Cost Performance Index in software

The cost of software development, upgrade and maintenance projects can be a sore point because they don’t come cheap. Whether you take-on the projects in-house or outs...

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The cost of software development, upgrade and maintenance projects can be a sore point because they don’t come cheap. Whether you take-on the projects in-house or outsource them, there are technology and resourcing costs that can spiral when unmanaged, causing them to go over-budget.

As with any project, a quick return on investment is wanted from software projects. When your business is reliant on technology to run and be profitable, extended tech projects that don’t perform or deliver value fast are a thorn in the side of business continuity as well as the bottom line.

Here’s an idea of software project costs

In Dubai, the cost of the average app development project ranges from $5 000 to $10 000. For complications and multi-feature app, prices shoot to between $267 000 and $360 000. 

Need a website? For a small and simple business website, expect to pay in the region of $15 000.  For a conversion or lead-focused website, the cost will be about $30 000, and $50 000 upwards for a complex, feature-rich website. 

The average cost of a business software upgrade, from Enterprise Resource Planning and Customer Relationship Management systems to IT security, can range from a few thousand to hundreds of thousands of dollars, depending on the size and the type of business you are in.

Don’t underestimate the time and financial resources needed to build quality, functional software applications. There is a lot that goes into it and costs begin to stack-up when the project doesn’t perform or goes over-budget. 

Use the Cost Performance Index to measure project cost efficiency

The Cost Performance Index is a measure of the financial effectiveness and efficiency of a project, and represents the amount of work completed for every monetary unit spent. Project managers can use CPI to measure the cost efficiency of software projects against the work actually completed for an early flag that budget or scope adjustments need to be made. Simply put, it is a way of demonstrating whether or not your project is on budget and performing.

Using the CPI will give you an honest view of the cost efficiency of budgeted resources as a ratio of earned value to actual costs. 

The power of one

You can calculate the Cost Performance Index by dividing the Earned Value (EV) by Actual Cost (AC). When we talk about Earned Value (EV), we are talking about the amount of the task that is actually completed compared to what was planned to be done by a particular stage. It is expressed in terms of the budget set for the project. For instance, if the budget is $10,000 but only 20% of the work has been completed halfway through the six month project timeframe, then the EV is $2,000. The Actual Cost (AC) is the amount of money that has been spent on the task.

So, CPI = EV / AC 

For example, if a project has an EV of $30 000 but the AC is $15 000, the CPI is 2. 

But what does that mean?

CPI < 1a CPI that is less than one means the earning is less than the amount spent. You can say the project is over budget. 

CPI > 1a CPI that greater than one means the earning is more than the amount spent. This is when you can happily say that the project is under budget. 

CPI = 1a CPI equal to one means the earning and spending are equal. Everything is going according to plan and the project is performing well. 

The upside and downside of technology

In this digital age, you know that technology not only enables your business but powers it. There is a downside though. Software needs constant maintenance and frequent upgrades. Don’t consider maintenance or upgrade projects as a nuisance. Instead, see upgrades as an investment into better efficiencies, seamless continuity, improved productivity, more features, greater functionality, happier employees, more engaged customers, tighter IT security and reduced risks. The list of rewards from optimised software goes on, and they translate into business growth. Maintaining your software systems will ensure that they are up-to-date, bug-free, cyber-secure and working as they should. 

Hand it over

Budget, skills and resourcing constraints will impact the progress and ultimate success of your software projects, whether it’s a new app development or a website upgrade. Poor planning leads to slow progress and failing to reach the goals you want to achieve. You want a CPI equal to one or more if you want the most bang for your buck.

Not your forte? Hand it over. At Digital Grind we eat, sleep and drink this stuff. We have an established team of tech experts who understand the software development, maintenance and user experience design landscape. We also know that getting ROI on software projects is important to our clients. So planning and sticking to budget and project timelines is non-negotiable. We aim for a CPI of one or more on every project we undertake. Have a look at what we did for Moro Hub

Got a goal or a project in mind? Start it now with Digital Grind.


