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The Lifecycle Sprint

By Brian Geary on Jan 7, 2019 9:05:00 AM

There are two basic ways to think about new software versions:

  • “Yay!”
  • “Oh no, not again…”

Which one you adopt depends mainly on your attitude towards the software to begin with, and how much effort is required to implement it. The first reaction is reserved for software that you like using and for which you look forward to new features and benefits. Software with easy update paths (for example, those that don’t require uninstalling the previous version, don’t break existing files, and don’t require reboots) also fall in this category. The second reaction is pretty much for all other software.

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Leading with design: The Product Map Sprint

By Brian Geary on Dec 31, 2018 9:06:00 AM

Today we start a series of blog posts that dive into the design and development process we use here at AndPlus.

Our philosophy at AndPlus follows the Agile development methodology. By way of review, Agile breaks down a development project into short (one- or two-week) mini development cycles called sprints. A fundamental principle of Agile is that at the end of each development sprint, the team should have a working (albeit not necessarily complete) version of the software product.

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Automated vs Manual QA

By Brian Geary on Dec 26, 2018 9:05:00 AM

If you’ve ever been using a piece of software that crashed or went into some catatonic state for no apparent reason, your first thought, probably, was “why didn’t they test this?” followed by some choice words for the developers.

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Technology is changing industries

By Brian Geary on Dec 24, 2018 9:05:00 AM

Humankind had been cooking rice for over 12,000 years before someone had the bright idea of automating the process with rice-cooking appliances. (Why we needed to automate a process that runs mostly without human intervention anyway is a debate for another time.) Although the electric rice steamer (some models of which could be considered “robots” in the broadest sense of the term) didn’t revolutionize the culinary arts the way, say, fire did, it’s just one small example of the surprising application of technology in an area one might not consider “high tech.”

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UX starts with H.E.A.R.T

By Brian Geary on Dec 13, 2018 10:05:00 AM

Have you ever used software whose user interface had some or all of the following characteristics?

  • No clear path for performing a task
  • Non-intuitive controls
  • Poorly worded, non-descriptive labels
  • Unhelpful error messages
  • No feedback when you take an action (Is it doing anything, or is it stuck?)
  • Data entry fields that allow you to enter invalid data
  • Date entry fields that require you to duplicate data entry or enter extraneous data for no good reason
  • Poor or nonexistent help

If so, you’re not alone—in fact, if you haven’t encountered such software, you are in a tiny minority.

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Why businesses are seeking digital transformation

By Brian Geary on Dec 10, 2018 10:05:00 AM

Earlier in this space, we talked about the meaning of digital transformation, both for business in general and for AndPlus in particular. For today’s post, let’s dig a little deeper and explore what motivates businesses to seek such a thing.

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