I can’t draw, but I can doodle Wireframes

I can’t draw, but I can doodle Wireframes

In today’s block i’ll pick up from last time.  So I have an idea, but now what?? Here’s how I started.

Sketching and the POWER of powerpoint


My day job has taught me that in order to decent software you need to do your homework.  I started by defining what I wanted to build with some simple notebook sketches.  I took my phone, dropped it down on a piece of paper and circled around it.  With the shape of the pone in mind, I added boxes and figured out how many “screens” my app would need.  I knew I wanted the app to be helpful to parents, include some sort of “check list” and to have a PANIC button.

The PANIC button was actually the start of the idea, coming from that feeling I had with our son and the flight we try not to talk about anymore.  In that stressed out moment, all I wanted was way to let everyone else on the plane know we’re not a*#$* parents, and we REALLY are trying everything we can.

After about 3 – 4 iterations in my notebook, I had pretty much figured out how I wanted the app to work.  Given a small budget I realized I need to simplify and simplify until I was down to the minimum the app could do, but yet would still have some value.  Once I had things figured out I turned to Powerpoint so I could use fancier drawing tools, but also so I could outline more about what each screen did.


My actual “mock-up”


With my 8 page power point deck all ready it was now time to find a developer I could afford.


Finding a Developer

I didn’t have the time to learn to code, so I set out to hire someone who knows what their doing.  I’ve used outsourcing sites like oDesk in the past with mixed success, but this time I turned to good ‘ole craigslist to see if I could find someone local.  I created a post and talked about the basic function of the app and that I needed something simple=quick=easy=cheap.

As people replied to my gig,  I sent them a copy of my mock-up power point, along with my follow-up questions.  Over the next week I probably got about 20 responses.  I sent the same follow-up questions to each, asking them to give me a guess development/cost estimate based on my drawings.  I was also sure to ask about their experience level, if they were a team or a freelance dev, and for them to include a portfolio of work.

The estimates were all over the place from $500 -$7000; from a couple of days, to a couple of months.  I have enough experience in development to know I was asking for weeks not months.  In order to fit within my budget I knew I needed someone who could complete the gig in 2  – 3 weeks max.

I settled on an eager developer from the Philippines that had good communication skills, a solid pitch and a decent portfolio.


Next up, the pretty version of the design

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