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Brandon Busuttil
10 years immersion in the marketing, events and digital sectors, accompanied by an honours degree in Marketing Management. An unmistakable passion for connecting brands and people, fuelled by an entrepreneurial ‘make–it–happen’ approach to life.

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These days, setting up and publishing a new website is easy to do and can be done in just a matter of minutes. While this sounds like good news, it isn’t always the be...

These days, setting up and publishing a new website is easy to do and can be done in just a matter of minutes. While this sounds like good news, it isn’t always the best route to go for many businesses because such websites aren’t always optimised to attract the right visitors and ultimately convert them to customers.

In addition, it’s important to stay ahead of competitors by making sure your business stands out to your target audience and in search engine results. By doing so, web traffic to your website will noticeably increase as your conversions follow suit.

A website should not only be aesthetically pleasing design-wise, but should be functional and versatile. Below is a list of the top digital design best practices for 2021 we believe will catapult your business to greater visibility and success.

  1. Easy navigation

When visitors click on your website, they shouldn’t struggle to find anything they are looking for. All the website’s elements need to be intuitive and logical, from headings and graphics to drop-down menus. 

Always try to view your website through the eyes of a first-time visitor. Is everything located where you could expect it to be? Are you able to keep track of which part of the website you are? With all the competition that’s out there, a visitor will simply move on if they see your website as too complex to navigate.

  1. Consistency is key

Keeping things consistent in digital design goes a long way in maintaining your brand identity. Customers associate a website’s brand with certain colours, logos and messaging. Make sure this is the case when people visit your website.

This doesn’t only hold true for design elements. The content also needs to have a consistent tone and value proposition. Having colours or content that are inconsistent creates confusion and that is something you want to avoid at all costs.

  1. CTA needs to be clear

Calls-to-action (CTAs) need to be clear and be seen by a visitor on first look. This can be achieved through a CTA button which lets them know where to go or what action to take next. Customers don’t need to return to your website at a later stage in order to convert. 

Also, your CTA has to be big, visible and available on the majority of your pages, not just the home page. It must stand out on the page it’s on, by having less elements around it. 

  1. Tell a story

Storytelling is one of the best ways of communicating powerful messages. In web design, it can be a conduit to deliver a message into the mind of the visitor: that they should buy your product or service.

It’s important to tell a story as this reinforces consistency, while keeping readers engaged. Having facts without a good story to follow makes them lose interest and move on to something better. Your website needs to follow a logical order that ultimately leads the visitor to your CTA or contact information.

  1. Less is more

Page visitors don’t want to be bombarded with a barrage of text, graphics and colours, such that they don’t know where to look first. It’s an important part of telling a story to only display essential information by eliminating any unnecessary text or graphics.

Keep text to a minimum by using fewer words, shorter sentences, shorter paragraphs and bullet points. Always use good content writing techniques that deliver your point across with as little words as possible and direct you to where you need to go next.

  1. Mobile-friendly

Just about half of all website traffic comes from mobile users. It’s a no-brainer why your website needs to be mobile-friendly to cater to this group of visitors. In fact, many developers have even gone a step further and are mobile-first.

The main advantage of creating responsive websites through mobile search engine optimisation (SEO) is that it raises their ranking on search engine results. This means that more people will be able to view your website regardless of the device they are using.

  1. SEO is king

SEO is undeniably one of the major and most popular best practices when it comes to digital design; every web designer has no option but to make it a priority. Always make sure that your website has relevant keywords that users typically input in search engines.

By using dynamic content, you can appeal to all possible visitors with various interests within your target market. By paying attention to tags, descriptions, sitemaps and using shorter URLs, your website can rank higher in search results.

  1. Accessibility

We live in a world where not all individuals possess the same abilities that enable them to successfully navigate a website. With 15% of the world having some form of disability, it’s necessary to make sure your website can accommodate their needs.

