Artificial Intelligence (AI) is reshaping the world at breakneck speed. While its potential to solve complex problems and automate tedious tasks is undeniable. The ethical implications can’t be ignored. Opaque algorithms and privacy concerns are just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the challenging questions that loom over AI.

As leaders, we must learn to answer these questions and be aware of the ethical challenges that face this innovation. We must collaborate across fields and sectors, ensuring transparency, accountability, and fairness in AI development and deployment.

Today we will tackle issues like data misuse, job displacement, and AI ethics frameworks. Let’s not just drive AI forward, let’s steer it toward a more equitable and ethical future together.

Data Misuse

Data is the fuel that drives AI’s engine. Data is shaping AI’s decisions and influencing its outcomes. If you’re fueling it with premium you’ll be great! But contaminated fuel corrupts your engine, causing it to lack power and performance – eventually leading to engine failure. Data Misuse poses a critical challenge to ethical AI for this reason.

Imagine a corrupted AI, trained by biased datasets perpetuating discrimination. Or AI fueled by stolen personal information, infringing on people’s privacy. The consequences can be extremely harmful to AI and to our users.

So how can we, as leaders, become champions of ethical data practices? One way is fostering Data Transparency. Demystify your data collection and usage for your users. Ensure you communicate what data is collected, how it’s used, and exactly who has access to it. Also, incorporate clear opt-in/opt-out options that give users control over their data. This builds trust and reassures your users.

Data transparency is just one way of becoming a champion of ethical data use. Leaders can always prioritise data security, promote ethical data culture, and address data bias. With transparency establishing a foundation of trust, let’s now explore the potential impact of AI on the workforce, specifically, the concern of job displacement.

Job Displacement

The automation of time-consuming tasks powered by AI shows significant gains in efficiency and productivity. The real neat thing about AI is that it never needs a break to complete these tasks. It’s always there, ready to work. However this progress comes with a trade off. Job displacement. As AI takes over repetitive and routine tasks, some jobs become obsolete, leading to unemployment for many employees and economic disruption. This change doesn’t just hurt the real people behind the job titles and their families, but could hurt the world as a whole.

This raises a massive ethical dilema. Business leaders must grapple with the responsibility of ensuring the security of their workers who may be impacted by automation. Reskilling and upskilling initiatives are key in minimising the negative impacts of AI automation being integrated into your workforce.

Reskilling and upskilling initiatives, such as training programs in data science or cybersecurity, equip individuals with the in-demand skills needed to remain competitive and adapt to new opportunities. The World Economic Forum estimates that by 2025, half of all employees will need reskilling due to automation, highlighting the urgency of investing in these initiatives. By providing individuals with the tools to navigate the changing landscape, we can ensure a smoother transition into the AI-driven future of work.

AI Ethics Frameworks

In light of the ethical challenges associated with AI, numerous bodies and organisations have adopted AI ethics frameworks. These are sets of rules and standards meant to direct the proper creation, application, and usage of AI.

The OECD’s AI Principles provide a comprehensive framework for responsible AI development and deployment. These principles emphasise human-centred values. They also advocate for fairness, transparency, accountability, robustness, safety, and societal benefit, guiding the creation of AI systems that are unbiased, understandable, answerable, reliable, secure, and ultimately, contribute positively to society.

These frameworks offer valuable guidance for organisations working with AI, but they remain dynamic and evolving. The field of AI ethics is constantly exploring new challenges and potential solutions, requiring continuous dialogue and adaptation.

By actively engaging with AI ethics frameworks and incorporating their principles into our practices, business leaders can contribute to a future where AI serves as a force for good, benefitting both employees and society as a whole.

Responsibly shaping AI’s future is our collective responsibility. Let’s build a world where this innovation serves as a force for good, driving progress towards a more ethical and equitable society.


Embarking on the journey to build a digital project in 2024 is an exciting venture, but you need to know what to look for in a developer. First things first, if you haven’t already, read our blog on ‘what you should consider before you start developing’. In that blog post, we explain the importance of market research, understanding your unique selling proposition, and what different developers can do.

