How to Plan a Mobile App Budget

Creating a budget for your mobile app is important because it helps you and your business stay on track. Not every app developer can evaluate each aspect of the app, especially the cost involved. This post gives you a brief overview of how you can prepare a proper budget for your app.

How to Identify the Purpose of the App?

One of the best places to plan the budget is to first identify the main purpose of your app. Let’s analyze some of the more obvious ones.

  1. You want to help your customers place an order at your store/website with an app. A good example of this would be Amazon, Wal-Mart, and Etsy.
  2. You have identified a unique money-making opportunity and you need an app to cash in on it. Examples include Uber, Airbnb, and Doordash.
  3. You want your clients to easily engage your customer service team members via an app. Examples include the McDonald’s App.

If you need a rough estimate on the development costs, talk to a professional app developer. You can also use our online calculator to get an idea about the costs.

How to Choose the Right Platform for App Development?

As a general rule, the more platforms you develop your app for, the costlier it will get. You can save costs by targeting the most relevant platforms for your target audience. For instance, there’s no use building an app on Android if your customers primarily use iOS. Moreover, it’s more complicated to develop on Android due to the level of optimization needed for each device.

If you’re running out of ideas, survey your customers to identify the devices they commonly use. It is also worth your while to check in with your competitors to see their target platforms.

Which is Better: In-House Development or Outsourcing?

The answer to this dilemma depends on your goals and specific circumstances. Outsourcing and in-house app development have their own pros and cons. For the most part, you should choose them based on your own unique requirements. In-house development makes it easier to closely coordinate with your team and give them instructions. Additionally, you can directly instruct your team about new features in real time.

It is worth noting that in-house development involves software licenses, salaries, employee benefits, and more. Your next best option is to hire an app development team on a project-by-project basis. This is an economical move since you won’t have to deal with salaries anymore, and finding appropriate software is no longer your hassle.

Of course, you won’t be able to closely coordinate every step of the development process and this is where project questionnaires come in. They let you quickly fill your new team in on project briefs. In fact, experienced app development teams like the one at NS804 will work closely with you to build your app. It helps to think of us as an extension of your in-house team.

How Costly Are the App’s Features?

It’s time to identify which features have to stay and which need to go. Run a comprehensive market survey of your potential customers along with their needs and pain points. You should have a list of features that are must-haves and nice-to-haves. For starters, most apps should cover the basics such as integration with third-party platforms, social networks, and in-app purchases.

Create an MVP to Cut Costs and Estimate Future Profits

If you’re working on a shoestring budget, consider building a minimum viable product (MVP) instead. There is no need to go into in-depth animation and complex UI/UX design. For now, it is important to get the app off the ground to gauge demand for it. Don’t sacrifice user experience! You’ll also get an idea about your projected profit and estimated income.

Building an app is an on-going process that requires a lot of time, energy, and effort. There’s usually no cookie-cutter approach to app building and no cut-and-paste template to work with. You’ll also need to set aside some budget for maintenance and regular updates.

If you’ve decided to build an app, then get in touch with the professionals at NS804.

 

How Much Does it Cost to Build an Event App?

The event industry is evolving at the speed of light and one of the best ways to capitalize on its explosive growth is building event apps. Building an event app could be a bit expensive depending on the features you add. The typical price for an event app ranges from $5000 to over $500,000 but, as the saying goes, you get what you pay for. To make things easier for you, we’re letting you get an estimate on the price of your event app here.

Over 85% of event planners will make use of event registration software to facilitate faster registrations. It’s all about giving audiences an unforgettable experience while maximizing the event ROI – the best of both worlds.

At least 75% of event professionals who don’t use event applications plan on adopting them sometime in the future. Your competition as an event professional will increase; the sooner you have an event app ready, the faster you’ll capture your target audience.

And before you get started on Facebook for your event planning needs, take note that it only serves as a valuable promotional tool to create awareness about the event. The actual registration, planning, coordination, and scheduling will be done through the event.

Problem is, it’s not easy to build a fully functioning event app. Even a ‘normal’ business app with fewer endpoints will cost anywhere from $100,000 to $140,000 depending on their features and functions. The risks and variables involved when planning and developing an event app are simply greater. There is a ton of information that has to be managed in real-time, requiring developers to exercise precision and accuracy – both of which take time and money.

Most event planners will incorporate the following set of features in their event app:

  • Information on the list of speakers
  • Constant news updates about the venue, etc
  • Report briefings
  • Accurate event scheduling
  • Interactive maps for the venue
  • In-depth information on event sponsors
  • Integration with social media tools
  • Ratings
  • … And much more

Depending on the event planner’s needs and budget, the event app may also come with messaging capabilities that allow participants to communicate with each other. Some speakers also like having the ability to ask attendees questions for constant feedback, which is best done with polls.

