Developing a mobile app is a difficult task, even if it is a seemingly simple product. Most customers come across the same typical issues, which are easy to avoid if you prepare for them in advance.
It is worth noting that most issues are caused by a desire to save money on one of the development stages, and this approach will eventually affect the quality of the final product.
In this article, we have put together a list of typical issues that most customers encounter based on our own experience, and we will try to help you solve them. If you are planning on developing your own mobile app, this article will help you avoid typical mistakes.
Issue 1. Choosing the Wrong Developers
Very few companies can afford to put an in-house team together to develop their product. It is quite expensive to employ qualified specialists, hiring takes time, and quite a large number of employees may prove necessary. The final result, however, could still be of poor quality, due to a lack of the expertise necessary for IT project management or the development itself.
Taking the above reasons into account, most companies make the decision to outsource their mobile app development. At this point, it is necessary to choose one of several options:
- Hire freelancers
- Turn to an IT company in your country
- Find a suitable IT company abroad, for example, in Ukraine.
For obvious reasons, we recommend against hiring freelancers, as the risks are too high. Cooperating with a company will be a more reliable option. We shared our tips on how to choose the right contractor in our article “9 Tips for Choosing the Right Software Development Company”, which we recommend you read if you haven’t already.
When you choose a contractor, never be guided by the principle “the cheaper, the better”. Choosing a partner on this principle will bring you all sorts of trouble. When creating a short list of potential contractors, keep in mind the average market prices and development time.
Issue 2. Incorrectly Estimated Cost
There are two extremes on this issue: excessive cost expenditure and insufficient assessment of the necessary budget. As a result, the project becomes impossible to complete for financial reasons.
To determine a cost that is as close to reality as possible, it is necessary to have a clear technical design specification. Without this information, the range of potential cost estimates will be wide, and good specialists will never talk about prices without prior analysis.
The cost to develop your mobile app depends on many factors, in particular:
- developers’ location (USA, EU, Ukraine, India, etc.)
- required app functionality
- native or cross-platform app
- required expansion resources.
We discussed these and other factors in more detail in our article “How Much Does it Cost to Develop a Mobile App in 2018”.
At Lvivity, when evaluating a project at the technical design specification stage, we always provide a detailed project estimate for you to understand the actual project cost.
Issue 3. Communication with Developers
Excessive bureaucracy or an attempt at total control may become a problem if the customer strives to fully control all stages of development. No one likes to spend time on bureaucratic hurdles and discussions of each individual step.
It is hard to find a contractor who will respond positively to things of this nature. There is a good reason for this, as true professionals know better than others how to do their job.
The other side of this issue is insufficient initiative on the part of the contractor and a non-transparent working model. An approach where the customer is guided by the principle that “we paid you money, and now you do everything yourself”, often results in a negative outcome.
What is the formula for efficient interaction with the contractor? A good project is not possible without a clear idea of what you want to get in the end. Therefore, it is extremely important to set the correct objectives.
It is crucial to identify the project objectives and its basic requirements. The contractor should work on the project based on a clear technical design specification using prototypes of app screens and a project execution plan.
Regular communication via audio and video channels, and, if possible, personal meetings are important factors as well.
Issue 4. Skimping on Testing
Any customer who has had to resort to emergency fixes to correct errors after release and a negative reaction from their mobile app users will never skimp on testing.
Ignoring the QA (quality assurance) stage or its unsystematic execution may lead to a situation when the time spent while debugging the app may be comparable to the time spent on its development.
If the contractor “just works”, skipping testing procedures in the product development process, users will experience errors, the damage from which grows exponentially. Moreover, at times, it would be better to completely rewrite the project code rather than correct all errors.
Testing should be carried out manually, semi-automatically, and automatically – these are the three testing classes, each of which is important in its own way.
Issue 5. Deadline Failure
This problem will most likely happen when customers decide to work with freelancers or a company employing insufficiently qualified specialists.
Inexperienced contractors unable to adequately assess the work may name a lower price and shorter timeframe. This happens because they do not fully comprehend all the complexities of the project and do not consider additional processes like the design, testing, acceptance, and technical support.
This happens because of an essential reason–a lack of sufficient knowledge in the field of software design and insufficient experience in developing a system architecture that is ready to scale. When evaluating the project initially, a six-month timeframe may well actually turn into a year.
It is possible to significantly reduce the risk of missed deadlines if the contractor complies with the release schedule and plans all the work stages necessary to complete the project beforehand. The plan also includes all the stages which must be completed prior to development, starting from the task description and technical design specification preparation and finishing with prototyping the screens of the app to be.
On their part, customers have to stick to schedules in coordinating objectives and the plan, and to make payments as specified in the contract in a timely manner.
Issue 6. Bad or Useless Product
This is the most serious issue, which can reduce all the efforts made on the project to nothing. Both sides are usually to blame, but the main reason for this situation is a mutual misunderstanding. Alternatively, this happens when each party solely pays attention to its own interests, unwilling to help each other.
As we already mentioned at the beginning of the article, the customer’s desire to save money by reducing app quality is another common cause of this issue. As a result, no one will analyze the audience needs or business goals, and the quality assurance stage will be completely neglected. As a result, the customer gets a product which does not work properly, its functionality does not have value for users, and it does not meet customer needs.
We proceed from the fact that our customers’ business goal is to earn profit. All projects are directly or indirectly subject to this. So, while working with customers, we strive to ensure that their profits sufficiently exceed their expenditures. That is why we devote a lot of time initially to our communication with customers to find out what result they need in terms of their business case.
If you are still looking for a reliable technology partner, please contact us, and we will help you make your ideas come true!