5 ways to shorten your app development timeline

app development timeline

The simplest app can be built in just 20 mins, well, if you’re using a platform like Configure.it. If you’re starting from the ground up, it might take days, months or even years to develop a perfect app comprising all the functionalities and features that you had set out to deliver. Creating mobile apps for the prospect of your business is becoming important day by day. People are demanding more quality and efficiency. For a growing business, a mobile app is an excellent strategy to deliver a better user experience and to make sure that you retain all your customers.

One of my favorite quote goes something like this: “Time is money, and money we don’t have!”

I think this quote perfectly fits the definition of a business. Money, time, and results.

The amount of time that an app takes to develop depends on the quality that you wish to deliver. Screen size, resolution, speed, storage, and security; these are few factors that you have to invest your time in.

Time flies, and before you know it your development timeline has exceeded your worst fears and is chewing away on your investments. The more time an app takes to develop the more money it will take.

What can be done? How can you deliver a quality mobile app and also shorten your app development timeline?

What should you do?

I have some very simple solutions. I didn’t come up with these off my head, I took the time to do research and contact mobile app development companies that have a history of delivering quality apps while maintaining their development timelines.

Some things are unexpected and out of your reach, but, I assure you that your development timeline is in your hands. Have a look at some factors that can help you shorten your mobile app development timeline.

Sketching & Low-Fidelity Wireframing

Some designers start off with the traditional method of sketching out their website or mobile app interface screens on paper. You know, i always keep a notebook and pen at my disposal, so if I have an idea I can quickly jot it down before I forget about it.

Sketching down your ideas is a great way to visualize your mobile app, these sketches are called paper Wireframes.

After you have your ideas in order, developers recommend that you move on to creating a ‘Low-Fidelity Wireframe’.

Don’t know what that is?

Low-Fidelity Wireframes are used to visually represent the apps content. These Wireframes give a quick insight into how the content will look on each page and how it can be laid out to give a clean finish to the application. These visuals and content are static and only serve the purpose of showcasing the basic architecture of the app. Below you can see how a low-fidelity wireframe looks like.

How will wireframes shorten the development timeline:

You see before you dive into the developing process, shouldn’t you and your client be on the same page? Don’t you think your client and and team members should know exactly what you are getting them into?

Maybe they have an entirely different content strategy in mind or maybe they prefer a different layout. Low-fidelity wireframes will help everyone understand how the final product will look and function. You can get your ideas straight and subtract or add any features in the interface. Unnecessary confusion between your coworkers and clients is the best way to keep going back, erase, develop, and repeat. It’s a waste of time and money.

If you’re wondering why I’ve recommended ‘low-fidelity wireframes’ and not ‘high-fidelity’, the reason is that low-fidelity frames are simpler and generally require less effort and money. On the contrary high-fidelity wireframes are a costly and time consuming solution.

Do your Market Analysis and MVP

Before you start developing or even wireframing, you need to do the market research. Give about 6 weeks to perform the market analysis. Your analysis must be able to answer the following questions:

  •         Is there a market for my product?
  •         Does my product provide actual solutions?
  •         Is my product unique?

If you’ve checked out all the boxes then it’s time to move on to the next stage.

Furthermore, don’t wait to fully develop your app and then launch it. First, release a MVP (minimal viable product).

Building a minimal viable product will help you launch your app ahead of time, this means that you can make updates along the way and also collect information about user’s interaction. Select the most important features and have them out for your visitors.

You will get reviews and feedback which you can utilize to further improve the app.

Have a look a some successful apps that took the MVP approach:

Uber: Uber’s very first version ‘UberCab’ was simply released to gain an insight into user interaction and find & fix loopholes. Only after they received positive feedback did they decide to update more features.

Facebook: If you look back, you will remember how Facebook used to be and how much it has changed. What started out as a directory for Harvard University, is now the world’s most famous app.

Instagram: The first version of Instagram only allowed photo sharing with a few filters. Over the past years Instagram has integrated its app with a number of features such as boomerang, stories, and video options.

Take The Hybrid Approach

Hybrid app solutions such as Xamarin, react native, ionic, and AdobePhonegap can help you create a single codebase that works for more than one platform. If you develop a native android app it won’t function for iOS (you’d have to invest more money and time to develop apps for both platforms). If you develop a hybrid app it will function on multiple platforms.

Some companies release hybrid MVP’s to penetrate the market, once they have good feedback they replace the app with a native one for better performance.

Do Not Hire freelancers

You might be drawn towards the idea of getting an app made at a much lower price. Freelancers will charge you less, however, you can never be sure if they will deliver quality and they might not even give enough time to your project.

Hiring an expert mobile application development company should be your only option. Make it your only option.

Building a world-class app requires developers with expertise in different areas, one person cannot develop a quality application single handedly.

Experienced companies do much more than just develop an app:

  •         Mobile Marketing
  •         Graphic designers / animators
  •         IT strategists
  •         Security experts
  •         SEO/SMO
  •         Product Marketing
  •         Problem Solving
  •         Long-term relationship with a good agency means that you can secure your future projects to the agency.

Automated Mobile App Testing

Manual testing takes a lot of your time and yet you might overlook some important factors. It’s a boring process; you have to sit in front of a computer and carefully go through all the screens, various input possibilities, compare the output with the expected results, and repeat. Yet, it doesn’t ensure that your app will be %100 free of errors.

So why not opt for automated mobile app testing?

Take a look at some of the best app testing tools:

  •         Appium
  •         UFT
  •         Tricentis Tosca
  •         Eggplant

By opting for a speedy testing procedure you can save time and also be confident that your program is bug-free. Finding balance between market speed and quality is essential for developing a world-class mobile app that will draw visitors and convert them to your potential customers.

Conclusion:

The increasing competition in mobile app development companies demands shorter development cycles. Consequently, it’s better to start adopting new strategies to shorten the app development timeline.

If you’re only focused on speed then you will miss out on delivering quality, if your focus in entirely on giving the absolute best quality app then you will have to compromise with the lengthy development time. Try to find balance between the two.

Other than the solutions that I’ve proposed, if you’d like to add anything, feel free to leave a comment.

One thought on “5 ways to shorten your app development timeline”

  1. Thanks for sharing these tips.

    It is a lot helpful when you have a time limit to develop an app.

    Here I will share some more tips:

    1. Break the project down into smaller concrete tasks and prioritize
    2. Avoid procrastination and eliminate distractions
    3. Take regular breaks and exercise
    4. Batch similar tasks

    Here are some things you should not do:

    1. Giving too much workload by assigning more than one project to developers
    2. Don’t equate hours in the office to productivity. Take it easy.
    3. Don’t rush to do a rewrite because the devs think its the only way. There is almost never ‘one and only way’.

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