Every extra feature will add to the amount of time spent developing the app which, of course, adds to your total costs. Below are the main factors that will affect the cost of creating an event app.

Which Platform Should I Choose for My App in 2020?

What will you choose? A web-based platform or a mobile app? Or maybe both?

If you plan on porting the event app to various platforms, including iOS and Android, the development cost and time will increase based on your needs. For instance, the Android platform development efforts will take at least 200 to 3,100 hours. This may be expensive for some businesses especially if they plan on adding all the bells and whistles.

For the most part, event planners will likely settle with hybrid application development because it is far more affordable and allows at least 70% of the code to be reused on other platforms once it has been developed for one.

GPS Connectivity

Smartphone users are becoming increasingly dependent on GPS connectivity to guide them through busy roads and streets as they struggle to find their destination. This is why event apps must also incorporate map-based GPS services to help users. While users can just as easily swap out the app with a more dedicated tool like Google Maps or Apple Maps, doing so only adds to the hassle.

The best way to maximize user interactivity is to provide them with GPS connectivity built in the app. This obviously increases the development time needed to implement the new feature in the event app.

Event Agenda

Think of event agendas as the heart and soul of your event app. Event agendas are a great way to help your guests get to the event on time. This is an essential feature that your guests will use and depend on. Most events such as conferences and seminars are characterized by multiple breaks that often occur at the same time. Attendees need to know which ones they can attend and which ones they should cancel in case it conflicts with their schedule.

An event agenda gives your guests the ability to save sessions that they are interested in. It also gives them an easy way to view their favorite schedule. The last thing they want is to revisit an event or session that they already skipped before during their research.

Post-Event Surveys

Surveys help event planners measure the success of their event. Unfortunately, few event planners give due consideration to post-event surveys. In fact, at least 55% of event professionals believe they don’t properly measure the success of their events properly. This is where post-event surveys or feedback forms come in.

59% of event professionals listed down feedback surveys as the most important way to measure the success of their live event. All event planners want to know what features worked, what didn’t, and what went wrong. This is where post-event surveys come in. They let you collect honest feedback from guests who will be more than happy to voice their concerns and complaints if something goes wrong.

Once you have identified which areas of the app need improvement, you can start fixing themes right away. Most event professionals miss out on collecting this information because they send requests for surveys long after the event was held; at this point, fewer guests are willing to share their suggestions and feedback. To make your surveys quick and easy, give your guests the ability to send their reviews in real-time. It should ideally be done with a few taps instead of combing through long and drawn out questionnaires that waste their time. You can always add an optional section for longer reviews to let users share as much or as little of their feedback as they want to.

Social Features

No event app can survive without being well-connected with social media networks. This is the primary way to maximize user engagement and reach a large chunk of your target audience. Once again, users can always open another tab, window, or app to check their social media. But as mentioned above, most smartphone users would rather do this within the app to save time.

The best part about social media is that it is completely free of charge unless you are running ads. Adding social features to your event app will increase development costs and time. But this cost is definitely worth it since users will find it much easier to share information and post what they did at the event.

If possible, try adding support for multimedia features too such as photographs, videos, gifs, and more. Adding support for social media will increase your traffic as more users will download it out of curiosity.

API Interface Integrations

API interface platforms are extremely useful for event-based companies if they plan on selling tickets, merchandise, and collecting donations. APIs are responsible for point-to-point integration for the exchange of data, including payments. Once again, the idea is to provide access to users. This is best done by adding digital payment gateways so guests can purchase tickets without ever having to leave the app.

Adding this feature will obviously drive up the costs because of the extra number of additional hours and resources that your development team will put into API integration. The ideal event app should be compatible with most major payment processors including PayPal, Visa, bank transfers, and even cryptocurrency.

Offers and Discounts

Who doesn’t like having generous discounts that cut down the price by a significant margin? Most users love the instant gratification that comes with small discounts and the potential freebie. Instead of sending offers and promo campaigns into their inbox, you can send notifications directly through the event app. You’ll soon notice that customer loyalty will increase as users utilize more of your event services.

Conclusion

Can you make an event app at an affordable price while getting all your desired features? Yes, you can! The trick, however, is to find the right team to develop your apps at an affordable price that fits your budget.

If you are looking to create an event app for your business and wonder how much it will cost, then get in touch with our development team at NS804. We will offer you the best possible price while delivering superior event applications that will maximize your ROI.