Now that you have the groundwork you can get into the really fun stuff, finding a developer to bring your project to life. In this blog we’ll go over three things you should look for in your development partner – if they don’t have all three of these, keep looking!

Research: Tailoring solutions to your vision

Before diving into the development process, take a moment to find a partner that truly understands your unique needs. Whether you’re a startup with innovative ideas or an established corporate entity with a vision for growth, the emphasis is on finding a collaborator that aligns with your goals. Assess the fit between your vision and their capabilities, setting the foundation for a successful partnership that revolves around your aspirations.

If you’re looking for a local development partner you can meet face-to-face, NetEngine is a fantastic choice. We’re an Australian based team who value transparency and clarity on every project, and there’s no better way to achieve that, than being able to chat in person at our office. The NetEngine team love visiting clients Australia wide. Communication is critical to your project’s success and nothing beats being able to meet in person to discuss fixes, new ideas, or changes.

Team Members: Know the skills you’ll have access to

When looking for a development partner, make sure you ask them who you will access to. Your development team should consist of the following members, a Project Manager, who will spearhead your project and be your liaison throughout your development journey. Front end and back end developers, or a full stack developer with skills in both areas. This way you know the look and feel of your project has a dedicated team member on the front end, while the back end has someone who takes care of the site’s structure, system, date and logic. Full stack developers are skilled in both areas so if your choice of developer has them, then that’s a plus as well. You need to know if there is a UI/UX designer available as well. The UI/UX designer creates the user interface for your project, they understand user needs, and can help keep your interface in line with your brand needs.

Here at NetEngine the team comprises all of the above. With over 16 years of experience in work tech development. They are a highly skilled and experienced team that know how to listen to your goals and gain a deep understanding of your project. When you work with NetEngine you know you’re in capable hands, and have access to a team of specialists who can help bring your digital vision to life. You can watch our client case studies to get an idea of what working with NetEngine is like.

Competitive Pricing: How much does it all cost?

It’s important to understand your budget, and communicate this with your prospective developers to ensure your budget and their estate aligns. It’s crucial that you can have transparent conversations with your developer about what you can achieve with the budget you have available.

Here at NetEngine, we pride ourselves on providing cost effective development solutions. Our processes ensure we are clear with our clients about what the team can produce while staying within your budget, and our agile methodology approach to development allows us to be extremely flexible with what we prioritise working on, further helping us keep developing within budget.

Reach out to NetEngine today if you want to learn more about how we can help bring your digital vision to life.

We recently created an app for our client, Scout Talent, a talent acquisition platform provider that works to connect people to grow companies, careers, and communities. This app, called the Scout Talent App, is a mobile version of :Recruit, their premier software module. 

:Recruit is a robust candidate management and applicant tracking system that enables organisations to manage their entire talent acquisition process. Through Scout Talent :Recruit, users can post jobs, track applications, review candidates, schedule interviews and store candidate data, all in one centralised place.

Building the Scout Talent App was a significant project led by Dan Tomasic, NetEngine Frontend Team Lead. Read on to learn more about his experience working on the app.

What was the brief for this project?

Dan T: The brief was for the App to be a mobile version of :Recruit that would allow hiring managers to access candidate applications and utilise other functions of the system on the go. Having a more accessible version of :Recruit would allow clients to reduce their time to hire and drive their talent acquisition process no matter where they are.

Our priorities were to make it easy to use, in order to facilitate a simple process for hiring managers to access, review and process candidate applications. We also had to consider app functionalities such as receiving notifications, to allow hiring managers–who are already so busy during the day–to view updates quickly and maximise their productivity.

The scope of the project was for the App to have the same complex functionality of the :Recruit module and work smoothly across both Android and Apple operating systems. 

What work did you do on this project?

DT: To start this project, we ran some workshops involving key stakeholders from NetEngine and Scout Talent; these included web developers, the CEO of Scout Talent, and :Recruit specialists who interacted with the software day in and day out. In these workshops, we discussed what we wanted the Scout Talent App to achieve, as well as what key functionalities it should have and what it should look like.

