Bluehouse Group’s Custom Software Development Process

October 25, 2023

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For every project Bluehouse Group takes on, we follow our tried and true two-phase approach. Our two phase approach ensures we launch well designed software efficiently. Our goal is to save our clients money and meet rapid deadlines, while guaranteeing highly optimized performance and excellent user experience. We began implementing this two phase approach within the last two years, and since then we’ve completed numerous projects ranging from mobile apps, to websites and website redesigns. Let’s take a deeper look at what goes into our two phase approach.

Phase 1. Discovery & Design

(Average length 6 weeks)

While this phase requires very little development aside from the initial set up, it’s arguably the most important phase for Bluehouse Group. In the Discovery and Design phase we define all of the objectives and technical requirements, conduct research, and sketch wireframes and individual screens.

Objectives, Goals, and Technical Requirements

By collaborating with your team and defining the objectives, requirements, and goals early on, we can prevent any last minute changes, ideas, or curveballs that could derail the project. Understanding these details also helps Bluehouse Group choose the best tech stack that will make our build efficient and create a positive user experience after launching.


Who are the competitors? How do they operate? What features do the competitors use? If you have a current user base what do they like about the software, app, or site? What would they change about the software? Researching these questions can help influence the technical requirements and influence the overall design of the software. Our research varies from project to project in the past we’ve reviewed Google Analytics 4, created surveys, and conducted user interviews.

Initial Wireframes

Once the technical requirements and research are complete, we begin creating wireframes. Our wireframes are a culmination of what was explored in the objectives, goals, and technical requirements along with researched based design decisions that influence the design. It’s very important to note that when we create wireframes we always create many different versions and iterations, and that your team will always be able to suggest changes and be very involved in the wireframe process.

Phase 2. Development & Launch

(Average length 10 weeks)

This phase is all about writing code, creating the final designs and polishing everything up for the final product and launch.

Final Mockups

Wrapping up final designs and mockups usually goes hand in hand with development. While we deliver the last mockups of the software, the developers are simultaneously focusing on developing the functionality. Once the designs are completed the frontend developers apply the design to the software.


The Development stage is always going to be the most time consuming. Many factors go into development, especially if it involves working with different plugins and integrations, and complex databases. During development we will typically create staging environments where clients can explore the software, staging environments are also very helpful for testing the software.

QA & Testing

Quality assurance and testing is very important for our process. As for quality, we always make sure our software performs well with fast loading times while also having a modern, sophisticated and accessible design. The testing phase is crucial for ensuring what we develop works well and as intended. More complex software requires more testing, while something like a basic marketing web page requires much less testing time.


Bluehouse Group takes launch days very seriously, we never truly know exactly how things are going to shake out once we launch. Ideally a launch is smooth and seamless, occasional there can be issues that we did not anticipate. The team is always on standby and monitoring our software following the launch, ready to jump in and fix things at any moment.

UX/UI Design Jam - Burlington VT Open Data Portal

October 16, 2023

A large group of people are standing and sitting around a table. Everyone in the group is listening to a women presenting at the center of the table. There are papers, markers, pens, and sticky notes on the table. While not visible in the image, the papers contain notes, ideas, and low fidelity wireframes with UX and UI solutions for an Open Data Portal for the city of Burlington, the women is presenting these ideas.

This week, Bluehouse Group hosted another UX/UI Design Jam Meetup! This time around we helped Nancy Stetson, Senior Policy and Data Analyst and Warren Rich, GIS Coordinator and Asset Manager for the City of Burlington. Recently the City rebuilt the Open Data Portal website ( and they wanted help and feedback on how to improve the experience to drive more engagement with City data.

We all met up at the Bluehouse Group office, and it was our biggest turnout this year, with around 30 of us there. After some introductions, we reviewed Nancy and Warren's problem statements and goals. Nancy and Warren told us about two main types of users: researchers and casual citizens. I struggled a bit defining when a casual user becomes a researcher and this was something I felt was important to consider with my group.

We split into groups to decide which user group we wanted to focus on. We chose the casual user because we felt it would be more challenging to solve for. We personified our user as someone like a homebuyer checking out Burlington, Vermont’s data. We determined that the site's core challenge lies in users not knowing what to search for because they're not aware of what data the website offers or doesn't offer.

We also felt that researchers will most of the time head straight for the search bar because they already know what data they are looking for. While casual users tend to explore the website in a more indirect way. To better cater to casual users, we suggested adding a grid of categories on the landing page just below this search bar. For example, they could have a category card labeled "Parks." When users click on this card, they'd find all of the data reports related to parks. This grid of categories would help users discover different data types without relying solely on the search bar. Sections like this already existed on the site, but they were very large modules and they were really far down the page below the fold.

Time flew by fast, and all the teams came back together to present our ideas and findings. It was amazing to see how similar each teams concerns were, and also each teams different approaches to solving those issues. Nancy and Warren seemed very impressed and grateful for everyone’s help.

If you live close to Burlington, Vermont, and you are interested in joining our next UX/UI check out our Meetup page, if you follow the page you can get notified for our next event.

5 Software Development Myths and Misconceptions

October 10, 2023

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The software development industry has many myths and misunderstandings that can muddy the waters. Let’s debunk some of the common myths surrounding software development to provide an accurate understanding of the industry for any prospective partners.

1. Custom Software Development is Always Expensive

Many people think that custom software development is expensive. While it can be complex, several factors affect its cost. These include your choice of development team, the type of software you need, and the features required. Sometimes, custom software development can be cost-effective, and in many cases, it can even save you money or increase generated revenue over time, making the initial investment worth the cost.