 

How to Build an App That People Want (in 8 simple steps)

It’s official: most online users have an attention span of fewer than 8 seconds; that’s less than that of a goldfish. People want a solution to their problem and they want it now, like an impatient child at the toy store. It’s why Uber, Doordash, and Airbnb are so ridiculously successful because it takes mere seconds to make a booking and get stuff done!

All three apps reduce otherwise long and drawn out processes into a relatively straightforward booking; whether it’s a long commute, food cravings, or renting a place to crash for the night. The biggest indicator of success for any idea is instant gratification; because who has the time to wait?

So if your app can satiate the growing demand for instant gratification, then you have a market. But not all mobile apps become instant sensations. Users adore some apps and despise others. So, how can you build an app that people will want to use? In this post, we’ll unravel the thought process that goes into designing and building an app from the ground-up.

How to Build an App that People Want?

Step 1: Come Up with an Idea

Every good app must start with an idea. The app doesn’t have to be clever or reinvent the wheel. As long as it builds and improves upon an existing solution, it will resonate well with the target audience. Bonus points if it leverages instant gratification and speeds up an existing process.

Use a pen and paper to draw up a rough sketch of your app and what it should look like. Next, prepare a list of features for the app and divide them into ‘must-have’ and ‘nice-to-have’ categories. The ‘must-have’ features are essential for your app. The ‘nice-to-have’ features serve as a plus point, but they are not crucial to the overall user experience.

Step 2: Create an MVP

Once you have determined which features to include in your app, you can create a Minimum Viable Product (MVP). The MVP essentially focuses on the problem-solving features and the overall functionality of your app. All other items can be stripped or let out of the MVP to gain market exposure and gauge user demand. The MVP is the most basic concept of your app and lets you collect feedback early on. This will save you time when planning your next move.

Step 3:Design a Functional Prototype

It is good practice to make mockups or functional prototypes of your app to test with users on their phones. Simply put, a mockup contains the user interface, layout, and navigational flow of the app. It does not contain UI elements or complex color schemes. It merely gives you an idea of what the final app should look like without creating any distractions.

At NS804, we always use prototyping to help clients gain an idea about user journeys and to deliver a preview of what a final product may look like. No matter the scope of your project, having a functional visual reference makes life a lot easier. We often use Adobe Xd, Invision, and Balsamiq to create high-fidelity prototypes that look and work exactly how you envisioned.

Step 4: Get into Graphic Design

Once your project kicks off, it’s time to give more serious consideration to UX and UI. Both of these are often confused together in terms of app design. Simply put, UI stands for ‘user interface’. It is the graphical layout of your application and consists of the buttons users will tap to get from point A to point B, the text, images, text entry fields, sliders, and everything else the user may interact with.

This includes transitions, animations, layouts, and every tiny interaction on the app. This is mostly the job of UI designers who decide what the app is going to look like. They brainstorm ideas for the color scheme and button shapes, line width, and font size used.

In other words, UI is all about aesthetics.

UX stands for ‘user experience’. It defines how users interact with the app and all its assets. Is it a smooth and intuitive experience or clunky and cluttered? UX designers make sure that people efficiently accomplish the tasks they want to achieve without struggling. Success really comes down to how intricately woven the UX is with the UI – in other words, how easy or difficult it is for users to interact with the UI elements that the designers have created.

Improving UI and UX means going out of your comfort zone and investing time and money into graphic design. Your app should have high-quality graphics, crisp visual details, image assets, and even motion design- if needed. If you’re not very comfortable with graphic design, consider hiring an expert or using a graphics template.

Step 5: Hire an App Developer

Now that you have laid the groundwork for the app, it’s time to start building it. You can build iOS apps with Xcode to code in Swift or Objective C. You build Android apps with Android Studio. Consider using cloud-based servers like Kumulos Firebase to store data. Alternatively, you can seek a development company that has the right team to help you bring your ideas to life.

Step 6: App Analytics

Use Kumulos app analytics to measure your app’s performance. App analytics improves ROI in every aspect of performance because they allow you to create personalized, customer-centric apps. How users engage with menus, the time they spend on your app, the services that they like best, etc will help you optimize your app to drive up user engagement. There are many free and paid analytical tools that let you measure different user metrics such as the total number of downloads, app usage, bounce rates, etc.

Step 7: Conduct Market Research for the Perfect Launch

Like all products, your app will need a detailed analysis of your target audience. You’ll need to learn about their spending pattern and preferences. Even the most extraordinary of all apps will be of no use without if it doesn’t have an audience. Here’s what you need to ask yourself:

  • Who are my competitors?
  • Are there any alternative apps for potential customers to use?
  • What should I charge for the app?

