In this short series on how to make your kiosk software project a success I’m going to focus on the development aspects of planning and launching a successful kiosk project.
In the first article I focused on the initial planning of your kiosk software project. In the second part of this 2-part series I’m going to focus on executing your kiosk software project in a manner which helps ensure your success.
RedSwimmer has been developing custom kiosk software since 2007 with an emphasis on retail and unattended payment applications.
Since our background is in kiosk software development, this series will focus on the planning and development of your kiosk software, but also touch a little on the hardware side.
Clear and Frequent Communication with Your Developers
You have the vision so it’s your job to clearly communicate that vision with your developers. It’s your developer’s job to execute your vision within the boundaries of current technologies.
Experienced kiosk software developers will have insights on how to augment your vision and make it better than you ever imagined possible, but they’re not mind readers.
This is why clear and frequent communication is crucial in order for your project to hit its mark and achieve your vision.
Poor communication is also a common cause of rework. Rework can occur when a feature needs to be revisited because the developer misunderstood what you really wanted. Rework is a waste of your resources and can be avoided with clear and frequent communication.
You’re A Crucial Part of the Team
One of my biggest disappointments as a kiosk software developer and project manager is to encounter a client with an amazing vision for a kiosk software who’s just too busy to collaborate and make their project a success.
We understand that you’re busy running your business and that your life doesn’t revolve around this project, but you do need to be prepared to invest at least a few hours each week to review developer progress and give feedback
You’re a crucial part of the team. Your developers need more than just your ideas, they need your collaboration and feedback to know if they’re going in the right direction.
When you have your finger on the pulse of your kiosk software project your ideas will evolve as the project progresses. Your close involvement with the developers will make sure they’re always in tuned with your latest and most evolved vision for your kiosk software project.
Collect User Feedback Early and Often
Until you get user feedback on your kiosk software you’re simply guessing at what your customers really want. This is why we advocate building a minimal viable product (MVP) so that you can begin collecting customer feedback as soon as possible with minimal investment.
By getting your kiosk in front of potential users you can see where they get hung up and how to improve your kiosk software.
You may think a particular feature will resonate with users only to find out its confusing or requires additional explanation. Users often don’t use the kiosk in the same way you envisioned because unlike you, they don’t eat, breath, and sleep your business.
Performing incremental releases is all about delivering value on a regular basis and makes it possible to adapt to all the user feedback you’ve been gathering.
This is opposite of the mindset that everything has to be perfect before you release, which is a mistake in most cases.
As you complete features you should perform incremental releases so that you can begin gathering user feedback. This way you can learn from your users if you’re building something they actually want.
As you can see, communication is the common thread that runs throughout all of these tips and the MVP is a close second.
If you talk early and often with your developers and customers your chances for success will skyrocket, especially when dealing with the uncertain nature of custom software development.
I’d also strongly recommend reading Eric Ries book The Learn Startup which has revolutionized the way we develop software for our clients.
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