So, you’ve decided to start your own mobile application development and you’re full of ideas? Marvelous! But, as always, there is a problem. For example – you have tight budget. Today we’ll talk about how to cut your expenses on mobile applications development without any quality loss. Let’s start!
Option №1: be specific about what you need
Software developers love detailed requirements. And so do we! Before starting your mobile applications development, try to come up with the most detailed requirements list possible. Sadly, there’s no developer that can read client’s thoughts (it would be cool, though), so if you’re not specific with some of your application’s features, the development team can misinterpret them. And if you don’t like the result, there’s only one way out – to re-do all those features. But if you are tight on budget, you’ll have to embrace it. Therefore you have to think ahead and give the development team all the specifications they need for the features you need.
Option №2: implement only those features that you need
Think big, start small. If you can imagine your app without some features, it means that those features are not so vital as they may seem to be. And if some features are not so necessary for your application – don’t waste your time and money on them. At least, not now. Agile methodology allows you and your team to add those features later, when the application itself is out there in AppStore/Google Play. Those features will only distract your team from really important things and increase your development expenses while not giving anything particularly useful for users. You can learn more about implementing only useful features in our blog post on lean startup methodology.
Option №3: outsource
When you’re talking about a software development cost, you can’t ignore offshoring and nearshoring. Those can significantly save you money, but there are some things that we should talk about. If you’re looking for an offshore development company, you should search for it in those countries which have similar mentality and business ethics, as it will greatly simplify your communication. Also, don’t go too cheap on your custom mobile app development. Cheap price equals bad quality – that’s an axiom. It’s better to look for something average – not too cheap, not too expensive. Quality gap between “expensive” and “average” is quite slight, but it’s really significant when you compare “average” and “cheap”. “Cheap” can also be dangerous for your project. Sometimes your team can underestimate the time needed for your mobile applications development. Surely, it may happen because of an unskilled project manager. But it’s also possible that they’re trying to cheat you. Their time estimation will allow them to make 50% of your app. But now you have no options but to pay. Well, unless you’re willing to develop the app from the scratch once again. With that said, try to avoid development companies with unbelievably low prices.
Option 4: test your software, communicate with your team
It’s not a secret that you do need to test your applications. It goes the same with mobile applications – the more, the better. Certainly, your team might have their own QA-department, but no one knows your project better than you do. Try to test every new build of your custom mobile app, if possible. It’s much easier to fix all the issues and bugs when they are “fresh”, rather than trying to fix everything after application’s release. Also don’t forget that you have to communicate with your team. Just like with testing your app – the more you communicate with your project manager, the better your team will understand your ideas. Therefore it’s most likely that developers won’t have to fix anything in the first place.
Option 5: use design guidelines
Fancy design. If it’s not a must for your application, don’t waste your time on it. Luckily, both Apple and Google have their own mobile design guidelines. While using them, designers can create a beautiful and user-friendly interface and spend less time (and money, obviously) on it, than they would spend on creating exclusive interface elements.
Option 6: use dedicated project team
If you know that your development cycle is going to be really long, you should consider hiring your own dedicated project team. The team working on the project from the very beginning to the very end will definitely do a better job than a team that picked up your project on the support stage.
There are plenty of pros in hiring your own dedicated development team:
Option 7: one project – one team
Find a company that provides a full-stack development cycle (application’s logic, development, design, etc.). When there are several teams working on a single project in different cities (or even countries), project’s communication and coordination can easily turn into a constant headache. Different time zones, business ethics, work processes – all of these are working against you and your project. All those communication difficulties can turn into great additional expenses.
Option 8: don’t rush the project
Be realistic about project’s deadlines. Don’t push your team too hard, as no one likes to work under constant pressure – everyone becomes nervous and overall work quality drops. And when there are a lot of bugs in the project, QA turns into that huge time and money drainer.
Option 9: native apps
It may seem surprising, but if you want to save your budget on custom mobile app development and release your mobile application on several platforms, you should go for multiple native apps instead of cross platform app. Yes, cross platform application development seems to be cheaper than native apps, but it’s not the case. There are only several situations when cross platform application development is the best choice. In all other cases the frustration is inevitable – cross platform app works much worse that its native analogues developed for specific mobile OS. Eventually you’ll still have to start native mobile app development and that’ll be a huge boost for your expenses.
There are lots of other ways to cut your development expenses for sure. The issue is that some of them will hurt your project’s quality, while the others will slow the project down. Even if you have no issues with the budget you still can follow some of those advices we’ve mentioned above to cut your mobile application development costs. And we’ll be happy to help you turning your amazing ideas into life! Until the next time!
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