From these workshops, we split the work across our team of about 5-6 web developers working on the project. Usually, for a client project, we would do the work in sprints, but for this project, we did it in milestones – for example, we marked the project with major milestones such as full login flow created or video viewing functionality enabled.

We built the App in React Native, a coding framework that allowed us to simultaneously develop the App for both Android and Apple. Using this framework made the development process more efficient and allowed us to test and create fixes across both versions more easily.

In terms of UX/UI, the brief was for the Scout Talent App design to be consistent with :Recruit. The desktop :Recruit module is currently undergoing UX/UI updates, so the App was designed with that in mind, meaning the look and feel of it aligns with the new UX/UI of :Recruit. Essentially, the idea was that the transition from the desktop module to the App should be seamless for the user.

What were some challenges you encountered and how did you overcome them?

DT: The biggest challenge in creating this App was to make sure it ran quickly and was simple to use for hiring managers. The way we overcame both these challenges was to ensure we performed lots of tests, and put in a lot of consideration for the UX/UI.

We did a test at the end of each major milestone (which usually marked the completion of a major feature) using dummy data; these tests were done with internal stakeholders at Scout Talent, mainly people who used :Recruit frequently and are familiar with how it should work.

These tests checked that the new features of each milestone worked correctly, and that the App as a whole worked smoothly. As is typical with app development, challenges arose from these tests; for example, we had to ensure that the App supported specific older versions of Android. To make sure the App worked across so many versions of operating systems, we had to take our time, checking that we didn’t break the versions that did work by fixing the ones that didn’t. 

In terms of UX/UI, the only real challenge was time. Our UX/UI designer had lots of great ideas, but we had to consider what was viable within the project timelines. We had to consolidate all these ideas down to what was necessary for the App before it went to market, in order for us to get it done within the timeline.

What was your favourite part of working on this project?

DT: The best thing about this project was that it was quite a unique one to work on. Building the App completely from scratch with close input from the Scout Talent team was something I hadn’t done before. Being able to drive the project from an idea to what it is now, a fully-fledged App, was a lot of fun. 

Our team really enjoyed having influence over the look and feel of the App, and feeling ownership over the project. Overall, it was satisfying to see a final product that fulfilled the requirements set out in the brief.

What was the outcome?

DT: The outcome was that we created what the brief set out: the Scout Talent App available today is a mobile version of :Recruit that allows hiring managers to have oversight of their talent acquisition process no matter where they are. 

Between the start of the project and its completion, our initial ideas and designs definitely changed. App development is always an agile process. Similar to other projects, we found along the way that certain workflows didn’t quite make sense to the plan anymore, so we had to pivot to keep the App in line with our objectives.

Along the way, we also came up with extra functionalities and features that would enhance the user experience and achieve Scout Talent’s goal for the App to help connect people to grow companies, careers and communities. One example is that we included animations in the cards that appear when users are swiping through applicants; it’s a small addition, but one that enhances the interactivity and experience for the user.

All in all, the Scout Talent App we rolled out aligned closely with the initial project brief and scope – it was functional for both Android and Apple devices, and included all the key features of :Recruit, as well as additional mobile features, like push notifications.

Want to create your own app?

If reading about the Scout Talent App has inspired an app idea for your organisation, or if you have a digital vision you’d like to bring to life, get in touch with us here.


Recently, we hosted a webinar with Go1, a SaaS marketplace with e-learning content providers on one side and online consumers (businesses who use the content for compliance and professional development) on the other. Valued at over US$1 billion, Go1 has become Australia’s newest tech unicorn–and it’s easy to see why they shine. Their impressive pool of over 3.5 million learners is possible due to their unique main value proposition and their subscription model that gives users access to learning content all in one place. 

In our webinar, titled “Building trust and integration solutions”, Go1’s CIO Thomas Wythe and Senior Technical Project Manager, Ric Fry, spoke with NetEngine Project Lead, Mersija Mujic, and Senior Software Development and Team Leader, Eduardo Ramos, about their experience working together towards integration solutions and what that process looked like. 

As the world becomes more and more technology-driven, it’s become imperative that users have valuable experiences through seamless integrations on the platforms they use. As you will hear in the webinar, integrations have become stand-alone services that software development companies such as NetEngine can offer.

