Everybody knows that developing a mobile app is not a cheap venture. Entrepreneurs that are eager to obtain one are doing their best to reduce the expenses as much as possible while saving the end quality of the product and reasons are clear. Gladly, there are set of proven tactics and advice.
Do the analysis
A serious and thorough analysis of app’s business requirements is vital for any project to succeed. Any loss during this can lead to dangerous pitfalls during the development and will result in project delays and a growth of expenses due to inconsistency between business needs and the work of development team.
Systemizing the project requirements and documenting them lets the developers see a reference and a clear picture of how the final product should work and behave. Of course, we are all human and minor mistakes are inevitable, but doing the paperwork wisely should keep them at minimum.
Upon wondering which development company you should pick to make an app for you, be sure to stick to an agency that pays attention to project requirements analysis. Experienced business analysts and project managers will help you with defining and formulating project requirements so they keep solid during the software development life cycle. These will be later interpreted into tech specifications for developers, making sure that nothing is missed and they are designing what is required.
Traditional or Waterfall methodology involves development of planned features at first and only then a testing and market optimizing process. It is a huge struggle to remove unneeded and non-vital app features at this stage and will result in another project holdup.
Fortunately, thing like Agile development exists and is widely deployed nowadays. It allows to break the development process into short cycles or how they are called, ‘sprints’ each of two weeks, usually. With this development model, it’s much easily to put corrections to the development process and add or remove features of the app.
You are being systematically contacted between sprints or iterations by project manager, who describes you how the things go with your app. When there is a need to put any corrections into the development process, the team will adapt and respond quickly, showing you what has been implemented and changed in the project at the sprint’s end without restructuring and re-planning the entire project, saving you loads of time, money and nerves.
Another considerable option is developing a minimum viable product first — an app with a minimum required functionality that is about to be updated in close future, while already being released — this helps greatly with evaluating the market demand for your app and seeing if the customers are interested and willing to pay for it. You can start adding and implementing all the additional and secondary features to the app, while being already sure that it will have a demand and it won’t fail. MVP model is relating very close to the Agile methodology — it not only cuts down unneeded expenses but also insures you from a possible market failure.
Developing an app that is cross-platform can be a huge cost saver, however, this works best if your app is not very complex and it doesn’t use native interfaces and doesn’t need hardware integration. In other cases it may land a serious hit on app’s performance. Just ask your developer, if there’s an option to develop your app cross-platform and if it will hurt its performance. If answers are at your favor — go for it, that helps with reducing app development cost.
Actually, why waste time and effort trying to do something that someone has already done well and reinvent the wheel? Some of the UI features can be done using pre-made templates that only need to be customized. There are also a vast choice of Whatever as a Service solutions around the web — BaaS (Backend as a Service), SaaS (Software as a Service) that are offering ready-made solutions free of charge or for a monthly fee. Usually this concerns payment and mapping services.
For instance, rather than developing your own, you can use Puship — a third party iOS and Android push notifications server, or Google’s Cloud Platform that works as PaaS (Platform as a Service) for some backend features like data sync across devices, memcache, user authentication, sharing and processing data from multiple users and more .
However, keep in mind that encumbering your desired app with such services might result in bad scalability and stability. But don’t worry; your development team will let you know of such instances, as they know which services can be used and how they should be handled.
Don’t forget to keep in touch with your developers personally. Try not to put all of the faith into project managers, they are human, after all, and some mistakes and important issues could be overlooked due to overwhelming amounts of information around them, believe me, they do their best. So, test each build of the application that is delivered, as there still might be minor deviations between what was desired and what is done. Be really attentive and vigilant — issues that are found early are much easily fixed while sprints are still done rather than when product is already finished and delivered to you.
Mentioned tips can help you release your first app with much less nerves and troubles and without any major losses in budget or quality — just be attentive to what you require and what you are delivered. And don’t worry — well-reputed outsourcing team is already aware of all of the possible pitfalls during the development and handles your app with care — they are professionals, after all.
Bio: Alex Volski, a business and market analyst at ThinkMobiles; partly writer, partly a DJ. Cheers from Ukraine!