Week 2 Reflections

Ideation is tough. Our team spent most of the time finalising our ideas for the first assignment and decided to build a social app for the NUS community. Of course there were certain disagreements among the team but I’m glad that it was resolved in the end.

Logically, the next step after ideation was to set up our wireframes. However we did not do that promptly since we didn’t really know what to do. I think we were still unclear of the main features that we want and therefore a delay in coming up with wireframes. It wasn’t until end of this week that we finally started to get some wireframes out, and a frontend skeleton for us to work with.

This can definitely be improved on. We should have started with the wireframes earlier instead of going in circles about the features that our app should have. With a wireframe, it is easy to add additional features and extra components.

Our backend developer, Xinan, was really fast though, the API is already setup and running.

Several new technologies I’ve been exposed to this week include ReactJS, the Flux architecture, webpack build system and also ES6. These are really new and exciting frontend technologies which are being used more and more frequently. Really grateful to have Yang Shun help us out by explaining to us some of the frontend architecture and concepts. Coming from a server-side rendering to building a SPA is kind of overwhelming.

The main takeaway from this week (and assignment 1 so far) is to set up wireframes the moment an idea is formed. It’ll be easier to discuss about the features and iterate on the design. As Su Yuen mentioned in her UI/UX workshop, it will be easier to do user testing (using the wide array of tools that we have online today) and also iterate on the design concurrently.

One of the main goals of next week is to optimise my learning speed, and push out the MVP ASAP. The speed at which I’m learning things is too slow and I should really be doing things at a faster pace. I took a whole week just to understand React and Flux.

But having said that, I’m glad that I chose a framework that I’m not familiar with. At least I’m constantly upgrading and learning new things while executing. It offers me a different perspective on how things are being done and I’m looking forward to seeing more of such things! (Not at the cost of the product of course)

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