High Seas: Design & Technology for Evolving Brands
High Seas, High Seas

High Seas

April 8, 2022

Get Your Software Done Right with a Collaborative Mobile App Development Process

The software development process is a crucial part of any enterprise software development project. It's what takes your idea from concept to reality, and it's what drives efficiency and productivity.

At High Seas, we’ve found that a collaborative approach to enterprise software and application development is the most efficient and adaptable method for ensuring the developer team is on course to meeting project requirements.

From the initial discovery phase to software deployment, our enterprise software development company ensures all stakeholders are involved in every step of the process, weighing in on subsequent software iterations and keeping a close eye as the project progresses. This will give you confidence your software development project is on the right track at all stages.

Focus on your business goals while we take care of the technical heavy lifting. Get in touch with us to set sail on an enterprise software development project that will propel your business to new heights.

Discovery Phase

The first step in our software development process is to gather information and perform technological assessments that clarify what business, brand, and marketing pain points we will be solving and augmenting. 

This is where we sit down with you and map out your business goals, objectives, and requirements. We get to know your organization inside and out, learning about your target market, users, processes, and pain points. This phase is crucial for understanding the scope of work and setting realistic expectations for the project.

Next, you’ll work collaboratively with the High Seas crew to strategize a project plan that includes timelines, cost estimates, budgets, and project requirements. Forming a cohesive plan is critical to the software development process. 

We implore our clients to take their time clarifying software and app goals to ensure all information and specifications are included. Knowing exactly what you want and informing your outsourced enterprise software development company reduces the risk of going over budget or not meeting software expectations.

Project Planning

A thorough and thoughtful project plan is the backbone of any software development life cycle and will help define the development tools, programming languages, and platforms (web,  mobile app, or cross-platform app) that will guide the software development life cycle.

Project Requirements

An important component of developing a successful enterprise software is understanding the project requirements. This is where your company’s business objectives come into play. Prioritizing essential functions and features will help keep the project on track and within budget.

To form a complete picture of your development project’s requirements, we will collect, analyze, and evaluate the following information:

  • Business goals
  • System and regulatory constraints 
  • Target audience and customers
  • Brand story and guidelines
  • Existing technology infrastructure, functionality, and content
  • Current marketing efforts, tools, and materials
  • Communication channels, such as marketing campaigns, social presence, and blogs

Schedules and Timelines

High Seas utilizes an Agile software development life cycle for the software and app development process. The schedule and timeline for the discovery phase is a rough outline suffused with flexibility and adaptability. A project’s timeline depends on the project requirements and can be modified as the project progresses.

Our Agile software development method breaks down the project into smaller two-weeks sprints to give you a working product delivered incrementally. This allows for modifications to be made along the way without disrupting the project’s flow or delaying your software launch.

Cost Estimation

The final step of our discovery phase is to provide you with an estimated software or app development cost range and timeline to ensure the cost of developing a new app or software program is reasonable and fits into your business’s financial plan. We itemize all development costs, as well as associated risks and contingencies, so you can budget for iterative software development and avoid surprises down the line.

At High Seas, we pride ourselves on being completely transparent about our software and app development process and pricing structure. We will never hide any fees or tack on extra costs without prior approval.

Defining Phase

The defining phase of the software development life cycle is designed to create a measurable plan and set of outcomes directly related to your business’s strategic goals.

Our crew will work with you to further understand your target audience and customers, as well as your business processes. We also assess your current technology infrastructure and any existing content or functionality that can be integrated into the new software. All of this information helps us define the project requirements and form a detailed development plan.

While defining, our crew conducts research, surveys, card sorts, tree tests, usability tests, and UX/UI A/B tests. They also interview key stakeholders and customers to conceptualize what your new software will look like and how it will function. Quantifiable and verifiable software requirements are derived from user needs, hardware and system constraints, and human factors. 

The project development plan includes:

  • Project vision and summary
  • Competitive analysis and positioning
  • Category/keyword research and data analysis
  • Strategic goals
  • Target audiences, customer personas, and journey mapping
  • Key messaging points and architecture 
  • Agile software development employing Agile, Waterfall, and hybrid methodologies

Before development begins, key stakeholders should review and approve the project development plan.

Development Phase

The coding stage of the application development life cycle begins after the discovery and defining phases are complete. The software and app development process can look different for each development method, depending on the project’s requirements. 

Our developers use the documented project requirements we found in the discovery and defining stages to code your enterprise software or application. Our crew’s main task is to translate the software’s design and requirements into source code that puts all of its components and functionalities into action. 

High Seas operates from a position of transparency and collaboration, and we welcome your project manager to monitor the software development process during each sprint to ensure development runs smoothly, on time, and within your budget.

Site Structure and Blueprints

Using the information we gathered in the discovery and defining phases, High Seas developers will make a blueprint of your site structure, including main user navigation, content types, features, and software components. 

Your software’s architectural blueprint will include:

  • Visual Site Map: High-level diagrams that define basic user roles, present and goal conditions, and each section or system’s function. 
  • Content Model: Using an iterative Agile software development method, we’ll begin defining content elements and how they relate to the others to support User Experience. 
  • Lean Prototype: Developers will create early models of your software or individual features to test concepts and processes.

Wireframes and Prototyping

Once we’ve designed your software blueprint, the next stage of the software and application development life cycle is to create detailed wireframes. Our developers use these wireframes to determine what content will appear on each screen, its orientation and prioritization on the screen, and how users navigate the software. 

The developer crew at our enterprise application and software development company will identify base-level user roles and functions, the intent and underlying system, and establish content, relationships, and navigational pathways. 

