Forrester: "Backend as a service, the new mobile middleware" – Explained in graphic detail
Being the designer amongst 7 hardcore developers who specialize in different niche worlds of software has been an interesting experience. Because designers and developers inherently solve problems, I thought it would be beneficial to merge these two areas of thought. Leveraging my understanding of visual storytelling and our developers’ understanding of french bistros – we’ll get to the bistros later – I designed an infographic to help explain backend-as-a-service, which can sometimes be nebulous.
A little background
I am wrapping up my second month as CloudMine’s UX/UI designer. Previously I was a web analyst in Boston serving clients such as Comcast, Liberty Mutual and the Make-A-Wish Foundation. Most recently, however, I obtained my Masters in Industrial Design with a focus on Human Centered Design.
Developers work very differently than how I am accustomed. To start, they speak in a completely different language. Many times it’s like being in a French bistro when I only know a little bit of Spanish, catching a word or phrase here and there. It’s not too soon that I realize they are speaking 19 different languages, and I decide that simply eating a croissant and sipping an espresso are much easier tasks. Secondly, the bulk of their work has to happen at the screen of their computer; printing out thousands of lines of code isn’t really going to help their workflow – not to mention the resources of the Venturef0rth printer.
Wrapping it up
There are clear professional and cultural differences that I have come to realize, but it’s humbling to know that these differences are not siloed to my experience at CloudMine, nor are they particular to the world of design and development. Because it is sometimes difficult to explain exactly what it is we do at CloudMine, and because backend-as-a-service (BaaS) is still a new industry, I’ve designed a visual overview to help convey what BaaS companies do – that is, without going into the oft foreign language of development.
This infographic should serve as a first pass into a visual explanation of BaaS. This visual is built off the basic storyboard of a smartphone application not dissimilar to Instagram. Providing an overview of the multiple stages involved in developing an application, the graphic highlights the specific areas of development that make up the bulk of the work when coding an app. And in the end, it shows what a backend service provider would take care of for our users (the developer).