If there are a few things common to physical infrastructure development and digital infrastructure development such as apps; it is Escalation of time and cost! It is common for app development projects to run into 2 or 3 times the original budgeted costs. But how can an organization ensure that an app development does not break the bank in terms of cost escalations and the app is made market ready in the least time possible?
Here are a few tips to manage time and cost escalation in app development which we have learned from our decade long experience in the industry.
Focus on Must Have features:
The first version of the app is no doubt one the most important as it holds the key to the future of the app and is the deciding factor if the app would be successful or not. When deciding on what all features the app would have it is important that you focus on the ‘Must Have’ features rather than the ‘Nice to Have’ features. Every application is built to solve a pain point or a problem, there can be a time when an app solves more than two or three problems. This feature is called the Core Functionality or Value of the app. A lot of time and money can be saved if the developers focus on core values of the app rather and be-all and do-all features.
Choosing the Right Platform
A lean development strategy for apps means building the app for one platform during the initial stage. There are times when an organization ends up spending too much money upfront while developing apps for multiple platforms at the same time. Example: Building an app for iOS, Android, and Windows at the same time. Each of these platforms has millions of customers which is more than enough to test the waters. If the customers like your app on one platform, then expand to another platform in the future. This would help cut down initial costs and time to market for your app. Also, if the app being developed is of less complexity, then a Hybrid app may be the solution owing to the fast time to market and less development cost involved in building it.
Most of the mobile apps has to interact with the backend server and API’s plays a big part in connecting both the ends. It is common that backend API team members and mobile app development team members are different. Unless the API structure and parameters are well defined, mobile app team will be dependent on API team for development. Make sure your mobile team have the API endpoints ready before starting with mobile their development sprint.
As your mobile application gets matured, you may have to upgrade the software and maintain multiple versions of your mobile application. At least you will have to support current version and its previous version. Ensure the backend architecture is designed well to manage multiple API versions. Frameworks like Grape help you achieve that effortlessly instead of ground-up development.
Research the UI/UX Design before Development
The design of the app should be well researched before the development starts, it would help to avoid last minute changes and the development team starts the work with a clear output in mind. Also development can be done a lot faster if the developers know what they are aiming to achieve.
Keep Design Clean
While a super fancy design may look attractive to the eyes, it does not always mean a better app. In fact, heavy content and graphics can substantially increase the development cost and time of the application. If your focus industry is not something that thrives on aesthetics like fashion or architecture, it is highly advisable to have a clean design with easy navigation.
API is a set of processes and protocols for building software apps. It defines how the app processes and components would interact with one another in the background. To cut costs in app development it is important that the API integration is ready during the development phase and background API operations should be tested while developing the app.
Though offline capabilities for an app sound as a basic necessity to have a positive user experience, it may lead to an increased development cost and contribute to the complexity of the application. Offline capabilities should be developed at a later stage when the app maturity is high.
Listen to Customer Feedback
The customer today holds the key to make or break an app, also customer feedback is an inexpensive way to crowd-storm on the most critical features and functionality of your app. It is important to make the basic marketable app initially and then gradually upgrade it over time by listening to the customer feedback on its features and experience. Not only does it ensure your costs stay low, but it also ensures you have the most innovative apps in the market.
App Store Launch
Every app must be put to market on the most visited app stores in the world of OS’s (Play Store in Android and App Store for iOS). Hence, it is all the more important to ensure that all app store guidelines are thoroughly followed in the development process to avoid last minute hiccups. The last thing you want is last minute changes to the app because a developer did not follow some store guidelines. It is important to follow the store guidelines such as policy, business logic etc. so that the app launch is as smooth as possible.
RailsFactory have developed more than 500 applications till date, of which many have been featured in TechCrunch. If you feel your organization can benefit from their decade long experience in the app development space, contact us at https://www.railsfactory.com/contact_us