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Offshoring your software projects: all you need to know

Offshoring your software projects can seem like a challenge – and it indeed is if you are not prepared. You may be wondering what you need to do to make sure the process goes as smoothly as possible and make a good decision while choosing your business partner. In this blog post, we will discuss everything you need to know about offshoring your software projects. We’ll cover topics such as choosing a provider, what to look for in a contract, and how to manage the project once it’s underway. So simply – don’t go into offshoring your software project without reading this blog post!

What is offshoring and why would you do it?

Offshoring is the process of contracting out work to a third-party provider located in foreign countries (not necessarily the poorest countries). Offshoring can be an extremely cost-effective way to get your project completed when it comes to software projects. By working with a provider who is based in a lower-cost country, you can save a significant amount of money on your project. An important aspect is the quality of work performed by potential team members. Reports show that programmers from Poland, Ukraine, Russia, and Romania are the best programmers globally. Collaboration can take your product to a higher level.

The benefits of offshoring your software projects

There are several reasons you might want to consider before offshoring your software project, as the effects of offshoring by multinational companies to overseas countries can be helpful for the production process of your software.

Offshoring can save your company money

As mentioned above, offshoring to a provider in a lower-cost country can save you a lot of money on your project. When you operate in a Western European country, Mid Europe could be a good choice for you. The rates are growing every year but still, there is a significant difference between Western and Mid Europe. We’ll introduce a few benefits in terms of quality, but in general, the cost to quality ratio is currently the highest in Middle Europe.

Offshoring can also help you get your project completed more quickly. By working with a provider close to where your team is based, you can minimize the amount of time it takes for them to communicate with the provider. This can be a massive benefit if your team is short on time.

Offshoring can improve your project quality

When you work with an offshore provider, you are not just getting someone to do the work for you – you are getting access to their entire team of experts. You will have access to a group of skilled people in various areas, from software development to QA. Such cooperation can be a huge benefit, as it will help ensure that your project is completed with the highest quality possible.

That said when you look for an external provider as an extension of your team, and if you think seriously about the quality, freelancers might not be the best option. Typically, they provide services after hours, and you lose access to your potential partner’s employees. Even though you might work with only one or two people from a given software development company, you can count on experience, know-how, and implementation of suitable processes of the whole company or particular key team member of the company.

Offshore teams are often more motivated to succeed

Offshore teams are often more motivated to succeed than their in-house counterparts. This is because they know that the success of their project, e.g., multinational corporations or western countries, can significantly impact their company’s reputation. As a result, they are often willing to go the extra mile to ensure your project succeeds. Likewise, most software development companies care about good references, case studies, or recommendations. That is why they are highly motivated to do the best for you, sometimes investing additional time in improving things you haven’t asked for to make you even more satisfied and be a long-term partner. Thanks to the above, the cooperation is a clear win-win for both sides.

You don’t have to worry about managing the project yourself

When you work with an offshore provider, you don’t have to worry about managing the project yourself. This is because the provider will handle all of the day-to-day management tasks for you. This can be a huge relief if you are already stretched thin on time.

Of course, you can have a Project Manager on your side, but when it comes to the offshored team, the more responsibility you put on the team as a whole, the better results in terms of quality and efficiency you could expect.

The offshore team will be familiar with your company’s culture and processes

When you work with an offshore provider, the team working on your project will be familiar with your company’s culture and processes. This is because they will have been trained in-house by the provider. As a result, there will be a minimal learning curve for them when it comes to working on your project and production facilities.

You get access to better talent pool

Offshore providers have access to a much better talent pool than most in-house teams. This is because they typically have robust and tested recruitment processes access to their local talent pool. They know what the team is the most important value and can count on internal and external recommendations. To sum up, they can hire more quickly, in a cheaper way, and more effectively when it comes to the quality of talent. As a result, you will be able to find the best possible talent for your complex tasks by working with an offshore provider.

How to choose the right offshoring development partner

When it comes time to choose a provider for your software project, there are a few things you’ll want to keep in mind for the central task.

Define your project requirements

The first step is to define your project requirements. It would be best to enumerate things such as the features you want your software to have, the technology stack, the timeframe for completion, environmental regulations, and the budget you are willing to spend. Without this step, finding a provider who is a good fit for your project will be challenging. What’s more, you may not be aware of all of the options available to you.

Research software development companies

Once you have defined your project requirements, it’s time to do some research on potential providers. First, you have to validate things such as their portfolio, the countries they are based in, firm sizes, and the services they offer. Furthermore, it would be best to read reviews from past clients to get a sense of what it is like to work with them. Doing so will allow you to quickly eliminate companies that are not a good match straight away.

Interview prospective providers

When you have narrowed down your list of potential providers, you should start interviewing them. This should include things such as asking for references and having a technical assessment done. By doing this, you will be able to get a sense of whether or not they are the right fit for your project at this point, but also whether they have the potential to grow with you as your business expands.

Check the provider’s experience in your industry

It’s important to choose a provider who has experience in your industry. This is because they will be familiar with the specific challenges and requirements that come with your industry. As a result, they will be better equipped to handle them. However, it’s important to note that not all providers have experience in every industry, so you may need to expand your search beyond your original list.

Make sure the offshoring provider has a good reputation

It’s also essential to make sure the provider you choose is reputable and acclaimed for quality work. Again, this is because you will be entrusting them with your company’s reputation, so you want to make sure they are up to the task.

This is because you don’t want to risk the success of your project by working with a company that has a poor track record. You can do this by reading reviews from past clients, as well as checking their ratings on sites like Clutch or GoodFirms.

Ask about their development and quality processes

When interviewing providers, you should also ask about their development and quality verification processes. Understanding processes will give you a sense of how they work and whether or not it is a good fit for your project. Ensure the company understands your business and what you’re looking to achieve with the project. This will give you a good idea of the level of quality they can deliver. It will also help you get a sense of their team’s skillset and experience.

Narrow down the list of offshoring IT candidates

Once you have interviewed a few providers, it’s time to narrow down your list of candidates. This should include things such as considering the cost, timeline, and quality of the proposals you received. By doing this, you will be able to find the best provider for your project, but also quickly you’ll be able to eliminate those who are not a good fit.

Request proposals and pricing information

If you’re ready to get started, the next step is to request proposals and pricing information from your shortlisted providers. This will give you a better understanding of what each provider is offering and how much it will cost.

Evaluate proposals and select a partner

Now, it’s time to evaluate the proposals you received and select a provider. This should include things such as comparing the cost, timeline, and quality of the proposals. By doing this, you will be able to find the best provider for your project, no matter if you run it in the manufacturing sector or for smart companies. 

Sign an offshoring contract and get started!

Once you have selected a software provider from overseas countries, it’s time to sign a contract and get started! This will include things such as defining the project scope and timeline, but also intellectual property issues, policy implication, technology licensing, and other causal effects. By doing this, you will be able to ensure that both parties are on the same page and that the project is proceeding smoothly. You should make sure that the contract includes a clause that allows for changes, as software projects often go over budget and time.

Tips for successfully launching an offshoring software project

In order to ensure a successful offshoring experience, there are a few key things you need to keep in mind.

Define the project goals and objectives early on

One of the most important things to do when launching an offshore software project is to define the project goals and objectives early on. This will help ensure that both parties are on the same page and that there is a clear understanding of what needs to be accomplished.

Make sure all stakeholders are on board with the project plan

Another important thing to do is make sure all stakeholders are on board with the project plan. This will help ensure that everyone is aware of what’s happening and there is no confusion or miscommunication. Without this, likely, the project will not be successful.

Regular communication is key

Another thing to keep in mind is that regular communication is key. This means communicating with your provider regularly and ensuring everyone is on track. By doing this, you will be able to avoid any potential problems down the road.

Outline the project timeline and milestones

In addition, you should also outline the project timeline and milestones. This will help keep everyone on track and ensure that the project proceeds smoothly. Additionally, it will help you track the project’s progress and ensure that it is on schedule.

Manage expectations

Finally, it’s essential to manage expectations. This means setting realistic expectations for both the project and the provider. This will help you avoid any future difficulties, but also disappointments. For example, suppose American corporations decide to tackle the offshoring phenomenon and outsource the work to low-wage countries. In that case, they should make sure they are aware of challenges and core processes. 

Choose an appropriate software development methodology

When it comes to software development, there are a few different methodologies you can choose from. This includes things such as Waterfall, Agile, and Scrum. By choosing the right methodology, you will be able to ensure that the core processes of the project are proceeding smoothly and on schedule.

Common offshoring problems and how to overcome them

Cultural differences can lead to misunderstandings and conflict

One of the biggest challenges when offshoring a software project is cultural differences. This can lead to misunderstandings and conflict, which can delay the project and increase costs. By taking into account the culture of both parties, you will be able to avoid these problems. Furthermore, you should make sure that there is a clear communication plan in place.

The provider may not be able to meet the offshoring project deadlines

Another common challenge is when the provider cannot meet the project deadlines. This can often be due to unforeseen circumstances, such as changes in the market or problems with the team. By having a backup plan in place, you will be able to mitigate the impact of these delays.

Communication challenges can impede progress and cause delays

Another common challenge is a lack of communication. This can lead to missed deadlines and increased costs, as well as misunderstandings and conflict. By establishing a regular communication schedule, you will be able to avoid these problems. It may take a lot of effort to overcome these challenges, but it’s well worth it in the end.

Offshoring provider is not meeting project requirements

If the provider is not meeting project requirements, it’s important to take action. This could include things such as renegotiating the contract or finding a new provider. By taking action, you will be able to ensure that the project is proceeding smoothly and on schedule.

Project is going over budget or time

It’s important to keep in mind that the project may go over budget. This is often due to changes in requirements or unforeseen problems. By having a contingency fund in place, you will be able to cover any additional costs that may arise.

Similarly, the project may also go over time. This is often due to delays caused by cultural differences, communication problems, or provider issues. By having a timeline in place, you will be able to track the project’s progress and ensure that it does not exceed the allotted time frame.

If the project is going over budget or time and it really cannot stretch more, it’s important to take action. This could include things such as renegotiating the contract or finding a new provider in some cases.

Time zone differences can make offshoring difficult to coordinate work schedules

Another common challenge is time zone differences. This can make it difficult to coordinate work schedules and can often lead to delays. By using online tools, such as Slack or Zoom, you will be able to overcome this problem. Also, try to schedule regular video chats to keep everyone on the same page. Nowadays, things can be done flexibly so that both the client and the provider are comfortable.

Geographical distance can create logistical problems

Another common challenge is geographical distance. This can create logistical problems, such as delays in shipping necessary materials or difficulty coordinating meetings. It may not be possible to overcome this challenge, but you can take steps to mitigate its impact.

Language barriers can limit understanding and lead to mistakes

Finally, language barriers can limit understanding and lead to mistakes. By using translation tools or having a translator present, you will be able to overcome this challenge. Or, simply choose an offshoring software provider that stands out for its ability to work with clients from around the globe and with its language skills.

Differences in business practices can cause confusion and frustration

Finally, differences in business practices can cause confusion and frustration. By understanding the cultural norms of the provider country, you will be able to avoid these problems. Also, make sure that your contract outlines the expectations for both parties so that there are no surprises down the road.

In order to make sure your software project is a success, it’s important to take into account all of these potential challenges. By doing so, you will be able to mitigate any problems that may arise. And, in the end, you’ll have a product that you’re proud of.

Final thoughts

Offshoring your software project can be a great way to get it done on time and within budget. By following these steps, you will be able to find the best provider for your project and ensure that the project goes smoothly from start to finish. If you’re looking for the right offshoring IT service providers, we’re here to help, too!

Start offshoring your software project right away!

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Selecting your web development company: factors to consider

The IT market is highly competitive in today’s digital era and changing in a blink of an eye. If a brand wants to win and keep customers, it must be unique. As a first step in standing out, you need a professional and interactive web app – and, most likely, a web development company to do it for you.

But incredibly, many businesses still neglect the value of an efficient business web app that is fast, easy to use, secure, and mobile-friendly as well, hoping that a cheap and quickly done product will work just as well. That can impact how your business performs, though – 42% of people will leave a website because of poor functionality, and 38.5% are put off by outdated design. The best way to ensure your web app or website has all the elements mentioned above is to hire professional web development services that know the latest trends in web development and how to add them to your web app. 

We already mentioned in our previous article what you should look for when researching web development agencies, so you have probably already done some research. Now, it’s time to pick the right web development company for your needs.

Where should you look for a web development company?

Now that you know what you are looking for, it’s time to dive into the actual research phase. Where should you look for your future partners? You can either ask your clients, business partners, digital marketing agencies, and friends for references or start searching for them on the net. But when you enter “web development company” in the browser, you will get 4 880 000 000 results, woah. 

That’s why it’s worth it to start looking for your future expert web developers by checking various online listings like Clutch, GoodFirms, or DesignRush. On those sites, you can find development companies from all over the world, together with plenty of information about them – hourly prices, main areas of specialization (e.g. mobile apps, design services, custom web applications’ examples, number of employees, business challenges, cutting-edge technologies description, graphic design examples, successful projects’ list, and so on. 

What’s more important is that on those sites, you can see the web development company team’s portfolio and read reviews from past clients – you can even reach out to them for references. Also, you can read the summary of each project they completed and compare them with your expectations – that should make it much easier to find a web development partner that has done something similar to what you need.

If you’d like to learn more about some of our previous projects, you can check them out on Clutch.

What factors should you consider when talking with a web development company?

Once you have a shortlist of web development companies you think match your requirements the most, and you would want to work with, it’s time to schedule a “kickoff” meeting for your app development services. A kickoff meeting is the first meeting with the web development team you will have, during which you discuss with them all the details of your project. Why is it important?

  • It allows you to meet the developers in person and get to know them better
  • Ensures that everyone understands the main objectives of the project 
  • Helps with clarifying all critical parts of the project
  • Gives the development team a chance to share their suggestions or ideas
  • Assesses the amount of time and budget necessary for the project
  • Allows you to discuss the post-launch support requirements you have.

But if you want the initial contact and meetings to go well and find a software development company you can work with for years to come, you need to know first what questions to ask to your shortlist of app development companies. We listed below 9 points you should discuss during the meeting with your future custom web development partner. Those can ensure a smoother experience while working with the development team and, as a result, give you a better product at the end.

They should listen closely to and understand the specifics of your business

When hiring a web development business, ask questions to make sure they understand your specific business needs. For example, do they have the technology and skills needed to make your website application development service work the way you want it to? Or maybe they have any suggestions on what to change in the project to better fit your objectives? The more their custom website design services and experience align with your goals, the better.

It would be best to ask them about their ideas for the design as well. If they already worked on a similar project as yours, then they should know exactly how to make your web app stand out while keeping the branding on point.

Ask for references and work samples

This seems like an obvious step, but many people skip it. You shouldn’t just rely on their portfolio and reviews, no matter how good they are. By looking at just those, you cannot tell if the projects were delivered on time and under budget or what problems might have arisen during the project. 

For instance, the results might look stellar, but the whole development process might have been anything but that. Companies with exemplary portfolios should be able to provide you with at least two or three references from satisfied enterprise clients or other proofs or long-term business relationships. 

It is also a good idea to reach out to their previous clients and ask them to share their experience with the project management, turnaround time, responsiveness, or any troubles they have while building their own website or web app. That will make it easier for you to predict how the project might go for you – and for what problems you eventually need to be prepared.

How long will it take them to develop a web app?

If you give the development team a list of your requirements and expectations, then they should be able to tell you an estimated timeline by which the web app will be completed, tested, and launched. You need to remember that the more complex your web app is, the longer it will take for the development company to build and test it to ensure that it works. But if the expert team you are speaking with can’t give you an approximate date by which the custom software development project will be completed, then you should get suspicious, as it might mean they have difficulties with keeping the work on schedule.   

Similarly, when such a development agency gives you a very early date by which the web app will be ready, you should double-check do they have the means to develop a web app in such a short time – or you risk having to move the launch date several times due to lack of meeting your project requirements. You need to also think about your budget here – the cost of the web app will inevitably increase if your project takes longer than anticipated.

How will a web development company communicate with your team?

When both sides communicate smoothly, every project goes smoother. That’s why you should talk with your expert team about their preferred communication channels and style, as well as how you would like to communicate with them. To gauge their communication style, you can ask them the following questions:

  • What is their preferred communication channel – phone, e-mail, video calls?
  • Will there be a dedicated point-of-contact person who will respond to your concerns and feedback?
  • How often can you expect to hear from them?
  • What are their business models and methodologies (e.g. Agile Methodology)?

