experience design field. A persona is synthesized individual that represents a significant amount of people.

More specifically, a user experience design agency would use a persona in order to focus on the target market that they are designing for. Each persona in UX should represent a user type of the application or web platform and should represent the needs that a larger group of people have. Below is what an example of a persona looks like (created by Chicago UX design company, Codal).

b1

Most personas will have an image, description of who they are, and most importantly, their frustrations, goals, values, and preferred solutions. Personas are something that is included in most UX design services, and will be conducted by the UX UI research team.
So, where does it belong in the UX process?

Personas are typically created in the very beginning of the user experience design phase, but should be referenced throughout the entire process, even into the mobile app design and development phase.

Finding Focus on the User

When designing a website or mobile application, it can be very easily to get lost in the rut of different, unique concepts. You cannot design something just because you like it as a designer. The platform is likely not being designed for you. Personas will keep you focused on the types of people that you’re designing for.

For an example, an older generation may not understand how to use the gestures on SnapChat, yet every millennial does. When SnapChat was being designed, the target persona was most likely a millennial and not a mother of 5 kids.

Design End Goals

A persona is a very goal-driven tool. The purpose of it is almost to ensure that all of the user goals have been met. Therefore, use your personas to reference check that every goal that was determined in the beginning of the project has been met.

Functionality

It is important for these personas to stay present through the software development cycle, and that your design transfers into the functionality that you were hoping for. If it doesn’t, what was the point of the UX research services that you utilized?

Defend your Decisions

If you’re a designer, I’m sure you have been asked “why does this look like this, why is the button here, why is the navigation menu like this?” Well, personas are a great way to back up the decisions that you make as a designer. You designed it a certain way because that is how “persona X” would expect it to be.

Conclusion

Personas are an extremely effective tool for every stage in the user experience and interface design process. Ensuring that your design is user-centered should be one of your main priorities as a UX designer. Interested in learning more about user-centered design? Contact Codal!

How Does a Persona Fit Into the UX Design Process?

Maximize on the Potential of Your eCommerce Website

Most user experience and visual designers can spot a templated design from a mile away. Surprisingly, a large number of eCommerce websites use templates for their design. Why? Probably because it is cheap, and quick to launch. However, if you really want to maximize the potential for your eCommerce business, hiring a company that offers UX design services would be highly recommended.

Some of the things that matter most on websites that sell products are conversion rates, bounce rates, branding, and seamless path to purchase.

A UX design agency that also offers web and app development services is probably just what you need. Here’s how a UX design agency can help you optimize your site for maximum conversions.

Analysis of Current Customer Data

Many UX research services begin with an in-depth audit of the typical buying journey, from the customer’s first visit to the checkout process. By dissecting the current conversion funnel, a design agency can identify areas for improvement in the process, and leverage research-driven design strategies to make improvements on the website.

Seamless Path to Purchase

All businesses have a unique path to purchase.The buyer’s journey should be as simple as possible. By reducing the overall number of steps it takes for the user to make a purchase, your eCommerce will most likely see a reduction of drop-off rates. Many templates path-to-purchase is already completed, and was not thought through for your specific, unique business needs.

Journey Map All User Types

Chances are that your business has multiple buyer personas. It is important that each of those buyer personas are accounted for. A UX design agency will map out every user type to ensure that the website is user-friendly and seamless for all user’s to use.

Marketing Driven Conversion Testing

Before launching any website, it is important to test it first, before it’s live in the market. This is especially true for eCommerce websites, where the website itself generates money without the help of a sales team or outside personnel.

1offpageimage

Testing an eCommerce website focuses on the checkout process, product pages, cross selling, up selling, navigation and product search-ability. Here at Codal, our conversion testing strategies are designed to mitigate shopping cart abandonment and decrease bounce rate.

So What?

Using a template will not fix current pain points of the website, it also will not take into considering your unique business needs, and all of your different customer types. If you hire a UX and UI design agency, they will take the time to understand your business and make recommendations based on that. One template does not fit all!

Maximize on the Potential of Your eCommerce Website