Something we run into at Big Fish is the many myths surrounding custom mobile app development. Since making decisions based on myths never leads to a good outcome, let’s clear up some of the most pervasive ones.
Here are five of the most common myths we encounter, and the realities that will help you become a more educated custom app customer.
Myth #1: Custom app development is quick and easy
Some companies approach Big Fish about an app and have an overly simplistic view of the process.
The idea seems so clear to them that they assume developing it should be “quick and easy”. To the contrary, developing a custom mobile app for business is not a quick and easy proposition.
Don’t get us wrong, by no means should your development team be spending a year before you have a product ready to market-test or launch as version one. But, if an app is worth building, it’s probably not simple, quick or easy.
For help getting a general sense of the time involved, we recommend these blog posts that focus on the subject of time.
The more prepared you are going into the process, and the more experience and expertise the development team has, the less time the design and development will take.
Myth #2: The more features the better
When you try to stuff as many features as possible into an app, you create a design and development process that takes longer, costs more and yields a product that is usually less intuitive to use.
A more effective approach is to figure out during the discovery process which features are absolutely necessary and build version one of the app around them. Anticipate future versions of the app and plan to add features to those versions.
This approach helps you do three things:
- Keep the costs and time requirements in check
- Get the app to market faster
- Ensure that the app is always evolving and staying current
Limiting your app’s features to only those that are essential today, and planning for the future, increases the likelihood that version one of your company’s app will be a success.
Myth #3: Any experienced developer can create an app
This is a misconception of mythical proportions.
The truth is that app developers worth hiring have spent years practicing the craft of writing code specifically for apps. In fact, the unique requirements of the Android and iOS platforms often lead developers to specialize in one or the other.
Myth #4: A custom mobile app is no different from a generic mobile app for your industry
This may surprise you to read – if there is already a generic mobile app for your industry, that does exactly what you want it to, use it. You can save a lot of time and money that way.
That said, a custom app is very different from a generic app for a number of reasons, including:
- It’s designed to work exactly as best suits your users, making them more productive
- There are no extra features that might confuse users and make it harder for them to use
- Unlike with a generic app, there is no licensing party with access to your data
- Because you own the app, you have control over how it evolves in alignment with your business
- Your business will be seen as a technology leader because you own the technology
- You can sell the app, either on its own or as part of the company, because you own it
At Big Fish, our customers have specific needs that can’t be met by a generic app.
Myth #5: Custom mobile apps are too expensive
Custom mobile apps require a significant investment, but are they too expensive? That depends on the app.
When weighing the estimated cost of an app, there are two considerations that will help you decide whether or not the quoted price is too expensive. Both are important.
Consider your anticipated return in terms of any or all of the following questions:
- How much will streamlining your operations save you in time and money?
- Will time savings allow you to expand your team’s current workload?
- What’s the value of making it easier for customers to do business with you?
- Will the new app make it easier for you to sell your services?
- How much will the app increase your company’s value when you seek funding, partners or a buyer?
Measure the cost of not developing the app:
- Will you fall behind your competition?
- Will your industry see your brand as one of the crowd, instead of as a leader?
Apps that are not essential and don’t deliver a return are too expensive. All others must be considered on a case-by-case basis.
How many of your myths are now busted?
Don’t feel bad if you believed one or more of these myths was true. Now that you know the truth, you’re better prepared to start the process of developing your company’s new custom application.
Getting ready to start the process rolling? Big Fish would love to speak with you about your project and how we can help.