Here’s also where you should make your expectations for custom software development clear as well. Whether you prefer frequent and short updates on project progress or more detailed meetings with the team, make sure they know as it may have a positive impact on the whole communication. You should also ask them if they have a project management tool you can use to follow the project’s progress – that will help you meet your business goals, stay on track, bring ideas to life, and get bespoke web apps as a result.

What other services can your web app development provider offer?

Developing a web app isn’t just about writing the code, a custom web design, and putting it all together. Design, UX, user interface, SEO, testing, digital marketing services, hosting, search engine optimization, user experiences research, and later maintenance are all essential for building a successful high-quality web app as well.

So while you are talking with the developers’ team, ask them if they have people responsible for updating and maintaining the web app or website and keeping it optimized for search engines. Having all these services available under one roof will both ensure that the developers’ work will be consistent, and it will also be much more convenient for them to add updates or fix any problems.

Also, you may be on the lookout for application development companies that offer more than web dev – who knows when you’ll need some mobile apps, other development solutions, or even blockchain development? Look holistically.

Analyze your web development company’s development and hosting services 

On the outside, a web app might look great. However, the code and algorithms on the inside might be pretty messy. Result? A product that is difficult to update, maintain or troubleshoot. This is another reason you shouldn’t just focus on how the web app in the development team’s portfolio looks but also examine the code inside it. 

The website developers should be knowledgeable about both front-end and back-end development so that you’ll get a web app that looks good but is also easy to maintain. For this, they should be familiar with web development best practices as well as databases, algorithms, and different coding architectures. 

It will also be worth it to ask your software development partner if they can provide you with a virtual or dedicated hosting platform for your web app. That way, you won’t have to worry about having to find a hosting platform yourself – and you’ll be able to handle sudden spikes in traffic easier as well.

The estimated cost of the web app

No matter how tempting their offer may seem, you should stay away from custom software solutions’ providers that give an estimated cost of the web app that is much, much lower than other companies give you. When hiring a web development company, you can expect to get what you pay for. 

By paying a very low price for a web app, you might end up with a half-finished site that does not look the way you expected or has so many bugs it’s practically unusable. You need a web app that is well-designed, fast, and user-friendly – and that will cost. That’s especially true if you need a custom web app built from scratch. As the development firm will have to spend more time on their project and may have to come up with a wide range of creative solutions for a development problem, that will naturally increase the cost of the development project.

But you should beware of web development firms that give you a suspiciously high price for their services since this doesn’t always mean they will provide you with a much better product than the rest. While it isn’t common, some companies might try to inflate the cost of the web app by adding services and features you didn’t ask for. That’s why it’s always important to ask during the meeting what is included in the design company’s estimated project cost. When they cannot answer the question or speak in vague terms, you should consider choosing another partner for digital transformation.

Can they make your web app mobile-friendly, too?

Mobile usage is growing rapidly, so you need a mobile-friendly web app that is designed to give the users the best experience possible. In fact, over half of all website traffic comes from people using mobile phones – meaning that more people use their smartphones to access the internet than their laptops. Therefore, you are missing out if you do not have a mobile-responsive web app. What’s more, Google also uses mobile usability as a ranking factor. 

That’s why you should ask right at the start whether your web app will be optimized for mobile devices and what ideas the team has for the mobile version of it. Remember, your mobile web app shouldn’t simply be a smaller version of your desktop site – the layout, navigation, buttons, and images all need to be optimized to ensure your users can use it without any issues.  

Ask who will own the source code and web app files

The number of companies who are unable to update their web apps after their relationship with the web firm has ended is astounding. This is because they didn’t think to ask the web development partner who will keep Photoshop and Illustrator files, access to code repositories, usernames and passwords associated with site hosting, etc. Therefore, they suddenly discover they cannot access their web app as soon as they switch development partners. If you don’t want this to happen to your business web app as well, then you should ask the team during the meeting who will own the source code after the project is finished. This should be one of the business requirements that business owners recommend. 

This is especially important if you think about hiring your own development staff to manage the site or if you expect to switch development companies somewhere in the future. Don’t forget to include this in your contract and ensure the development company you hire is transparent in this regard – this way, you won’t have to start from scratch when hiring a new development partner or a dedicated team in the future, and they will deliver their services to clients – you, in this case. 

Conclusion

When you’re looking for a website development company that will work with you for years to come, you’ll need to compare the wide range of services offered, reliability, digital experiences, pricing, design, and a host of other factors. Therefore, it might take a while to find one who has all the qualities you need. However, finding a seasoned and reliable service provider will help your business meet its specific needs and grow further. Make an informed decision, and your business will flourish!

Start working with your web app development company right away!

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Web development services outsourcing: all you need to know

Having a web app or a website is a necessity in today’s digital world for any business, regardless of size or industry. But it’s no longer as easy as just putting up a web app with some information your visitors might need and calling it a day. In fact, it takes roughly 0.05 seconds for users to create an opinion about your web app. A well-designed and easy-to-use web app will encourage visitors to stay on it for longer and maybe even consider reaching out to you. If your webs app is slow to load or doesn’t exactly look good on mobile devices, though, the visitors won’t think twice about clicking the X button. How can you create a web app that will appeal to them? Unless you have an in-house team with the required experience and enough time to work on it themselves, it makes more sense to outsource the work. No matter what size or industry you are in, web developers can do wonders to help you grow your business if you pick the right person for the job. So in this blog post, we’ll tell you why you should hire a web developer and give you some tips on web development services and how to choose the best person for your design services, custom solution, or other online presence forms.

What are web development services?

Web development services involve everything related to building a web-based solution – whether it is a simple text page or a complex web application. Many people think of “web development” as just using a variety of programming languages to create the web app code and put everything together. 

But web developers can help with many other tasks, from web design, content creation, scripting language, and SEO to web app maintenance, troubleshooting, and security measures. All to make sure the web app or another development project works exactly as it should.

Why do you need web development services?

We as humans like things that are convenient – and nothing is more convenient than gaining access to all kinds of information by pressing a button. When it comes to booking a service or reserving a place online, the first thing most people do is check out the recommended places on the net as well.

If they can’t find your product or service while they do their research, you are effectively out of their sight, and you don’t exist for them, even if you do offer what they want. This is where having a web app becomes extremely important. Through it, you can reach millions of internet users and convince them that your product is relevant to their needs or even necessary for them to own.

Having just a “good” web app won’t help you break through the clutter and convert users into loyal customers, though. What you really need is an outstanding web app. Outstanding meaning:

  • Visually appealing, polished, and professional
  • Intuitive to use
  • Optimized for mobile devices and search engines
  • With easily accessible contact information
  • Matching the current trends
  • Regularly checked for any broken links or not working scripts

Building a web app of this kind is not an easy task though, even with all the templates available online. If you want a web app that will be personalized to your business goals and have all the required features, then you should contact a web app development company. Why?

You’ll work with developers who are not only good at creating web apps that last but also know a lot about business strategy, usability, user experience, responsive design, and design strategy. Using that knowledge, they can plan, design, and build a web apps based on what you want to achieve and what your users need. By working with a web development company, you will also be able to apply original design trends for your new web app that will set your business apart from the competition.

But there’s one more important benefit. When hiring a web developer, you know you won’t be left alone after the project is completed. Almost all companies that offer website development services also provide regular maintenance and troubleshooting services for their clients, so you can be sure they will keep your site current and running smoothly.

How do you choose a web developer?

You could start looking for web developers right away, but with the countless companies, you might become overwhelmed. And you could have even more options to pick from if you consider hiring someone from a different country or continent. So how to not get lost in all of this?

To choose wisely, you should first understand what exactly do you need rather than attempting to read through and sort all offers you find. Here are a few tips on how you can make the right decision.

  • Specify what you want to do – Are you looking to build a basic webpage with your contact information? Or do you want to make something with certain functionality? This step is crucial since it determines which skills your developers should have and what technology they will use.
  • Note down your ideas for design – How would you like your website or custom web applications to look and feel? The more specific your design requirements and design trends, the easier it would be for the developers to give you what you want. To start, you could draw something to show (even the simplest) direction you would like the design to go or make a list of web apps which design you like.
  • Define your budget – There is no industry standard pricing for how much a web app should cost, so it is essential to know your upper limit. You might be tempted to choose the cheapest option, but then, you could end up paying twice as much later to fix a buggy or non-functional web app.
  • Look at hiring sites or review sites to look for web development companies – Sites like Clutch or Upwork are excellent places to start your research. Besides detailed information about a developer or company, you can learn more about their skills and services and read client testimonials.
  • Check the developers or agency portfolio – Taking a look at a company’s portfolio will give you a lot of insight into how they work. You’ll be able to see if they have experience in your industry and if they do, examples of websites or custom web applications they’ve developed for companies like yours. But even if they don’t have much experience with your industry, through a portfolio, you can see if you like their design style enough to reach out to them.
  • Read client testimonials – You can determine whether a company will provide quality services based on their client testimonials and reviews, as businesses with many testimonials tend to offer high-quality services.
  • Reach out to chosen companies with a web app brief to ask for a project estimate – Handing them a list of your requirements will help a web development company understand the functionality of your web app and your expectations about post-launch support. Additionally, they will be able to roughly estimate the time and cost of the entire project, as they will know what exactly you expect from them.

What are the types of web development services?

Web development companies typically offer a vast array of services, so each client could find the one that best suits their needs. Depending on the project’s requirements, a development team can create a fully custom website, help with regular maintenance, develop a web app or optimize your existing one. Here are a few of the most common web development services available today.

Web design

The web design process involves creating a site’s architecture, designing its layout and user interface, and coding it to work correctly. To give you a sense of how the web app will look after it’s finished, web designers create wireframes and mockups, which then can be modified based on your wishes and code development. Their job is also to design optimized versions of web apps and pages both for desktop and mobile viewing, as well adding any interactive elements.

Web development support and maintenance

Besides their main website development services, web development companies also offer support and maintenance for your web app after they have completed your project. Those include everything from checking your web app for broken links and scripts to updating your web app’s content or adding new features, so your web app would be up-to-date. 

The web developer can also help with SEO to make sure that your site ranks well in search results or help whenever a problem on your web app arises. 

Web hosting

Web hosting involves storing your web app’s files on a server that can be accessed from anywhere in the world. Most web development companies will provide you with dedicated server space for your web app as part of their service. They are also responsible for server management, backup services, software maintenance, security, and technical support.

Web programming

Web application development, or web programming, involves building dynamic web applications rather than just web apps. Through using languages like PHP, Ruby on Rails, or Java, web programmers can help you with everything from backend coding to front-end design and even help you build APIs that other companies can use to integrate your app into their own product.

Web optimization

Web optimization is the process of making web apps more user-friendly and visible to search engines. The developers will first check how your page ranks when it comes to SEO, speed, backlinks, load times, and mobile experience and then give their alternative solutions and suggestions on how your web app’s rank can be improved. 

Software development services pricing and what it includes.

Now, the question that probably interests you the most – how much does it cost to build your own web app? There are three main ways to build a product, each coming with a different price range – using an online template, building with WordPress or a similar app, or hiring a web designer. Which method of those three you choose will have a significant impact on how much your web app costs. 

Website builders and templates are usually the cheapest way to build a web app. Templates can cost anywhere from a few hundred dollars to as much as $10,000. On the other hand, WordPress is technically free to use, but you will have to pay for hosting, themes, and plugins. Furthermore, the level of customization features included and the ease of updating the theme all vary widely from template to template.  

The real cost here though, is the time, effort, and hassle you or your team will have to spend on creating the website or web app. The less money you spend, the more time and effort you’ll have to put into the site to get it to look how you want it – and it probably won’t be exactly matching your vision.

Alternatively, you can hire a web development team to handle your web app design. These companies have seasoned experts who understand your business vision and can design the perfect web app for it. This option is more expensive, however.

The price of a simple web app can range anywhere from $20,000 to $30,000, while web apps with a large page count, custom functionality, and unique design can cost anywhere from $40,000 to $75,000 and more. Although the prices seem staggering compared to just purchasing a template, you get much more than just a web app from partnering with a professional web development company.

Their attention is equally divided between web app design, content, user experience, and search engine optimization, as well as everything else that you might need to make your site a valuable asset to your company. Unfortunately, this means that it takes them longer to develop your new web app – as they have to plan it, choose the right technology, create a unique design, and translate everything into a fully-functional web app. 

As a result, though, you get a custom-designed web app that looks exactly like you imagined it and is fully optimized to work on various devices and meet all your business objectives. Additionally, you won’t have to worry about finding a hosting company, setting a domain name, maintaining the web app yourself, or fixing bugs – the web app development company will handle everything.

So if your budget allows it, reaching out to a web development companies would be the best option out of the three as you get a “full packet” for the price. 

Over to you

Some people might say that having a web app isn’t as important nowadays – not when we have social media. But this couldn’t be further from the truth – your new web app can be exactly the thing you should have to let your customers learn everything they need to know about your brand while also showing yourself as a professional.

But if you don’t have enough time or skills to create a functional site yourself, then reaching out to a company offering web development services is your best bet. Businesses of all sizes rely on web development professionals to create beautiful, highly functional, and search engine-friendly sites. And if you choose the right partner, you can make your site a success – so don’t be afraid to ask for web development team help with your project.

Start working on your web development right away!

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Web development agency checklist: before you choose

In 2019, there were 23.9 million web developers in the world. In 2023, that number is projected to reach 27.7 million. So it might feel like there shouldn’t be the slightest problem with finding a web development agency that can handle the building of your new web app. 

But looking at the number of horror stories of web development processes going wrong, it’s obvious that it’s not that easy to find a web development agency that can both understand the business goals of each company and build efficient, robust web apps for them.

Quite often, the development fails because the clients didn’t realize the most important step is to do thorough research before choosing a web partner. So what’s the best way to find an agency that meets your needs? Or rather, how should you prepare for meetings with web development partners for your web app or enterprise website? Here are a couple of steps you should consider.

#1 Think about your goals

Before you write an RFP, ask for referrals, or search online for potential web firms, take a moment to think through just what you’re hoping to achieve. It is a good idea to set some clear goals for your new web app – such as increasing sales by a certain percent or boosting brand awareness. Setting clear goals will help you figure out which features you should implement on your site and the type of web developers you should hire to work on your site. Doing so can also help you evaluate what you already have and what you’ll need (e.g., content) from your web partner.

It’s important that your goals be as precise and realistic as possible. Writing goals like “I want more customers” or “I want to be #1 in search engines” might sound good on paper, but they aren’t specific enough to tell you whether your web app gives you the business results you want or not. 

#2 Prioritize value of web development agency over cost

In the early days of the internet, you could have a basic static web app with just three pages or so, and your visitors would still be amazed. But now that the internet now has over 1 billion sites, unless you can capture the eye of the website visitors, they won’t pay your page any attention.  

A visually appealing, fast-loading, and intuitive web app is what you need to ensure your new business web app becomes successful. The page should also work perfectly on a regular computer as well as on a smartphone or tablet – according to a GoodFirms survey, 73.1% of web designers believe that a non-responsive design is a top reason why visitors leave a web app.

But seeing the costs involved in building a custom web app, or redesigning your current one, you might think you are better off choosing the cheapest company you can find and hope for the best. That strategy almost never ends well, though.

Keep in mind that a web app is an investment, not an expense – and good web apps don’t come cheap. While a well-known web agency may charge more for a web app, you also receive their expertise in creating enterprise-level web apps, the latest technology, and after-launch support. Higher up-front costs typically also mean you’ll also pay less for maintenance, agency support in case of a problem, or web app updates if the up-front costs are high – ensuring your site will last much longer. So while you should never ruin your budget to have a modern web app, it is usually not worth looking for the cheapest solution either.

#3 Think about the web apps you like 

Are there any industry-related web apps that you like using? That might be a clue to how you should design your own web app, as well as with whom you should work. Usually, there’s a link at the bottom of the page that points to the website development company that created it. This is a good way to start looking for web firms. Though, if there is no such information, you might consider contacting the company to learn who designed their web app – that way, you could get the contact information and references for the web development agency.

It is often a good idea to hire a web development company that has already created web apps related to your industry which you like using, as this proves the firm’s experience in the field and also allows you to better explain your vision.