Simple changes can be made to websites, such as by enabling keyboard-only support. This is particularly useful for individuals with motor impairments. You could also increase access to those with visual impairments by using contrasting colours.

  1. Speed optimisation

This ties well with “less is more” due to the fact that websites with complex graphics take longer to load, which sends visitors off in search of greener pastures. A Google study noted that sites lose 53% of their visitors if they take more than three seconds to load—You don’t want that.

Web developers should prioritise file compression (particularly for media), using prefetching, and removing unnecessary fonts, CSS and JS files. Another upside is that your SEO rankings will be higher if your page loads faster.

  1. A/B testing

A/B or split testing shows two different versions of a web page to different audiences, then compares them to find out which one performs better, with a certain goal in mind. It helps to find out what works and what doesn’t.

This should be a continual process as your target users’ needs are constantly evolving. By focusing on noticeably popular web elements, you can increase website conversions. Besides, analytics are always welcome when it comes to design.

So here’s our CTA too

At Digital Grind, we offer bespoke digital design services for platforms, websites and web apps, encompassing user interface and user experience design techniques. We can give your brand a facelift using the best practices mentioned above, to turn customer success into advocacy. Talk to us!


To the untrained ear, the phrase “martech” sounds like another buzzword, and maybe in some ways, it is. It seems like everybody is adding the “tech” to words that alre...

To the untrained ear, the phrase “martech” sounds like another buzzword, and maybe in some ways, it is. It seems like everybody is adding the “tech” to words that already exist these days and making it a thing. However, there is real merit to understanding the intricacies behind the growing movement towards using technology in marketing and the applications and mechanisms that make this possible. 

As brand owners, playing in the marketing space, there are universal challenges that we have to overcome and tech provides us with a ton of ways to get there. 

The data conundrum

One of the biggest problems we face in the digital landscape today is making sense of enormous amounts of data available to us. In fact, according to TechJury, “1.7MB of data was created every second by every person during 2020” and these numbers only seem to be growing. With such a substantial base of information to sift through, it can seem impossible to draw truly valuable insights and manual detection of brand mentions can only get us so far. There just aren’t enough hours in a day or people on Earth to do the job of monitoring software, which is so key to improving performance in our industry. 

Does this mean that human power is now redundant? Of course not. But it is a good example of how embracing martech makes our everyday operations more efficient and helps create the right environment for smarter people-power. Without social listening and media monitoring, we create unimaginable amounts of work for employees, and by introducing data that needs to be manually vetted and constantly added to, we’re back at square one in terms of lacking resources for comprehending the digital spaces we operate in.

According to GlobalNewswire, the media monitoring software market was approximately USD 2,260 million in 2018 and is expected to generate around USD 7,236 million by 2027, at a CAGR of around 13.9% between 2019 and 2027”. What does this tell us? That data filtering is on the rise, and is quickly becoming part of our everyday operations in terms of monitoring, listening and reporting. 

As a result of this, new SaaS solutions are springing up around the globe, with major players in competition to get the monopoly. For brands and agencies, this shows an important skills gap to fill when it comes to understanding this software and developing the ability to draw meaningful insights and base campaigns on key findings. In order to future-proof the success of your digital marketing, you will need a firm grasp on the data landscape around your brand and the infrastructure to understand it. 


Martech skills development will grow massively in select nations

While the world is already adopting marketing technologies at a faster rate than pre-pandemic, we’re seeing a massive uptake of interest and skills development in tech-driven nations. For example, the first knowledge hub, related specifically to martech, popped up in the UAE in 2019. Now, only 3 years later, there’s a range of publications and supporting organizations coming to the fore, such as MartechNews and the Daily Martech Roundup, each with loyal followings. 


Spending and investment is on the rise

In the Gartner 2019 - 2020 survey (which conducts research from the responses of over 340 participants), it was reported that top-line marketing spend would decrease for the first time in over 5 years. So, this means that martech spend should decrease too, right? But the opposite has happened. The same survey findings showed that “martech spending rose to 29% of total budgets” - a phenomenal leap in light of the current scarcity of resources.