The context of the project

Go1 has the largest e-learning library in the world and an innovative format of making content discoverable and available through a subscription model. So, it only makes sense that they want to grow and make sure the user experience remains smooth. 

Thomas Wythe explained that after realising that they wanted their internal team’s priorities to be scaling and enriching their interfaces, they developed APIs on both sides of the marketplace, with the intention of outsourcing their integrations to external software integrators such as NetEngine. The desired outcome of this project was to develop solid middleware that would integrate the APIs of Go1 and the clients’, creating a seamless experience for users as the platform grew.

Some of the reasons tech companies like Go1 would outsource integrations are:

  • To meet tight deadlines
  • To focus on growth
  • To increase capacity

Wythe detailed that Go1 wanted “to prove that this model of outsourcing some integrations would enable both sides of [their] marketplace to grow quickly, creating a flywheel of momentum”. They came up with their own system of how to work with external software integrators to enable this model–NetEngine fit within their build, as Go1 wanted a team that worked independently and reliably.

Our team worked almost as an extension of theirs, joining Go1 internal meetings and communication channels. NetEngine worked with Go1’s clients, specifically their learning resource providers, to integrate their content with the e-learning platform and make the client’s course creation interface customisable. Refining this user experience was an intensive, collaborative process: together with Go1, we pressure tested, improved and ‘sanded’ the developer experience.

The end result is that NetEngine helped Go1 realise their innovative vision of outsourcing their integration to facilitate a smooth user journey, allowing their internal team to focus on scaling and enriching their interfaces.

How you can work with NetEngine

Our webinar discussing our work with Go1 is a shining example of a successful partnership creating integration solutions. NetEngine is constantly working with our clients to create tailored integration solutions that achieve their goals.

We can help you achieve a range of goals through integrations, including:

  • Increasing your team capacity to complete work faster
  • Outsourcing your integrations to allow your team to focus on scaling
  • Making your systems more efficient 
  • Delivering microservices to increase your product’s functionality

An important deciding factor with all of our partnerships is whether our services will be a good fit for you. During our initial communications, we will discuss goals, the scope of your project and expectations to determine how we will progress.

The benefit of working with NetEngine is our process is extremely communicative and collaborative–as mentioned in the webinar, we are an in-house, Australia-based team that will work closely with you in local time to achieve your goals.


If you want to know more about how you can work with us, get in touch here.

You can also watch our Go1 webinar, Building trust and integration solutions, here.

Let’s say you’ve got a million-dollar app idea. It’s brilliant, it’s visionary, and most importantly, it hasn’t been done before! You know you could make it big if you could find a way to get your app into the market, but you have zero app development or specialist tech knowledge. This hypothetical has plagued future entrepreneurs for years. Who has time to research mobile and web app development while trying to juggle life’s other priorities? Not you, that’s who! There are workarounds though, as a lot of the heavy lifting can be outsourced to professionals who can take the pressure off the logistical side of app development, which frees you to focus on the ideas behind the tech. 

However, before the first piece of code is written, it’s important to have carefully considered the other non-technical aspects of your project. In the same way a house requires a strong foundation on which to build, so too does your mobile or web app. Before you dive into the technological back-end of your app, you need to ensure that you first have considered and planned for all possibilities that could derail your idea, your passion, or your launch. 


Do your market research

It’s a busy market out there. In a cutthroat marketplace, if a user is unhappy with the design, function, or experience of your app, it’s unlikely that they will use it again, or even download in the first place. According to a report by SAP, nearly 80% of mobile apps are abandoned after their first use. On many occasions, this is because the app didn’t cater for the specific needs that the market demands. 

It’s important for you to invest time in thorough market research so you can find out what market problems and needs your app will address. Who is the target audience for your app, and what do you know about them? What are their interests, their needs, and their pain-points? If you nail your market research, you can nail the specifics of your app’s features, and ensure that what you’re offering will be tailored to what your users want.

Market research is the most important activity to undertake before launching an app. NetEngine’s highly experienced team members continually ensure that your app’s features are market-leading and user-focused. Book in for a free consultation to ensure that your market research can be translated into tangible results. 


