How to Enhance Learnability & Understandability of App Development Documents?

Waqas Khan
How to Enhance Learnability & Understandability of App Development Documents?

As managers, one thing that we are forced to love is documentation. While this is extremely crucial to the process, documentation is not something that speaks efficiently to the target audience it may cover some parts of the explanation yet people tend to argue more when they have extensive documentation in their court to review.

The idea of this blog piece would be why we need to have hybrid documentation for app development having visual items to display whilst explaining the core components of a product.

Some of the key elements to explain the topic are explained below:

Humans Process Visual Data Better

Visualization works from a human perspective because we respond to and process visual data better than any other type of data. In fact, the human brain processes image 60,000 times faster than text, and 90 percent of information transmitted to the brain is visual. Since we are visual by nature, we can use this skill to enhance data processing and organizational effectiveness.

A Software Requirement Specification (SRS) document can have data that is highly complex, with multidimensional relationships across many different, massive data sets, these could include functional requirements, technical specification, business details, process understanding – each as their own set of complex data.

The good news is that all of this data is geospatial and can be presented in visual ways. Data from various departments can be freed from their respective silos and create more rapid and accurate decision-making. In addition, visual information makes it easier to collaborate, and generate new ideas that impact product performance.

There are multiple examples for Visual documentation, some of them are:

UX Journey Document:

Imagine a document that takes you on a journey of the entire platform and gives you a cinematic view of all the components of the product. A UX document is that document, it creates a visual perspective for the client and readers with the usage of interactive items combined together to create a flawless user journey.

Deliverable Document:

In the old ways, when the team completes an iterative development phase, we used to have live demos and then inform the client that the work has been done. Now with this strategy, the client who is seeing the features for the first time, can steer in any direction and get confused and eventually get irritated by pointing out issues that should not even exist.

Now, with the hybrid documentation, we can slightly tweak the deliverable document and make it more efficient. You can associate a screen recording of every new feature that you have developed and attach that to the document (You can use loom for screen recording). This will give the client a direction to move and now you have the steering wheel in your hands.

Diagrammatic Documentation:

The effective use of diagrams can drastically enhance the readability of a document. For example, a workflow diagram explains the user flow of the system in an extremely effective manner, normally you would have to write pages and pages of text for this, and even after that, the readability and understanding of the document are not that clear.

Human beings are visual creatures. As such, the time is right for organizations to implement new solutions for leveraging data visualization and unlock their true potential to meet the mission and business goals.

Here is the epitome of all the above discussion:

A Substantial Decrease in Technical Debt

One thing that software and application development industries tend to forget is technical debt or in simpler terms “Reworking”. We should be more prudent to this debt as it cannot be stated in black and white yet it paralyzes the companies in a blink.

A good document should have high readability, yet for bigger products, the documentation can become too extensive and difficult to follow. Here comes the visualization magic. You can either draft out a quick prototype and use a screen recording tool to create a video explaining what you are trying to demonstrate and share your thoughts in a more personal manner.

This basically increases the understanding rate for the technical team and also for the client. It might create a ton of questions and conflicts upfront but the end result will need almost no rework as the expectations are already set for the team and for the client as well.

Here is an example when software product teams are unclear of the requirements and start taking shortcuts, this is where the technical debt starts.

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Lower Scope Creep and Higher Efficiency

Scope creep is a dreaded thing that can happen on any app development or software project, wasting money, decreasing satisfaction, and causing the expected project value to not be met. Most software projects seem to suffer from scope creep, and both project teams and stakeholders are consistently frustrated by it. Why does an effective means of controlling scope seem to continually elude us?

The main source of scope creep comes from a Lack of clarity and depth to the original specification document. When we say specifications document, we instantly get the thought of a 20 pages document, don’t we? Imagine a document that speaks with you, this would give listeners a perspective and a model to imagine and set expectations accordingly.

We are walking in an era of improvising the standard norms to increase efficiency. If we manage to make the documentation transparent to the readers, It will increase the efficiency of processes exponentially and would decrease the scope creep substantially.

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With the increase of complex requirements, app development companies are moving towards having an interactive means of communication to provide information in a seamless manner.

It is our vision that if we can have more visuals in the document, it can be a prototype, a graphical wireframe, a workflow diagram, we can increase efficiency and can create much impact in revenue generation along with cost savings.

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