Once you have the right information, you can optimize your app around your users’ pain points.

Step 8: Launch the App, Get Feedback, and Update

Prepare a suitable title for the app and submit it to the App Store and Play Store for review. Once Apple and Google approve your app, you go live. Now, your potential customers are ready to download and install it.

However, this isn’t the end of your app’s journey. You will still need to promote the app on social media and through PPC campaigns. Also, take user feedback into consideration and update the app accordingly. The best way to obtain feedback is by conducting surveys and interviews.

Building an app is an on-going journey and you will run into your fair share of ups and downs. The important thing is to stay on top of the latest trends and optimize your app based on user preferences.

Get in touch with the app development pros at NS804 to learn more!

 

Five of the Best Places to Find a Freelance Android Mobile App Developer

The industry for freelance Android mobile app developer is vast. It is hard to identify the right resources that can convert your idea into a speedy, user-friendly app. Here are five of the best places to find a freelance mobile developer.

1. Gun.io

Gun.io helps organizations expand their existing teams in a short period. On average, it can connect you with a reliable developer within 48 hours. The platform sources, vets, and compares the credentials and skills of numerous applicants for your team. It is an ideal platform for North American companies because 90% of its freelance community lives in the U.S. This means that you don’t have to worry about the common time zone issues associated with other platforms. You may have to pay somewhere around $75 and $150 per hour to an Android developer on Gun.io.

2. Hired

Hired is a job marketplace where employers compete fiercely to hire mobile developers. Due to the strict vetting process of the platform, only the top 5% freelancers managed to get hired. The platform saves a great amount of time for companies. It matches the skills and talent of developers with the job description. You can find several senior mobile developers with sufficient experience and expertise. Additionally, it provides freelancers for project-based, contractual, and full-time work. Overall, hiring is quite efficient and saves close to 50 hours for a job role. Additionally, you get to work with professionals who are well-versed in meeting deadlines.

3. Toptal

Toptal stands for Top Talent, and it allows only the top 3% of aspirants, who apply as freelancers, to join the platform. If you need the best developers, you can reach out to a pool of professionals who can deliver premium-quality work. Usually, Toptal is known to provide value for money—at times, you get more than what you paid for. There are two fronts for which Toptal has received positive feedback. Firstly, the platform is highly transparent, whether it is the fees or any other aspect of the platform. Secondly, it stands out due to its exemplary customer-oriented model. For example, a Toptal representative is always on the lookout to track the progress of your app. For part-time app developers, you need to pay $1000-$1500 per week while mobile app developers might ask for $2000-3000 per week.

4. Fiverr Pro

Fiverr is a well-known platform for developers looking for freelance work. It connects vetted software engineers with companies. Freelance Android mobile developers with the topmost ratings are given the ‘Pro’ status. This means that only 1% of candidates go on to achieve Pro status. Typically, employers post jobs worth $1,400 or more on this platform.

5. X-Team

On X-Team, you can find both Android and iPhone application developers for your projects. It screens programmers based on coding quality and performance, especially how fast they execute projects. Also, it evaluates if these professionals can tackle a wide variety of problems. This way, you can use the platform to form a talented and agile team. Moreover, with developers available for eight different time zones, the platform can serve organizations all over the world.

Consider These 4 Things Before Using an Offshore Team for Mobile App Development

The landscape of mobile applications and the cost of apps are growing at an astronomic rate. This development has sparked the creation of an extensive list of mobile apps all around the world. Every company is looking to develop a mobile app to connect better with its customer base.

Many businesses rely on offshore teams to create an app. The biggest reason behind the use of an offshore mobile development team is a steep reduction in the cost of an app. Although offshore software developers can turn out to be cost-effective, it is important to remain cautious of the pitfalls too.

1. Talent

One of the most common risks with offshore mobile app development is the uncertainty with talent levels. At times, you do get in touch with a coding genius, but in other cases, the developer might not turn out to be a klutz. Therefore, it is tricky to determine the talent of a mobile app developer residing in another country.

You may even come across a developer who recently went to a coding boot camp. Online learning is an excellent source of knowledge, but an app developer is not worth hiring if they lack sufficient experience in the field.

2. Schedules

The difference in time zones might occur as a minor hiccup in the beginning, but it can affect the project deadline in the long run. An overlap of work hours between offshore and onshore teams can range from two to four hours.

