From Wireframe to Market

Extracting and sizing feature specifications from a design with the help of a developer are critical aspects of product managers role. For the past two weeks, I have endeavored to evaluate feasibility and scope of a Bank of America mobile application that I redesigned in 2017.

I began by dusting off the wireframes and revisiting the flows to understand the bigger picture of what I am creating. I anticipated that I had 70% of the entire wireframes and felt that I had enough to consult a developer to begin the estimation phase. To prepare for the developer consultation, I worked to identify the significant flows, unique features, and components of the design.





I met with Andre Ortiz, an experienced designer of interfaces and experiences, for a development estimation session. An estimation session brings designers and developers together which gives a more thorough understanding the product, capabilities, and effort. Estimation will also ultimately provide insight to a broad range of stakeholders, such as marketers, sales, etc., who will need to know the features and delivery dates for a rollout, and also provides details about the costs and effort associated with a product, which will be of interest to finance and others.

The meeting with Andre was constructive and gave me insight into possible development effort. I also learned that I do not have all of the wireframes (even though I can still hear the refrain, “design every single screen,” from previous quarters). For the time being, I will use a placeholder of development hours and consult with others for the best way to handle. Even though I did not have all of the wireframes, it was a productive and valuable use of time.


From a product perspective, the most important thing I learned is that bank-to-bank transfers will require 20 hours of development per financial institution. There are approximately 6k FDIC-insured commercial banks in the USA which will need 120k hours. Further analysis will be necessary before determining an approach for bank-to-bank transfers. For example, perhaps we can plan to design for the ten most significant banks.

In total, currently, I estimate that it will take 128 days to develop the mobile application. In reality, I believe that it will take more time. I will confer with my design colleagues who also met with developers to estimate other banking apps.

Detailed estimate.