Find the one thing that you do better than anyone else, and improve on it

Let’s call a spade a spade. The market is crowded, and it’s oftentimes hard to break through the white noise. For every app idea, there are likely already hundreds of apps that exist that offer a similar service. This, however, should not discourage you from making your idea a reality; different personal and professional backgrounds are what makes us unique, and apps can thrive even if there are many similar options in the marketplace. To differentiate yourself, you’ll need to ensure that your app has a unique value proposition, even if the core functionality is the same

If you’ve got incredible design sense, make your front-end user experience (UX) beautiful and unique. If you’re an amazing copywriter, make sure you’re pumping out relevant and interesting content. If you offer a service that is hard to come by in your industry, promote it more heavily than your other offerings. 

Also, don’t be afraid to think small! Your app doesn’t have to be the next Instagram. If you do what you do well, you can promote it locally across personal networks, and make your ‘thing’ personalised, on-shore, passionate service from a team of friendly locals. 

If you don’t know what your ‘thing’ is, talking to the professionals at NetEngine can help you identify and simplify what you want to offer. This is why workshopping is one of the first stages of working with us; so we can make sure that our ideals align, and we can best create your vision to help you succeed. 


Make sure your marketing is impactful and message-focused

The age-old adage goes, “if you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say anything at all!”. The same mindset can be applied to marketing (sort of). Many brands pump out daily content because they think that quantity over quality will put your brand on the map, and that social media algorithms and robust search engine optimisation (SEO) practices will establish you as an industry leader. On the contrary, many organisations who push content that doesn’t align with their brand, their beliefs, or their product offering can isolate their mailing lists and subscribers, and they end up struggling when the time comes to promote an exciting new development or feature.

Instead of finding content that you can shoehorn into an article or update, wait until you have something to say before posting. While the frequency won’t be as high, you’ll establish yourself as someone who demands to be listened to, and whose words carry weight. Have you got a new product update with features that will benefit your users? Write an article about it! Is your team expanding, and you’ve brought on a new member? Post on LinkedIn introducing them to your network! By writing about what you know and care about, you’ll find that marketing your app becomes easy and enjoyable. 


Different developers do different things; know the difference

When it comes to app development, there is no ‘one-size-fits-all’ approach, and each avenue comes with its own pros and cons. If you choose to recruit a full-stack developer, you will likely find they are a great resource, as they are tech generalists who are available to meet one-to-one, discuss ideas, and pull all aspects of your app’s development under one roof. However, full-stack developers generally don’t bring a diversity of experience and can lack specialist skill and technical expertise, and are also generally quite expensive to engage if they work full-time on your project.

If you’ve meticulously planned the nitty-gritty of your app and have all your ducks in a row, or if your budget is quite limited, you may consider engaging an off-shore development team. This can be a cost-effective option short-term, as they usually charge hourly, work efficiently, and can teach you a lot about the technical side of the development process. However, when considering your medium- and long-term strategy, working with off-shore developers can cause you to lose collaboration opportunities, and thus you will need to assume the responsibility of providing the team with detailed direction and a fully mapped out plan of attack. 

By connecting with a local development house, you harness the skills of multiple specialists, and have the opportunity to collaborate every step of the way. More expertise and diversity in the room also means a faster turnaround time for your minimum viable product (MVP). Furthermore, with the right skills all in one place, there will be less idle moments and potential blockers as the need for outsourced talent is greatly reduced. NetEngine’s entire suite of developers is entirely local to Brisbane, and are ready to help you achieve your app goals. Book a free consultation today.   


Workshop your idea with the professionals

If you don’t have collaborators or business partners to bounce ideas off, you may find yourself with a universal problem; you work so closely on the ideas, and you assume everyone sees the concept, the problems, and their solutions in the same way that you do. In fact, the more people you collaborate with when mapping out your app idea, the stronger your foundation will be

NetEngine offers workshops at the beginning of our consultation process to ensure that everyone gets in on the ground floor and is clear about the goals, obstacles, and intentions of the app. Our workshop sessions help guide everyone towards the same objective through rigorous and detailed discussion and they will also heavily influence the development process by identifying the problem you are trying to solve and using this as the single source of truth. Throughout these workshops, you’ll have the opportunity to speak with a project lead, a UX/UI designer, a front-end developer, and a back-end developer, so the information you are getting is varied and educated (some NetEngine clients choose to participate in multiple workshops, months before they’re ready to build!).


