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Developing An App Fast: 4 Best Practices

| September 29, 2020

Building an app is a time-consuming process between the preliminary planning to the actual development process – with that said, there are tricks to developing an app fast which can jumpstart your earnings. The faster your application gets to the market, the sooner you begin to meet your business goals.

Here, the word “fast” (being a relative term), means getting your idea to the production stage quicker than the norm. Because it’s our business to know the intricacies of the entire process, we figured we could shed some light on tactics used by the best in the business to get results. Without further adieu, let’s get started!

The 4 tips to developing an app fast

Rushing app development gets bad results but moving efficiently can produce exceptional outcomes. By following a handful of best practices, you can get your app to market as fast as possible.

1.) Don’t over plan your app.

Of the few points we’re going to hit, this is one of the most important to follow. It’s easy to get lost in your ideas like a child building up a fantasy world for a game they’re playing with their friends. Unlike childhood playtime or a game of D&D with devout players, too much imagination will stifle the entire process.

Planning will, hands down, be the most time-consuming process of developing an app which is ok, at least to a point. If you get too wrapped up in envisioning the future you’ll lose sight of the preliminary goals that are necessary to get an app off the ground.

Rather than getting lost in thoughts of grandeur and otherwise, create a plan like you’re a novice building your first home from the ground up. To build a house, you’ll need a foundation first, followed by floors, walls, and infrastructure for plumbing and electrical. Sure, nice tile and amenities will make for a great bathroom but these are things that come later. Like when building a home, structural design flaws will lead to a lack of usability, requiring a time-consuming overhaul down the road.

2.) Focus on the MVP.

In conjunction with the point above, the main focus needs to be getting an MVP to market. Developing an app fast starts with planning the entirety of what an app should be – during your planning, it’s ok to think about all the features you’d like to have but understand that it’s just not viable to pack year’s worth of development into a first iteration. Plus, there’s an order to the process that needs to be minded.

This is where the Design Sprint process comes in handy as it allows a development team to create a prototype of the MVP in a single week. The prototype is tested with a small number of users which will reveal both what you already figure to be true as well as uncover some unknowns.

To build on the house analogy, you can’t spruce up a bathroom when you’re still in the framing phase. The idea is to have a functional bathroom so the toilet needs to flush, water should run from the faucets, and the room needs to be built to withstand lots of moisture. Only when the basic functionality is there should you move forward with dressing up the room. 

Contrasting home construction, in app development, you’ll often find that some of the “pipes” and “wiring” need to be shifted to solidify the underlying operation. Getting this right early in the building process saves both time and money as reworking the app foundation down the road can be crippling for an organization.

3.) Use low-fidelity wireframes

Your prototype doesn’t need to gleam like the final product. Test users should treat this preliminary version of an app like a living floorplan.

Again, imagine you’re building one from the ground up. It’s one thing when you’re looking at the numbers on paper versus actually standing in a room. Think about how much easier it is to visualize, say, a living room space while standing in it (whether the drywall is up or not) versus reading the specs.

A prototype doesn’t need to have all the flair of a final app, it simply needs to have the infrastructure of the final MVP and mimic the functionality. A low-fidelity wireframe acts as a modular, modifiable living model of a home that showcases the specs, much like standing in an unfinished new development. Thankfully, if it’s discovered an app needs to be altered from a fundamental level, it’s much easier than tweaking something – literally – as concrete as a house’s foundation!

4.) Manually test your product.

It almost sounds counterintuitive to suggest moving away from automation but this isn’t the case when developing an app fast. Some of the testing processes should be automated with high-performing tools but this only covers testing the integrity of code as there isn’t a product on the market that can capture the human element that determines how something “feels.”

Let’s say you’re shopping for a new home and find two houses with the exact same specs but with different layouts. Certainly, one will stand above the other because of how the home flows.

Though software testing has come a long way in recent years, it can’t understand how an app feels to a user, much like when examining a house during a showing. An app can function perfectly but the design (namely, the layout) can hinder an otherwise well-performing application, just as a house with a weird layout is uncomfortable.

Manual reviews from human eyes and hands will uncover subtle nuances to an app that would otherwise be missed from even the best AI-driven testing platforms. Direct human feedback in the early phases of an app will allow developers to make changes to an MVP much faster than fixing awkward elements down the road.

We build exceptional apps with efficiency 

Blue Label Labs understands the balance of quality and speed – truly, both are required for our customers to succeed. We partner with you on transformation and growth opportunities to achieve your goals faster. To learn more about our app development process, go here then fill out the form to get started. 

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