Lately the BUZZ word in the web world has been Bootstrap, the HTML, CSS & JS framework for quickly designing & developing the front-end for any website or app. Bootstrap is the jumping off point that we’ve all been wanting for decades that would allow us to not have to worry about how we’re going to create a prototype/app and focus on solving the bigger issues like strategy, retention and getting that huge exit.

In the past designers & developers would spend a lot of time creating mock-ups & flows in [insert graphics program here] or coding a static site (basically a quick framework) that would allow them to get 1-2 similar variations of a landing page, on-boarding flow or even an application UI. This might sound like a lot of testing, however compared to the time spent you more than likely wouldn’t be able to test often enough to justify the hours it takes to get a design into code into the wild.

In today’s world of LEAN & AGILE focused start-ups & app development, we no longer have to spend days, weeks or even months (yes, Months) getting a process or prototype out the door for testing.

This past week I spent a lot of time trying to solve some big issues around user-flows and on-boarding, since every start-up is trying to solve the user acquisition & retention problem. Time is always a major concern… there is simply not enough of it. We’re always trying to find ways to balance the equation of time spent vs. quick iterations.

By implementing Bootstrap, my team at Empire Avenue was able to create a completely re-wired on-boarding process, submit an actual working prototype to www.usertesting.com and receive feedback in less than an hour. The entire process looked like this:

 

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Over the course of a week we were able to create a process for:

  • Brainstorming
  • Designing & developing a prototype
  • Submitting for user feedback
  • Reviewing the process that now allows us to implement various iterations every 2 hours.

Think about the impact of receiving targeted feedback on any part of your site or application every 2 hours… in a 12 hour day you can have 6 iterations of your project in front of users and if you are able to fill most of the holes, deploy your change in a day.

Without Bootstrap we would have spent a large chunk of time creating the base HTML, CSS & JS from scratch and I imagine adding at least 6 hours if not an entire day getting a working prototype out the door, let alone 4 different versions. Utilizing Bootstrap has allowed us to stop focusing on the technology and distill the user feedback into a very narrow set of tasks. If you’re trying to find ways to increase productivity, or need to find a better process to get changes out the door and reviewed, then you need to seriously be taking a look at Bootstrap.

You can follow along with our progress by checking out Empire Avenue.