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Development support

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The BMS Lab is staffed by programming experts who work together with researchers to develop software, web solutions, serious games and extended reality (virtual or augmented) environments that facilitate the creation and execution of new and innovative research designs and applications. Our team works together with BMS faculty staff, researchers and students in a co-creation process to realise the project objectives of the researchers and professors. 

Our main development support services:

  • Consultancy

    Our technical experts in the development team can provide advice and guidance to researchers and students on various topics, e.g. research, project or bringing technology into the course programs. Our team can support you with questions such as:

    • Project ideation.
    • Creating a research design.
    • Guide in transferring research ideas and user stories into technical requirements.
    • Consulting on the different possibilities available for your research project or course programs. e.g. the right equipment or software, prioritisation of what is possible, methodology fit, etc.
  • Development Projects and Support for Courses

    Our technical experts support the BMS faculty in the development of software or virtual reality environments to be used in course programs. Based on advance notice and agreements made, the team is also able to extend support and guidance for students in learning the needed requirements to fulfil their role as their own technicians.

  • Development time

    Another service provided by the development team is development time. When you request development time for your research or project, you will start collaborating with the development team in a co-creation process to develop VR environments or develop solutions such as software, websites or serious games

    You could also request to continue to develop an existing environment or product, in which case the development team can support this by, for example, adding connectors, scripts, modifications or adding diverse functionalities in existing BMS Lab development products. 

Types of development projects

  • 80-Hour projects
    BMS faculty and students can request up to 80 hours of free development support for research projects or courses. 

    The timely registration of projects is crucial as it affects one's eligibility for the 80-hour project and allows for better resource allocation and project management by our team. Therefore, register your project as early as possible.

    Although these projects are applicable for 80 hours of support, they can still vary in duration based on where researchers are in their projects, time investment and resource allocation and planning of both parties. While student projects usually take 4 or more weeks to complete, a PhD or professor project might last for several months or even years, depending on the nature of the project.

  • Funded projects
    Funded projects are typically longer and larger scale projects that are carried out by the BMS faculty staff. These need to be funded by the faculty, subsidies or by other external sources or project partners.

    Projects estimated to take more than 80 hours of time from the development team need their own funding. It can also be the case that an 80-Hour project needs to be changed into a funded project.

The development project phases

Project registration

To make use of our services and request development time, the project must first be registered. We advise registering the project as soon as it is known that our services will be required to realise the project. The earlier the registration of projects with us, the better forecast we can have on how we manage all incoming project requests and how we allocate our resources and time to our developers.

Design and Introduction

This is the first point of contact after having submitted the project. The intention of this step is to learn more about the research and project plans. The main discussion points are: 

  • Consults on the design process.
  • Support design process.
  • Protocols & rules
  • Project management

On request and based on the observed need of the researcher, the development team can also provide a workshop about wireframing and user story development. 

Requirement setting meeting

This is a formal meeting to discuss the project's storyline and the requirements of the research. For this meeting, we want to explore the project requirements, preferences, and data objectives. Based on these, the main objectives and discussion points of this meeting are to:

  • Transform user stories into technical requirements.
  • Advice on technical requirements.
  • Advice on prioritisation of the requirements. 
  • Arrange technical security aspects.
  • The setting of responsibilities.

After the first requirement-setting meeting, there are two more steps to complete to be able to proceed with your project with us.

  1. Refinement of requirements
    After the first meeting, feedback will be sent to the researcher on which improvements are expected to be made to the requirements to be able to proceed with us. 

  2. Sign-off moment
    This is a sign-off moment to decide if we proceed with the project proposal. 
Design and Development

After the formal sign-off of the project, we can start working on the product. During this phase, several expectations should be kept in mind. 

  • The development of the product happens in a co-creation process.
  • The client will need to take on the role of the project manager in this collaboration. 
  • The client must keep track of internal developments through clear communication. 

The development time of the product is dependent on differing factors. Typically the general duration tends to be within 1 months’ time for a 80 hour project, however it could take more time.

Assigned testing period
After the development of the product, you will be given an assigned testing period, in which you will be required to do this and send feedback before the given deadline.

This testing period is to ensure that the developed product works as intended. In no response is given by the deadline, we will proceed to relocate our resources to other projects. 

Testing phase and bug fixes

Testing of the product is the project owner's own responsibility. This is different from the previously mentioned assigned testing period. The aforementioned testing is intended to see if the product is developed according to the previously set requirements. During this phase, however, the project owner is expected to continue to test the product in preparation to take on participants.
During this step, the following actions are expected to be completed:

  • Learning how to be your own technician: how to operate the equipment, software, or website that will be used for the project. 
  • Training development: learn more about the product itself, e.g. operating the software or environment.
  • The act itself: complete pilot studies in preparation for the actual participants. 
  • The user manual: At this phase's end, the project owner must do some documentation and write a user manual for the lab. 

The estimated time advised for testing is 2 weeks to ensure that everything is running well. Additional time might be needed for bug fixes and further development of your product. Conditions apply.

Data collection

This is the project owner's own responsibility. 

The BMS Lab can support with the following upon request:

  • Questions
  • Data Storage 
  • The lending of equipment and facilities
  • Clients can request further support if needed from our partner, the BDSI team. 
Research analysis

This is the end of the project cycle with the BMS Lab. 

Considerations to keep in mind

As we do have many incoming projects, our priority is to use our time wisely and help every researcher as best as possible. This means that there can be restrictions on how we can work with you. The main factors to consider are:

  • Unique and innovative research

    Project proposals are accepted on the bases of unique and innovative research.

  • Proper project management is required

    Throughout the entire process you, as the project owner are responsible for the project management. To set up the project for success, ensure you fully understand the requirements, timeline and make sure that the developer is letting you know the expectations of what to test.

  • It's a maximum of 80H investment time

    Unless necessary the whole 80H does not need to be spent. 

  • It's a collaboration and co-creation process

    We are not a hand-off service. It’s a collaboration between the development team and the researcher. Researchers are expected to have a high level of responsibility in the entire process. The development team is there to support and fulfill more complex development work.

  • It might be the case that not all requirements will be met

    Depending on the time required, not all requirements can be completed.

Want to get started or get more information on what we can offer?

Do you have questions?

Are you not sure how to proceed? Or are you not sure that the project fits with the lab? Then please get in touch with us and provide us with information we can use to evaluate your proposal. More importantly, please include as much information from the form as possible.