What does this mean for businesses, brands and entrepreneurs? It’s time to adopt or die. This level of investment and shift in spending is usually spurred on by greater ROI and predictive forecasting, which means the data is showing consistently high returns, either on resource savings or generation, that comes as a direct result of using martech more. 


New tools are emerging at a rapid rate

While some technological industries are forging partnerships within the ranks, martech seems to be a competitive and fast-paced environment. In fact, Martech Today reported that there are more than 8000 notable tools currently on the market for combining brand messaging and analytics with tech. 

These were mostly data analysis tools. To some, this may seem like an opportunity to join forces, but it appears that barring a few buyouts and acquisitions, we still haven’t quite solved the problem of adequately centralising data analytics and media interactions. Until this is achieved, and someone takes the monopoly, a rang of tools will continue to emerge.  


Preparing for the future

With growth in the martech sector becoming more evident and having an increasingly significant impact on marketing professionals, a few things are clear. The first of which is that brands must put the infrastructure in place to navigate a changing digital landscape or face some level of becoming obsolete. In short, there are a few critical steps towards preparing for the continued rise of martech:

  • Setting up infrastructure requires internal skills development and enlisting the help of expert service providers who already understand the space.
  • Marketing tools can automate daily tasks and take the grunt-work out of manually interpreting data. As this becomes the norm, it’s important for brands to be able to use and interact with these tools.
  • Businesses should designate marketing teams to help them continue to drive brand growth and capitalise on the growing level of opportunity available to them.
  • Outsmarting competitors will mean savvy, integrated marketing that’s based on data but does not forgo the human element. 
  • A bigger focus on allocating resources to marketing is a must in order to stay competitive and stay relevant to key audiences. 

At Digital Grind, we work tirelessly to understand the digital landscape and to keep building our technical infrastructure to meet the growing demands of the industry. Speak to us for more information or enlist our services on your next project and we can start to work together to ensure your business is fit for the future.


Unleash the power of UX/UI design to create captivating software applications. Join us as we explore the principles and best practices for success.

Introduction

In this digital era, creating applications that provide exceptional user experiences is vital for business success. As businesses shift their focus towards user-centric approaches, understanding the significance of UX (User Experience) and UI (User Interface) becomes paramount. Join us as we embark on a journey to explore the world of UX/UI and unveil how it can take your software applications to the next level.

In this blog, we will delve into the core principles of UX/UI design, shedding light on its impact on user satisfaction, efficiency, engagement, and brand perception. By adopting best practices and learning from real-world examples, you will gain insights on how to create intuitive and visually appealing interfaces that captivate and delight your users. So, let's dive in and discover the power of UX/UI design in shaping successful software applications. Get ready to unlock the potential of user-centered design and drive your business towards a competitive advantage.

What is UX/UI?

Let's start by unraveling the world of UX/UI in software development. UX, or User Experience, encompasses the holistic experience that users have while interacting with a software application. It goes beyond aesthetics and delves into the realm of usability, accessibility, and overall satisfaction. On the other hand, UI, or User Interface, refers to the visual and interactive elements that users engage with on the software's interface.

Together, UX and UI form a dynamic duo, working hand in hand to create delightful and seamless experiences for users. UX focuses on understanding user needs, conducting research, and designing intuitive workflows that enable users to achieve their goals effortlessly. UI, on the other hand, adds the visual layer to the experience, incorporating visually appealing designs, clear navigation, and interactive elements that captivate and guide users through the application.

The significance of UX/UI in software development cannot be overstated. By prioritizing user-centered design principles, businesses can create applications that are not only visually appealing but also intuitive, efficient, and enjoyable to use. A well-crafted UX/UI design enhances user engagement, increases customer satisfaction, and ultimately drives business success.