#4 Find out if your web development agency is keeping up with the times

Tech is an industry that is rapidly changing, with new tools, trends, graphic design practices, responsive design as a whole, and techniques appearing every day. If you want your web app to stay up-to-date as trends change, then you should pay special attention to whether the development agency you consider hiring knows exactly what is popular in the industry now but also keeps an eye on what’s coming next.

It is a good idea to ask a potential web app development partner how they acquire new industry knowledge and whether they encourage and support their team members’ continuing education. Offering workshops and courses as well as explaining business processes and potential marketing strategies (or other digital marketing services) to their clients is also an added benefit.

#5 Communication Is Key

If you are not in regular contact with your web development agency, it will be difficult (if not impossible) to finish your web app project or development services. Things might change suddenly as the project moves forward, and the development team might run into trouble along the way too. That’s why it’s crucial that you can rely on your web partner to keep you updated throughout the project and that there will be a person to whom you can reach out with questions you might have.

A good idea here is to research how the team typically communicates with their clients and how often – for example, by looking at the reviews and testimonials left by their clients. When speaking with the development firms, you should also ask in advance if you will get a dedicated person who will act as your “first point of contact” for any project-related needs and how frequently you can expect to hear from them.

If you are outsourcing your project to a company with whom you will be in only online contact, be careful not to fall into the micromanagement trap. Lack of communication with the agency could result in a product you aren’t satisfied with, but insisting on a progress call or meeting every day is just as damaging. A short weekly check-in followed by a more detailed meeting at each project milestone completed should be more than enough for your ultimate business growth.

#6 Does a web development firm understand your needs?

You might not know all the details of how the web development process works, but you approach the web development company with more or less specific objectives in mind. The agency’s job, meanwhile is to understand your main goals, make suggestions about how the project should be handled, and connect you with the right developers. However, unless they listen carefully to what you say about your project and try to understand your goals, it might be difficult to get the project to work. Their job shouldn’t be just to listen to what you say, note down what features you want on the web app, and then say you’ll get everything as you want.     

Quite the opposite – development firms should closely listen to your needs so that they can recommend solutions (e.g. for project management, application development, and digital presence) that will best serve your objectives, even if they are different from what you initially wanted. 

#7 Check who will own the code once the web app is finished

You might be surprised to hear that your web app might not be completely “yours” after the project is finished, as it all depends on who is the owner of the web app’s code. Why does it matter? If a web development company keeps the code of your website or custom web application, you’ll have to contact them every time you want to change something on it. And what if you wanted someone else to redesign content management systems or update your web app for online presence later on? Unless the web developers agree to transfer the code rights to you, your options are pretty limited.

That’s why it’s important to check whether the software company or you will own the code once your web app is launched. In the case that you and your web partner separate, open-source code keeps your options open and allows you to find someone else (even among dedicated teams) without having to start over.

#8 Do their offer an integration with your used tech-stack

The following point is particularly important for those of you who are researching the options for web redesign – but it may also prove helpful to those who want to build a web app from scratch. You surely have a couple of tools that you are using on a daily basis – a CRM, analytics platform, or any other software that is (or should be) connected to your web app. If you wish to use them on your new web app, you should tell the development team about those and ask them to add the integrations to the web app.

Otherwise, it might happen that as your prospective web partner for a development project likes different applications than you do, he might want to implement those on your new site rather than add support for the tools you are currently using. Of course, being open to any suggestions coming from the web developers is a good thing. But if you don’t make it clear what integrations you might need on your web app, you and your team might have to learn how to use a completely different system from you – or ask the development team to add the integrations later, at additional cost.

#9 Potential additional services of web development agencies?

Giving you a ready and launched web app doesn’t mean the work is done. To keep things running smoothly, regular maintenance and sometimes troubleshooting services are a must. Therefore, when you hire a web development agency, you should look for someone who is willing to work with you long-term rather than just for one project. But it’s not only about having someone who can help with technical support. Rather, you should hire someone who will keep an eye on the industry trends (e.g. graphic design, other design services, or even mobile applications if needed) and developments and give you suggestions on how to keep your web ap up-to-date.

Make sure to ask prospective web firms or a design company whether they have a Service Level Agreement (SLA) and/or Maintenance/Support Plan in place and what it includes. However, you should also ask them what their vision is for your ongoing relationship after the site launches. With questions like these, you can discover what kind of long-term commitment a web firm is willing to make, as well as what kind of support you can expect from them in the future.

Conclusion

Choosing the right web development agency to partner with is definitely not an easy task on any development stage. To choose wisely, you should start from detailed research on the web development companies and then carefully evaluate all your options. You should pick a web development agency or that is both able to develop a quality website and web application for your business but also understands why you even need those applications. 

Now, more than ever, quality matters – with how fierce the competition of design agencies is, you cannot afford to put a half-finished web app online. However, if you carry out solid research that includes all the factors we mentioned, it should be easier for you to find the right digital marketing agency or a partner for fulfilling custom software solutions and successful projects for any industry of your choice.

Start working with your new web development agency right away!

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Guide to choosing the best mobile app development company

Choosing the best mobile app development company for your new project can really be a challenging task. Thanks to the power of the internet, you can now outsource your app project not only to companies from your own country but other even continents. 

The number of choices you have right now might feel pretty exciting – and overwhelming too. With so many companies claiming they can build your perfect app, who should you choose?

You could technically hire the first company you see or the cheapest one providing mobile app development services you find. But the risk here is that you might end up with a poorly designed mobile app that costs far more than you thought it would. That’s why, before making your decision, you should carefully research all your options.

If you are looking for a mobile app development company but don’t know where to start, you’ve come to the right place. In this article, we will give you some tips on choosing the best mobile app development company among a variety of different options.

Also, we’ll specify some qualities that the right companies will have, so you’ll be able to tell right away whether you’ve found the right partner.

What is a mobile app development company?

Mobile app development companies design all kinds of apps for mobile platforms like games, business apps, or mobile websites. With more than 6 billion smartphones on the planet and app store spending growing every year, it is no surprise that the mobile app industry is growing rapidly. 

Based on Finbold research, consumers spent $41.5 billion on Apple apps during the first six months of 2021. That is almost double what Android users spent on their apps at the same time!

But that’s just the beginning – in 2022, consumers are expected to spend over $156 billion on mobile apps. Looking at those stats, should anyone even be surprised that so many businesses want to have their own mobile apps as well?

Choosing the right mobile application development company to build your own app isn’t exactly the easiest thing though. On one hand, since you can now work with companies and developers from all over the world, you could find a team with exactly the skills and experience you want for your app, not only in San Francisco or New York.

But to find those exceptional developers, you will have to go through thousands of websites belonging to various companies first. So what can you do to not get overwhelmed by options and choose wisely?

Different qualities of app development companies

Reading about and comparing each mobile application development company might sound like a lot of work, but it will be worth it. By taking the time to thoroughly research the experience, portfolio, and skills of each company before reaching out to them, you can save a great deal of time on scheduling meetings with companies that don’t even match your requirements.

By screening your future mobile app development agency, you can also prevent many problems that might arise during the mobile app development process from happening – like missed deadlines, requirement misunderstandings, or budget overruns.

What should you especially pay attention to while searching for that ideal custom software development company?

  • The company’s size and specialization in developing quality products
  • How long they are in business
  • Their mobile app development portfolio and list of their former clients (range of industries, active users, business services)
  • Are there any reviews, case studies, or testimonials coming from their former key clients
  • What tools or methodologies the developers are familiar with (e.g. agile development, machine learning, blockchain solutions, custom software solutions, business strategy)
  • How often and in what way they will be communicating with you on your mobile app development project.
  • Their pricing and cooperation methods (fixed price or time and material)

Let’s now explore those elements in detail.

How to choose the best mobile app development company

Before getting down to searching for your ideal mobile app development partner, you should prepare a few things first:

  • The type of mobile app solutions you want to create
  • Your main goals and business requirements for custom app development services
  • What features for your digital products do you have in mind
  • What kind of software development technology might be needed for your custom solution  
  • What is roughly the budget you can spend on the app
  • Any other necessary requirements for the company to meet, such as being familiar with a given niche, customer experiences, 

Believe us: when you know how your app should work and what you expect from a mobile app development company, searching for one becomes much easier. Once you have your expectations clear and noted down,  you can start the actual hunt for your next app development partner.

Here are a few tips to help you make the right choice.

Qualities of app development companies
Different qualities of app development companies

Consider the size of a company

If you compare different mobile app development companies, you’ll find that they come in different sizes. Some might have just a few employees, while others have dozens of developers as part of their staff. Why is it an important thing to check?

When it comes to the quality of their work, small companies can deliver just as good results as their more experienced competitors and for a lower price. In addition, since they usually don’t have as many clients, they will have more time for your mobile solution project and can complete it faster.

Yet, they may not have enough mobile experience or resources to tackle longer or more complicated projects. In that case, you might want to look for more experienced development companies that already have several projects for mobile phones under their belt, as it will be easier to find developers with specific skills that match your requirements there.

What’s more, those companies typically have access to more advanced tools and know exactly how to use the newest technologies to speed up the mobile app development platform process. 

If your project has a lot of unclear parts that may change during development, picking a larger company might be a better choice here as well. In this way, multiple teams can work together on various areas of the app at the same time – so you get your app completed faster.

Know what type of app you want to be developed

We already mentioned that you should write down a rough idea of your app before searching for a cross-platform app development team – but why is that important?

Before they decide whether they will take your project or not, most android app development companies will ask you a few questions to help them understand your objectives better. The more information a mobile application development company has about a project, the easier it will be for them to suggest how the project can be successful, without unnecessary risks or delays. 

If you provide them with a list of your ideas and requirements right away, they will be able to figure out how much time and resources they will need for your project and which people should be involved, all to make sure that it can be successfully completed. 

But having a list of requirements for mobile app development platform can help you in one thing – crossing out the app development agencies that don’t match your requirements. So rather than spend time scheduling several meetings with development teams that don’t have the technology or skills required,  you can just focus on a short list of companies that seem like the best fit.

Make the most of your mobile app development company’s experience and portfolio

Mobile development companies can have a wide range of specializations. Some work only for specific sectors or create only one type of application, while others work for multiple industries. So If you want to build an app for a given niche or want to add specific features into the app, then your best bet is to look for development companies that have already completed a project similar to yours. 

To prove their experience, those businesses should be able to provide you with a list of the projects they completed for a given area and ideally, show you some references coming from their previous customers.  

It would also be a good idea to test some of the apps from their portfolio – especially if they have the features you want in your app as well. 

That could give you a lot of insight into how the app might look and work as a finished product, but also let you know how the team handles updates or app maintenance.

Know how long it will take them to complete a project.

Based on the requirements you gave them earlier, each mobile application development company should be able to estimate roughly how long it would take them to complete your app and pinpoint any places when delays might happen. But the timeline they give you can vary wildly, depending on the number of people they have in the company and their experience.

For a simpler project, smaller companies and startups might be a good choice as they typically aren’t working on multiple projects at the same time, so they can focus more on your project. But in case there’s an issue, they might need more time to solve it on their own, especially if their house team is smaller. This means the project might be significantly delayed if, for example, they have to find another specialist to tackle the problem.  

Meanwhile, companies with more experience in the industry often know how to speed up certain stages of development without compromising the quality of the final product. They also know how to deal with various obstacles that may appear during the development process without putting the project on hold. Plus, by creating several teams working on the project, they can bring out the finished product faster.

Decide on a budget for your mobile application

Before contacting potential mobile app development partners, it is a good idea to have a rough estimation of how much you can pay for your app’s development. Based on this information, the mobile app development companies can then determine if your budget is realistic and give you an accurate quote based on this information.

As a starting point for how much budget you should set aside, you can research online how much an app similar to yours might cost – but this will only give you a very rough estimation, though. In order to learn more, you might want to send your quote to a few development companies and compare their offers. Also, if a mobile application development company provides a free estimate, you should reach out to them for one.

In addition, you should check the company’s website to see what pricing model they offer and how much you might have to pay for app maintenance in the future to prevent unpleasant surprises.

Check reviews and testimonials about a particular mobile app development company

You can learn a lot about a given company just by reading the online comments and reviews left by their previous clients. Reviews and testimonials can give you some insight into how a development company keeps in touch with its clients while the project is underway, so that way, you can find out how the communication with them would go. But not only – you can find out how the development team reacts to any changes or issues that might happen during the project development and whether you can rely on them to keep the deadlines.

To know more about their apps, you might also want to see how the users rated the app in the app stores where it is published and read the user reviews there. However, you should be cautious as not all reviews are coming from actual users – so take them with a grain of salt.

Ask for a consultation with the potential mobile app development company to see if they are a good fit for your business

It might be hard for you to decide whether the company you are considering hiring understands your goals and expectations without meeting with them first. To clear some of your doubts, a great idea is to schedule a free consultation or meeting with their technical team. During this time, you can discuss your requirements, goals, digital strategies, industry experience, product design, and budget with them and ask them how they see the project. 

But not only that – you can also learn quite a lot about the company looking at how they are talking with you. Are they okay with answering all your questions or only giving you vague sentences? Are they listening to what you say, or are trying to steer you in one direction?

If you feel they aren’t interested in your project or the opposite, they want to change everything in it, then you might want to consider seeking out another mobile application development company.

Make sure there is an established process in place to make sure deadlines are met, and quality is maintained throughout the project

Whatever the length of time it takes to build your app (just a few weeks or perhaps several months), all development companies worth their salty should provide you with a way to track its progress. How will you be informed about risks, issues, delays, and the progress of the project? What management tools is the house team using for developing innovative solutions?

Additionally, you should be able to clarify with the company in what order they will work on your app, what the primary milestones and business goals will be and how long each stage should take.

Of course, you don’t want to keep looking over their shoulder as they work. But to ensure that everything goes according to the plan, you should have a way of regularly monitoring the team and the project progress.

Check if they have the mobile app development skills you need

You can develop your new app in various ways – as a native, cross-platform app, or hybrid app. If you want to ensure that the technical team can develop your solution in the most efficient way and solve any problems along the way, you should find out whether they have exactly the technical skills to make it work.

For example, let’s say you plan to build both a native Android and iOS app for your business. Here, you should look for developers who can program in each platform’s primary programming language (Java for Android and Swift for iOS). Additionally, they need to know various programming tools for each system (such as Android Studio and Android SDK for Android apps and Xcode and Cocoa for iOS).

Meanwhile, for cross-platform applications, you should seek out developers familiar with cross-platform mobile apps and tools such as Xamarin or React Native. When you want the latest technology features in your apps, such as Augmented Reality or Artificial Intelligence, it’s best to hire developers who have already designed such apps as well.

Find out how many projects they have done similar to yours, as well as their success rate

When creating a shortlist of companies you may want to work with, your primary focus should be on their experience and the number of similar projects they have completed. A portfolio that includes big, ambitious, and well-designed projects is the best indicator that the dedicated team can handle larger projects since they have the skills and resources to take them.

It is also a good sign if they have previously created successful projects for businesses coming from similar areas as you, as this means they know exactly what to focus on when building your app.

The importance of hiring the right technical team of mobile app developers cannot be stressed enough

You don’t have to be an expert developer yourself to get your own mobile app – you can ask for help from a mobile app development company. But if you don’t want to end up with a buggy application that completely fails to meet your expectations, you need to make a thorough search of your options.

A good software development company should have adequate technical expertise, good communication skills, accountability, a proven track record of successful projects, and a passion for mobile app development. So before signing a contract with one of them, look into the companies’ experience and skills, compare the design costs for different mobile applications and check how many similar projects to yours they have completed in the past.

If your project is a particularly complex one, then you should be especially careful about choosing the company with which you will be working on mobile app development. The best course of action here would be to reach out to larger and more experienced companies as they will have the skills, technology, and other resources required to meet all of your requirements for digital products.

Don’t be afraid of outsourcing your mobile app development services. There is no need to keep all your processes in e.g. San Francisco when you can find an app development partner for even a few times more than e.g. in Central Europe. 

So do your homework, check all the mobile app development aspects we discussed in the article carefully, schedule a few meetings, and after thoughtful consideration, make your decision.

Start working on your mobile app development right away!

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The Ultimate Guide to Mobile App Development

Remember the times when the only app on your mobile phone was Snake and ringtone maker? Now, mobile apps are an essential part of our daily lives – and customers do love those. Order a cab? Check the weather forecast? Book a hotel appointment? All of those things and far more we can do just by taking out our mobile phones. 