If you’ve got a million-dollar app idea, don’t let it be snatched up by someone more proactive than you. Reach out to NetEngine today, and talk to our team of professionals to turn your tech dreams into a reality. 

NetEngine - Cheat Sheet to developing an app cover image

Our increasingly technological and globalised working world has levelled the playing field, and as such, your business may face new market competitors almost every day. Now, there’s so much at stake to stay relevant, competitive and achieve your business growth goals. Building your business’ digital capabilities is imperative to stay one step ahead of potentially disruptive technology, or even integrate them into your organisational models.

In this context, many CEOs worry about cannibalising their traditional revenue streams. But the reality is, if you don’t do it, someone else will.

Whether you’re a busy CEO of a corporation or a founder looking to launch a startup, digital innovation may be topping your agenda as a key driver to reach your business objectives.

If you’re curious about the mobile or web app development process, this guide will provide you with some useful, high-level insights to get you started on bringing your digital vision to life.

In this guide, you’ll learn:

  • How to create a strong foundation for our mobile or web app
  • The different avenues for starting your development process and connecting with developers
  • How to create your minimum viable product (MVP).

So, you have an incredible idea for an app. It’s your pet project or idea and you’re passionate about it. But you’ve never done it before! Where do you go, what should you do, and where should you start?

Before you launch into marketing or developing your app, workshopping your idea and determining product-market fit as a starting point is a must.

Why? Product-market fit can be the difference between failure and success. The primary reasons apps fail, aside from poor process execution, is due to poor research, marketing competition and a lack of customer research.

But don’t let this caution deter you from innovation and bringing your digital vision to life. The ideation phase can be one of the most rewarding and exciting parts of your software development journey!

What is product-market fit?

Product-market fit occurs when your product suits strong market demand. It’s when your unique value proposition, customer needs, and distribution align. In essence, it’s when your product directly satisfies customers’ needs in a way other products do not.

Why does product-market fit matter?

The biggest problem companies face is thinking they’ve achieved product-market fit when they haven’t put the work in. Product-market fit is the foundation for any successful venture to win early adopters, gather feedback and gauge interest. It’s the best way to confirm people are willing to engage with or pay for your product, before your team invests time and energy on growth or upselling initiatives. (In fact, these can be counterproductive if your product doesn’t have enough market reach to generate profit.)

The two primary ways to determine product-market fit

Determining product-market fit means deciding the type of business you want to be. Do you want to invest hundreds of thousands of dollars on market research, focus groups and user assessments to “test” and shape your app and determine how far it aligns with the market? Or, would you prefer to invest your time and money investigating, testing and growing your idea so you can rapidly innovate? 

If you have money and time to burn, the first option could be perfectly viable. However, many people are guided by a false fear that marketing testing, research and investigation is the only way to make progress. But this can be counterintuitive to rapid innovation. 

If rapid innovation is your goal, the latter option is ideal. Creating a minimum viable product (MVP) and testing your idea is a worthwhile investment to reach your goals sooner. This involves engaging developers to test your idea conceptually or literally.

This enables you to learn, obtain experience and work with developers and stakeholders while growing and managing your product. As you develop your app, you are already in the process of challenging your thought processes, using rapid innovation, and scoping, sizing and testing within a group. As you commence sketching and building workflows, you’ll be able to quickly assess what works and what doesn’t in real time.

Does creating a minimum viable product (MVP) to test product-market fit and achieve rapid innovation sooner sound like a path you’d like to explore? If so, read on.

While there’s no perfect order of events, here are some tips for workshopping your app idea and determining product-market fit based on the hundreds of Discovery Workshops we’ve completed with innovators just like you.

1. Act when your energy is high

It’s essential to act when your energy is high and when it’s most relevant and important to you. This is different for everybody!

