In our product management class we are picking up where our designing digital interfaces class left off. We’ve been tasked with taking our banking app wireframes that we made in Q3 and presenting them to a developer in a productive meeting to get a better understanding of time estimates if we were to actually move forward with building this mobile application.
I started by reviewing my existing wireframes and making updates for cohesion between the first set and second set I’d built in the previous class. Then I went through and began removing portions that alluded to screens that I would not be building or including in my MVP deliverable. This left me with 9 flows.
To help me organize all these screens, many of them being used in multiple flows, I wrote brief user stories for each of them. This cleared my head from all the screens swimming aimlessly up there and helped me focus on moving forward.
Next I exported all the screens into powerpoint and began labeling each screen in the flow order both numerically and with a descriptive title. I then went through and added all these labels for each screen to the estimate discussion spreadsheet. Then I went through and redlined all the features on each screen, and copied the screen and re-redlined the controls.
I met with Caleb, my assigned developer last Friday at Friends and Allies. We began by going through each of my flows with me explaining the clicks between each screen and what was being shown – basically following the user stories. Next we went through and discussed each screen and the time estimate he thought would be appropriate. He said he usually does his estimates in days so I worked with that and modified days to hours later. I was interesting because each new simple screen was estimated to take about 4 hours, but the estimates for the complicated screens that had unknowns in backend development quickly grew to be potentially 3 months of work.
These large ranges all hinged on how much research they would take, and at the end he said they still may not be possible. Basically they were just a big unknown. The big unknowns in development were related to the flagging transactions as recurring and anomalous algorithm, and the ability to link to a recurring payment entity’s site for cancellation.
The lower estimate for building this banking app MVP is about 13 weeks, and the upper estimate is 22+ weeks.
A few other helpful things I learned were:
- Any kind of chart will usually take at least 2 weeks of development time.
- Medium fidelity wireframes were his preference for scoping meetings (like this one), with more robust high fidelity wireframes being made for build out.
- Many developers will increase their estimates to account for things that may come up unexpectedly sometimes doubling the actual time something may take.
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