So it shouldn’t surprise anyone that companies of all sizes and industries want to have their own mobile app. You could say that to survive in today’s hyper-competitive business world, having a mobile app is almost a must. 

But how and where should you build a mobile app? What are your options for the mobile app development process? And most importantly, how much will mobile app development cost? How to get from an idea through the mobile application development process to a viable product? Where to look for mobile app development services?

All those questions and more we’ll try to answer in this article.

What is mobile app development

Let’s start with the basics – what does mobile application development even mean? Basically, it’s a set of processes through which developers design programs that can run on our mobile devices. 

Mobile app development process creation isn’t just about writing the code and then making sure it works on mobile platforms, though. To make sure the app is ready for market release, it needs to go through several development stages and processes: from validating your app idea to learning more about your audience and creating wireframes, testing stability, and then regular maintenance. 

Types of mobile app development

In the past years, virtually the only way you could make sure that the app will be working on a given device was to create a native app. Now, you also have an option to make a cross-platform app that can work on any platform as well. How are they different? 

  • Native mobile app development

Native applications are built for a specific platform (iOS or Android) using the software development tools and languages supported by those operating systems. So Android developers rely on programming languages such as Java or Kotlin while for iOS, they use Objective-C or Swift. 

As those apps are optimized for working on a specific platform, they are generally more secure, faster, and so they perform better. Native development also gives the developers complete access to the given device’s features – from the camera and microphone to different kinds of sensors. 

That performance and usability come at a cost, though – quite literally. Developing native apps is more expensive as you need to code them separately for each platform you want to use.  If you wanted to build a native app for both iOS and Android then, then you would need to design two separate apps with your mobile app developers – and most likely, pay double the price. 

WhatsApp is an excellent example here. As it requires access to the device’s camera and microphone to work properly, both Android and iOS platforms have their own native versions for Google Play and Apple App Store.

  • Cross-platform mobile app development

The second option you have is creating a cross-platform app. With tools like Xamarin, mobile developers can build a single app with reusable code that will work just as well on both systems. 

If you want to release your mobile app on multiple platforms but have a limited budget, then cross-platform apps might be exactly what you need. Since the developers do not have to write unique code for each operating system, the overall cost is greatly reduced.

It takes a team of skilled mobile app developers to put together an application that would work well on several platforms, though. The biggest challenge here is that they need to keep an eye on all the little differences between operating systems and the hardware the devices run on. That might be especially tricky when it comes to implementing complex interfaces and features. Cross-platform apps may work a bit slower than native apps. Their range of features is pretty limited as well. 

But for many companies, the cross-platform app works fantastic. Take for example Slack, one of the most popular collaboration tools – can you even tell it’s a  cross-platform app? Besides their web browser and desktop app for macOS, Windows, and Linux, Slack also offers a mobile app that works just as well on Android as on iOS.

Types of mobile apps development
The Types of mobile apps development

Benefits of mobile app development

Looking at the number of new apps appearing every day on the app store, you might wonder from where even the boom on mobile apps came from. So here are some stats to show you just why exactly everyone wants to have their own app nowadays. 

Benefits of mobile app development
The benefits of mobile app development

1. The mobile app market is growing at a rapid rate

Half the world’s entire population now owns a smartphone. And quite often, also with a fast internet connection that allows them to download various apps whenever they need. In 2020, smartphone users downloaded 218 billion apps – and the numbers are only expected to grow. So is it that surprising that the revenue of the mobile industry is also growing? According to Statista, we can expect that mobile apps will generate $935 billion by 2023 – most of the revenue coming from paid downloads and in-app advertising.

2. Mobile apps are more efficient than websites and offer the same functionality

Modern apps can now offer exactly the same functionality as any website – while being easier and more convenient to use for a regular user. Think about it, if you could order a cab with one click on the app or had to find the cab company through the website, which would you pick? 

Because we always have our smartphones with us, we can access services or find information wherever we are. Push notifications have also made our lives easier. Whenever we get new mail or a task to do, we can get a notification instantly – and respond to them in seconds.

3. Developing an app can be cheaper than developing a website

It may cost less for you to build an app than it does to develop a website. Mobile apps are much more affordable and easier to update, which means that you can get hold of a wide range of modern features for your mobile operating systems without having to develop the entire thing from scratch.

4. An app can boost your company’s image by providing information about your products and services in a user-friendly way

One of the biggest benefits of having a mobile app is that all the information you’d like to give to your customers—including special sales and promotions—is right at their fingertips. Whether they need to read more about a product they want to buy or find an answer to the issue they have, it’s far easier for them to find it in the app. With push notifications, you can gently remind customers about your products and services as well.

5. Smartphone users spend more time on mobile apps than they do on other types of media, so it’s important to have an app available for customers to use while looking for your business online

Another massive benefit of mobile apps is that they’re designed to be used on the go. Wherever your customers are and whatever they are doing, they can reach out to companies just by taking out their phones. In the United States, 96% of maps usage time and 86% of weather content was consumed through smartphone apps. It makes sense – people need to access maps and GPS services on the go, so a smartphone is obviously the best choice. There’s actually a pretty good chance that someone might be searching for your business from inside an app right now!

6. Mobile devices make up 70% of all web traffic, making them the most popular way to access the internet today

As far more people nowadays have access to fast cellular internet, that makes it far more convenient for them to use the internet on their devices. For example, people no longer have to sit in front of desktop screens to access their email accounts – all that can now be done through mobile devices. As the speed and quality of mobile internet only get better, the number of people preferring to use their phone over their computer is only going to increase too.

In fact, more than half of the people worldwide access the internet using mobile devices, while only 43% do so via desktops nowadays – and for desktops, the number keeps dropping with every year.

How much does it cost to develop a mobile app

Now let’s get to the key question: how much would creating a mobile app for your brand cost? That’s a tricky question to answer, as the end price of the mobile application development process depends on several factors. Mainly,  on how complex you want your app to be, what type of the app it should be, and how many features you want it to have. Plus, the development phase is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to app expenses. After your app is ready to be used, you’ll need to still handle the ongoing costs of regular maintenance, development environments, updates, marketing, and eventual bug fixing as well.

Let’s assume that you are building a full-featured enterprise app and the end cost will be approximately around $500,000. What’s included in the price?

  • Design work and User Experience: at least $150,000.

You can’t skimp on either designs or user experience work, as it’s the main thing that can attract (or put off) users from your app. Poor user experience is also regularly rated as the top reason why people abandon apps shortly after downloading them, so you should treat it as your priority.

  • Coding and programming: at least $150,000

The app development process is usually divided into two parts: front-end for the design and back-end engineering for the coding. The more complex the project is, the longer it will take for the development teams to create stable code, and thus, the more expensive this stage gets. 

  • Testing: around $50,000

You don’t want a situation when your team is flooded with complaints that the app doesn’t work on given devices or that the app is frequently crashing. This is why you should test your app on multiple devices (and carriers) for any usability or compatibility issues. Start with beta testing, and go through security testing and performance testing. 

  • App deployment:  $100,000

To make your app available to your active users through the major app stores, developers have to install and configure it to work on a dedicated server. Then, the link to your app is added to one or more app stores, from where your active users can download it – but also get future app updates for software applications.

  • Maintenance: $50,000

Your app will also require regular maintenance to ensure that it works properly and that all eventual glitches and bug fixes are patched. 

While there’s plenty of information online you can use to calculate your app’s price range, you should remember that all of those are just rough estimations of the costs. To get a bit more precise information, it would be best if you send your quote to a few development companies and compare the costs coming with each offer. 

Of course, on top of that, there could be more costs associated with digital products, mobile development teams, other elements on a product roadmap, artificial intelligence involvement, and anything else that comes to mind as for a mobile app development project. This will vary from one mobile app development company to another, as each may have another mobile applications’ development pricing, too. Get in touch with us to request a quote!

What should you know before developing your mobile app?

As the number of mobile applications on the market is growing, so is the competition. That means there’s always the risk that your own app might go unnoticed, despite your hard work. How can you lower the risk? Here are 7 questions you should ask yourself before getting down to (app development) work. 

  • What type of app are you developing and what will it do for your customers?

Mobile apps can help you a lot with boosting your brand recognition and revenue, but usually only when it’s used regularly. And for people to keep your app, it must fulfill their needs or solve a given problem through the features inside.

Therefore, the first thing you should think about is what you want your application to do and what features you need it to have. You should also take some mobile app development technologies into consideration.

Let’s say that you want to make a shopping app for your customers. To be useful, such an app should be able to store customer data like login credentials or purchase history, so it would be easier for them to make a purchase through the app.  For a finance tracking app, meanwhile, you could think about adding digital solutions, budgeting tools, or push-in notifications when bills are due.

2. Who is your target audience, and how big is the market for this type of app?

Mobile apps are pretty expensive to create and the competition nowadays is fierce. That’s why before jumping into designing your new app, you should always start with detailed research on the people you think might find your app useful but also on how crowded the market you want to reach is.

For example, offering a mobile app that can help the users manage their health care plans and make any necessary changes in those could definitely be useful for people who want to manage their health better. But if there are already several similar apps on the market, then unless your app can offer something new and unique, it might be difficult for you to attract enough people to your app. 

3. How much money can you spend on development, marketing, and other expenses?

To avoid going way over budget, it is a good idea to do a rough calculation of what you can afford to pay for the development, marketing, and maintenance of your new app. If your budget is limited, you should especially pay attention to checking what ongoing costs you will have to add to your budget after launching your app. The right mobile app development company should assist you in this step. 

4. Is there an existing product that does something similar to what you’re planning to create?

If there’s already an app that has similar features to what you currently need, then it might be a better idea for you to first try to use the existing app rather than creating your own. Looking at the time and money needed for creating an app from scratch, it might simply be cheaper for you to buy or license an app from another company instead of building your own version.

If the app you are interested in was built by a development company, then our pro-tip here would be to ask them whether they offer licensing services for the applications.  If yes, then buying the license can be a much faster and cheaper way to get the tools you need rather than if you were creating your own unique version.

5. What’s the best way to get feedback from potential users before launching an app ?

When it comes to successful app launches, feedback is crucial – especially user feedback. But from where can you get it? A good place to start is to research similar applications to you and see what their users are saying about it. But for the best results, it might be a good idea to create an MVP app that your users might test before official release and comment on it.

That could save you a lot of time you would otherwise have to spend on adding multiple modifications or fixing various bugs spotted by your users. Your mobile app development company can also offer beta or pre-launch testing services for mobile apps that they’ve developed or can offer their suggestions on how you could improve the user interface design and functionality of your app before your release a viable product to a broader audience.

6. What happens if I don’t have enough funding – will I lose any data or information if I’m unable to pay for hosting services, etc.? 

As your app grows, the costs of maintenance and server storage may increase. Sometimes to the point where you are struggling to pay. What can you do then? In such cases, you should always contact the development company responsible for your app and explain your situation.

They might help you with finding a more cost-effective hosting plan if your app requires a lot of storage space, or suggest ways how you can spread the costs of developing an app over time.  

7. Do I need an attorney who specializes in intellectual property law before starting development on my mobile application (e.g., patents)?

As mobile apps are considered intellectual property, you can protect your rights to them through patents or copyrights. You don’t need to hire an attorney or fill the documents yourself, though. As most mobile development companies know exactly how to ensure the security of your app and your intellectual property, they can help you with filing for a patent or copyrights. 

The process of developing a mobile app from start to finish

Each day, thousands of mobile apps are published to the Google Play and Apple App Store – from games to social networks, and ecommerce apps. But before someone’s idea becomes a full fledged-app, each has to go through specific development stages: 

  • Researching and planning your app idea: This stage is all about defining your goals for the application, specifying your target and audience and also listing the features you will need.
  • Market Research:  Doing proper market research will help determine if there is a demand for your app and what kind of competition you should expect then.
  • Design and wireframing: By creating sketches of how your mobile app should look and act, it will be easier for you to visualize the complete, viable product.  
  • Mobile application Development: Here’s where your app will finally start to take a shape as the developers will work on creating the code for the front and back-end of your future app and implement all requested features.
  • Mobile App Testing: This ensures that the app will function as intended without major bugs or issues
  • App deployment: Once your app is installed on the server and added to the app store, it’s ready for your users to download.
  • Post-launch activity: The last stage includes app promotion, regular maintenance, eventual bug fixing and adding updates to your app

Common pitfalls that can happen during mobile app development

As many companies that realized far too late they made a mistake during research or app development can attest, those mishaps can directly affect how successful (and profitable) your app might be. What are the most common problems you should be aware of?

  • Failing to understand what your users want: One of the most common mistakes business owners make is confusing their needs with their customers’ needs. The end result: An app that no one wants to use. By carefully researching your app idea and your future users expectations before starting with the app development, it will be much easier for you to focus on how the app should work to be useful to your customers. 
  • Going over the budget:  This one issue is a sad reality for many companies –  realizing that they went over the budget or that they don’t have enough funding for increased maintenance costs of their mobile app development process. Before getting into developing your new app, you should create a (as detailed as possible) budget plan and stick to it. But as it is hard to predict everything, you should also prepare some extra space in your budget for dealing with unexpected issues. 
  • Lack of skills/time when working in-house:  Many companies tried to first build an app with their in-house team. In the middle of the work though, they found out that their developers don’t have the needed experience to deal with a problem they faced. Or, simply, that they have so many tasks to do a day that there’s barely any progress on the app development. 

Outsourcing your project to a mobile app development company can help you avoid this one problem, as you can build your team out of people who have the needed experience and skills to get your project finished successfully. In the long run, the costs of hiring an outsourced team might also turn to be far lower than if you stayed in-house.

  • Mimicking Your Website or Desktop App: As the mobile design screens work differently from the desktop screens, trying to copy how your website looks is a recipe for chaos. While it’s excellent to maintain an identical color scheme and theme across the board (for branding purposes), the app’s UX should always remain a priority. When you build an app you need to ensure it’s optimized for the specific platform you intended it for (iOS, Android, Windows etc.) and that it’s as intuitive for your users as possible.  
  • Overcomplicating the app A successful mobile app is simple enough for the customers to easily find their way inside it and has exactly the features they need. If you instead try to cram several features into your app, you are only making it more confusing for your users. Plus, there’s also the risk you can quickly go over your budget. 

Should you outsource mobile app development?

Companies used to be pretty skeptical about handing their mobile app development process to third-party developers, as they worried about the quality of the product or service as well as the safety of their data. What’s more, outsourcing was seen as a pretty expensive option. But that’s no longer the case. With a bit of research and planning, outsourcing your app development can be considerably cheaper than designing it in-house progressing, this is an excellent way to cut at least a part of the costs related to app development. 

There are many companies providing mobile app development services – and we’re one of them. Let us know how we can help and we’d be glad to assist!

Over to you

Getting a new mobile app for your business doesn’t have to be anything difficult.  Even if you don’t have any previous experience with building mobile apps, after reading our guide you should on what should you focus on. Spend some time researching your mobile app idea and planning the costs, and who knows, maybe your app will be the next big thing? 

Start working on your mobile app development right away!

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Benefits of agile software development for business

The Agile software development process emphasizes the flexibility, changeability, and responsiveness of agile principles. In order to achieve agile principles, the project should be flexible, changes should be made to the product as needed, and the team should respond to feedback in regular intervals from stakeholders.

How agile software development increases agility in your business and what business benefits it can offer will be discussed in this post. 

What is agile software development?

The Agile approach to software development tries to keep up with changing customer needs. With a continuous focus on both business value and technical quality, it delivers the most important features first.

Agility contrasts with more traditional methods of developing software, such as plan-driven or waterfall methods where requirements are outlined in advance, all at once, prior to writing any code, leading to too many bugs being discovered after significant development time has passed.

Compared with the waterfall model, agile software development proves to be more efficient and agile. It allows for scope changes when business needs change, which can lead to cost savings, higher customer satisfaction, and faster delivery times.

How does agile software development work?

In an agile environment, the software is released early and often, resulting in rapid delivery and value creation. In order to bring products rapidly to market, teams work in shorter cycles (called iterations). Together with customers, suppliers, partners, and other stakeholders, they capture valuable information about the problem they’re trying to solve. 

As long as your team follows tried-and-true processes that ensure quality at each step, you can deliver work at any time during or between these short cycles without causing chaos. In addition, the faster delivery pace puts your product on an equal footing with competing offerings.

