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magento & ecommerce

How to Speed Up the Development Process for a Mobile App

With consumers now spending upwards of five hours each day using their smartphones, it has never been more important for a business to have a mobile app. A quality app can engage smartphone users, leading to more sales and increased desire to interact with the business.

However, speed is of the essence in such a quickly evolving industry and it is far too easy for mobile app development to get bogged down with issues that can prevent the app’s release and potentially result in consumers choosing alternatives.

Thankfully, there are a few things that businesses and developers can do to speed up the mobile app development process.

Employ the Agile Methodology

Using the Agile methodology, a business can develop the basics of a mobile app with the aim of adding the extras that keep users engaged later on. This has led to the rise of the Minimal Viable Product (MVP) concept, through which businesses release apps that address the core needs of their consumers, thus giving them a reason to download the app while gaining feedback on additional features that can be implemented later in the development cycle through the Agile methodology. However, an app created with MVP in mind still needs to be functional. Half-finished features demonstrate a lack of effort on the part of the developer and disengage the user, achieving the opposite of what the MVP concept should aim towards.

Use Wireframes

With consumers now spending upwards of five hours each day using their smartphones, it has never been more important for a business to have a mobile app.  With consumers now spending upwards of five hours each day using their smartphones, it has never been more important for a business to have a mobile app. A quality app can engage smartphone users, leading to more sales and increased desire to interact with the business.  However, speed is of the essence in such a quickly evolving industry and it is far too easy for mobile app development to get bogged down with issues that can prevent the app’s release and potentially result in consumers choosing alternatives.

Instead of diving straight into the development process, create low-fidelity wireframes to establish the app’s layout and how users will navigate from one section to the next. Doing so helps developers identify navigation gaps and provides user-interface designers with more information regarding user flow through the app and how to optimize towards the needs of the app’s users. Without these early wireframes in place, you run the risk of hitting issues midway through the project, causing delays as the entire app is redesigned to account for the problem.

Keep it Simple

Mobile app development revolves around simplifying the design to allow for maximum access to useful content with as little clutter as possible. Complexity often leads to rejection by users, especially in cases where navigation bars and menus are a struggle to work through. Design with the aim of making app usage as simple as possible at all stages and you will save time that would otherwise be spent on boiling down complex designs to their core elements.

Leverage Outsourcing

In cases where your development team does not have the expertise required to create certain app features, for example, if the team is experienced in Android app development but needs to convert an app for Apple device users, leverage outsourcing. In such cases, the design and planning for the app will already be complete, allowing the outsourced company to focus on development and thus get the end product finished as quickly as possible. Beyond that, consider how you can use applets to complete the non-core functions relevant to the app, thus saving time on coding.

Consider Hybrid

Those looking to release apps across multiple platforms should also consider hybrid solutions, such as Adobe’s PhoneGap, which allows for the creation of a single set of code that can run across all required devices. Unfortunately, such solutions tend to lag behind native apps when it comes to animation quality and memory optimization, meaning the technique is best used by businesses that want to build an audience for the app as quickly as possible while simultaneously working on native apps to be released later for a better user experience.

Use Automation

With consumers now spending upwards of five hours each day using their smartphones, it has never been more important for a business to have a mobile app.  With consumers now spending upwards of five hours each day using their smartphones, it has never been more important for a business to have a mobile app. A quality app can engage smartphone users, leading to more sales and increased desire to interact with the business.  However, speed is of the essence in such a quickly evolving industry and it is far too easy for mobile app development to get bogged down with issues that can prevent the app’s release and potentially result in consumers choosing alternatives.

Testing is a key area in mobile app development and often among the most time-consuming. Thankfully, there are ways to automate some aspects of the testing process, with various software available to help developers run tests simultaneously that would otherwise have been conducted individually. As is always the case, this use of automation should not go so far as to lessen the developers focus on the testing process. Instead, it should be used as a tool to speed things along while ensuring testing is still rigorous.

Achieving Quality Faster

Assuming your mobile app delivers what it promises, a lot of customers will forgive a few missing features and will be happy to wait for later iterations to incorporate them. As such, developers can leverage these expectations using the MVP concept to deliver their basic apps quickly, employing the Agile methodology to retain engagement over time.

The key to quick app development lies in keeping things simple. Create designs focused on providing users with a fast flow, use external tools and outsourced companies when you can, and utilize automation to your advantage wherever relevant.

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By interactivated • on July 20, 2017

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