Recently, I joined efforts with two of my good friends and fellow Telerik Evangelists Michael Crump and Jesse Liberty to jointly build an application that would run on Windows 8 and Windows Phone. Michael will do the Windows Phone development, Jesse Windows 8 with C# and XAML, and I will tackle the WinJS version.
Jesse did a great job of outlining the goals of the application and the initial wireframes of the application in his post on the project kick off. I want to focus on the value of using Wireframes in application design.
“It Must Be Done, Right?”
A friend of mine, Mike, spent a great deal of time putting together a PowerPoint presentation that represented what the application they were building was going to look like. Not a single line of code had been written yet – in fact, they didn’t even have funding for the project.
The slides looked amazingly realistic. The transitions were built so that when Mike “clicked” on an image of a button, the slide transitions looked like there really was a program responding to his input.
The presentation went great, and all of the senior management who had to decide on funding were very impressed. The project was a go! The executive vice president who chaired the committee pulled Mike aside as the others were leaving, and asked him to stay behind. When everyone else had left, the EVP asked Mike to install the software on his computer so he could play with it. Without flinching, Mike responded the only way he knew how – “Sir, I can’t because my PowerPoint compiler isn’t working right now. This only works on my machine.”
That is a perfect illustration of one of the dangers of making awesome looking graphics to demonstrate what you are going to be building. People will assume that it’s done. And then they can’t figure out why it’s taking so long to get it deployed!
“It’s too late to change anything now”
Again I have to say I dig seeing this kind of blog post from a company/ISV blog site. All to often company blogs are thinly veiled marketing posts or just bla, bla, bla. Not so in this case. Telerik seems to really embrace giving their people a voice, their own personal voice. You want to read their posts because you feel you are connecting with a person, you are creating something of a relationship. And that good feeling translates into a good feeling about Telerik... I know, imagine that! :)