In some instances, people have ideas and launch into the Discovery phase without fleshing out a product plan at all. More often, though, people invest mountains of time, energy, effort, research, assumptions and emotion into their idea from the get-go before the discovery phase. Then, when it comes to workshopping their idea and determining product-market fit, they discover all this initial investment was misdirected.

There’s a sweet spot on this spectrum between under and overbaking your idea. While there’ll never be a “perfect” time, act when your energy and passion is high.

2. Involve the right people – including developers!

You may feel tentative to workshop your idea with others, feeling pressure to over-research and over-prepare, particularly before meeting with a development team. It’s completely normal and understandable to want to get all your ducks in a row before investing in your idea through workshopping.

 But the risk here is you miss out on key thought processes and firing up momentum.

Ideation is most successful when you’re surrounded by the right team. Don’t feel pressured to wait until you’re ready to build to involve developers! Get them involved early – even if you’re an expert in your field and not software development.

(For example, some NetEngine clients choose to participate in multiple Discovery Workshops, months before they’re ready to build!)

This will give you access to critical expertise to inform your thought processes and key moments of decision-making.

3. Workshop your idea

When identifying product-market fit for your app – participate in a workshop. Workshops should be done well and as often as you require. They should be rigorous, inclusive and collaborative. 

As we’ve shared before, there is no such thing as the perfect time. (In doubt? You probably need to do a workshop!)

Workshops are a valuable opportunity for you to identify the problem you’re solving and the need you’re satisfying.

While there are no hard and fast rules when it comes to structuring your workshop, here’s some key takeaways based on the hundreds of successful workshops we’ve completed with digital innovators, ranging from those with technical backgrounds to those without.

NetEngine Discovery Workshops take a collaborative, inclusive and team-based approach, giving people access to a diverse range of expertise – including a project lead, UI/UX developer, front-end developer and back-end developer.

Workshop attendees bring their expertise and our developers and facilitators bring theirs. Everyone is on the same “team” to share and collaborate, making a conscious effort to view objectives from the same lens, while still collaborating and sharing diverse perspectives.

Note, if you workshop your ideas with developers, developers will not assess your product-market fit. However, without speaking with developers first, when it comes time to assess your product-market fit in a business strategy consultation, you’ll only have half the knowledge you need. 

Developers load up your knowledge base, giving you information and understanding about the personality and potential of your app. This gives you a better base from which to determine product-market fit. 

4. Develop your Minimum Viable Product

After workshopping your idea, it’s time to build and develop to reach your MVP. Every project and person has different goals and requirements, so there’s no cookie-cutter approach to what outcomes you’ll achieve after a workshop.

Your developers may deliver:

  • mockups and prototypes
  • customer and user personas
  • user journey maps
  • user flow
  • information architecture
  • journey mapping, scope, estimates
  • workflows and wireframes.

All these elements get you closer to your MVP to reach your rapid innovation goals sooner.

5. Test and validate your MVP

After developing your MVP, you can use it as your business case and proof of concept, sharing it with initial test users and investors! Your MVP helps you understand whether your app is right for your target market. You can use it to share your brand with users and demonstrate how your app is unique compared to others. 

Review and test it thoroughly. Collect users’ reactions and harness their feedback to determine the acceptability and competitiveness of your product in market.

Final thoughts

For all the rapid innovators, developing and testing your MVP to validate your product-market fit is a great way to ensure speed to market and that your dollars are invested well.  Use it to solve the right problems, target, segment, test and develop your business case. Don’t be afraid to connect with developers only – as they’ll be able to contribute important expertise and key thought processes. They can also help you fire up momentum. Remember, there’s no such thing as the “perfect time” to start.

Looking to bring your digital vision to life, fast? Connect with local, approachable developers at NetEngine to start workshopping your idea today.

Today apps come from every industry: media companies, banks, airlines, recruitment, cafes and restaurants, government agencies, games, and social networks, just to name a few. Everyone has seen headlines of inspiring multi-billion dollar apps from Instagram to Uber. Naturally, this has forced brands to get into the mobile and web app space to grow and connect with their customers.

