April starts with harmless practical jokes and hoaxes and while many of us like playing jokes on others, most of us don’t like being the April fool or feeling foolish at all.
Here at OPG we don’t want you to feel foolish either when it comes to technology or building your system. That’s why we always try to help you understand what to expect when we work together. One way is by always writing a business requirements document first. The goal of the business requirements document is to describe your system in words and to serve as a blueprint for the developers to build from.
Since we all know that a picture is worth a thousand words, we create visual representations (mocks) of the system to help you understand what the system will look based on the business requirements and if it is an accurate representation of what you’re looking for.
While many find the mocks very helpful, we often find that it isn’t until you are able to click through the system on your own that the written requirements document actually comes to life and a full understanding takes place. This is where clickable prototypes come in to help you gain more understanding of what end product will be.
Basically a clickable prototype is like an interactive mock-up of the system that allows users to navigate from page to page and click on buttons and drop down menus. Why is this important? A clickable prototype allows you to get a tangible feel for how the system will function and behave before a single line of code is written. This means that you can provide more thoughtful feedback before the development even begins which can save time, money, and any possibility of feeling foolish.
Another way to help you understand what to expect when working with us is our OPG website which we are happy to announce is being redesigned for your benefit. So stay tuned for our new website launch.
<code>What We’ve Been Up To</code>
Here is just a quick taste of the many successful happenings in our web and mobile software work at OPG for the month. We like to feature a few key releases because we are super-excited about every release and the impact each has on every business we serve.
- We just released a massive new module for email design control as a new module to an existing SaaS association management platform. This module allows platform users to custom design their own email templates and settings using a simple editor with absolutely no programming knowledge required. We took the geek out of making emails look awesome. More control, more flexibility, more often. As they say, making something really easy is really, really hard!
- Mobile went wild this month! April saw the most app releases we have pushed out in a single month so far, and we all know that keeping things fresh in mobile is a key to success!
- Did you know that OPG created a Magento payments extension for Square? It’s called Square Payments Extension and it allows Square merchants to process payments via their Magento ecommerce website. We released two new versions of the extension this month, focused on new requests from customer feedback. Unified processing with Square and Magento is a reality. Pretty cool huh?
- We were proud to have completed a huge cost and time saving enhancement for a business operations and management platform (an ERP of sorts). We used a bit of API magic and really cool business logic to turn human manual labor into no-worries automation. The basic concept was that we took a few hundred man-hours per month of manual data input for a client, sent it through the OPG magic machine, and eliminated all of that manual effort. This allowed the client to refocus their staff on much more productive activities and save a ton of wasted cash. Huge win for our client, and a great example of how well placed technology can make a real difference.