The next step is to create interactive prototypes of your enterprise software. This helps stakeholders and users test how the software will look and function, then re-strategize if necessary for the next iteration.

Visual Design System 

The visual design system is the phase of the application development life cycle tasked with guiding and enhancing the user experience by creating the visual concept of the software application. This is where we focus on how everything will look to users. 

This phase includes the development of a high-level brand voice, positioning, and messaging, as well as strategically placing the most compelling content to drive measurable business results. It includes the photos, videos, illustrations, or visual effects on each software screen. 

Creating a style guide helps ensure consistency throughout all design iterations and maintain the software’s visual integrity as it evolves.

Front-End Development & CMS Integration

After the visual design system is complete, our developers begin coding the software’s front-end to implement features and functionalities. This is the public-facing portion of your software that users will see and interact with.

Structured, iterative testing with all stakeholders ensures everyone remains informed throughout the process and we achieve desired functionalities before moving on to the next feature. 

High Seas developers use the latest web development technologies to code your software’s front-end. We stay up to date on all the latest trends and technologies to make sure your software is built using the best possible tools. 

During this phase, our developers will plan a Content Management System (CMS) migration strategy and integrate it into the software. Having CMS in your enterprise software or application allows your employees to create, edit, publish, and manage content from a central location. This can be helpful for non-technical users who need to be able to update brand content without having to know how to code.

To summarize this stage of the software development life cycle, our development team will begin working on:

  • Front-end development for custom applications and CMS platforms
  • Javascript platform development for libraries like React, Vue, and Angular
  • Code for interactive, animated, and parallax elements
  • Integration of custom front-end with CMS, setting up information architecture, content blocks, and automated content flow
  • SCSS files for all page elements on both mobile and desktop versions

Back-End Development 

Back-end development is what powers your enterprise applications and websites behind the scenes. This is the stage in which our developers will code all the features and functionalities that make your software work, including business logic, API development, database design, security measures, user management, and data access abstractions. 

Back-end development for custom web and mobile software includes a combination of the following:

  • Full-stack web and mobile app development
  • Major web and mobile application technologies including PHP, Java, Ruby on Rails, Node.js, ASP.NET, Python, native iOS & Android, and React Native 
  • Database and data architecture design and development, including SQL, NoSQL, graph databases, and data platforms like Firebase, AWS, and Azure
  • Shared web, mobile, and native application back-ends
  • Custom API and 3rd-party system integrations
  • Bluetooth and network connectivity, with firmware update support for IoT

Platform back-end development offers a combination of: 

  • Custom CMS platform development for WordPress, Drupal, Concrete5, and more
  • Headless CMS development
  • eCommerce development with WooCommerce, Drupal Commerce, Shopify, and Magento
  • Custom plugin/module development 
  • Plugin/module setup
  • Support for all major databases and data sources, including 3rd-party data integration
  • Hybrid platforms (e.g. WordPress with Shopify) 
  • System security monitoring and continued maintenance upon request, including updates 

Quality Control and Testing

In this stage of our software and application development life cycle, our developers will put your software through a rigorous testing process to find and fix any bugs or errors.

Through structured quality control testing with project-specific criteria, our development team can discover any design or development issues and fix them before moving to the next stage of the software development process. 

Systematic testing ensures our developers are well-acquainted with the UI and UX and can guide the project towards the best possible software for your end-user. 

There are several quality control tests that our software and application code must go through in order to guarantee that it meets the standards. These tests include:

Usability Testing

Usability testing is a vital component of the application development life cycle for gathering real-world data and feedback about the user experience of a software application. Generally, this is a segment of your customer base or user base, in the case of an enterprise application intended for internal company use. 

Observations of users attempting to complete tasks using a software program and analysis of user feedback guide hypotheses that are used to improve subsequent iterations in the software development life cycle. 

Simple A/B Testing

Our enterprise software development company will also do a few rounds of A/B testing and show two or more variations of a page to small groups of users. Using statistical analysis of each user’s preferred page variant, developers can determine which one performs the best for a given conversion goal. 

Multivariate Testing

This is a more complex form of A/B testing in which we will show multiple combinations of page variants to users at the same time to find the best possible combination of features and user experiences. 

Code Quality

Our enterprise software and application development company thoroughly analyzes code, finding and eliminating any bugs to ensure that the final product is of the highest quality.

Unit Testing

The smallest executable components of an application or software are known as "units." Unit testing involves isolating these units and individually validating them for proper orientation and functionality. 

Combination Testing

In this type of testing, individual units are combined into larger groups to be tested as a whole. Coordinated units are tested to uncover any issues in their cooperative functionalities. 

Functional Testing

Software is validated against the functional requirements and specifications, testing each function of the application by providing an appropriate input. If the output meets the functional requirements, the software passes the test.  

Software and App Deployment 

Software deployment and code implementation overlap at some point once the developers have code reviewed and deployed the software for real user testing. Additional iterations to meet user expectations and fix bugs that were missed during development are common, and careful consideration of user reports helps ensure the finished software development process was a success.

Maintenance and Updates

The right enterprise application and software development company is one that you can rely on for maintenance and software updates after your new enterprise application goes live for daily use. 

Ongoing maintenance and updates are a necessary component of software development to ensure software is secure and continues functioning as expected. 

Let’s Make Waves: Brave the High Seas with Us

When you choose High Seas to create your enterprise software or mobile application, the software development process is a collaborative adventure. Our enterprise software and application development company uses an Agile software development life cycle that gives you the flexibility and adaptability to ensure project requirements and goals are being met on time and within budget. We will walk you through each step of our process and guide your software design and development so that you can save your business time and money, and make internal and client communication a breeze. 

High Seas, High Seas
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