Let’s compare: Agile vs Waterfall

The waterfall approach is more regimented than agile when it comes to managing projects. It’s about planning in advance and completing one phase before moving onto another, whereas with agile, phases are more dynamic and they overlap in time.

Agile can be adopted without high costs since changes can be made quickly to accommodate for the changing conditions, while waterfall requires higher upfront investments with reduced flexibility over time.

They both rely on “rigid budgets”, but with waterfall, you cannot change that budget after the beginning stages because it will throw off all of your established plans; whereas if you use agile you know you can make adjustments later on without needing approval from anyone else. 

The other benefit of agile is that it enables you to finish products faster, since changes can be made along the way, which reduces time-to-market.

Agile vs Waterfall comparison

Agile vs. Waterfall comparison

Benefits of agile software development for business

The main benefits of agile software development for business are quantifiable and known upfront. They include things like improved developer productivity, adaptive planning, improved code quality, and reduced integration and deployment conflicts.

When it comes to agile software development for businesses, success is measured by the customer’s satisfaction with the final product, and by the development phase during which the project is being developed. This means that meeting or exceeding expectations doesn’t happen because you hit business goals or reached milestones. They occur because you can show the stakeholders incremental results every couple of weeks at sprint review meetings or sprint planning, where they can approve new features based on what they see so far, and look forward to the next sprint with agile development teams. 

We discussed some of agile values and benefits in detail below.

Agile software development benefits

Agile software development benefits

#1 Constant learning and feedback

In agility, frequent interactions between teams and companies enable everyone to learn from each other. Continuous feedback loops mean we’re immediately fixing mistakes and adapting the plan in response to feedback. Continuous delivery definitely helps in this process.

Thus, teams can be more productive with fewer chances of low-quality deliverables, and they are often able to deliver more value on time and within budget.

Agile teams are able to learn and adapt quickly, taking feedback from management throughout the process.

#2 Less risk

Using agile processes increases productivity with less risk; the processes reduce defects; customers are satisfied through continuous deployment; interested parties are kept happy by releasing public versions early and often, and sustainable development leads to sustainable ecosystems.

In agile software development, customer feedback plays an essential role in deciding if new features should be released or not; in the waterfall, however, there’s a lot more risk since once you start investing in a phase, it’s very hard to stop or change it.

A key component of agile software development is that the end product is delivered early and often, allowing to provide feedback continuously so that issues can be fixed as they arise. In waterfall projects, large amounts of work are completed before any customer feedback is received, resulting in large amounts of work needing to be changed to meet customer expectations.

Agile allows for making changes along the way rather than waiting until everything is developed just to discover that you’re missing something. By seeing their feedback implemented early on, management gains more confidence in agile processes.

Due to the lower risk and less time spent planning in agile software development projects, there is more opportunity to make changes according to customer needs without incurring any additional costs, which can lead to higher software quality products.

#3 Better cost-efficiency

Among software development methodologies, agile is the most complete, since it takes into account unpredictable business objectives and customers. In this way, the company can respond quickly to changes in customer demands, giving it a competitive edge. In addition, there is a significant saving on all work that is produced with quality assurance, since fixing errors found later will require less time, because they would have been discovered at a much later date in code development if agile did not allow it to change direction quickly with feedback from customers or stakeholders.

Agile methods are designed to be more flexible and dynamic, which means you can make changes along the way without incurring additional costs or time. Therefore, high-quality deliverables may result since changes will only need to be made when necessary rather than at each stage of development.

Customers can plan their needs better around agile software development when they have a clear understanding of what to expect from your team. Additionally, this is beneficial for agile teams because it means there will be less pressure when sprints are over and customers are waiting for new features or bug fixes that have not yet been developed but are necessary to meet customer needs.

Agile processes are cost-effective and dynamic since they encourage continuous deployment even during the agile software development lifecycle, which enables you to make changes quickly without any additional costs or time spent on planning, rewriting documents, developing new product features, advanced development cycles, researching user stories, etc.

#4 Reduce complexity

It helps reduce complexity in software development life cycle, which is one of the benefits of agile development. The central programming team is not required to write, test, and maintain everything at once. Instead, smaller teams iteratively work on different pieces of the project at the same time, doing their own work and passing it on to another team (or looping back around to fix any problems found). 

As a result, individuals are encouraged to make mistakes and are given the autonomy to learn without much worry. It also encourages product owners, developers, and business owners alike to not shy away from changes because they fear they won’t be able to please everyone. Lastly, it gives a clearer explanation of what you’re actually getting for your money and time in the product backlog.

Since agile software development projects are decentralized, you can spread out the work among multiple teams working simultaneously, rather than delivering it all at once. This can lead to better customer satisfaction since better quality products can be delivered thanks to early feedback.

#5 More predictability

Due to agile software development’s iterative approach, projects are more likely to finish on time, on budget, and with a higher quality result than they would have without it. It’s because during the entire unified process, features are prototyped and tested rather than being implemented blindly by various programmers at different times in a linear fashion. 

The feedback loop stays tightly closed, so there is no scope creep or dramatic changes between stages of creating an item. Agile software development also promotes accountability, which incentivizes team members to be more vigilant about every detail.

Agile software development in a cross-functional team is the answer if you want to improve your workflow efficiency and quality.

#6 Frequent & smaller increments

With an agile approach, your software development company can deliver more frequent and smaller increments so you can get feedback early on how users interact with your product. When users are happy or annoyed with something, it’s more obvious to them, and that also contributes to your bottom line if they are satisfied. As well as reducing bugs that often occur at the end of a project (e.g. mobile apps) when there is little time to fix them since everything has been finalized for launch.

Agile software development is therefore a great alternative to traditional product development. As you iterate through smaller changes over time, agile model ensures that you can make continuous improvements without having to redo large chunks of work and continue to improve your product with little additional costs or resources for different versions.

#7 Responsiveness

Businesses that use agile methodologies have increased agility, thus being able to respond to changing customer needs more quickly. Considering the state of agile product development today, this responsiveness is crucial. Companies which adapt quickly to agile products will be able to capitalize on opportunities that arise from them and take the lead over less agile competitors. One of the core principles of agile practices is customer collaboration. 

#8 cost savings & a shorter time for ROI

Agile application development is more cost-effective since agile project managers can produce projects with fewer resources. In addition to the faster delivery of agile products, agile product management teams are able to create products that are more efficient and better suited to the needs of their end users during the entire development process. 

Agile methodologies should definitely be considered if you are looking for a way to improve your agile product development while simultaneously improving the quality of agile software. Traditional software development methods are less flexible than agile methods, which can deliver more in a shorter time frame. 

In one case study and relevant metrics delivered by Mattel, for example, agile software development allowed the company to reduce product delivery time from nine months to three months without any increase in cost. Specifically successful agile projects have reported a 66% percentage reduction in project schedules and 55% in team effort when using the engineering practices advocated by the Agile Manifesto.

Pair programming is another practice that can facilitate improvement, as it only requires one programmer at a time. By eliminating human forgetfulness or loss of focus when coding under extreme pressure from deadlines imposed by supervisors or clients, pair programming eliminates possible errors.

Over to you

A short time to ROI and cost savings are not the only advantages of agile software development. Because agile product development has shorter delivery timelines, and the agile methodology ensures that the business is in control of what is delivered, it actually gives you more control.

A lot of what you get out of agile development is really the culmination of what people like Scrum and Agile tell you to do. Communication, rapid (and continuous) feedback loops, and empowering project participants are all important practices in these philosophies. A business that adheres to these principles will be able to create highly effective feature-driven development teams that are able to create high-quality programs in a timely manner, thus being both efficient and nimble.

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Software Development Life Cycle, the practical guide

The Software Development Life Cycle is a process that software engineers go through to create new applications. Software development can be a tricky process, and it’s easy to make mistakes if you don’t know what you’re doing. This article will help you understand the Software Development Lifecycle and how it works so that your next project will have fewer problems and your product can sparkle with higher customer satisfaction.

What is the software development life cycle?

Software Development Life Cycle is a sequential model of time from initial planning to final delivery.

In the more advanced stages of software development, software professionals may use additional tools and techniques such as prototyping and design critiquing techniques to make improvements before final acceptance. It suits well in agile methodology. 

Why is SDLC important?

The software helps everyone from companies to individuals. It’s a multi-billion dollar industry. Software development life cycle is important because it helps mitigate the massive risks inherent in today’s software design and programming, and aims to reduce the time and cost of future work with development cycles.

The software has a powerful influence on its users, who often value it as much as physical goods or services which have been encountered only tangentially if at all. Systematic planning for upgrades also helps anticipate user needs so that new issues arising from upgrading do not require any manual modification of the code to correct them – which would be extremely costly for businesses dependent on their software systems to function properly at all times.

How does your company benefit from following an SDLC process 

This process helps your company save time and money. Software development life cycle is important because it ensures that everyone involved knows ahead of time what the project requires, so there are no surprises later on during production – which can cause lots of problems!

Another benefit of having an SDLC process is that it helps you make sure that future changes to your software don’t cause problems with the existing code. Software is constantly changing and evolving, so making a plan for how those updates will be made ensures they go smoothly!

How does following a software development life cycle help with quality assurance and product management?

Users typically desire software that is bug-free, easy to use, and reliable. Software development life cycle helps with quality assurance because it ensures a formalized process in which all parties involved know what they are supposed to do in each step of the project’s creation – this creates a set system for creating new products from start to finish that can be repeated and improved upon. Software development life cycle also ensures that any new software is tested properly and thoroughly before it is used by the general public, so as to avoid potential problems with its functionality or usability.

Who should know about Software Development Life Cycle?

Anyone who creates computer programs for a living will benefit from understanding how an SDLC works, especially if they want to improve the process of creating new software. Software development life cycle is important for managers and project leaders, so it’s a good idea to get all team members up-to-speed on what an SDLC entails and how it can help them create better products in less time.

What are the phases of the software development life cycle?

In the production environment, quite a few development stages need to be completed in order to create a full software development project. 

1. Planning

The planning design phase is where the software development team makes the decision of what features are needed in order to meet business requirements. As well as, determine what processes need to be used in order for the project to succeed. Such activities may include but are not limited to gathering client input by conducting focus group meetings or usability testing sessions with representative users and potential customers.

2. Development

In the development phase, a working version of the software is created. Software developers write code using programming languages and tools. If necessary, they may have to take existing components from other sources or create new ones themselves that can be reused later in order to expedite the process.

It’s important for team members who are involved in this stage should meet regularly to ensure that the requirements set out by the planning phase are met and any changes needed should be made.

3. Testing and verification + implementation

In the testing phase, the software is tested to ensure that it works as expected. Software developers who wrote the code should test their work and have other team members do so as well in order to find bugs or other issues with the product. Once these are fixed, a release candidate may be created for testing by a wider audience before going live or being released. This step is as important as customer feedback once the product or service is launched. You should go through acceptance testing, unit testing, integration testing, functional capabilities, but also software development cost estimates – even the most agile model can cost a lot if you don’t specify that at the very start. All for meeting user requirements, after all!

4. Deployment 

The deployment phase is where the developed software goes live, which means that it becomes available for use. The previous stage should completely prepare the software for launch. Software developers and project managers, as parts of a project team, may have to undertake activities such as configuring servers with settings and security features before making the product accessible to end-users or customers. 

After this development process stage has been completed successfully the project can be closed along with all necessary documentation being archived in the case that the product has to be maintained or enhanced at a later date. That is a very common step in the development life cycle methodologies. 

5. Maintenance 

The maintenance stage is often omitted in the process but should be a part of the development of any software project by all software teams. As software is used over time by end-users or customers, it may need to be changed or adapted in the software development process. Software developers make these changes and updates in the maintenance phase after deployment has been completed successfully. If necessary, they will go back to one of the previous stages such as the planning design phase if further research needs to be done before the changes are made. 

6. Disposal or retirement of the system (archiving)

This phase is where the application development life cycle ends. Software developers will archive all documentation and any other materials that were created during previous stages in order to keep them safe for future reference if needed or simply dispose of them depending on whether it’s required by law to do so.

As well, they may carry out activities such as removing security features to ensure that any confidential data stored within the system is not accessible by unauthorized individuals.

Software development life cycle
Software development life cycle phases

What are some examples of how the SDLC impacts project success rates

Projects that are not deemed successful may have been affected negatively during the planning stage in the production environment. Software development team members involved in these activities did not gather all of the information they needed to make decisions about what features were required, who would use them, and which processes should be used for example. As well as, if product requirements weren’t clearly defined or communicated to other team members, it’ll be difficult for the development life cycle model to succeed.

How can you determine if your company’s SDLC process is effective or not

It’s difficult to answer this question without knowing more about your company and what you’re trying to accomplish. No two companies are the same so it depends on what would make a process successful for you. What is the end goal? Having tangible deliverables such as completed user stories or an identified problem that has been fixed (through traceability) could be good indications of whether the SDLC process is effective. The trick is in documenting why items were resolved when they’re closed, and the steps necessary in the process at each phase in order to create a meaningful report and analysis of where potential weaknesses lie in terms of project management. You can also ask yourself: “were we able to build everything we needed using all available resources?”.

To determine if your company’s SDLC process is effective you first need to define the boundaries of its effectiveness. What metrics will you use to measure success in your iterative model? Once you have defined what needs to be accomplished or what problems need solving, you can review the processes and compare them with your expected results.

To further refine this answer, we would recommend determining how often each stage in the SDLC process is performed by viewing which tools our teams are using most. You want all stages of development happening on a regular basis depending on the team size and complexity of the project (e.g. your software product). If developers are spending too much time on tasks that should generally only happen during design (reviewing large pull requests full of binary, for example), they may not be able to complete the work needed for that iteration. If too much time is spent on the design process, code may not be reviewed until the end of the iteration when it will need to be merged right away – this can lead to “merge hell” and frustration among teammates who are waiting on other tasks before they can continue their own.

What tools can be used during each phase of a typical SDLC process

It’s difficult to pinpoint which tools should be used in each phase of development because there are multiple ways to complete the same task. Software developers may use a tool such as GitHub and its pull requests feature during code review or they might prefer JIRA for issue tracking when it comes down to QA testing software before pushing it into production. The Software Development Life Cycle is an iterative process that requires more than just one tool. Software development teams should consider asking themselves: “what tools do we use to get the job done?”. If they’re not already using any particular product, it may be worth looking into what their industry peers are using and having a discussion along with a detailed plan with stakeholders about how each could benefit the team. It can turn out that even small software requirements or programming tools delivered to a testing team can positively affect the design plan and the actual development.

What are the differences between SDLC and Agile Software Development Life Cycle (SDLC) Processes?

Agile Software Development is based on iterative processes which could also fall under the category of an SDLC process because they’re both considered development methods that include agile method iteration. However, there’s no one-size-fits-all approach to Software Development Life Cycle (SDLC) processes. Software development teams need to consider each of their own goals and what they hope to achieve as a team in order to choose the most appropriate method. Software developers can’t just assume that one process will work for everyone on every project and that each programming language n the software industry will be perfect for each project life cycle and actual software development process.

Over to you

As this blog post comes to a close, you can see that Software Development Life Cycle (SDLC) processes are an important part of Software Development, and we hope you learned a little bit about them today. If you need assistance in this matter, check out what our software development company has to offer!

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How to pick the best software development company

There are a lot of software development companies out there, and you can find it difficult to know which one is best for your project or mobile applications. Custom software development companies have different specialties and skillsets so it’s important that you find one that has experience in what you need.

You are about to embark on a journey of choosing the best software development company, but how do you know what questions to ask? 

How can you tell if they will be able to deliver high-quality work in time and within your budget? 

There are many factors that go into selecting the best custom software development company for your needs. This blog post will provide an overview of some important considerations when picking a software development company for custom software solutions. 

Before you start: prepare yourself for looking for a software development company

Before you begin your search for software development companies, you should do some homework yourself.

#1 Specify your goals

The first step to finding a software development company that can help you grow your business is identifying the type of software you need.

The platform and programming language they will use will also need to be determined. Make sure that the project falls within your budget by researching how much similar projects have cost in the past.

In the case that you are interested in reaching out to a specific software development company for this project, it would be beneficial to do some research on them before you get in touch.

Through custom software development companies are typically very approachable, if you aren’t able to find much information about them online, it would be best to move on and find another software development company.

Having done your research, the next step is to make a list of questions that will help you make a more informed decision about a software development company.