When offshore developers fail to contact with the onshore team, it does not bode well for the project. All teams require the opportunity to get to know each other and ask relevant questions. If schedules are not aligned properly, the focus is lost and teams stray towards bad communication.

3. Poor Communication

When offshore developers cannot communicate effectively online or on the phone due to linguistic barriers, it can severely diminish the chances of your app’s success. Make sure that, before you hire any offshore mobile app developers, you have a lot of conversations with them on different topics over the email, phone, and direct messaging.

4. Control

Frustrations are likely to run amok when you work with offshore mobile developers. It is hard to bring the customer and the offshore team on the same page. Deadlines, demands, and expectations are often set incorrectly. The onshore team might identify an issue with an offshore developer, but the offshore team may have reservations against such decisions. As a result, a developer might succeed in staying on the project even if the project owner is against them.

Moreover, legal action is a leading challenge. Laws and regulations might work differently in the country of your offshore developers when compared to the laws of your country. Therefore, in case of legal action, you can be at a disadvantage. Hence, certain risks are inherent offshore mobile developers who live in a separate jurisdiction.

Final Thoughts

Hiring offshore mobile developers is not as easy as some people think it is. There are many factors that you need to take into consideration. Although there are some triumphant cases too, they are few and far between. Therefore, it is recommended to have your app designed via a US-based development team. As such, you can send us a message to develop the next big app.

Where to Find the Early Adopters for Your MVP?

So you’ve recently designed an MVP, but what’s the next step? What should you do next? Now is the time to look for early adopters or your first groups of loyal users. However, most users don’t embrace innovations easily. Early adopters, also known as lighthouse customers, only make up 13% of the total user base. They offer valuable feedback that helps entrepreneurs refine and improve their apps in various aspects. Here are a few ideas on where to find the early adopters for your MVP.

1. Landing Pages

People who visit your webpage or connect with you through another online channel are often directed to your landing page. You can leverage this marketing strategy to explain the features of your products and compel your target audience to sign up. This way, you can use them to test your MVP.

Traditionally, landing pages get a bad rap. In many cases, marketers merely utilize them as email capture pages. On the contrary, when appropriately designed, they carry the potential to test your MVP thoroughly. For example, you can use them to find out which of your features are more popular between the two and how do your users view your pricing plans.

Kate Rutter, the Co-Founder of Luxr, believes that landing pages are an excellent means to “sell first, build later.” Although there are many promising analytics tools, Google Analytics is a smart choice. Use this tool to collect the visitor metrics of your landing pages.

Afterward, you can perform A/B tests to monitor the changes in your product. Observe how users react to your product specifics, such as when you add a specific feature.

2. Fundraising

Not many people are aware that Indiegogo, Kickstarter, and other crowdfunding websites are terrific platforms to attract prospective customers to your MVP. Many users determine the market response of an MVP by measuring how much funds did the company raise.

Pro-tip: Successful fundraising campaigns often involve rewarding people with incentives.

3. Explainer Videos

The correct use of text and images work wonders, but modern-day digital consumption is highly biased towards videos. According to HubSpot, 81% of companies use videos for marketing. Seek inspiration from the cloud storage giant Dropbox. Dropbox generated a lot of buzz when it sold its MVP via an explainer video. The 3-minute video demonstrated the functionality of Dropbox with easy-to-understand content. As a result, it spread across 70,000 viewers overnight. What made Dropbox’s MVP standout from the rest was that its video was more of a step-by-step guide than a marketing gimmick. As a result, user engagement soared.

4. Blogs

Blogs are one of the most popular tools to validate ideas of your MVP. You can flesh out your ideas and earn support from a community of readers and followers. This participation can help you gain further momentum and obtain customer feedback on your MVP development.

5. Digital Prototypes

Today, you can design prototypes, mockups, and wireframes on the web to showcase your MVP’s intended functionality. Make a dummy app and share it on your digital marketing channels. This tactic can allow your target audience to know what your MVP is all about.

Final Thoughts

The process of building an MVP is an intensive one due to its iterative nature, and it requires a great deal of energy and time. Therefore, it is essential to avoid getting bogged down because of irrelevant details and maintain your attention to create a high-quality MVP. Once you develop it, the methods mentioned above can allow you to acquire your first adopters.

How Long Does It Take to Create an MVP?

Up until the mid-2000s, when Nokia ruled the mobile phone industry, there were no “apps.” At that time, innovation meant creating desktop and web-based solutions.

However, with the rise of iOS and Android-based systems, businesses realized that they could use apps to improve their existing products and services. More importantly, this paradigm shift facilitated the rise of startups that specialized in app development. These mobile applications opened new avenues to address a wide range of issues.

