A Question of Uncertainty

2011 Blog AvatarI’ve been talking to web designers recently and it’s clear there’s a lot I don’t know about producing software. As a result of a recent conversation with one design team, I decided to nail down some of those uncertainties. I developed a group of questions around producing my web app – what do I need to know to go forward? The purpose of this exercise was to come up with a list that would serve as a starting point for discussions with a design team.

Questions about producing the app and website:

  • How much will it cost to produce my app?
  • How much will be required to start?
  • How long will it take?
  • How soon can it be started upon deciding to go ahead?
  • What platform will be used for the app (Drupal, etc)?
  • Can the app be produced with HTML5 and Javascript?
  • Can/should it be open-source?
  • What sort of database do I use for kits and elements?
  • How difficult is it to guarantee that it will work on tablets?
  • Is it more cost-effective to produce a prototype before a working version? What is the difference in cost?
  • How do I get help with UI (User Interface) and UX (User Experience), especially with the app portion of the website?
  • How do we handle security, passwords, etc? Are plugin components robust enough for this?
  • Does it help for me to learn Agile Product Development?
  • Where do I get my fonts? How much should I expect to pay for fonts?
  • How much $ for servers, web hosting? What other maintenance costs am I missing?
  • Is my developer willing to partner rather than do a contract job?

Other questions more specific to my end of the project:

  • Can I learn enough HTML5 to do some of it myself?
  • What features are necessary for a MVP (Minimum Viable Product)?
  • How do I manage the app in the long term without a full-time partner or employee?
  • How do I pay my kit designers?
  • Do I have to pay kit designers up front?
  • How do I raise the money needed?
  • How do I add tags to elements and kits for the search function? Is it feasible to crowdsource this, at least in part?

And perhaps more important than all the other questions:

What do I need to know that is missing from this list?

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2 Responses to A Question of Uncertainty

  1. Scyntist4merlynome says:

    I don't see anything about copyright protection, if that is applicable. You might also consider "copyleft" protection since you entertain offering it as open-source.

    For copyleft information see: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Copyleft

    • wjackman says:

      That's a good idea, I'll bring it up. As some point, I'll have to engage legal representation, and that will certainly be among my questions for them.

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