Tag Archives: product development

Finding the right developer for your product

It can be challenging to form a team or find a person you are comfortable working with, especially when you are a startup and you do not have much connections. But, a right approach can put you in contact with your ideal professional.

Have a technical Co-founder

If your company requires core technical work, it is better to partner with a technical co-founder. You can also hire a Chief Technology Officer (CTO) with sufficient experience and necessary connections. He ensures that the developers provide the services promised without compromising on the quality.

Connect with the development community

It does not matter whether you are a developer yourself or just hire developers, it is always beneficial to stay connected with the development community. It becomes easier to hire people when you are aware of the kind of projects and tools a person can work on.

It’s all about research

Relying on freelancing websites to hire developers can be risky and is not recommended. Remember, all that is needed is research, research, and research. Consider every aspect of a developer, including his credentials and qualifications to ensure he is authentic. Look for reviews and references on his profile. You can get a better idea of his skills and capabilities from his social media and Linkedin profile.

Understand your product to get better idea of skills that a developer should possess to successfully work on it. This will help you find the right professional for your project. But remember, finding the best developer alone is not sufficient. Don’t forget to regularly monitor your team. Make sure they work on what was promised. Constant monitoring will make them feel accountable and eventually improve the quality of services delivered.

What will be the maintenance cost of my application once it is built?

There is much more to an application than simply developing it for users. Like you would not purchase a car without expecting maintenance costs, the same goes for applications as well. When you are provided with an app post development, it is viable to know that maintenance needs and costs come along.

Numerous updates, fixes and improvements are all required to be planned by the developers. Based on company norms, 15 to 20 percent of the original cost goes towards maintaining an application. This might appear to be expensive, but in case you enter application development phase without prior preparation, it is actually going to cost you big.

Factors influencing application maintenance cost

User activities play major role in affecting the cost required to maintain any application. The more the traffic, higher will be the maintenance cost. Thus, if you are getting an app developed that is expected to welcome more traffic, be prepared to anticipate higher maintenance cost.

Another major factor to impact maintenance cost is the platform for which the app is being developed. If yours is a native application for diverse mobile platforms, including Blackberry, Android, iPhone and more, it is better to be prepared for inflated maintenance cost. Reason being, when you choose to enhance the app, your developers would have to work separately on each platform. It means, if you have an app that works on Android, iOS and Blackberry platform, you are required to do three times the work.

It would not be wrong to say that maintenance of an application is as important as its launch. By working on a maintenance plan in the initial stages of application development, prioritizing updates later, you can trim-down maintenance costs, keeping your customers happy and satisfied.

What project methodology should I adopt?

If this is the question coming up in your mind, you can either go for Agile or waterfall methodology.

When talking about the waterfall model, it is a systematic software development process where the project passes through various phases to reach the conclusion. Everything, from user interface to user stories and feature variations, is documented in advance. The methodology follows an old saying “measure twice, cut once”. In-depth investigation and thorough research of product features carried out upfront mitigates project risks. Additionally, with adequate research done in advance, estimates for time needed to complete each phase are more precise, delivering more predictable release date. However, waterfall model assumes that each requirement can be identified before beginning of any design or coding, which leaves the users with irrelevant product at times.

Conversely, Agile methodology proposes alternatives to conventional project management. This approach is usually used in project development to handle unpredictability. Unlike waterfall model, where the developers are left with only one chance to get everything right, Agile methodology enables continuous re-evaluation of every aspect, including requirements, design and more. With each re-assessment, there is a chance to take the project in a right direction. The “inspect and adapt” approach to product development cuts-down development expenses. Furthermore, the flexibility to develop the product simultaneously when the requirements are gathered empowers the team to ensure success.

If your product is expected to experience unpredictions while in the development phase, it is always viable to opt for Agile methodology. You get an opportunity to review the product every week or so and the feedback from your side can steer the development in right path. Above all, Agile methodology would maintain the market relevance of your product.

Should I build complete project in one go or a prototype first?

Being an introductory design of the end product, a prototype enables the users as well as the developers to comprehend the product in a better way. It is viable to create a prototype rather than building a complete project since the former makes it possible to:

Preview the end product

Prototypes are specifically crucial as they provide the vision of products that are in the development and whose requirements are not completely known. Until a prototype is built, it would be challenging to make out what is working and what is not. With a prototype, the developers can visualize the product quickly and measure it against user’s requirements.

Cut-down the expenses incurred during development and production

A prototype model enables identification of any flaws, further allowing the developers to come up with solutions to have an improved version of the product. This reduces the chances of product failing and ultimately the development as well as production cost is reduced since the developers need not fix problems after the end product is already under production.

