Mission Planning: Roket’s Battle-Tested Design & Development Process

Would you pilot a rocket bound for the moon without any training?

Of course you wouldn’t. An astronaut spends years preparing his or her body and mind to take on that challenge. And although design and development are not quite as scary as being shot into space, they too can be overwhelming if you aren’t prepared.

For us, the process of preparing for a project is as important as the project itself, since one can’t exist without the other. The Roket process is client-inclusive and features tools to assist teams in extracting and documenting meaningful data, clearly mapping the path to success, and delivering solutions that solve real business challenges. From comprehensive websites to intuitive web and mobile apps for the seed-stage startup or the billion-dollar corporation, it’s the best way to ensure project success and client satisfaction.


Mission Plan

The Roket Mission Plan removes any assumptions from the process. We remove gray areas. No items are left to chance. The plan for each client is unique, but there’s a base set of information that’s crucial for success.

One of the most important sections in our Mission Plan is Stakeholders Interviews. We record input from anyone who has an interest in the ultimate outcome. That could include company leadership, the board of directors, a marketing or product department, and, of course, the end user.roket_missionplannning_cycle

We document the goal of the project—and that will define our success. Maybe it’s an increase in eCommerce sales or doubling the number of app store downloads. These goals direct the decisions we make in architecture, design, and development throughout the project.

Competition research is also part of our planning. This information, when overlaid, identifies the whitespace opportunities in market. This could include:

  • Brand Messaging: The competitors’ language feels cold and distant. Will users respond to a more approachable or relatable tone?
  • Branding: All of the competition uses blue as their brand color. Why? Should we dissent or fall in line?
  • App UI/UX: The technology built by competitors is difficult to navigate. How do we create a user experience that is intuitive and frictionless?
  • Website: The competitions’ marketing websites lack purpose. How can we use visual and verbal content to draw in our audience and become the obvious leaders of the pack?

The Mission Plan pulls together what’s already known but also highlights the unknown. One common unknown is User Personas. This is especially true for new products or brands. Personas are the unique profiles of typical users or customers—and knowing them is crucial. To accurately define these, we might decide to conduct User Interviews, Surveys, or Focus Groups.

The Mission Plan is comprehensive yet flexible, and it typically includes many more areas than those described above. When complete, the document is critical in guiding the strategy and tactics we’ll use to achieve the mission at hand.

All of this planning is nothing without the process behind the scenes keeping everything on track. We use Basecamp as our project management platform, Trello to track project tasks, Slack to keep everyone in the loop, and GitHub to ensure our development files are synced and backed up.

All of these processes, platforms, and procedures help ensure we deliver the best experience and most commercially relevant solution possible to our clients and their customers.



Mission Design

Design is used to untangle the messes that can prevent an effortless user experience. You know, those situations that cause fights between departments, feuds between new and old hires, and sleepless nights for the people in change of fixing it all. Don’t worry, we’re here to help.

During the design process, we map out the website or app architecture, which can be a significant feat in itself. This is especially true when dealing with unorganized content, legacy products, or competing priorities.

We then sort out all necessary user flows, screen by screen; for example: sign up, sign in, my account, payment, etc. This identifies the pages and page content needed during each user journey.

Next, we start low-fidelity sketches and wireframes to work out how content will be presented and how we intend interactions to function. Wireframes can be the most discussed step in the process. We want to hear all voices and views during this pivotal step.

Following the perfection of the wireframes, we move into high-fidelity visuals. That’s where we layer in the brand elements, including the colors, buttons, and images. At the end of Mission Design, we have a beautiful, meticulously crafted user interface. As much as it matters to the user, every pixel, every interaction is supremely important to us.



Mission Build

It’s time to bring our work to life in code. Roket uses an agile development process to ensure efficient delivery and continuous improvement of code.

We begin the development process by choosing a platform best suited to your needs. Whether you need simple and familiar front-end editing with WordPress or a proven eCommerce platform like Shopify, we’ll make sure it’s the best solution for the job.

After choosing the platform, we construct the bones of the site with an open-source framework such as Foundation or Bootstrap. Atop that, we handcraft each feature, interaction, and animation, page by page. We neatly place each and every pixel, carefully keeping in mind the way your design will look on every device and at every resolution.



Mission Launch

This is where our planning pays off. We push our code live, walk you through the platform, and hand off any assets or documentation. There‘s generally a hiccup or two pushing a site live, so we do our best to complete this step during hours that will least impact your business.

To better ensure a client’s success, we often continue our partnership after a project is live, delivering value by applying our iterative cycle of “Create, Measure, Learn.” We run tests, follow analytics, and gather user feedback to continue to improve the effectiveness and performance of our work.

If Roket sounds like a fit for your next project, we’d love to chat.