We believe everyone knows that high-quality (!) software product development including mobile and web applications development requires deep technical knowledge, experience, team cohesion, and thoughtful management. The development process is rather complicated including lots of elements and factors necessary for project success. For your clear understanding we’ll tell you that the very custom software application development is just the third step starting only after special preparation stage.
High-quality software product development steps
1. Idea validation
Successful custom software application development requires great preparation work. It starts with client’s idea (and requirements) discussion and analysis. The most important thing there is to validate his ideas. Does market needs another fitness (as an example) application? Will is has something allowing it to stand out among a plenty of other apps? How to carve out a niche on the market? What is the target audience? How to make the product exactly for customers?
There come app stores research and target audience needs analysis. Look at similar applications, use and estimate them. Read users comments, take into consideration their wishes. Define popular analogues, carry out their analysis. Conduct users opinion survey. These steps are very important. They will help you identify features and functions that distinguish your product, those which the app must have for success.
2. Prototype and design creation
Now, when the main features of a future application are defined, it’s time for its prototype development. At the beginning we create wireframes which reflect both structure and features of the product, and then move to dynamic prototype creation (made with inVision).
This stage has great significance as it enables to visualise a future application and see how it will work. The prototype allows client to see the web or mobile app interface design on the phone prior to development process, as well as customers to test it.
3. Minimum viable product (MVP) development
Well, let’s start with the definition. It’s possible to say that a product with minimum of functionality, a minimum viable product, is the first version of the app with the most important features. It’s created considering budget and time for the development process. The point is that you receive a guaranteed high-quality working solution and test it on your target audience, defining what is to be improved and which functions should be added. And develop your product.
This approach allows you not only to save time (for example we develop MVP in 2 months) and money for the development, but also to create an effective application.
4. QA and stabilisation
The following stage of mobile and web applications development is testing (QA). Bags are defined and fixed and then product stabilisation is carried out: everything must be in perfect working conditions for the release. Usually it takes about a month.
5. Launch and marketing support
After “a hundred thousand checks” and assuring that the application is ready for the release, we launch it. Prior to this we create marketing plan or product promotion strategy. At this stage advertising channels are chosen, ASO is carried out (App Store Optimization – keywords, app description, name etc.) for markets (Google Play, App Store), users feedback is collected (wishes, comments).
Marketing support is undoubtedly is one of the most important elements of high-quality software product development process. Who will know about your cool application without lack of its promotion? Certainly, there are exceptions, but it’s a million to one chance. On the other hand, cases when the idea (or its realisation) is irrelevant, but due to the right promotion strategy the product gains popularity bringing profit, are rather frequent.
6. Further product development
After receiving a working solution and analysing users reaction, you can take down to further custom software product development: making improvements, implementation of new features… not so important (must-have) as when developing MVP, but necessary for creation not just good app, but a perfect one exactly for your target audience.
Other factors for success
1. Dedicated development team
Now we move to other elements necessary for your project success. We wrote at the beginning of the article that for high-quality mobile or web application development you need a combination of technical knowledge, experience, management and team cohesion. But there is more. For successful software product development the team must be fully involved in the project. That’s why dedicated development team model has gained such popularity recently. So, which benefits does it have?
Firstly, dedicated development team works on projects of only one client, from beginning to end, meaning better understanding of work as well as a greater cohesion.
Secondly, a client has the opportunity to fully control dedicated project team work, constantly know at which stage the product is, and also to test it himself. It ensures the development of what a client exactly needs.
2. Agile methodology
Agility, mobility and readiness for changes define Agile. This methodology ensures flexibility of communication as well as working process.
Necessary changes in the course of the project are easily made (in the very development as well as in requirements and specification), while a client receives a direct access to all team members. Constant communication with customer and tasks coordination for each project stage allow to reduce time for development and create a high-quality application.
More information about this methodology you’ll find in one of our previous posts about Agile in software product development.
3. Time and Materials contract
Time and Materials implies hourly wages of specialists (the principle you pay as we go). To some extent TM is inherent in Agile: it also means development process flexibility and readiness for changes (their implementation goes easily as contract conditions remain the same).
Result-oriented approach and the best solution search define TM resulting in successful software product development. There are no strict deadlines and worries related to changes in the scope of work, which, in turn, lead to changes in budget. Specialists motivation to do all their best increases.
Thus, Time and Materials practically always gives a better product.
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