Let’s build an App for that

October 14th 2014

Some tips to help put your custom App development project on a sound footing

The range of intelligence and functionality that can be built into an App is endless. The cost of developing a custom App is therefore mostly based on your particular requirements. But cost is also affected by other factors that are within your control, such as, level of planning, identifying ‘must have’ requirements versus ‘nice to haves’, determining what platform you want your App to run on and how closely you involve yourself in the project. Here are a few considerations that might help you ensure you get the best possible results for your investment in a custom App.
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A Mazda or a Maserati?

You walk into a car dealership and tell the salesman you are looking for a new car. The first thing he will ask about is what make/model of car you are in the market for, and your price range. Which do you have the budget for? The family sedan or the luxury model? The standard model or one with all the optional extras? Your budget immediately determines what you’re in the market for.

 

The devil and the dollars are in the detail

Detail drives cost. You can have all the extras you wish. If you have budget it can be built. Therefore at the early stages of the project it is absolutely crucial that you communicate your vision to your software provider in extensive detail so they can help establish what you must have in order to achieve your business goal. This is the most difficult phase of the project. A series of high level conversations should take place in order to get an understanding of project goals. Any software development partner worth their salt should help you differentiate between the crucial and ‘nice to have’ features.

 

Begin and your requirements may evolve – budget accordingly

Attempting to cement budget, timeline and features before the project begins usually puts a project in jeopardy. Improvements, innovations, savings and extras are always discovered along the way. Define a budget, timeline and plan but leave enough flexibility to allow the project to evolve to be the best that it can be.

 

One for all or one for one

Do you want a native App, as in, an App developed for a specific operating system such as Android which is installed directly on the device? Or a mobile web app; not specific to any operating system and runs on your web browser? If you want a native app that means separate software programs will need to be developed for each operating system which will has a significant impact on cost. A mobile web app might be more cost effective but will it deliver on your users’ needs? Does it meet your business goals?

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I want it all and I want it now

Custom software solutions take time. Phases of development, collaboration, reviews, testing – all need time. A rush job invariably increases costs and compromises quality. And finally remember that an App is always a work in progress, so you might need to assign a budget for ongoing support and development.

 

5 byte sized App development tips

  1. Determine your rough budget.
  2. Whittle down to essential features and functionality (i.e. an MVP).
  3. Allow some flexibility in scope, budget and timeline.
  4. Carefully consider: ‘go native’ or one for all.
  5. Take your time.