#2 Research the type of software development services you need

If you are looking for a software development company, you must determine what your needs are.

Do you just need a simple website? Do you have a sportsbook app that needs development as well? Would you like them to build MVP of your mobile applications? This will narrow down your search. There may also be a difference in costs based on this, although software development companies charge different rates based on their experience and location. You should decide how much work you need done before contacting a software development company. 

When you know the scope of your project within software company services, you will have an easier time finding a custom software development company.

#3 Set up budget and KPIs for the project

It is important to set a budget before contacting a custom software development services provider so they know what to expect from you.

The success criteria or KPIs they will have to meet in order to be paid and how much they will be paid should also be outlined. There are custom software development companies that work with clients from all over the world, so it is best to include all fees and services in the contract from the beginning. 

Once you’ve received bids from software development companies, you can decide which one best meets your needs. It’s even possible to ask more than one software development company to submit a proposal and compare rates.

Before you start looking for a software development company
Before you start looking for a software development company

Checklist: what reasons to take into consideration when selecting your software development company

#1 Consider the company’s size and past experience

The software development industry is similar to other fields of business in that small companies can be just as effective and produce just as high-quality results. Nevertheless, some projects might require more resources than a smaller company might be able to provide, so take into consideration the number and type of employees they have.

Consider the custom software development company’s past experience – how long have they been in business? View examples of their previous work that are similar to what you need. We will cover that in detail later on.

There is a lot you can learn about a particular software development company from their website, but don’t just stop there! You should also ask for examples of software development work so you can get a better sense of their expertise and capabilities.

#2 Consider the software development company’s approach and philosophy

During the development process, how do they handle scope creep or unexpected changes in design? Do their responses seem reasonable, professional, and thoughtful? Also, consider how much communication you will be involved in with your software development company. The more communication, the better for everyone involved.

You should hire a software development company that communicates frequently with you so you know what is going on.

#3 Look into the reputation of the software development company

It is also worth looking into how long they have been doing software development; however, this is not always an indication of success since many companies are new but excel at software development. However, if the software development company has been in business for some time, it should have a good reputation in the software industry.

What is the perception of this software development company currently among software companies? Find out what people are saying about them by asking around or searching online.

Check out review websites like Google business reviews to get a sense of how past clients feel about a software development company. 

For reviews of custom software development companies, Clutch may be a better resource, though.

Check our profile on Clutch >>

#4 Check what project methodology they follow

The Waterfall Methodology may be a better choice for projects with well-defined requirements and minimal changes. If scope creep, uncertain requirements for product design or shifting business goals are expected, agile software development is more suitable.

You may want to choose a company that follows the Agile methodology with iterative cycles for deliverables and a better approach to the software development life cycle, too.

This approach allows developers to move quickly when they are productive, but still, recognize when they are not. The engineering team is also able to focus on delivering valuable software with minimal waste. Additionally, it allows for changes and refinements throughout the software development process rather than burdening the release date with these changes. Through effective change management and active stakeholder involvement, good requirements can be turned into great products.

In general, web software development companies that employ quality assurance and offer a wide array of services are more expensive, but if you have a big project, they may be worth it.

#5 Assess cultural fit

Because you will likely be working closely together, it is important to find a software development company that fits your needs.

Culture is a lot more than just work hours, dress code, and language on the job. Culture embodies the company’s values and priorities in an uncertain world so it needs to be balanced by your own values and what you want from your career. If you don’t share the belief of the company on some key issues such as work-life balance or diversity on teams then it might not be a culture that will fit your goals. 

Examine the culture of the company’s workplace – does it seem like a good fit for you, or not so much?  The efficiency and deliverables of software development companies with great morale are usually better.

The way to know if a company’s culture is a good fit for you really depends on the person. Just as some people are better at operating outside or inside of organizations, some are better at working in very hierarchical and goal-driven environments and others respond well to more chaotic places where there is less structure or oversight. 

If your non-digital work history is with large corporations, and you prefer control over each step, this probably isn’t the culture for you. But if your work experience has been entrepreneurial and independent – with no particular preference for hierarchy or lack of autonomy – then it’s worth checking out! What matters most is that both parties can be honest about how they operate.

#6 Consider the software development company’s rates and fees

In general, software development projects cost more than similar projects in other industries, but that doesn’t mean they should be prohibitively expensive. Since software development companies typically charge per hour or per day, it’s important to take into account the number of hours (or days) it will take to complete a project.

A software development company should clearly explain its billing policies, which should include how you’ll be charged for changes, downtime, or other issues out of your control.

Meetings with customers can cause costs to increase significantly, so determine how much time they expect to devote to you each day. Nevertheless, if the project is well run, daily meetings may not be necessary. 

#7 Check location and time zone

Consider the availability and geographical location of the software development company when making your decision. It may also help reduce any additional costs associated with translation services or overtime if you work with a software development company that works in the same time zone as you. However, by following this approach only, you can miss a lot.

You can gain access to a wider talent pool, better skills, and better overall service quality by outsourcing your project to a software development company.

You should not be afraid to search for a software development company overseas. Many companies in the software industry find it advantageous to work with developers outside their country when it comes to software development. Needless to say, it can be cheaper as well. 

#8 Compare a few software development companies

Don’t get swayed by bells and whistles when comparing software development companies. There are a lot of “extras” that companies may try to throw in, but those shouldn’t sway your decision – stick to what’s important, which is quality and price.

You should ask a software development company for references from past clients so you can learn more about their work.

Additionally, there are software development companies that often work alone or with a small team. Although these software development companies may be able to charge less, you must consider how they handle issues that arise during the development process.

If your project is more complex, it may require multiple developers to work on different aspects of the software development process.

When a project has a lot of moving parts, a software development company may be more appropriate since they can dedicate entire teams to specific areas. By doing so, not only will they be able to manage complexity more easily, but they will also be able to provide you with a wider range of professionals who are knowledgeable about all aspects of implementing web development frameworks or web applications.

You can find software development companies that will be more suitable for your project than others – do your research and select the best one.

#9 Assess the company’s skillset and make sure they are well suited to your project

Often, software development companies have a wide range of experience for your project.

Is it a multi-disciplinary team that covers all tech stacks with examples of work completed, or if they specialize in one tech stack or area with examples of work from that area?

Asking about previous successful projects is one way to check skillset. A company that has the right skillset will then be able to present its achievements in detail and even provide references from satisfied customers as an added assurance. If a company only has fancy PowerPoint presentations, these are usually just projections based on estimates or wishful thinking, not real work delivered. In addition, if they are unable to provide a portfolio of completed work, it probably means that they haven’t finished any work at all yet.

To determine this, look at how long they’ve been in business. Only a few months in, it’s more likely that they’re struggling on some level, which doesn’t bode well for their future. On the other hand, if they’ve been in business for years, that means not only are their skills honed and improved by experience, but they also have enough resources already secured to weather difficult times. 

In case you aren’t sure what type of company would work best for your application, a software development company can help you match up with developers who meet your criteria so that they can start working as soon as possible.

#10 Make sure they know your industry

Make sure the software development company you hire understands your industry and has experience with your type of application or website – they should not have to spend much time learning about your organization, product design, services, etc. before starting the project.

Companies that specialize in specific industries usually have a better understanding of the software development needs of organizations in those fields.

In case you are working with software development companies to create a website for a fintech organization, you should ensure they have experience with developing software specifically for fintech companies.

If your company operates within different industries, it may be harder to find software development companies that can handle all aspects of your project.

For this reason, you might consider partnering with a software development company that has developed software projects for a variety of organizations and industries to ensure they have the expertise to turn your idea into reality.

Choosing software development company
Choosing software development company
We have experience working with several industries, including betting, fintech, IoT, and healthcare. Learn more about Crustlab’s portfolio >>

Before you sign on dotted line: questions you should ask your custom software development company

As a way to make things easier for you, we’ve prepared a list of questions that you may want to ask any software development company you’re interested in collaborating with. 

Question 1: “Tell me about your design process”

The design process should be clearly defined. It is important to ask the software development company about their approach and any specific specifications or tools that you need.

Question 2: “What are your primary programming languages?”

Choose software development companies that use the language (or languages) your project requires. You should be able to review examples of previous work done by the company so that you can determine whether they meet your needs.

Question 3: “What is the size of your development team?”

The perfect answer for you ultimately depends on the type of product you are building. When it comes to speed and cost-efficiency, fewer developers are often more efficient when it comes to small apps with relatively few moving parts. We generally recommend a team size of at least seven to nine people for projects with many high-impact features and significant complexity – each focused on a specific area, such as design/UX, development/engineering, or quality assurance. 

Of course, project managers, product managers, and specific software engineers are inevitable in the process.

This way they won’t get into bottlenecks or lose focus, and the work won’t overlap too much (branding can be handled by one person, marketing assets by another, UX research team might know what good flows look like, but not how code works, etc.). 

Question 4: “How does your payment structure work?”

A software development company should be able to explain its payment structure so that there are no surprises later. Some companies charge by the project, while others charge by hour/day.

Question 5: “What is your software development Process?”

Software development companies will have some sort of software development process in place that helps them manage projects and workflow – they should be able to describe how they manage software development projects. They should also be able to explain what tasks they will complete and how long it will take them to complete the project, e.g. healthcare mobile app development or software application custom solutions. 

Question 6: “Do you have any references I can contact?”

Finding out more about a software development company’s work, experience, and ability to deliver projects is easy by asking for references. You should be able to obtain references from a software development company, so make sure you ask!

For example, if you’re in touch with an iOS mobile app development company, ask them for their mobile development successes or level of expertise with enterprise clients. 

CrustLab's Clutch review
CrustLab’s Clutch review

Question 7: “What types of projects have you worked on in the past”

Find out more about the software development projects that a company has worked on in the past to determine its skill level.

Ask the software development company for details of any similar projects they have completed or contact any of their previous clients. You can then decide if the software development company is right for you based on what they can accomplish.

No one says about sharing intellectual property, product strategy, or precise client requirements – they can simply mention current products or share key takeaways and valuable insights. 

Question 8: “Do I need a contract for my project, and if so what are the terms of said contract”

Before beginning work on a software development project, software development companies can require a small or large deposit.

If you are unsure of what type of contract your software development company requires, you should seek legal advice. In case you need a software development contract, a software development company should be able to provide you with more information about their terms and conditions.

Question 9: “How to communicate with you?”

It can sometimes be tricky to reach software development companies by phone, so having this process sorted out is essential. A software development company should be able to explain what type of communication they prefer and what hours are convenient for their availability.

Question 10: “What software development tools do you use?”

Various software development companies will have a wide assortment of software tools – inquire about the software development company’s preferred method of working. Also, software development companies should be able to provide you with some insight into their experience with specific software and explain which ones they are most comfortable using for your project.

Question 11: “When can I expect to see progress on my project, and how will it be delivered to me”

Knowing when you can expect work on your software development project and how software development companies will deliver it is another requirement. This software development company should be able to explain their software development process in more detail, including the order in which tasks are completed, milestones they reach throughout the process, as well as how long each stage takes.

Question 12: “What is your cancellation policy if we decide not to continue our business relationship”

It is important to be aware of a software development cancellation policy before you sign any software development contract.

If you are unsure about the agreements with the software development company, you should consult a lawyer – always ask software development companies for clarifications if anything changes or is added along the way.

There may be a chance that you’ll have to handle the cost of software development even if the team building a web app for you doesn’t deliver a viable product.

Question 13: “What is your company size, and how many developers work for the company”

There are times when innovative software solutions can be complex, so software development companies need to have a large enough team to complete the project as quickly as possible and in the right quality standard.

Selecting a software development company with an appropriate number of software development companies for your software development project could save you time, money, and headaches. An experienced software development company will be able to explain its team structure and experience.

Question 14: “What are your payment terms?”

Different software development companies may have different credit policies and custom software development pricing for digital solutions. Find out the software development company’s preferred method of working, including whether they require a deposit or monthly payments. Find out what the software development terms of your team of software developers are.

Question 15: “What are the costs associated with the development of custom software”

A software development company should also be able to provide you with a software development agency cost estimate based on types of software development, technical expertise, quality control or technology stack. Software development companies should be transparent about their costs and let you know immediately if anything changes along the way.

Question 16: “What kind of support do you offer?”

Software development companies may also provide software development company support services, especially if the software development project requires long-term support. Your software development company may be able to provide you with some insight into how their software development process works and how they can assist you during – and after – the software development phase of your software product. For example, you may want to specify if they will be available for real-time communication or can contribute to your strategic roadmap after they bring your ideas to life. 

Question 17: “Can I see examples of previous projects that you’ve completed for other clients”

The software development company should also be able to provide software development examples of work they have completed in the past, including project details and time frames, upon your project requirements. A software development company is more likely to agree if you ask for an example of their work instead of asking for a list of all the previous clients they provided the development of software for. 

Question 18: “How will my project be managed after it’s finished – who will take care of any updates or changes”

Clarifying this step is important because you don’t want your project to go unattended.  Software development companies should be able to explain how their support services and processes work.

Over to you

Finding an ideal partner – a good software development company – can be tricky, but doesn’t have to be. With Crustlab’s help, you’ll find the right fit for your needs and goals without having to go through the process alone. We understand that finding someone with experience in this industry is important so we make sure our team has years of knowledge in both software engineering and project management under their belts. If you’re looking for world-class talent at reasonable prices then contact us today!

Start your software development right away!

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How does a business analysis improve the software development process?

Imagine that you have an idea for a digital product, budget for it, and maybe you have chosen a company that performs the software development process for you. You want to start working on it and see the first results. You can’t wait for it! You are convinced that there is nothing that can go wrong. But is it a good idea to start coding your application right away?

Practice shows that even the best-polished ideas may have defects or gaps that could be critical from the end-user and business point of view. The pre-implementation business analysis comes with help here. It is a useful tool that will help you collect information on various areas – on the functional requirements, characteristics of the market to which the product is dedicated, the end-user needs and expectations, the sphere of finance, or market competition. Of course, you cannot forget about the risks, the cost of the software design project, and the work schedule. It sounds a little like a buckle that holds the whole project together, which is what business analysis is.

The role of business analysis in the software development process

Business analysis should start at the very beginning of the project. Definitely, before the development & UX/UI teams fully jumped into the software development methodologies. However, it doesn’t mean that software developers and UX/UI designers should be omitted. On the contrary, their experience brings great value to the business analysis of a new project. These people have already solved many technical and business problems, and they can handle them at this early stage of development of a new product or software program. Also, participating in the analysis at this point brings long-term benefits to effective project management. The whole self-organizing cross-functional team – especially UX/UI designer and Project Manager – are crucial roles during this phase. A full understanding of the product idea and its requirement analysis will direct the team in the right direction, navigate towards the right complete development methodology, and help to design tailor-made solutions in the future.

A business analyst usually handles business analysis, but sometimes this role is also handled by a Project Manager with a business analysis skillset. This role is a bridge between the client (business part) and the development team (technical part). A business analyst has a challenging task. He has to translate business requirements into functional and, consequently, partly technical requirements.

How to conduct an effective business analysis?

Business analysis is a step towards creating a product that will satisfy your customers and surprise the competition. You can follow the sequence of steps below to perform the analysis.

Interviews with the client

Usually, it is a series of smaller workshops in the development cycle. During those sessions, business analysts or dedicated project managers cover questions about the purpose of the product, user’s expectations, competition, and the functions that the ready solution should have.

To conduct workshops, various tools and methods available on the market may be used, depending on the area you want to explore. However, all of them focus on understanding, vision, product, users, finances, competition, and risk.

Understanding

A common understanding of the experience and strengths of the parties cooperating in the project allows defining the conditions for future cooperation and competence areas. You may be asked, for example, about your industry experience or market research. All of this to better understand your needs.

Sample questions:

  • Who is the client, and what is their professional experience with software development teams?
  • Does the client have experience with software development projects in the IT industry?
  • How does the client see responsibilities?
  • How do they see the customer involvement phase in the software projects?
  • What are their preferred software development approaches, design method or software development methodology framework? 
  • Do they have a decades-long goal, do they count on frequent delivery, or do they want to stick to strict delivery deadlines?
  • Are they familiar with agile development?
  • Do they have their own requirements analysis?

Vision

​Defining the vision of software architecture and the roots of the product idea allows you to define the long-term goal of the product’s functioning on the market and better plan its implementation and development strategy. In addition, understanding the high-level ideas of creating a product will positively influence the understanding of your needs by the team and a better fit.

