I've had an idea for a simple mobile app stuck in my head for about a year now. After diving in on Bubble, I think I can build a no-code MVP, so I'm going to give it a go – for fun and to learn Bubble. I decided to drag you along for the adventure.
When building something from scratch, the first thing I do is create the requirements.
What Are Requirements?
All of the things required to build the product! And writing them first makes sure that everyone involved in building and launching a product is in alignment on what they're building and for whom.
Don't Start From Scratch
Just because you're building something from scratch doesn't mean you have to start from scratch. That's where a good template enters. I love templates. I look at templates as "thinking tools." They help me consider things about the problem, users, and product that I may not have considered originally. Also, starting with a blank page is scary.
When I decided to embark on this little tech adventure, I immediately went on the hunt for a Notion template that would help me create, store and iterate on the requirements. I landed on the one below and made some changes along the way.
Since I'm building this app for fun and to learn Bubble, I'm skipping over the first few sections of the template (summary, pain, and context) and heading straight to Users.
Start with User Personas
I love user personas. I have fun putting myself in the shoes of specific users. When building an MVP, I never have more than a handful of personas – and I like to them super simple, like this example👇
Then Write User Stories
User stories are part of an agile approach that helps shift the focus from writing about requirements to talking about them .
A user story is a small, self-contained unit of development work designed to accomplish a specific goal within the product. A single feature can be made up of multiple user stories.
Most teams I've worked with have used a template for writing them that looks something like this:
As a [user persona], I want [goal] so that [some reason].
Here are a few that I just wrote. Again, simple user stories are best at the MVP stage👇
Break User Stories Into Features
After writing my stories, I took at look at how they were combined to create the features I need to build. A feature is a group of stories that are related and delivered in a package of functionality that users get all at once. Here are mine:
For example, dreating a story called “Users Have a Profile” would be too broad. That doesn’t give a developer enough detail about your desired outcome. What does “have” mean in that context? What specific tasks should the user be able to with their profile?
This is why this type of functionality needs to be broken down even further into several user stories. For example:
- User creates a profile
- User edits a profile
Decide How To Build It
I love this part! After looking at the features, it's time to figure out how you can actually make it work!
Can I fake it? Meaning, Can I do something manual to start to mimic those features without building a fully automatic solution? Can I build it no-code, using my favorite tools and Automate.io or Zapier to automate the functions? Or, do I need to hire a damn engineer to make it work?
Now that I have my list of features, is it time to build? Nope. The next step is creating a wireframe.
To be continued...
Until next time,
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