Why Was MVP Necessary?

Interestingly, there were many failures among these success stories. Several companies allocated plenty of resources and time to design full-fledged apps. However, only a few of these apps went on to become successful.

Moreover, there was an investor dilemma involved. Startups founders needed to secure capital, but investors were reluctant to support them. It was due to the lack of a working solution. To counter this issue, app developers began relying on MVPs (minimum viable products) for their apps. An MVP is an initial working model of an app with basic features. It is meant to attract users by offering a unique proposition.

How a Food Company Used MVP to Their Advantage?

A few years back, a food delivery company decided to jump on the bandwagon of mobile apps. They began by first testing the waters to get feedback on their idea without writing any code. The idea was to create an app in which a household could update their weekly menu. In response, the company was supposed to deliver the required ingredients for that specific menu. So, they built an MVP and interviewed prospective customers regarding their preferences. This feedback was communicated to the chef, who would then procure the required ingredients. This entire process was both slow and expensive. However, it gave extremely important insights to the company. They learned critical details about their target audience and updated their solution accordingly.

How Much Time Does an MVP Take?

Kinvey surveyed 100 mobile developers to learn how much time it took to create an iOS and Android app. It revealed that, on average, an MVP took around 18 weeks or 4.5 months. Back-end development took most of the time, where developers worked tirelessly to build back-end systems. That being said, it is important to understand that all of these developers were working on different types of app. For instance, a startup that was making a global social media app required a lot of time to build an MVP. In contrast, a simple dictionary app did not need too much time for an MVP.

Ultimately, the duration of your MVP depends on the type of your app. You must divide your requirements into logical units and evaluate them accordingly. Interdependent tasks form units. For instance, if your app has a login screen, then you can measure each action on it separately. Consider the following example.  There are three primary user activities on the login screen.

  • Login with email – it requires a total completion time of 12 hours.
  • Forgot Password – it requires a total completion time of 7 hours.
  • Registration – it requires a total completion time of 11 hours.

 

Add up all these completion times. and your login screen will take 30 hours. Moreover, if you add Facebook or Gmail integrations, then your MVP time will increase. In the end, you can add the MVP times of all screens to get an expected idea of how much time your MVP takes.

Is It Necessary to Create MVP in a Short Period?

Although companies have realized the importance of MVP, they are not doing it right. Many managers force their developers to create their MVP within a short timeframe. They believe that quality is not essential in a “minimal” product. As a result, the output is negatively impacted, where software developers cannot follow the right software engineering design and practices.

A better strategy is to put your best into your MVP, even if it costs more time. To do this, you need to contact an experienced MVP consultant. Such a consultant will analyze your app requirements and suggest an accurate timeframe for the MVP of your app.

The Risks And Benefits Of Offshore Software Development

The Risks And Benefits Of Offshore Software Development

We live in an age of burgeoning technology – in an age where rockets are re-useable, cars drive themselves, and watches keep track of our pulse, it’s easy to imagine that developing a mobile application by partnering with an offshore development team would be easy to manage.

With VoIP technologies like Google Hangouts, instant communication platforms like Slack, and project management tools like Trello, it would seem that we’ve reached a truly global era in business and the development of products.

And in many respects, this is true – plentiful and vast industries exist today either due to the existence of global production and supply industries, or rely on the global market that fuels today’s global economy for resources, customers, or both. Many of the rare earth metals that make phones, watches, laptops, or virtually any electronic device come from regions in Africa or Australia – without a global supply line, none of us would have phones – or be reading this blog, for that matter.

What I’m trying to convey is that we do live in the future – it just isn’t to the point where we can collaborate on the level that mobile app development requires, while communicating on a global scale.

The myth of offshore development

There’s plenty of misinformation about offshore development – the main one being the quality of code. A good developer is a good developer no matter where they are or what language they speak (but they’d better know their programming languages) – offshore developers aren’t bad at what they do.

While it’s very true that applications developed by offshore companies can lead to unsustainable codebases, low-grade products, or un-deployable platforms, developers in India or Ukraine can be just as experienced (or inexperienced) as developers in Japan or the US.

The problem isn’t people – it’s the communication of ideas.

Complicated ideas and concepts are difficult enough to understand when they are presented to us in person – just think of how many companies today struggle with disseminating and promoting company culture amongst their own employees – communicating the “feel” of a company’s mission is a challenging task.

And with the addition of different time zones, and distances measured in the thousands-of-miles, communicating the high-level, detailed concepts that are crucial to the decisions of app development can become a nightmare.

