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We're redesigning a pretty heavy app and I've been tasked with creating a list of all of the current available features since they'll all need to be included in the next release. The thing is that this app has a lot of levels and I feel like I'm in over my head (it's for a hotel chain so there's a lot of functionality).

Have you had to something similar to this, and if so, what's a good method for going about it? It's important we don't miss anything and I'm afraid that if I just start going page by page and making list, I might not catch everything or it will be hard to decipher.

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It looks like a reverse engineering of Information Architecture of the application. Break down the application to its basic elements and then piece them together based on functionality.

You can start with a rudimentary hierarchical breakdown of the features.

  • List down whatever you action items (links/buttons/etc.) see on the home page
  • Select one link and list down whatever other action items you see.

Repeat this process till you cover all the buttons/links

What you get is a breakdown of the different functionalities, pages, contents and other items in the application. From here on, it is a matter of finding out unique functionalities (grouping multiple items with same functionalities).

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Do you recommend any software in particular to do this, or would pen and paper/textedit be sufficient? I definitely think this is the way to go. –  Daniel Cortes Apr 30 '13 at 18:46
    
For software, you can use some mind mapping software for connecting the links (maybe visio). But I feel it will be much faster using sticky notes, you can move them easily. Get multiple colors for grouping stuff together. –  rk. Apr 30 '13 at 18:48
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I worked on the Information architecture for a similar app so here are some pointers which can help

  • Define the primary objective of the app. I know its feature rich but it still will have a primary objective such as enabling hotel bookings or finding hotels
  • Define the secondary objectives of the app
  • Check how the app handles these primary and secondary objectives and if the design allows for adequate representation
  • If you find content which is redudant or does not tie in with the primary or secondary objective, check with your stakeholders about its importance and then place it in the list of objectives
  • Ensure the navigation between the primary and secondary objectives is clearly defined and there is always a way for the user to return to his primary objective. For example,if the primary objective is to book a hotel room and the secondary objective was to find hotels,ensure he can book a room after he finds a hotel
  • Work with a content strategist so that you can define the content for each section and ensure the proper content is defined for each section

I also recommend looking at this article 3 UX Considerations for Mobile App Design which has this to say :

Immediacy

Mobile users want to be able to access an app at a moment’s notice. In order to optimize app navigation, menus should be simple and critical navigation paths as short as possible. Workflow testing and wireframing are essential tasks during the design process that help cater to user immediacy.

I also recommend looking at this article 10 tips for Mobile UX which has this to say about defining tasks

Use task-based design

Mobile users want to accomplish tasks, whether broad (like browsing news items) or specific (like checking flight times). Every function of your app should be geared towards helping them to both identify and then complete their task, and everything else should be discarded. Mobile users tend to be time-poor, and the real estate you have to work with is very small – you can’t afford to waste time or space. Try to sense their intent, and aim to expose the (relevant!) possibilities available at each stage of the task to the user, so they can swiftly move through to completion yet fluidly react to uncovering data they weren't expecting.

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I appreciate the answer but I more or less have to name every existing feature without taking usability into consideration. It's a strange client request and I don't agree with it, but that's my only task right now. I would push back but it's not my project, I'm only doing this to help someone out while I wait for more work. I'll keep a note of this though, it might apply more in the future. –  Daniel Cortes Apr 30 '13 at 18:50
    
@DanielCortes you can like the answer if it was helpful even though not exactly what you were looking for :) –  rk. Apr 30 '13 at 19:52
    
If you're referring to the fact that the answer is at 0, it's because I can't vote yet :-\ –  Daniel Cortes Apr 30 '13 at 20:02
    
@DanielCortes ah, sorry, I overlooked that. –  rk. Apr 30 '13 at 20:37
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