In this guide, you’ll learn:

  • Types of apps available and cost structure associated
  • Costs associated with different types of features and functionality

I was shown a really interesting article a few weeks ago explaining how to do ‘quantity queries’ (think of them like media queries but based on how much content you have) using last, first and nth child pseudo-classes.

Some pretty cool uses of using pseudo-classes in order to style your layout include, the the ability to change your navigation’s styling based on how many items it has. This would be super useful to anyone that makes websites for clients to edit with a CMS. Lets say you have a traditional nav bar, but don’t want there to ever be more than four items in it because it would line break. nth child would give you the option to say if there is more than four items, hide the nav behind a ‘show navigation’ button.

Another cool use of nth and last child selectors are what I’m writing about today, making a cool flexbox style responsive grid.

Why not just use flexbox?

CSS3 selectors work more consistently across a wider selection of browsers.

You can see the grid in action above, or see a finished product on , the size of the last child always scales to fill any extra space. We also use an nth-child grid for the template previews in outfit using the same technique covered in the article I linked earlier.

First child things first.

I’m sure everyone reading this knows what :last-child and :first-child are, but for the sake of the less experienced with css selectors, I’ll go over it.

:first-child is a pseudo-class that targets the first child of its parent.

For example:

li:first-child {

  <li> first child </li>
  <li> list item </li>
  <li> list item </li>
  <li> list item </li>
  <li> last child </li>

would produce

  • first child
  • list item
  • list item
  • list item
  • last child

because the first <li> is the first one in the parent div.
Alternatively, using :last-child would have a similar effect.

  • first child
  • list item
  • list item
  • list item
  • last child


### Now that thats out of the way, onto the nth child.

Similar to first and last child selectors :nth-child is a way to select every element that matches the value of ‘n’.

For example, :nth-child(2) would select the second child of the parent element.

li:nth-child(2) {

  • first child
  • list item
  • list item
  • list item
  • last child

Because we can use formulas as the ‘n’ value, instead of targeting just the second child, we can change (2) to (2n) and target every second child like this:

li:nth-child(2n) {
  • first child
  • list item
  • list item
  • list item
  • last child

If we combine this with :last-child we can target every second child but only if it is the last child of its parent.

  • first child
  • list item
  • list item
  • list item
  • last child

As you can see, none of the children we were targeting were the last child of its parent, so none of them are affected. If we removed one of the items so a multiple of two was the last child of its parent you would see that child being targeted by our css.

  • first child
  • list item
  • list item
  • list item

This is how our grid layout will work. We will use code like this to apply specific css to the last child based on how many children the parent has.

Here’s an example of our css

/* if the last child is a multiple of two */

.li:nth-child(2n):last-child {

/* if the last child is the one after a multiple of two */

.li:nth-child(2n+1):last-child {
  • first child
  • list item
  • first child
  • list item
  • list item
  • first child
  • list item
  • list item
  • list item

Our grid will work exactly like this, but it will change the width of the last child instead of the color.


Ok, Lets get started.

I’m going to start out by creating three divs inside a parent div. and setting each of their widths to 33.33%.
All of the examples are hosted on codepen so you can have a look/play around with the

See the Pen LEKxqZ by John Morris (@Johnm__) on CodePen.

Now onto the magic stuff.

If I added another div right now, it would stack under the three divs and would only be 33% wide, leaving a big awkward 66% wide white space on the right of it.

Because our grid is 3 children wide and we wan’t to target the last child if its one after the last group of three, I’m going to use
:nth-child(3n+1):last-child to target that div and set its width to 100%

See the Pen EaBZmB by John Morris (@Johnm__) on CodePen.

Im going to do the same thing but change 3n+1
to 3n+2 to target the last child if there were two children after the last 3n and set it’s width to 66%

See the Pen Example three by John Morris (@Johnm__) on CodePen.

There you have it.
A grid that is aware of how many items it has and styles its self accordingly.

The sky really is the limit with this stuff.

If you come up with another cool use of, or way to implement any nth child layouts or tricks, we would love to see it. Get in touch with us on twitter.