In the following sections of this blog, we will explore the specific benefits of UX/UI in software development. From improved usability and increased conversions to enhanced brand loyalty and positive user perceptions, we will uncover how UX/UI design can elevate your software applications to new heights. So, let's dive deeper into the world of UX/UI and discover the transformative power it holds in shaping exceptional user experiences.

The Benefits of Good UX/UI in Software Development

Let's explore the transformative benefits that good UX/UI design brings to software development. When businesses invest in creating exceptional user experiences, they unlock a myriad of advantages:

First and foremost, good UX/UI design enhances user satisfaction. By crafting interfaces that are intuitive, visually appealing, and easy to navigate, businesses create an environment where users feel at ease. When users can seamlessly accomplish their tasks without encountering roadblocks or confusion, they are more likely to develop a positive perception of the brand and remain loyal customers.

Furthermore, effective UX/UI design improves usability and efficiency. By carefully organizing information, implementing clear navigation, and optimizing workflows, businesses streamline the user experience. Users can effortlessly find what they need, complete tasks efficiently, and avoid unnecessary frustrations. This not only saves their time and effort but also contributes to a more enjoyable and productive experience.

Engaging users is another key benefit of good UX/UI design. Interfaces that incorporate visually appealing designs, interactive elements, and thoughtful animations capture users' attention and entice them to explore further. These engaging experiences create memorable moments and foster a sense of connection with the application, leading to increased user engagement and prolonged usage.

Moreover, good UX/UI design reduces the learning curve for new users. When interfaces are designed with user needs in mind, they guide users through complex functionalities and features, making the onboarding process smoother and more intuitive. By providing clear instructions, visual cues, and interactive elements, businesses empower users to quickly grasp the application's capabilities and become proficient users.

Beyond the immediate impact on user experience, good UX/UI design contributes to a positive brand perception. When users have a seamless and enjoyable experience with an application, they associate that positive experience with the brand behind it. A well-crafted user interface reflects the brand's commitment to innovation, user-centeredness, and attention to detail. It reinforces trust, enhances credibility, and contributes to a strong brand image.

Good UX/UI design in software development yields significant benefits. It enhances user satisfaction, improves usability and efficiency, increases user engagement, reduces the learning curve, and shapes a positive brand perception. By investing in creating exceptional user experiences, businesses not only delight their users but also gain a competitive edge in the market. So, let's embrace the power of UX/UI design and create software applications that captivate, engage, and leave a lasting impression on users.

In the next section, we will explore some practical strategies and best practices for incorporating effective UX/UI design into the software development process. By following these guidelines, businesses can ensure that their applications not only meet user expectations but exceed them. Let's dive into the world of UX/UI design and discover how to create software experiences that truly resonate with users.

Best Practices for UX/UI in Software Development

To achieve effective UX/UI design, consider the following best practices:

