How long does it take to develop a mobile app? An Israeli programmer created a social program Yo in 8 hours. It took Microsoft 3 years to release Office for iPad. A number of studies from Kinvey and GoodFirms are unanimous that an average mobile project takes 3-5 months. Is it possible to reduce global annual projects? And how to do it without compromising the quality of a custom mobile application?
Method # 1: Conduct market research.
A project with a planned course is going faster than a project with uncertain goals. Therefore, in order to speed up the custom mobile app development, it is worth starting with an analysis of the business aspects of the product. Marketing research ensures that the product will find a buyer on the market, will include basic useful functions and it won’t have to be redone regularly.
Before launching a mobile application development project, it’s necessary to:
- Identify business problems that the future mobile app must solve.
- Find out who the target audience of the product is to meet its needs.
- Create a product roadmap so as not to miss out on important app features.
- Prepare product requirements that will help plan the work on the project.
When you carefully plan the work, developers will not need to stop during programming to clarify some points. Programmers spend an average of 23% of their time on organizational meetings and correspondence. If you arrange the work on the project properly, developers will use this time to write code.
Method # 2: Work according to the method of lean production.
The pursuit of product perfection delays its release. If you want the mobile application to be released on the market in 1-3 months, create a minimum viable product (MVP). This is the basic version of the program, which includes the main functions. MVP is enough for customers to use it. And then the product generates revenue.
After the release of MVP, the business will begin to interact with the audience and understand how to develop the product so that it is interesting to users. The development will continue along the chain “create – get feedback – improve”. You will receive feedback from users and, based on them, connect new functions, and improve navigation, download speed, and appearance of the mobile application.
The value of an MVP is that you understand the customer’s reaction and requirements before you take the next step.
Method #3: Use a flexible development methodology.
It is more convenient to develop MVP within the framework of a flexible methodology. Agile allows you to release new features at intervals of 2-4 weeks, providing continuous development and testing. According to McKinsey, the flexible format of work reduces the time of product launch to the market by at least 40%.
Due to this, the teams come to such results:
- Testing takes place continuously. There is no need to stop before the release to check the mobile application for errors.
- Development is better controlled. A transparent work format and short release cycles help to manage the workflow. All tasks are tested. The team clearly follows the plan, eliminating the risks.
- The progress of the product is monitored regularly. Every sprint, the team analyzes whether it is on the right track and constantly improves the product.
Method #4: Create cross-platform applications.
When a business applies for custom mobile application development, it chooses which platform to develop it on: Android or iOS.
When you create a program for only one platform, you restrict access to it to another part of the target audience. Developing a product for multiple platforms is difficult, expensive, and time-consuming.
There is a solution that can speed up the process — the development of a cross-platform mobile application. This means that programmers will write the program code so that it can be compiled for execution on several mobile platforms.
As a result, after compilation, different executable files will be obtained. For example, for iOS — with the extension *.ipa, and for Android — *.apk. Development is faster than if you create programs for iOS and Android separately. The researchers calculated that the cross-platform tool saves more than 30% of project time.
Method #5: Create wireframes with low accuracy.
Wireframes are a visual plan of a mobile application, according to which developers understand how to organize it. According to them, programmers get acquainted with the basic and related functions before the start of SDLC.
Wireframes with low accuracy are just the tools that represent the overall vision of a mobile application in minimal terms.
Creating low-precision wireframes takes less time for mobile app development firms compared to high-frequency wireframes, where even small details are prescribed. They save time, money, and effort.
The issue of software design needs to be thought through before starting work. Otherwise, the programmer will have to rewrite code snippets, which will delay the release of the product.
Method #6: Automate testing.
Testing is an integral part of SDLC. Manually checking the quality of the product is difficult and time-consuming. And it’s not always possible to do all the work in a two- or four-week sprint. Therefore, the tester automates part of the tasks of finding bugs in order to speed up the product release to the market.
Custom mobile application development firms can run a set of tests simultaneously. It takes 28% less time to work (see infographic below) than with manual testing. When the QA team checks the application during development, it eliminates the time that would have been spent on testing at the end of the project.
Method #7: Hire experienced mobile developers
Although this item is at the end of the article, it is a priority. After all, only highly qualified specialists can carry out all the steps described above without delays, errors and failures.
Outsourcing mobile app development is the best way to speed up a project.
Why is it so:
- Economy. Hiring specialists who know how to work in Agile, create MVP, and automate testing is expensive and time-consuming.
- Experience. IT outsourcing companies offer full-cycle services. They know how to conduct marketing research, prepare requirements, design an MVP and create the product you need.
- Technologies. A mobile app development company has different technologies in its arsenal, so it implements the mobile solution in an optimal way.
Executives come to an IT outsourcing firm with expected product launch dates. But it is worth understanding that it is not your desires that determine the deadlines, but the requirements for the custom mobile application development.
The duration of the project is influenced by the type of mobile software, technology stack, team size, and budget. You can consult with an IT partner on the project deadlines and clarify how to shorten them.