Blue Label Labs begins each project with a Discovery, Planning & Design Phase (Phase One). First, we determine the proper technologies and development schedule. Second, we start drafting user stories which are simple one-liners that outline the activities your users will need to be able to accomplish within the app. These user stories then get grouped together into meaningful features and feature sets. Third, our design team sets out creating black and white wireframes to illustrate how a user will move through the app (i.e., the user experience, UX). Fourth, we transition to full color illustrations/designs that have the final look and feel of the app (i.e., the user interface, UI). Fifth, the app designs are then uploaded into a prototyping platform called Invision that allows our team to create tapable and swipable “hotspots” so that you can show the app on your phone or via a mocked-up phone in a web browser. At the same time, we draft a Functional Specification document that details the technical hows and whys of the project for the development team. Once that work is complete, we them move on to the Development Phase (Phase Two). The development/engineering team works hand-in-hand with the Program Manager and follows the wireframes and the Functional Specifications to build the app. Our first development goal is the First Deliverable milestone—we call this D1; this is a highly functional build of the app that contains a subset of features agreed upon by Blue Label Labs and the client. We then begin an iterative process of finalizing the remaining features. At the same time, a QA Team builds a full test plan for the app. The QA Team continually performs functional and regression testing on the app, reporting issues to the Project Manager.
Typically for our average 3 to 4-month project, the Phase One: Discovery & Planning and Design lasts for approximately 3 to 4 weeks, with Phase Two: Development and Testing Phase occupying the remaining 2 to 3 months. At the end of the Phase Two, the final app is prepared for Deployment. Deployment involves moving any web services and server side components to a production environment and submitting the app to the relevant app store(s).
If we were in full-swing on a new project, a client can estimate a cost of between $3,000 and $5,000 per week ($12,000 to $20,000 per month) for the effort—typically billed bi-weekly. If Blue Label Labs is handling everything from Discovery, Planning & Design through to Deployment in an app store, total app costs average about $80,000. That said, it very much depends on the complexity of the design and development required for each individual app, we’ve completed full apps at costs of between $25,000 (a bare-bones, simple MVP/prototype) and $200,000 (a full featured, enterprise-level app). We provide free, no commitment estimates to clients.
A 30-day free maintenance and warranty period begins as soon as the app is submitted to a app store. The Blue Label Labs team monitors the app store reviews and deals with any issues, questions, delays or approvals that arise. We have a great track record with app submissions and make sure that the app submitted is highly likely to be approved without issue. Post approval, the 30-day warranty continues to cover and small issues, minor app edits (e.g., color, image or text changes) and any bugs that might linger.
At the end of the project, we will transfer all source code and project files to you and you will remain the sole owner of all IP in the app. After that time, we provide our services at an hourly rate of $120/hour for ad-hoc updates or at an hourly rate of $100/hour for a mutually agreed upon set number of hours in a 6-month retainer. The monthly maintenance cost for the average app is $1,500/month: in other words, a retainer of 15 hours per month at $100 per hour equals $1,500/month and guarantees expedited service vs. ad-hoc requests.