  1. Conducting User Research and Gathering User Feedback: Understanding user needs and preferences is crucial for creating a successful user experience. Conduct user research, gather feedback, and perform usability testing to gain insights that inform design decisions. By involving users early in the design process, you can ensure that your application meets their expectations and addresses their pain points.
  2. Creating Intuitive and Consistent Interfaces: Consistency in visual elements, layout, and navigation across the application enhances usability. Use familiar design patterns and conventions to ensure users can quickly understand and interact with the interface. Intuitive interfaces minimize the learning curve and enable users to navigate the application with ease.
  3. Prioritizing Accessibility and Inclusivity: Consider accessibility requirements for users with disabilities, ensuring that the application is usable by a diverse range of individuals. Design interfaces that are inclusive and cater to diverse user needs. This includes providing alternative text for images, using appropriate color contrast, and supporting screen reader compatibility.
  4. Iterative Design and Continuous Improvement: Embrace an iterative design process, gathering user feedback and incorporating insights into future updates. Continuously strive for improvement to meet evolving user expectations. Regularly evaluate the effectiveness of your design choices and make iterative refinements to enhance the user experience.
  5. Incorporating User-Centered Design: Place users at the center of the design process. Understand their goals, behaviors, and pain points to create solutions that address their needs effectively. Involve users in design workshops, usability testing, and feedback sessions to ensure their voices are heard throughout the development process. By incorporating user feedback, you can make informed design decisions that resonate with your target audience.
  6. Streamlining Workflows and Reducing Friction: Optimize user workflows by eliminating unnecessary steps and simplifying complex tasks. Minimize cognitive load by providing clear instructions, visual cues, and error prevention mechanisms. Strive for a seamless and frictionless experience that guides users towards their desired outcomes. By reducing friction and streamlining workflows, you can enhance user satisfaction and improve overall efficiency.
  7. Adopting Responsive and Mobile-Friendly Design: With the increasing use of mobile devices, it's crucial to design interfaces that are responsive and provide a consistent experience across different screen sizes. Mobile-friendly design ensures that users can access and interact with the application seamlessly on any device. Consider the unique characteristics of mobile devices and prioritize touch-friendly elements and responsive layouts.
  8. Usability Testing and Iterative Refinement: Conduct usability testing throughout the development process to identify usability issues and areas for improvement. Gather feedback from users and iterate on the design based on their insights. Continuously refine and optimize the interface to ensure a user-centric experience. Usability testing provides valuable insights into how users interact with your application, allowing you to make data-driven design decisions.
  9. Collaboration between Designers and Developers: Foster close collaboration between UX/UI designers and developers to ensure the seamless implementation of the design. Regular communication, prototyping, and iterative feedback cycles promote a cohesive and harmonious integration of design and development efforts. By working together closely, designers and developers can create a polished and cohesive user experience that aligns with the design vision.

By following these best practices, businesses can create software applications that not only meet user expectations but also exceed them. Prioritising user research, intuitive interfaces, accessibility, iterative design, and collaboration between designers and developers leads to applications that are user-friendly, engaging, and successful in the market.

Now let’s explore real-world examples of companies that have embraced UX/UI design principles in their software development process and reaped the benefits. These case studies will provide insights into how effective UX/UI design can drive business success and deliver exceptional user experiences.

Real-world examples illustrate the impact of effective UX/UI design:

Spotify: The music streaming giant has gained popularity not only for its vast music library but also for its user-friendly interface. Its personalised recommendations and easy navigation contribute to an enjoyable and personalised user experience.

Uber: Uber revolutionised the transportation industry with its user-centric approach. Its simple and intuitive interface allows users to request rides with just a few taps, ensuring a convenient and hassle-free experience.

Apple: Known for its sleek and intuitive products, Apple has consistently prioritised UX/UI design. From the seamless interactions on their iPhones to the user-friendly interfaces of their software applications, Apple has set the standard for exceptional user experiences.

These real-world examples demonstrate the power of effective UX/UI design in driving user engagement, satisfaction, and loyalty. By prioritising user needs, creating intuitive interfaces, and delivering delightful experiences, these companies have successfully captured the hearts of their users and gained a competitive edge in their respective industries.

Incorporating best practices in UX/UI design, businesses can create software applications that not only meet user expectations but also exceed them. By investing in user research, iterative design, accessibility, and collaboration between designers and developers, companies can develop applications that resonate with their target audience, drive user engagement, and ultimately contribute to their business success.

Conclusion

In today's digital landscape, prioritising UX/UI design in software development is essential for creating applications that resonate with users. By focusing on user satisfaction, efficiency, engagement, and brand perception, businesses can differentiate themselves from the competition. Embracing best practices and learning from successful case studies, such as those of Airbnb and Slack, can inspire and guide the creation of exceptional user experiences. Digital Grind understands the value of UX/UI design and can be your trusted partner in delivering software solutions that prioritise user-centric design principles. By investing in UX/UI expertise and adopting iterative design processes, businesses can create applications that meet user expectations and drive business success. Don't underestimate the power of UX/UI in software development; prioritise it to unlock the full potential of your applications and connect with your audience on a deeper level.