If your goal is to create a simple, high-quality product that does not have too many bells and whistles, the process can be more straightforward and less costly, to learn more about simple software builds, check out our blog on MVPs and Prototypes.

2. Software Development Is Formulaic

Software development is not formulaic, each project comes with unique requirements, even if it’s a simple and small-scale build. Complex projects demand innovation, and the development process rarely follows a linear path, there are often small bumps and hiccups along the way in any build. Experienced teams, such as Bluehouse Group, excel at adapting and adjusting when faced with unexpected challenges.

3. You Need an In-house Development Team

You don’t necessarily need an in-house development team to bring your software to life. Outsourcing your project to external agencies can offer significant advantages, including a broader talent pool, and diverse skill sets. Even companies with in-house development teams will sometimes outsource projects to save time and allow their internal developers to focus on other projects.

4. Post-launch You Are On Your Own

While we cannot say the same for other other agencies, after releasing the software Bluehouse Group stays by your side. The launch marks the beginning of an ongoing cycle that involves addressing bugs, introducing new features, and releasing updates. Working with Bluehouse Group is a long-term partnership and we will always support our partners for the long haul.

5. AI & Chatgpt Will Make Developers Obsolete

OpenAI and machine learning tools, such as Github Copilot, have showcased the power of AI to the development community. However, as impressive as AI is, the code generated by AI is not perfect. These tools excel at troubleshooting and providing quick answers to questions. It’s crucial to emphasize that the code produced by ai should never be used without thorough review and comprehension by someone well-versed in programming.

MVP or Prototype? A Guide by Bluehouse Group

October 04, 2023

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It’s always exciting when Bluehouse Group gets a chance to roll up our sleeves and create either a Minimum Viable Product (MVP) or a prototype. These projects typically come from businesses and individuals that have fantastic ideas and want to take those ideas further. In order to do that, it’s crucial to build either an MVP or a prototype, but what are the differences between them?

What Is a Prototype?

A prototype is the earliest version that shows how the future app, website, or software would work. It’s a simple visual representation of your idea that helps you collect feedback from project stakeholders or end users and identify areas for improvement.

Prototypes come in various forms of fidelity. On the simpler end, you might have low-fidelity prototypes, which could be as straightforward as hand-drawn sketches or paper wireframes. Alternatively, high-fidelity prototypes are more interactive and allow you to experience the look and feel of the key software features, these prototypes are great for demoing the software or idea.

Key Benefits of Prototyping

Prototyping is a cost-effective approach, it’s particularly beneficial for startups and small businesses. It’s a way for you to test new concepts and designs before committing significant resources.

What Is an MVP?

An MVP is a simplified version of the future product – a basic software build with just enough functionality to satisfy initial users. MVPs are primarily created to conduct live testing of the product with a broader audience and gather early feedback.

The main difference between a prototype and an MVP is that an MVP is a market-ready application. While it may lack some features and polish compared to a final product, it’s still a functional app.

Key Benefits of an MVP

MVPs provide a realistic representation of the final product giving you an opportunity to collect a lot of user feedback, this can help you gain practical insights that prototypes do not always provide.

MVPs are also valuable for attracting early users and generating buzz for your product. This can help you build a loyal user base early on before fully entering the market.


Creating either a prototypes or an MVP plays a critical role in the development process, and Bluehouse Group is here to guide you through which mode to choose. Whether you’re a startup looking to minimize risk or an established business aiming to see a new idea in action, our team is ready to design and develop solutions that meet your needs.

If you have an idea and need an MVP or a prototype, please contact Bluehouse Group, let’s take your vision one step further.

7 Advantages of Custom Software Development

October 02, 2023

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Custom software offers numerous advantages for both your business and your customers. At Bluehouse Group, we love collaborating with our clients to create bespoke software solutions to tackle your unique challenges. Here’s why opting for custom software is the right choice:

1. Tailored to Your Needs

Custom software isn’t just a tool; it’s a solution that’s exclusively yours. When it comes to custom software, you’re in control of the entire process.

2. Personalized Touch

With a custom software solution, you can instil your brand’s personal touch and language within the software. This is especially valuable for customer-facing tools, increasing brand loyalty. Personalization can also be beneficial for your internal team and staff.

3. Improved Security

When you are using off-the-shelf software the security of the tool can be risky, the software may have unknown vulnerabilities. With your own software solution the security is easier to audit and review. At Bluehouse Group, security is a top priority throughout our process. We proactively address emerging threats, ensuring your peace of mind.

4. Seamless Integration

When it comes to integrating existing systems and workflows in your custom software, Bluehouse Group has your back. We have experience with various integrations, from payment processors like Stripe to navigating Google Maps, and even merging different CRMs or conducting complex searches on public databases – we’ve done it all.

5. Adaptability

Change is the only constant in business, custom software enables you to adapt swiftly to new needs. Whether it’s technological advancements or user feedback, changes can be implemented seamlessly. Off-the-shelf software is typically slower at releasing new updates, and oftentimes the added features are not what you need.

6. Reliability

At Bluehouse Group, we leverage top-tier tools and follow diligent security standards. We go the extra mile by offering hosting services, including high-quality cloud hosting solutions. These hosting solutions include robust backups, and proactive maintenance to ensure your software runs seamlessly. Your success is our success, and we provide ongoing support after and partnership after developing your software.

7. Competitive Advantage

Custom software, whether for internal or customer use, gives your business a significant edge over competitors. Custom software improves efficiency, boosts satisfaction among customers, and provides unique industry-specific metrics and data.