How long will an interactive touchscreen solution take to develop?
Are you looking for an interactive touchscreen experience, but want a better idea of how long it’ll take to develop?
Many of our clients approach us to produce an engaging and interactive touchscreen experience for their customers with a particular event or date in mind (perhaps to coincide with a conference, or a new product launch).
Unfortunately, the answer isn’t a straightforward one, and depends on various factors, such as the complexity and features / functionality you’re going to need.
We might as well say: “How long is a piece of string?”
However, to help give you a rough idea, we’ve outlined our typical process and timescales below, along with more about the factors which can affect the time a touchscreen experience takes to develop.
How long does an interactive touchscreen experience take to develop?
Let’s start by looking at the typical development time of an interactive experience. On average, we’d say a touchscreen experience should take around around 8 – 12 weeks to develop.
This really depends on factors such as the complexity of your experience (TIP: you can check out our recent blog to get a better idea of what’s possible), whether you have all the content you need ready, do you need custom built screens and enclosures, the time allowed for testing and ironing out any issues, and how many stakeholders are involved.
With little idea of how long a touchscreen solution might take, some clients have been known to approach us well ahead of time (up to six months!) whereas others have needed their experience in as little as two months.
In both cases, we were able to make it work – although we can’t speak for other agencies, and timescales will differ between different touchscreen specialists and developers.
Sometimes flexibility is a must. Another of our clients, Coty, had only six weeks to develop interactive content, games and a touchscreen experience for a series of roadshows. The target date couldn’t be moved, and they needed quite a complex interactive with tight deadlines.
Luckily, we were able to deliver their touchscreen experience on time, and beyond their expectations.
Typical development stages and timescales
Like we mentioned above, these processes and timescales may differ from agency to agency, but we can still give you a good idea of how your touchscreen experience should start to take shape.
Below, we’ve put together a brief outline of the typical development stages and timescales to allow for when working with an interactive specialist:
1. Content review and sitemap (1 – 3 days)
Once we have a good idea of your brief and what you’re looking to achieve we’ll begin work on collecting and reviewing your content and putting together a sitemap for the experience (a map of the pages and content).
This involves looking at the key sections, and how individual bits of your content will fit together, along with how people will easily find all the content they’re looking for – creating this narrative structure is central to a successful experience.
We’ll also pinpoint any other vital pages or information that to be included – (such as an ‘about us’ page, help page, contact information or any other little nuances that need to be considered).
2. Content storyboard and wireframes (1 – 2 weeks)
Once your content review and sitemap are complete, we’ll begin work creating what’s known as a ‘black and white’ wireframe of your experience.
There’s no real design at this stage, as we use these wireframes purely to get the messaging, page structure, user experience and navigation right. By focusing purely on content and structure we can ensure we deliver the optimal user experience before we worry about how it will look – good structure will lead to good design.
We will also present a moodboard at this stage which will include images of how we see the final experience looking. The moodboard is a useful starting point to discuss ideas that you and we like, or don’t like, to try and narrow down the creative direction we’ll take.
3. Design (1 – 2 weeks)
Based on the wireframes and moodboard we’ve created, we’ll set out a design concept for your touchscreen experience. We’ll look at the overall design and theme, and any central visual devices we can use to tie the whole experience together.
4. Touchscreen development (4 – 8 weeks)
Once you’ve signed off on your chosen design, we’ll begin to build out a fully working interactive touchscreen experience. This is by far the most involved part of the process.
5. Final review and delivery (1 – 2 weeks)
This is the part where we add the final finishing touches to your interactive experience and includes plenty of time for testing and changes. Once everyone’s happy, we’ll deliver your fully working touchscreen experience!
Advice from a touchscreen specialist
When approaching an interactive touchscreen agency or specialist, we recommend allowing plenty of time for development, as it’s rarely ever a quick fix.
Have a clear brief with you, and know exactly what you’re looking to achieve before talking to a specialist – or, if you’re not quite sure, start those conversations earlier.
We recommend talking to a couple of different companies. They should be able to make you feel at ease, and ask all the right questions to help build up a picture of exactly what you’re looking for, and how they can help.
You might get different answers depending on who you’re talking to, so trust your gut, look at online testimonials, and ask to see previous examples of their work.
TIP: It’s also a good idea to check that they can provide the hardware as well as the software! Not all specialists or agencies will.
We hope this blog has been helpful and given you some idea of timeframes? The best thing to do is to speak to an interactive touchscreen specialist, they should be able to give you a better idea of how long your experience will take, depending on some of the factors mentioned above.
Do you have any questions about development time, or the various stages involved? We’d love to hear from you, so don’t be afraid to contact us using the form below!