So if you’re in the UK, hire a UK development team – and if you’re in Bangladesh, hire a Bengali development team. The most important preliminary step to a successful app is a throughly-vetted development partner; a company that you can trust to deliver a full-fledged product, and trust to understand the mission of your app.

risk and reward of offshore mobile app development

Research the risk & reward of offshore development

The benefits of offshore development

There are benefits to making use of offshore development companies:

  1. Cost: Development companies almost universally charge based on an hourly rate. Developers in countries with a lower cost of living will report lower hourly rates than high-cost-of-living countries. While a developer’s rate in the US may range from $100 – $150, a developer in Asia would range from $20 – $50. If managed properly, this can lead to significant savings.
  2. Quality: “Quality” could just as easily be listed in the “risks” section of this blog. By hiring an offshore developer that lives in a country with a lower cost of living, you stand the chance of getting a high-quality product for a fraction of the cost of a highly-skilled developer in your country.
  3. Cultural insight: This is the most substantial benefit to hiring an offshore development team. If you are targeting a market in Sri Lanka, you should hire a development team from the region. The insight the team will bring to the design choices of your app will help your app feel familiar to your specific audience, and increase its chances of market penetration.

The risks of offshore development

Despite these benefits, there are many more opportunities for the risks associated with offshore development to take hold.

  1. Hidden costs: While offshore development does come with a lower hourly rate, this is more often than not negated by the fact that development will usually take twice as long. The main reason for this is…
  2. Communication: Couple language barriers with high-latency internet connections and having a verbal conversation with your team in a different country, and communication can become a real challenge. Communicating the technical aspects of an issue a developer is working on can be downright impossible sometimes. For systems that require integrated maintenance provided from your own IT department, clear and efficient communication is a necessity.
  3. Management: For many of the same reasons as communication, managing an offshore team can be an organizational nightmare. It is recommended to hire a project manager that is local to your offshore team, and will work to bridge the time difference your development team and your company will experience.
  4. Data privacy, security, and governmental regulation: As unfortunate as it is, it’s necessary to be wary of IP theft when dealing with offshore developers, which makes it especially vital to throughly research your development partner. If a developer in another country steals your intellectual property, there is very little recourse available to you. Security and privacy are two other pressing concerns when utilizing offshore codebases – some countries’ intelligence agencies will work with developers to include backdoor access in order to extract users’ personal data for means of cyber espionage. 

Hourly rate, time, and scale

These are the variables to the equation for determining the cost of your app; the more time it takes to develop, the cost rises… the higher the hourly rate, the cost rises… the larger the scale of your app, again, the cost rises.

hourly rate time and scale to develop a mobile app offshore

Consider hourly rate, time and scale

When comparing the cost of developing an app using an offshore developer versus an onshore developer, the key factor is time. While an offshore developer’s hourly rate will usually be lower than an onshore developer, developing an app with an offshore developer is a longer process – sometimes adding two or three times the amount of total hours to develop. This discrepancy in development length is usually exacerbated by communication issues and time-zone differences, and in turn, significantly reduces the savings of the lower hourly rate of offshore development. 

By increasing your time to market, your app’s chances of success will lower, and by increasing the chances of miscommunication, your app’s codebase has the possibility of being less robust than an app developed onshore – leading to the necessity of almost immediately updating your app as soon as it hits the App Store or Google Play.

With these factors in mind, the cost of developing an app offshore or onshore usually even out – and while either option comes with their own benefits, the risk of miscommunication is a factor every CTO or team lead should consider when deciding between offshore or onshore app development.

MVP Waterfall vs. Agile In Mobile App Development

MVP Waterfall vs. Agile Method

Decoding the difference between the waterfall and agile methods in mvp development

Which is better the MVP Waterfall or Agile method? You may have heard these words come up in conversation if you are considering getting your MVP developed. Building the product which you have interpreted to your app development team is critical. Knowing how it will be executed really matters to have a successful MVP. 

So let’s dive in, before agile development was adopted most software products were actually developed using what is called the “Waterfall approach” Waterfall is also referred to as a “big design up front” (BDUF) approach. A key aspect of using the MVP Waterfall approach in mobile app development is that the team does not progress until the previous step is 100% complete. Meaning, no design happens until all of the requirements are defined, and no coding happens until the entire product is designed. (Olsen, 2015) 

Essentially it proceeds sequentially through a series of steps, gathering and analysis, system design, development, integration and testing, deployment, and maintenance, in that order.

