Hey there Bertrand here, and today I wanted to share some insights on our development process and how we go about developing graphic softwares at YMB Properties.
Offline Presence is the latest born in a series of graphic software which now started two years ago. In that timeframe we have learned a great deal about developing graphic applications but Offline Presence was arguably one of the most challenging projects we’ve ever worked on (so far).
Creating Offline Presence took our development team of 7 (4 designers and 3 developers) a little more than 2 months to complete, working week days and week-ends.
Deciding to develop Offline Presence was not a light decision. In fact, because of the large image size required in print materials we needed to build a new technology which would allow graphics to scale to any size. It all started with researching the print industry.
Research: Technical specifications and the boring part
As you can see from this snapshot of one of our Trello board above (see how we use Trello to manage everything), we had to do a lot of background research to develop a software that matches the strict requirement of the print industry.
I can recall having multiple 3am calls with John our UX designer and Abhi our Flash developer in the first 10 days of development just to figure out what would be the design dimensions and how to work out technical issues like the bleed area.
Wireframing: building the foundation!
Once we worked out the technical requirements needed to enable anyone to create quality print materials, we started brainstorming and wire framing the interface of Offline Presence.
As you can see from the above mockups, the wireframes were really basic but functional. I can safely recommend the excellent Balsamiq if you need to create mockups for your own softwares or websites.
Development: “If you are going through hell, keep on going!”
From the entire team the development phase of Offline Presence was particularly tough. We spent the best of 7 weeks working day and night on discussing, arguing , researching, tweaking and constantly improving the software and overcoming all technical challenges. This meant no week-ends, 4 hour nights and the likes. Yes, it’s a far cry from the four hour work week, but we are firm believers that only hard, tedious, challenging work can lead to great things. We hope the proof will be in the pudding.
Templates: now the fun part!
As soon as that we had a stable version of Offline Presence we started creating templates. John, Loie, Bryan and Ares (our four designers) spent the best part of the past 5 weeks creating tons of templates and vector graphics for Offline Presence.
3D Conversion: now we’re talking!
The one click 3D conversion button is arguably the coolest feature in Offline Presence. It’s actually an evolution of a similar technology we had developed for eBook Presence more than a year ago and it turned out pretty great!
Check out some of the background designs we use to generate the 3D conversion feature above, and watch a demo of the 3D feature below (it’s very cool).
Launching Offline Presence
At this stage and one day before our public launch, I can safely say that me and everyone else in the YMB team is very excited to finally bring you Offline Presence this Tuesday.
Do you have any feedback or questions about Offline Presence or our development process? Let me know your thoughts in the comments below