There are a number of considerations you should keep in mind as you’re preparing to develop your mobile app. These points are especially vital when it comes to the actual development process. Many mobile development companies—7T included—utilize a phased development process, as this is typically more effective and productive. It’s also crucial that you choose a trusted partner to oversee your app build and future maintenance.
Choosing a Trusted Mobile App Developer
When selecting a mobile app development company, you should look for a developer who can provide service for the entire life of your application. App development should not be viewed as a one-time event or a one-time expenditure. Rather, it’s an ongoing project, with the frequency of app updates varying according to the precise nature of your app.
So what questions should you ask? And what considerations should you be keeping at the front of your mind as you explore your options?
- What is the developer’s specialty? Each developer has certain areas they specialize in, so find a firm that specializes in the specific type of app you need. After all, a medical app that must be HIPAA-compliant, secure and user-friendly is going to be very different (in terms of form and function) compared to an e-commerce shopping app or social media application. Therefore, you’ll need to choose a firm that can meet your needs in terms of form and function.
- What is the developer’s philosophy? Each development company has its own philosophy, and this will impact how your development project progresses. What development methodology does your company utilize? How do they get to know you, as a client, and your needs? Do they take a client-first approach, as 7T does? Our philosophy is to first focus on your business first. Then, we architect an app interface that effectively meets your needs while increasing revenue, saving money, streamlining operations or some combination of the three.
- What is the development timeframe? The development timeframe can vary depending on the firm’s size and level of expertise, so make sure your developer can craft your app by the necessary deadline.
- Are there any considerations regarding intellectual property? Many app development companies write their contracts in a precise manner that allows them to retain the source code. The source code is what comprises your actual app, so it’s important that you have access to this code if there’s a possibility you may take your app to another developer for maintenance or updates in the future. You’ll also need to consider the issue of ownership in the event that you pay a development firm to create an innovative and proprietary new functionality or feature. This sort of technology can be quite valuable, as there is potential for resale. You don’t want to end up paying for a proprietary new app, only to find that the developer re-sold the technology to a competitor. To avoid this, be sure you’re buying full rights and ownership of the technology in question.
- Can your developer help over the lifetime of the app? Changing developers can be a tremendous ordeal, as it’s more challenging for a new developer to pick up where another person left off. For this reason, it’s ideal if you have someone who can assist you throughout the lifetime of your app. Remember, you’ll constantly need to update the app in response to new operating system updates, security threats and other factors. And, of course, if you have other features or functions you’d like to add, those updates and improvements will need to be considered as well. In all, you can expect a higher quality app when you have a single development firm handling the project throughout the app’s entire lifetime.
It’s also wise to inquire about how your developer handles transitions in the event that the firm only handles development and not maintenance. In this case, you would need to switch to another developer who could assist with maintenance and app updates after the initial build.
Why Should I Choose Phased Development?
As you’re examining your options for hiring a developer, you’ll want to seriously consider phased development, which boasts the following benefits:
- Phased development ensures a higher quality build since you can enjoy functionality sooner (versus waiting for the entire build to be completed). What’s more, you gain valuable insight from users who interact with the first version of the application. This means you can take useful feedback on board to build a better app, faster.
- Phased development allows for more manageable costs, as you won’t need to come up with the fee in one large lump sum. Instead, the app project is typically paid in increments, as each phase is completed. This also allows for a more effective monitoring of progress.
- Phased development can be more engaging for users because you’ll be rolling out new features and functionalities after the initial release. This is more exciting for users, and you can market the app as a fast-evolving, up-and-coming app—something that can generate lots of buzz.
- Your new app will be in line with the latest app version. There are few things more frustrating—and costly—than developing a brand new app, only to discover that a new operating system version has been issued just before your release. When you opt for a phased implementation, you can proceed knowing you’ll be creating a current, ideal version on the first pass.
What Are the Phases of Mobile Development?
MVP: Minimum Viable Product
When you leverage a Minimum Viable Product (MVP) development strategy, the goal is to develop the core elements of your app first so it can be released as soon as possible. Then, you add to the app incrementally. There phases of an MVP approach are as follows:
- Phase One – In phase one of the MVP mobile development process, your developers will create the initial version of the app with all the basic, essential functions.
- Phase Two – Phase two of the MVP mobile development process involves updates and the addition of more advanced features.
- Phase Three and Beyond – In phase three of the MVP mobile development process, your developers will focus on creating additional functions and features, which are often issued in response to user feedback and demand. A larger, more complex application might require the roll-out of multiple phases, each with a new set of features.
Delving into the mobile app development process can be exciting, but proper planning is required to ensure you make the most of your time and your investment. At 7T, we take a client-first approach in everything we do. We focus foremost on your needs and requirements, then we architect a solution that will help you achieve your goals. Our offices are based in Dallas and we also maintain regional offices in Houston and Austin. But in addition to serving clients throughout Texas, we also work with clients from all regions of the nation. We invite you to contact us if you’re ready to discuss the development of your new mobile app.