Waterfall Model

The waterfall Model illustrates the software development process in a linear sequential flow (Source: sdlc waterfall model)

Conversely with the now popular Agile methodology, the product is broken down into smaller pieces that undergo shorter cycles of requirements definition, design, and coding. Unlike with the Waterfall method, the developers can begin to code before the design elements have been completed. Instead of following a rigid plan, Agile focuses on flexibility and promotes quick responses to change. 

Which MVP Method Is Better Agile Or Waterfall?

The answer to that question depends on the type of MVP. Typically the Waterfall method is good for larger projects or smaller projects that are very defined. Agile methods are great to get deliverables out to customers much faster. With the agile method there is also constant dialogue between the MVP development team and the customer. Yet this does not mean that the Waterfall method is not the way to go to complete the project. Depending on the type of project, this type of attention to detail and refinement is needed to create a minimum viable product which has the least amount of error known and unknown as possible. 

For example think about the mini-van, who could fathom sending a family down the highway in a not nearly completed mini-van MVP? Checking and rechecking the design and requirements with this kind of scope can make the MVP Waterfall method the best way to handle certain projects. However what is fantastic about the Agile process is in every stage the customer is front of mind. At the end of any Agile project, what you have is a working product that the customer can use. 

Breaking Down MVP Waterfall vs. Agile Methods Key Benefits

Benefits of using the Agile MVP Method:

  • The agile method is based on breaking down the project into smaller increments, the development team can react to changes in the market or other new information more quickly.
  • Your product reaches the customer earlier, meaning you can begin to start receiving customer feedback sooner. Which will assist with guiding subsequent product development efforts. 
  • A team can also reduce the margin of error if they are working on the project in smaller increments, allowing them to see issues as they arise much sooner than they would if they waited. 
  • The agile method encourages a mindset to software development focused on creating value for customers.
Agile Model

Illustration of the agile model (Source: sdlc agile model)

Benefits of using the Waterfall MVP Method:

  • Perfect for customers who know exactly what they want.
  • The waterfall process model is very simple to understand and use
  • Phases are processed and completed one at a time
  • Well understood milestones
  • The waterfall Model illustrates the software development process in a linear sequential flow. This means that any phase in the development process begins only if the previous phase is complete. In this waterfall model, the phases do not overlap. (source: sdlc, waterfall model)

Quick Note About The MVP Waterfall Method 

With the MVP Waterfall method it is important to note that once the project is underway and in the testing phase, it is very difficult to go back and change something that was not well thought out or well documented in the conception stage of the project. If you are going to choose the Waterfall method for the development of your MVP it is important that you remember to communicate any changes or new developments before going into the testing environment. 

For an entrepreneur or business owner who has a pre-determined set of requirements, knows exactly what they want from the mobile app they plan to have developed, the Waterfall method may in fact be the best way to go. The Waterfall method is also very useful with enterprise projects. 

If you are trying to decide which method will best fit your needs call and set up a consultation with us: HERE,  Let’s Talk!

Reported from Clutch – NS804 Apps’ client rating is 4.9 out of 5 stars

At NS804, our team of motivated engineers provides full-service mobile application development, specializing in native iOS and Android mobile app development. Since 2012, NS804 has produced more than 100 apps.

As a result of our dedicated service to customer satisfaction, partnerships, personalized digital strategy, and informed design, NS804 has earned a reputation for our tailor-made developments, according to Clutch.

Through Clutch, our clients have rated us a 4.9 out of 5 based on their experiences with us from their app development’s start to completion. Our firm, based in Virginia, strives to be your partner and your developer – when you succeed, we succeed – so your success is always our number one priority. Your input and vision for the app we help bring to life is highly valued by our team, as we aim to ensure that you understand the front and backend processes of your app.

Clutch, a respected Washington D.C. B2B business, ratings and reviews platform that provides firm suggestions and buying recommendations to a plethora of businesses through its ranking system based on collected objective client feedback, seeks to ensure that the best value is given through their in-depth analysis of this data.

Our past clients only have good things to say about their experiences with NS804, highlighting our responsive communication, pride in our work, guidance from start to launch, and a lot more.

In one of our most recent reviews, the founder of Carpe Diem Social LLC said, “[NS804’s] team does a great job of turning around last-minute requests,” showing our dedication to our clients and willingness to accommodate you however we can.

It’s feedback such as this that means the world to us – if there’s anything we can do to help our partners succeed, we’re on it.

Clutch Profile

The Manifest, a sister blog site of Clutch, featured our team in Richmond as a top 2 app developer in Virginia. We can help your business be one of the 32% of small businesses have a mobile app.

So what are you waiting for? Come create with us today. Contact us here.