Sample questions:

  • Where did the idea to create such a product come from?
  • What is the business purpose of introducing a new product to the market?
  • What are the company’s vision and mission?
  • What is the development environment?

Product

This part of the analysis focuses on analyzing the individual functionalities of the product to define the connections and relations between them, focuses on how users will perceive the product, what product requirements are, and how the whole idea relates to the vision of the whole product. This extensive pre-planning supports facilitating business processes. As a result, you can expect a clear image of your product that your audience would like to see, along with the assessment of software processes.

Sample questions:

  • What core need is to be met by the finished product – what are the project requirements?
  • In which markets is the product expected to operate?
  • What main functionalities should the product have?
  • Is it a complex project or MVP?
  • Choice of model – will it be development via agile model?

Users

By analyzing the part dedicated for end-users, you can discover what they expect from your product, their needs, and how the product will meet them. It is also important to understand how they will interact with your product which allows the whole team to focus on the critical parts of the product from the user’s point of view.

Sample questions:

  • Who are the product’s end-users, and what are they looking for?
  • What are the conscious/unconscious problems of the product’s recipients, and what are the needs?
  • What communication channels are used by potential recipients?
  • What could user requirements be?

Finances

The financial analysis is an opportunity for the entire team to understand the possibilities and financial expectations with which you start the project and will allow you to understand the earning plan on the finished product to design it more effectively.

Sample questions:

  • How will the product be financed?
  • How do you want to monetize the finished product?
  • Do you want to allow the user to purchase premium options?

Competition

By taking a closer look at the competition operating on the same market will enable you to approach the design of a new solution more efficiently. This also presents the right, iterative approach to software development. Such a development phase helps avoid making similar mistakes as other companies’ solutions which allows you to focus on what is positively perceived by users – high-quality software, continuous integration, and feature-driven development.

Sample questions:

  • Are there any other competing products in the market?
  • How do the competitors work, and what quality products do they offer to clients?
  • What are the software development activities they take?
  • What the competition is doing poorly (what can be improved) and excellently, and can be used?
  • What are their functional business systems?
  • Do they use traditional models?
  • What are predictions for their future development or approach to development?

Risk

Risk-free projects don’t exist – prediction of as many risks as possible and preparation of a plan for risk mitigation in the early stage of development is the key to success in any project. At this stage, you will be able to understand what challenges you will face with your team while creating a product.

Sample questions:

  • What are the risks?
  • How to reduce the chances of the inherent project risk factors occurring?
  • Is there a risk management plan?
  • Is there any risk assessment involved in activities during software development at all?

Technical

A discussion at an early architectural design phase of a project implementation focused on the technological possibilities and limitations is as important as analyzing business assumptions. Many technical problems can appear due to the complexity of application features and constraints imposed by the selected technology. By analyzing these parameters, you and the team will know what you face and which elements will require more of your attention.

Sample questions:

  • Will the selected technologies and programming languages allow us to perform the planned scope of work?
  • Do the selected technologies impose any limitations on a team that should be aware of?
  • Are flexible frameworks a thing?
  • Is feasibility analysis going to be conducted?
  • How to achieve engineering excellence?
  • Will agile methods be used at all?

Analysis of the collected information

Initially, all the team members, especially the Product Owners, should carefully review the collected information. All inconsistent elements which require details or closer inspection should be pointed out. It is also the time to clarify the elements that raise questions and doubts.

Final team involvement

After analyzing the collected information, the whole project team gets involved. Depending on a project in a project can be evolved iOS and Android developers (for mobile applications ) or back-end and front-end developers (for web applications ). For any project, there is always a PM, UX/UI designer, and tester involved in ensuring the quality and standards of the produced software. The project team together reviews the information again to ensure that they can bring value to the final product and create solutions at a satisfactory level of quality and with customer satisfaction.

Creating an analysis document

Once the team double-checks the collected requirements, a person responsible for the project documentation should double-check and include all the details. This document contains all information obtained from the client about the project. All requirements, expectations, customer satisfaction metrics, and test results are included in it. Furthermore, the document should be a valid benchmark for the entire team’s activities from the start of software development of any application software.

software development process roadmap
software development process roadmap

Creating the scope of the project – why would software developers be grateful?

Collected requirements with the help of the development team and project manager are reflected in the project’s scope – the scope of work to be performed for the product to be considered finished. The project scope for IT projects is reflected in the project backlog. It is a list of all the tasks necessary to produce a ready-to-use product.

Keeping in mind the importance of an in-depth description of all the needs, a properly crafted scope of the project could dramatically decrease the development time. Software testing team members would quickly jump into the project, ensuring that software quality is on edge and with a focus on testing. Software developers will make fewer mistakes in software development lifecycle. The need for changes will potentially be drastically reduced, positively impacting the project budget and development of software.

Project scope template
Project scope template

Software development life cycle – how to schedule the whole analysis

This stage of software development includes the estimation of working time and the necessary budget and setting the criteria for the acceptance of the system by the client. Then, graphically, the project’s scope can be overlaid on the timeline in a software development process roadmap and software development cycle.

At the end of this process appears a set of requirements necessary for the implementation of your application. At this point, it is essential to verify and validate requirements again. Therefore, the entire engineering team focuses on monitoring the appropriate quality of the conditions. According to the best standards, the requirements must be consistent – as flawless as possible, technically feasible, and testable. If these criteria are not met, they will soon require programming improvement, leading to additional time, budget, and resources investment.

When sending an inquiry, the focus is usually on the solution, while the software development process is a highly complex set of tasks. Without being aware of the flow of such a process and trying to predict possible complications, you risk additional costs and possible extension of the implementation time, which is very valuable.

The pre-implementation business analysis brings several benefits:

  • Meeting expectations – the requirements are detailed and precise to ensure that the final product will meet users’ expectations.
  • Cost optimization – the team knows what to do, so you are not surprised by the additional costs.
  • Shortening the realization time – when all the requirements are collected, the team can determine the optimal implementation path, reducing the time spent preparing the solution.
  • Good business relationship – during the analysis phase, the whole agile team can get to know each other and establish the first relationships that will be helpful while working on the project and for customer satisfaction.
  • Consideration of project continuation or termination.
The benefits of business analysis in the software development process
The benefits of business analysis in the software development process

Summary

Is it possible to implement an IT project without pre-implementation business analysis? Yes, the current market proves that it is possible but challenging due to the risks that increase with the project’s scope. In the case of large and complex projects, a pre-implementation analysis is a necessity and standard. With simpler ones, IT expert advice, effective project management, and close cooperation between companies may be enough. It should be noted, however, that this will not replace a professionally conducted analysis. The question is, is it worth counting on luck in this matter?

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The Product Design Process – how to REALLY design a web or a mobile application

Some apps you use more, others less. So what does it depend on? As a user, you expect ease of use and functionalities that will make your life easier. Things get tricky when you are the one who is responsible for a digital product.  And here comes the importance of the product design process. 

It turns out that meeting customers’ expectations is not as easy as it may seem. It requires thorough research and preparation, the so-called product design process.

The success of a product depends on it. The problem is that even UX designers don’t have a clear guide for this process. Depending on the project or approach that a company takes, the product design process may vary.
It’s best to entrust the process to professionals since there is no one golden rule, yet there are so many factors involved.

However, it’s essential to understand it before you begin fully. In a nutshell, we want to show you what the product design process looks like in practice. What are its main elements, and which tools might be helpful during its development?

Let’s learn everything you need to know about the product design process.

What is the product design process?

The product design process can be described as the whole creation of a digital product from strategy, through conceptual work, to implementation. It’s the process of planning both the product’s visual attractiveness and its user flow.

The product design process doesn’t apply only to UX/UI design. It gives you a big picture of the whole project because it considers the business perspective and its goals. It’s a combination of three elements – management, engineering, and graphics.

The final result always depends on mutual work combining various skills  – graphic design, UX/UI design, research, business analysis, development, and marketing or testing, just to name a few.

Though it is complex, it’s worth the effort. Through the product design process, you can tailor the product to meet the customers’ needs and boost their satisfaction.

And that’s just the beginning of its advantages.

What are the goals of the product design process?

In many cases, the values that are important to customers do not align with business expectations, or it turns out that developers do not understand the real needs of their users.

So, the main goal of the product design process is to find the balance between user needs and business value.

In this way, you gain a broader perspective to understand all stakeholders better and develop a product that has excellent functionality, an attractive design and is profitable.

The ideal product design process helps you to:

  • understand customers’ needs,
  • identify a market opportunity,
  • increase competitiveness,
  • achieve the desired product quality,
  • generate profit in the long run,
  • reduce costs.

It should serve as a guidance system for the entire business, like a map that helps determine the best course of action.

The benefits of the product design process
The benefits of the product design process

How does the product design process work in practice?

Once you have a grasp of the theory, it’s time to put it into practice.

It would be great if every product design process looked the same. Unfortunately, that isn’t possible. As we said before, even experts can’t predict the exact course of the process – it simply provides a roadmap for the steps ahead, along with tips for skipping or extending them. There are many conditional variables in the process, and, unlike in software development (writing code), the knowledge of the decision-maker and the results of interviews or research are always essential aspects.

Many factors go into the process – the budget, the UX project scope, or even the time frame and size of the business, just to name a few.

Even so, we will share with you our sample product design process framework. It should help you imagine how one might appear in your business. 

Let’s look at the most critical steps, standard design methods, and a few tools that can help you streamline the whole process.

Before you start: product business analysis? 

Even being the best at something doesn’t guarantee market share. If you want to turn your idea into huge profits, you need a detailed plan. That’s where product business analysis comes into play.

A product business analysis begins guides and closes the design process. It helps you determine the costs involved and forecast the profits you might make from the product. It combines the forces of a business analyst and UX designer.

The aim of business analysis is to clarify the product’s technical requirements, decrease development costs, and identify the target audience and their needs. It’s also essential after the product’s implementation for testing, identifying problems, and making improvements.

Product design process elements and who’s involved there

We will now explain the stages of the process and related questions. 

Product design process elements
Product design process elements

Understanding

Is your solution a product-market fit? The key to a successful product is understanding the people involved in the design process and all other aspects of the project – its goals and different perspectives. That’s why the biggest role of designers is to identify users’ needs and align them with the business goals.

Vision

You must have a clear vision of your product – an outline of its appearance and the problems it will solve. This is also the time to communicate your expectations, what precisely you want for your business, and how long the whole design process should take.

Once you’ve clarified these issues, you need to transfer your vision into the digital space. At this stage, the UX designers create a prototype for your product and, in collaboration with the developers and designers, turn your vision into a reality.

Product / Function

What features will your product offer? It is crucial to be extremely specific about your budget, as it directly impacts the complexity of your product.

Find out which functions are the most important and which you should focus on. Remember that people love easy solutions. The easier the product is to use, the more likely it is to be a success. Look at the most popular tools – they are super simple to use.

But you don’t have to worry – UX designers are the people who will make sure that your users fully understand your product.

Users / Personas

Users are the key elements of the product design process. That is why you should make sure you carry out thorough research before you even start thinking about designing the product.

Conduct surveys and interviews to get to know your target audience. As part of your user research, you also need to understand who you’re building the product for. It will be helpful to create user personas to help put yourself in your users’ shoes and start to look at the product from their perspective.

Users are often provided and presented by the decision-makers, but they do not originate from them. Personas, on the other hand, are the result of several steps, research, and studies designed to narrow down the perfect target group.

Competition

When carrying out competitive research, you should look mostly at three things – product offering, the user experience, and visual design. Take inspiration from your competitors and analyze what their good and bad sides are.

Researching the competition will also help you understand their customers’ needs better – look at what their users say about your competitors’ solutions. Maybe there is a gap in the market that no other company has filled, or maybe their users complain about certain elements. Then, ensure that you don’t repeat the same mistakes but instead find your Unique Selling Proposition (USP). 

Risks

You have to always take into account the risks that are involved in any project. This way, you will be able to understand the market better, and as a result, be aware of the issues that might arise during product development.

What are the risks involved with creating a particular product? The most common ones are missing cost or quality targets, overrunning the schedule, creating a product that will not be profitable or just one that will not attract users. 

Managers and analysts must constantly monitor and analyze the project to mitigate the risks that might occur. 

Product design methodologies

There are different types of frameworks that companies use to design products. Even though each of them is different, they all contribute to validating ideas, solving challenges, and aligning the product vision with the goals and objectives. When it comes to product design, what are the most common methodologies?

Every technique has its own set of benefits and drawbacks based on your own preferences, experience, and circumstances.

Product design methodologies
Product design methodologies

Agile UX

Using this approach, you can launch new products quickly and efficiently. It’s performed in a collaborative environment and with cross-functional and self-organized teams. This method focuses more on „doing” than on paperwork, which speeds up the decision-making process significantly.

The agile method of product development divides the process into multiple small iterations; at the end of each, you will receive the output from the designers. Delivering a small feature after each iteration allows you to give feedback and improve your product accordingly.

As a result, you’re involved in the entire process and its progress is transparent for you. What’s more, you can react quickly to all problems and make necessary changes with fewer consequences to the budget.

Design Sprint

“A design sprint is a five-day process for answering critical business questions through design, prototyping, and testing ideas with the customers”.
Google

This method was used internally at Google for various products before becoming an integral part of Google Ventures. The initial development process consists of five phases: understand, diverge, decide, prototype, and validate. As a result, the first outcome is given in about three to four days, proving the process to be intensive and results-orientated.

A team consisting of a small number of designers, developers, marketers, and customers develops the project and looks for the best solutions to deliver a product that best meets the expectations of future users and customers.

What are its main advantages? Using this fast-forward approach, you can see how your finished product will look in advance before you make any costly commitments. You will learn if an idea is worth pursuing and, what’s best, you can cut out endless debates and compress months of work into a single week.

Product Canvas

Product Canvas combines Agile methodologies with UX principles. It helps build products that have a great user experience while focusing on future development. The purpose of Product Canvas is to validate the product, not to determine whether or not it should be developed.

It’s more of a tool than a methodology – it conveys what your product is and how it’s positioned strategically. It contains various UX artifacts – user stories with personas, scenarios, storyboards, or design sketches.

To sum up

Having learned a lot about the product design process, let’s summarize all of the most critical points:

  • Product design is a long-term and multi-stage process that involves many people.
  • The presence of each stage and specialist is necessary to create the best possible product.
  • The time and effort invested in the design process will pay off in the quality of the finished product.
  • There are several tools and methods that allow you to carry out the product design process.

If you have any further questions or need help with product design, feel free to reach out to us and we’ll discuss how we can help. We are here to assist you.

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iOS mobile app development – an overview of the most important changes of Apple Guidelines

We live in a wired age during which mobile apps have transformed the world, made life easier for everyone, and contributed to the growth of many businesses. As one of the major mobile app marketplaces, the App Store has grown to be an ecosystem that hosts millions of developers and over a billion users. However, it can be challenging to submit a mobile app to the App Store, especially with ever-changing guidelines. Today, our goal is to introduce them to you and explain their role in modern business and mobile app development.

What are Apple Guidelines?

Mobile apps and games in the App Store have been carefully challenged by Apple to be safe, trustworthy, easy to use, and constantly improved in terms of their quality and usability. Apple’s priority is ensuring its customers feel confident downloading new applications. Furthermore, the App Store provides a source of income to developers and app makers.

The guidelines provided by Apple allow developers to create top-notch apps while maintaining performance. Five categories are covered by the guidelines, and all apps on the App Store must comply with them. In addition, they need to protect devices against threats and malware and keep their users’ privacy protected. This last point deserves special attention because privacy and security of users’ data have been Apple’s top priority for years now.

Why do they keep changing?

Apple regularly announces changes and additional clarifications to the app evaluation process document prior to its release. New legal and marketing regulations, as well as events in the industry and around the world, force Apple to adjust all processes related to the App Store.

The most crucial business updates in Apple Guidelines (update 7.06.2021)

This June’s updates are intended to support new features in the next OS release, reinforce security, and streamline the approval of apps. On the 7th of June not only were the App Store Review Guidelines updated though, but also the Program License Agreement, Schedules 1, 2, and 3, plus the Apple Developer Agreement. 

Apple App Store
Apple App Store

Below, we’ve highlighted some of the major changes to Apple Guidelines that have affected mobile businesses the most.

New guidelines for Creator Content

Creator apps should share the age rating of the highest age-rated creator content available in the app and communicate to users which content requires additional purchases. 

