Traditional wisdom states that the first company to market often correlates with profits and dominance of the market over the long run. Although anyone with experience knows that being first doesn’t always translate to success, it happens more often than not. Developing software apps in new niches is no exception. There is constant pressure to get that much-coveted first-mover advantage and the brand recognition that comes with developing something new. Furthermore, software development must keep up with the constantly evolving hardware and operating system environment involved in mobile, in addition to evolving customer expectations. Thus, app developers constantly fight the clock to get their products to market quickly without sacrificing quality and features. Here are 7 time-saving tips to speed app development and launch quickly.
7 tips to speed app development and launch quickly
1. Put customers first
A key element emerging from lean development revolves around building the right product the first time, which requires firms to do the marketing before writing the first line of code.
Although you’ll find a lot about marketing a new product on other posts, let’s look at the basic elements you need to market as you plan your new product:
- Customer niche — customers buy solutions, not products. Hence ensure your new product solves a problem consumers face or your product solves the problem better than existing products in a meaningful way. Creating an app no one wants or needs is a waste of time and money. Even first-mover won’t save you if customers don’t want your app or you don’t offer distinct advantages over your competitors.
- What features/ benefits do customers want in your app?
- Test the user experience (UX) to ensure the app you plan includes intuitive navigation and meets customer standards for usability. A variety of tools exist that allow brands to create prototypes without writing any code. Many generate clickable prototypes to accurately gauge the user experience across a number of devices.
- How much will customers pay for your app? Alternatively, what types of monetization work for your product?
With adequate marketing and testing, your app is off to a good start.
2. Aim for a minimum viable product (MVP)
If you’re creating a brand-new product, aim for a minimum viable product, or MVP, instead of a fully-functional app. An MVP allows you to enter the market as quickly as possible with less investment, thus generating cash flow to fund further enhancements and build your brand reputation. An MVP helps validate the findings from your earlier UX testing with a prototype while reducing the risk inherent in building out a more fully-featured product that might fail after spending a lot of time and money on development. This embodies the notion of “fail fast” so critical for today’s digital environment.
Another benefit of building an MVP rather than a complete app is that you get immediate customer feedback you can use to begin creating the next generation of the app. For instance, users might notice a detail you didn’t consider, voice displeasure with your navigation, or even point to improvements you never considered.
The MVP approach allows you to save time in many other ways. For instance, you aren’t wasting time adding things that customers don’t actually care about or don’t feel truly add value to the finished product. We all experienced over-engineered products that cost too much because you’re paying for things you don’t want or need. Furthermore, the simpler, streamlined app has fewer things that can go wrong with it, which is another plus. Flutter is one of the best frameworks for MVP development. It allows the creation of apps for both iOS and Android with one codebase. As it is one of the most popular choices, you can easily find Flutter developers for hire.
3. Have a rough software architecture framework
Creating a high-fidelity wireframe is time-consuming. However, you could miss key requirements if you don’t plan your software architecture at all. The best solution here is to use a low-fidelity wireframe to speed app development.
First, map out and plan the layout of the app. This gives programmers the key functionality the app needs and an understanding of how the data interfaces should work, and you won’t waste time managing a detailed checklist in addition to project schedules and requirements lists.
Don’t forget to have your customers review the user interface and overall design before you start writing code. After all, it is far easier and faster to change a framework than an app.
4. Implement agile software development
Agile software development is the industry standard for software developers, but still, not everyone uses it for some reason. If you are among the minority, consider implementing it soon.
Agile reduces software development project schedules from years to months. The iterative development cycles with user feedback and thorough testing result in higher quality software that meets customer expectations. Furthermore, you don’t waste time implementing solutions your customers hate.
Agile software development in this scenario consists of short sprints of 2 to 4 weeks so you’re in a cycle of continuous improvement, while you also speed app development.
5. Consider hybrid mobile development
Cross-platform hybrid solutions allow you to create an app within one environment and deploy it to several different platforms. The result is that you have both an iOS and Android app ready at the same time instead of writing native code for each operating system individually. This approach is popular with startups because it gets you out on both Android and iOS devices with the MPV. Afterward, you can work on native apps that are better adapted to each platform.
Another benefit of hybrid mobile development is that you can release apps without having to require your coders to improve their understanding of other programming languages. For example, you might create a hybrid app and then let your team create the iOS version that is within their skillset. Then you can decide whether or not to hire someone familiar with the Android OS or continue using the hybrid version that’s already out.
This approach does have its downside, however. Hybrid apps like this tend to take up more memory and may not create flawless animation, so that’s something you need to think about.
6. Automate testing
Automation already dramatically reduced employment in manufacturing but it is also possible to automate certain parts of the software development process. For example, you could use automated testing.
One point in favor of testing automation is that it ensures you test everything. Your test plan tests everything every single time you run the test unless a programmer decides to exclude something. No one can cut corners because they want to go home at the end of the day.
Automated testing is essential to ensuring app security. You can run many tests that verify your security features work properly, and you can run testing again as soon as new viruses or zero-day exploits are reported on the news.
If you want to know more about the process, Global App Testing took the time to explain the benefits of automated testing and how you can implement it on your project. You can learn more on this site about how automated testing works. They also explain some of the automatic testing best practices so you don’t end up making crucial mistakes.
7. Don’t try to reinvent the wheel
Don’t waste your time trying to do everything yourself and use all the resources available to you. To speed app development when you’re building your core product, use pre-made applets that add to your core functionality without adding additional code. Applets might involve anything from sending email to tech support, to social media sharing, to feedback tools. Another option is outsourcing non-core software development of various features to experts who may reuse their own code.
Final words to speed app development
At the end of the day, always remember you don’t have to choose between speed and quality. There are plenty of ways to help speed up the release of your new app or the latest generation of your current one without sacrificing quality or failing to meet your customers’ expectations.
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