Recently we successfully launched a native iOS app for one of our clients.
Our customer was very satisfied with the performance, user experience and the overall navigation. Getting it to this stage was not an overnight job.
As is well known, building a well functioning app is something that many times fails the first time, after spending abundantly more time and money than initially expected and agreed upon.
It is important to be aware of the steps involved in making an app come to life, working as expected when launched. Ignoring these steps may sound like a great shortcut but most frequently results in launching an app with missing features, broken functionality and a negative user experience. Though these defects can be corrected in the next phase, this could easily double the budget in both time and expense.
- Setting goals and knowing your target group
This step is all about deciding on the app's purpose and who will be using it.
- Functionality brainstorm
Now that you know what your goals are and who you are targeting, it is time to decide what functionality you will include in the app.
Plan the development in two phases. The initial phase contains the features needed for the MVP (minimum viable product), while the second phase focuses on "bonus" features, elements that will make the app better, more functional etc... but are not really needed for the core flow of the application.
In order to make sure that your initial planning is correct, you need to validate your current information This means finding out if your target group indeed has need for your goals and if the functionality provided will take care of their need / wants.
- Cost estimations
Now knowing what we want to build, before starting we need to make sure that it can be accomplished in a way that fits the budget. Sometimes the budgets are minimal, in which case you are better off having an app that accomplishes the main goal with less features and gives the user an awesome experience. In other cases budgets allow for adding extra features which delivers a more well rounded app. In either case, count on a small buffer for extra cost. There are always items that weren't planned on in the previous steps that will have to be dealt with. The purpose of the these steps is to minimize the risk and allowing yourself a comfortable buffer.
- Set milestones
Ready to start building the app? Not yet, first we need to decide what the milestones are. When will each piece be delivered.
Do you want your app to be built properly? If so, you need to be part of the build process by validating functionality as it is being built. Yes, this requires some imagination because as the first pieces of functionality are presented it often looks nothing like your final app. But worry not, your project manager will explain exactly what functionality is being delivered at each stage, as well as, when to expect the next stage.
- Build an initial prototype
Now we get to start the build. But before we build the actual app, we first build a rough outline of it. Why? Because this way the actual app flow can be validated.
- Verify your flow
Now that all your steps are in place it is time to go through all previous steps and verify that everything makes sense, your features fit in the flow and your core goals are met in the prototype.
- Build the first MVP
We are now ready to build the actual app. Sounds like a lot of prep work to get started, but in actuality following these steps will make the whole process smoother while exponentially increasing the likelihood of you reaching your goal.
At Perry Systems, Inc we pride ourselves in not only being able to develop well built websites and applications but also in guiding our clients through the process ensuring they get the right product for their needs.