What does this mean for businesses?

Creator apps are those whose content is not only provided by its developers, but also by its users – the so-called “creators” in this instance.  They create a streamlined experience for customers to interact with a wide range of content from creators. They provide tools and programs for non-developer creators to share, monetize, and author user-created content. Content like this must not alter the core functionality of native applications but instead should complement the content provided by developers. As long as they do not affect guidelines, App Review treats any content – video, audio, games, etc. – as UGC. 

For full clarity, creator apps should clearly state the age rating and disclose any additional purchases that may be required. As a result, all data flowing through and produced by apps is more clear, consistent, and transparent.

Anything in a particular mobile app that requires an additional subscription or purchase (features, resources, extra add-ons, etc.) must be communicated right away with all of the information regarding the renewal. 

Misleading marketing is more strictly prohibited

Whether inside or outside the App Store, the use of misleading marketing is grounds to remove an app from the App Store and Apple Developer Program. 

What does this mean for businesses?

In the past, false or misleading advertising in-app or in other apps/places may have led to the rejection of the submission and forced the required changes to be made in order for it to be approved in the App Store. 

That has now changed.

A misleading marketing campaign, such as offering a service or content that is not actually offered or setting a false price for the app will result in it being removed from the App Store and your developer account being terminated. 

Businesses and developers have been adversely affected by this change since apps can now be removed from the App Store for such behavior (especially if it is repeated). Moreover, businesses can be permanently removed from the Apple Developer Program, preventing them from reapplying with an app and limiting their opportunities to submit others. The result will be that they lose access to a store that makes up 45% of mobile app marketplaces.

How to prevent this? Ensure that your app’s functionality is easily understood by its end-users and conduct an App Review; hidden, dormant, or undocumented features shouldn’t be used in it. Marketing should avoid misleading communication and sharing of false claims.

Creating a trustworthy ecosystem is the focus of the App Store.

Digital gift cards are limited to in-app purchases

Digital gift cards, certificates, vouchers, and coupons that can be redeemed for digital goods or services can only be sold in your app using in-app purchases. Physical gift cards that are sold within an app and then mailed to customers may use payment methods other than in-app purchases.

Updates to Apple’s guidelines bring new rewards for redeeming digital gift cards. From now on, digital gift cards, vouchers, and coupons can be only sold using in-app purchases. Selling them out of an app submitted to the App Store is against the guidelines. 

What does this mean for businesses?

For Apple, the fight isn’t just about transparency and clarity. As they receive a commission fee (between 15 and 30%) from every purchase made through their app, it’s only natural that they want to keep payments within apps. Since digital products can only be sold via in-app purchases, businesses may need to factor in Apple’s commission fees when calculating costs. 

Connected subscriptions and avoiding double payments

Cellular carrier apps can include music and video subscriptions in pre-defined bundles attached to data plans

To clarify that carrier apps can also include other subscription types, Apple has expanded the guidelines that allow carriers to package music and video subscriptions into pre-defined bundles attached to data plans. That is all fine and valid as long as the carrier allows users to revert to an in-app purchase subscription once the bundled service ends or expires. 

What does this mean for businesses? 

Subscription streaming services may offer games including bundled services with applications from third parties. It is necessary, however, for them to be downloaded from the App Store and programmed in such a way as not to generate a double payment from the customer. Those who are not subscribers can not be treated less favorably than subscribers.

By implementing this regulation, the App Store prevents end-users from making duplicate payments that would negatively impact the customer experience.

Limitations on purchase methods

Apps cannot, within the app, encourage users to use a purchasing method other than in-app purchase.

Neither developers nor advertisers can use information obtained from within an app to target individual users for purchases outside the app. 

While some apps in certain sectors such as reader apps, enterprise services, or standalone apps may use purchase methods other than in-app purchase, their usage cannot be encouraged within the app. 

What does this mean for businesses?

It limits developers’ opportunities for cross-selling and up-selling and forces them to process as many transactions as possible through Apple. Just to name a few examples:

  • Developers cannot communicate with individual users regarding the possibility to use another method of payment instead of in-app purchases.
  • It is prohibited to promote e.g. subscription packages for your SaaS through a standalone app that does not facilitate such payments.
  • Developers cannot use inside-the-app activities to communicate with users, for example, they cannot give discounts to a particular user who buys a lot of coins.

Adequate features requirement

Apps that do not provide adequate utilities may not be accepted on the App Store

There should be features, content, and interfaces in apps that elevate them above repackaging websites. If your app does not meet any of these criteria, it shouldn’t be in the App Store. If your application does not provide lasting enjoyment or enough utilities, it may not be accepted into the App Store.  

What does this mean for businesses?

The user experience is incredibly important to Apple, starting from the moment you navigate into the App Store through the moment you make a purchase to the moment you use the app. They don’t want the experience to be badly affected by the fact that a particular app doesn’t live up to expectations or fulfill the promises it made. As a result, in addition to security factors and technical requirements, utilities and functionality from the user’s perspective should also be considered when developing an app. For mobile apps, businesses need to focus on transparency and a flawless user experience without hesitation, guesswork, or misleading information. An app may be rejected if it is not user-friendly enough. 

Account creation and deletion regulations

If your app supports account creation, you must also offer account deletion within the app.

Additionally, there are a few extra regulations when it comes to accounts:

  • If your app does not provide significant features tied to accounts, you should not require users to log in.
  • An app cannot require users to enter personal information to function, except in direct relation to its core functionality or if required by law.
  • In the case of an app’s main functionality not involving a specific social networking site, you must allow access without logging in through one.

The app must also include a mechanism to revoke social network credentials and disable data access between it and the social network from within the app. 

An app may not store credentials or tokens to social networks of the device and may only use them to directly connect to the social network from the app itself while it is in use.

What does this mean for businesses?

Mobile apps and social media have a well-known marriage – social media facilitates app growth and is used for social gaming. Apps, however, cannot require users to log in via social media platforms if doing so is not necessary for use. Inviting friends to use the app, downloading basic profile information, or sharing on social networks are not considered core app features. 

If your application requires such a log-in, you may be required to prepare it for review or face potential rejection.

Updates to the Developer Code of Conduct

Enhanced developer trust and safety responsibilities have been added to the Developer Code of Conduct. 

Manipulating any aspect of the App Store experience such as reviews and charts is not permitted. Additionally, excessive customer complaints may be considered when determining whether a developer is compliant with the Code of Conduct.

What does this mean for businesses?

Apple places the highest priority on safety and transparency. If an app does not shine brightly with positive reviews, it may be removed from the App Store and its developers may be forced to pay excessive fines as a result. When Apple receives constant reports about an app, it investigates them. In the last couple of months, Apple’s policies have become more strict, and we expect them to only get stricter because Apple is concerned most about quality. Every app itself and any communication, content, or placement should be clear and accurate. 

Furthermore, apps cannot purchase positive reviews or force their current users to leave such opinions. There needs to be truthfulness in all information provided by the developers. Both developers and apps can be booted out of the App Store if they do not follow the rules, and restoring offending apps may only be possible with a long written statement that Apple may reject anyway. 

Over to you

In the mobile app world, new niches are constantly being conquered and new solutions are being implemented. Because of this, Apple Guidelines are constantly changing as they adjust to new technologies, realities, and challenges they face. Therefore, this article will be updated once new guidelines are rolled out. 

There are many other changes to the App Store besides those we listed here. Our article highlights only a few of the changes, but you can find a more complete list here.

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How to reduce the costs of creating a mobile app MVP?

Ok, so you’ve decided to get your mobile app MVP developed. Instead of going full version ahead, you would rather try out some prototypes first to validate your business idea. 

It will not be quite as functional as your desired app, it is most likely to consume a large part of your budget if done in the wrong way.

How can you take control of your mobile app MVP and minimize the cost? Let us guide you through this topic.

First things first, though. 

What is mobile app MVP, actually?

In short, MVP stands for Minimum Viable Product. Despite literal meaning being the same for every industry and use case, it is worth checking various perspectives and viewpoints. 

In terms of users and their perception of mobile app MVPs, it is a set of functionalities that allows the product to be presented on the market and put through initial testing or user assessment. While only a very small amount of features are available with this solution, it must still be useful and fully functional – it should not have any errors or shortcomings. 

That is how it works for business and development, too, though there are a few extra considerations to keep in mind during those stages. 

When it comes to the business side of MVP, it should include way more than just key functionality. In fact, the business sense of MVP may depend upon analytics tools and verifying results. MVPs don’t just test features for the sake of testing – they need to collect feedback from early adopters for improvement and development where necessary. Without analytics, it would be difficult to answer any questions regarding further mobile app development

Mobile app MVP vs business goals

Based on the above description, two major goals can be identified – and they ought to be in alignment.

Goal #1: to develop a product that permits you to reach the market as rapidly as possible. 

MVP is developed under the assumption of being fast and inexpensive. The key is to write the product in a way that enables further development and any changes to be introduced beyond the target version. This approach needs to be reflected in MVPs since an MVP that is not fully functional and unscalable may hinder the development of a final version. 

Goal #2: to equip the MVP with analytical tools.

Analytics tools must include both qualitative and quantitative methods of collecting data, users’ feedback, or insights for further development of the mobile app MVP.

Mobile app MVP benefits
Mobile app MVP benefits

How to reduce the costs of your mobile app MVP

Like everything else: it depends. 


There’s no magic formula for success – but there are a few patterns you may find useful in this step. 

Start with a plan

There is a tragedy without a strategy, the saying goes, and it is hard to disagree with this. Taking a strategic approach from the very beginning gives a clearer picture of the whole project.

What should be included in such a plan?

  • user journey: in this step, it’s necessary to identify three elements: users, user actions, and story endings (end goals). The path from user identification through the steps that lead to the user’s ultimate goal is the best guide for determining what areas to develop in the MVP and what areas you can make do in the final outcome.
     
  • user data flow: as above, but shows the dependencies and relationships between users and scenarios. Additionally, it provides an explanation of how actions may either collide or collaborate.

  • functional description: described in detail the features that will be included in the application and how they will affect the final cost and final quality. There may be variations in the number of features and the degree of complexity, therefore they may affect the final shape, price, and quality. First, it is necessary to understand these functionalities well in order to get an accurate estimation of what work will need to be performed and how much it will cost, in addition, in the case of the MVP, there is only a selection of required functionalities in the first version.

  • communication design: It depends on whether the project pertains to IoT or not. In that case, we are talking about an IoT communication protocol. It describes how software and smart devices connect to each other and share data – this may proceed via wifi, Bluetooth, or radio waves – there may be a single device that transmits the software’s data or a group of such devices. However, if the project is not applicable to the Internet of Things, there should be a means of communication as well, namely what the different screen looks like, what is displayed on them, and how the user may contact us. Identify the places that serve these purposes and analyze the way they deliver messages from the user. Also identify the channels of continuous communication: pop-ups, push messages, or notifications, just to name a few.

    In addition, make sure that your MVP mobile app strikes the perfect balance between front-end development and back-end coding. Having smooth and clear communication is essential, whether you are working as separate teams or within a single team since they are working towards a common goal – a fully functional MVP. If anything happens to cause a delay in the works of one party, it may cause a delay in the other party’s operations. To ensure all goes according to plan, some factors may need to be discussed beforehand, for example, the amount of cache to be used or the number of resource requests. Additionally, the feedback rounds should also be discussed in advance.

  • system architecture: selecting the appropriate system architecture depending on the resources, time, or preferences of product implementation and development. This can be, for instance, a layered architecture, MVC, SOA, component-based architecture, or a client-server structure.

  • project roadmap: needs to be assembled before development begins and break down the features to be implemented as well as the timeline and responsibilities.

Rethink reduction in product scope

The goal of having all features in an MVP version may not be attainable, so reducing project scope is well recommended. Finding a balance between usually challenging, high-level requirements and a designated budget may be difficult, so either the budget needs to be increased or the requirements need to be lower. 

There are at least two paths you can take here: 

  • product canvas – a convenient tool that can be used to efficiently design a product from concept to implementation. It is created to identify requirements, collect ideas, and build an overall vision at the beginning of the product development process. This method simplifies the identification of must-have features for MVP and hence reduces its scope. Product canvas may include name, goals, metrics, target groups, big pictures, and product details and may help narrow down both the scope and the budget. 

  • task prioritization – identifying the features that are essential each to the MVP and removing the features that are not essential will enable the budget to stay as firm as possible while staying within predefined constraints. Prioritizing only certain features and forecasting others can be implemented later allows a bigger picture to emerge.

It is impossible to reduce the cost of an MVP project while maintaining the characteristics and features of the mobile application. It is suggested that you decide whether you absolutely require all the screens included in the MVP version. If some of them are not necessary, you can easily skip them in the MVP version, thus allowing more resources to be used for other business activities.

A similar situation occurs with graphics and animations. At the MVP stage, it would be wise to limit their use as much as possible – even a seemingly simple animation can consume a lot of resources and be costly. In many cases, using animations in this stage would not make business sense. The MVP mobile application should maximize the use of the system’s capabilities, and additional features can be added in later versions.

The use of native, ready-made components influences the shape of an MVP, its speed of development, and its cost.

It is worthwhile using elements such as UISwitch, even though the creation of custom elements may seem straightforward, it is known that predicting their behavior in hundreds of different scenarios influences the cost and length of MVP development for a mobile application. Moreover, rather than coding the solution from scratch (for example, chat in a mobile app), it is worth using the elements that are already available and configured.

Help others help you

In some cases, there is not much knowledge or approach to MVP from the clients’ side. They just want to get things done, regardless of the method. CrustLab helps clients understand the whole picture, establish measurable goals, validate the concept, and plan outcomes via dedicated workshops. This is an excellent solution especially for those clients who would appreciate guidance in navigating through MVP. 

Analytics of MVP

Many incorrectly believe that MVP is only a “demo version” to check some features and determine if it works. It is, of course, but for this to be determined, both hard and soft data must be available. Without analytics, they won’t. Data should support most business decisions, and one of those is the decision as to whether to develop MVP into a fully functional product. 

In terms of mobile app MVP, there are quite a few tools to consider. They all vary in functionalities and features, yet they all have in common the ability to support effective analytics. Some of them are quite general and cover analytics as a whole, while others may be well-suited to specific analytics of mobile applications. 

  1. GTM – GTM allows for managing the marketing tags after the MVP has been shipped, significantly reducing the need to rebuild the MVP. This is the main reason that many MVPs rely on GTM for their analytics, which is likely the GTM’s selling point.

  2. Smartlook – Smartlook is capable of advanced analytics including recording user sessions (to view any point in the customer journey) and generating heat maps for each point in the journey in order to identify trends and spot patterns in user behavior. With events, funnels, and filters, a specific moment or action can be specified.

  3. Firebase – the primary advantage of this product is that analyses, crash reporting, hosting, and A/B tests are all available in the same product. It also includes the Google Analytics mobile app. In the beginning, this product may pose a viable option, but it becomes very expensive once your traffic increases. 

  4. Google Analytics 4 – Google Analytics 4 offers a much more unified platform for app analytics by directly leveraging the Firebase Analytics schema and reporting interface. After linking your Firebase project to a GA4 property, you have access to a range of reporting templates for analytical data that unavailable through the Firebase itself. 

  5. Apple App Analytics – it is a basic, but adequate mobile app analytics tool. It offers usage data, sales data, and app store data, where applicable. Going without saying, it only works with iOS apps. 

Of course, there are many other tools, systems, and applications that you can use on various stages of mobile app analytics. For the MVP, it is best to go for a complex yet quick implementation solution that will enable you to receive the world’s first insights from those who matter the most – your potential users. 

Although quantitative data is the most important one you can capture during the stage of verifying and analyzing the performance of your mobile app MVP, qualitative data is also important. How can you collect data without gathering hard data? 

  • Feedback via live chat,

  • suggestions over a contact form,

  • in-app messages for instant feedback (e.g. NPS surveys),

  • interviews with early adopters,

  • social campaigns encouraging feedback,

  • e-mail messages with review incentives,

  • online reviews and testimonials,

  • pop-ups and push notifications with surveys.

Those are only a few examples, to name a few! In short, anything that helps give us an insight into the factors which may lead to a better quality mobile app MVP should be put to use. 

The more, the merrier. 

Over to you 

There is no doubt that the cost of developing an MVP is usually less expensive than that of the final product. There is no need fo