Reduce time for product development

With a prototype, the product can be visualized realistically. The developers can gain better insight into the strengths and weaknesses of the product, which helps in accelerating the product development process since prototype model enables the developers to get feedback from the users prior to beginning of actual work.

Increase user participation

Building a prototype enables the users to study it, giving their recommendations. Additionally, users get the opportunity to test the functionality of the product. A prototype thus not only helps ensure increased user participation, but also enables the developers to come up with an improved product.

So, to increase the probability of success of your product in the marketplace, go for a prototype model at the first place.

How can I get my first paying customer?

There are no specific tactics to get paying customers. It is viable to build a customer base prior to having an actual product. Out of the free users, you can expect some to turn into paid users. A few ways that can assist you in getting paying customers are:

Ensure your product is solving a real problem

Much efforts are not required to attract people if a product solves a problem that users often experience. Prior to product development, make certain your product serves the same purpose of solving a problem that other competing products cannot.

Reach out to friends and references

Even if you do not have an impressive network initially, you may be knowing some business owners. These are the individuals you can reach out to. Either send them e-mails or choose any other mode of communication to let them know about your product and invite them to discuss their business requirements.

Learn from your competitor’s customers

Get into the discussion with the customers who used your competitor’s software. The feedback received can be enormously helpful in determining if you need to improve a particular feature or multiple features of your product in order to make it better for the users.

Go fishing on social media sites

Look for the people complaining about your competitors’ products and ask them if they can chat. This would help you to know the loopholes in your competing products and the problems being caused due to the same.

Create early content

“Content is king”. Follow this saying and create early content to let maximum people know about your existence. Blogging can really help in this venture, bringing adequate number of clicks to your site. Additionally, Press Releases also serve as perfect means to mark your web presence.

Getting first paying customer calls for a lot of legwork. But that does not mean accomplishing desired results is impossible. You need to have full confidence in your product and clear vision. Better use “Lean Methodology” in building your product.

How much effort should I invest on UI and UX?

User Interface (UI) design, the process of converting complex things into meaningful user experiences, must be given ample attention since it serves crucial competitive benefit for those venturing into the introduction of new products. By focusing on user interface design and user experience (UX) in product development, you can come up with better solutions, ultimately improving credibility, revenue and market share.

Many well-recognized names, such as Dell, Samsung, Motorola, Logitech and Charles Schwab are already laying major emphasis on UX and UI design for the development of their products as well as applications, reaping fruitful benefits.

For a fact, User Interface and User Experience design plays major role in enhancing user experience by improving the usability, accessibility and interaction between the product and the user, it is viable to invest adequate time and budget on it. When it comes to deciding on a methodology, Agile makes a perfect option. Every time you work on the design based on the user’s idea, feedback from user end can be attained and it is possible to improve the output of the product. Moreover, the same also helps in informed decision making, without which the projects are often delayed.

Another enticing thing about putting efforts into UI and UX design is it always enables you to add value to your product irrespective of the budget. While you can give lighter touch to the product with low budget, relatively higher budget enables you to get into more extensive detailing.

Thus, planning to launch a product, if you wish for increased user engagement, it is vital to spend sufficient time and efforts on UI and UX design as it is the first look which makes your user to buy  your product.

When would I be able to see the first prototype of my project?

Regardless of the fact whether you need a small product or are well-informed about how your end product would actually be like, it is viable to have a prototype model at first place. Being an introductory version of software product that is being developed, it helps you proceed in a right direction while the product is in development phase.

Many of you often ask when would it be possible to see the first prototype of the project? Well, that depends on the methodology you choose to develop your product. Usually, Waterfall and Agile are the two most popular methodologies adopted for software development.

With waterfall approach, the development process is sequentially carried out as it flows down different steps. Once a phase is complete, it is impossible to go back to it in order to make changes. The only solution to cater to the need for modifications is starting everything from scratch. Thus, this model requires detailed documentation. The prototype model developed using this approach can be seen with tools in vision, but that would not be the actual product. However, you can always measure the results against the requirements and deliver feedback.

Conversely, when the Agile methodology is implemented, the entire project is segmented into small modules which are then worked upon, usually in weekly sprints. You can review the prototype at the end of each sprint and provide the developers with the feedback to improve the end product which can be implemented by the developing team right away.

No matter which product development methodology you choose, always make certain your team designs a prototype model first so that you can review it prior to original product build out in order to ensure any changes required are carried out on time, saving much of your efforts and cost.