Developing your next big mobile app is a long, expensive process. Bringing an idea to life requires effort, time, and financial investment, taking months or even years to complete. Even after the completion, an app should be regularly debugged and updated in order for it to keep running smoothly.
While you shouldn’t skip any steps of the development process, here are certain things you can streamline in order to make the whole process more efficient and faster:
- Use Wireframes
Wireframes are low fidelity visual representations of the app’s UI and they also serve as a helpful complement for any roadmapping tool to see the overall perspective of your app idea.
By creating wireframes, you get to explore various app structures, designs, and architecture in just a small amount of time. Then, it allows you to efficiently refine your chosen concept via follow-up wireframes. In addition, wireframes can also point out any UX/UI issues before you start writing the code. This way, you can make major changes to the app without spending days or weeks rewriting codes. Wireframes also prevent time-consuming miscommunications and misunderstandings between team members by providing a common language that everyone understands.
You can create wireframes by physically sketching out your ideas on a piece of paper, use image-editing software, like Adobe, or go with dedicated wireframing programs.
- Create a Library of Frequently-Used Codes
Any expert app developer will suggest that you build a library of all commonly-used code. Doing so means that the next time you’re developing something similar, you don’t have to code from scratch again.
Maintaining a code library can also help speed up your app development process and ensuring that you’re using tested and efficient codes. By using less time in writing the common code, you can focus more on building the core code that’s unique for each app.
So, start building your library of routine and repetitive codes. Also, you can try using some of the common-code libraries for app development on the Internet.
- Employ Cross-Platform Tools
There is one question that every mobile developer has to think hard of, ‘which platform will my app support?’
Restricting your app to a single platform can limit your potential audience. However, developing an app for multiple platforms isn’t a walk in the park and even doubles (or triples) your development time. Fortunately, there’s a way to efficiently develop an app for all major platforms simultaneously: cross-platform development tools.
These tools allow you to target several mobile platforms with the same codebase, reducing the development time you’d typically spend in rewriting, translating, and re-compiling your code in order to work on different platforms.
There’s a lot of cross-platform development tools you can try–the more popular ones include Flutter SDK and Xamarin.
- Create an MVP
Rather than waiting for a finished project to launch, you should focus on developing a Minimum Viable Product (MVP).
MVP is a portion of the finished product yet has enough useful features for early users who can then provide feedback for future development. Focusing on creating and releasing an MVP can help avoid lengthy and unnecessary work.
By setting frequent deadlines and releasing little and often, you can keep your development cycles laser-focused and optimized.
Developers can go over the working versions and respond to feedback, validating and challenging assumptions about the requirements of the app. Also, by delivering only the features that your users want, you can get maximum return in just a minimum amount of time, when compared to meticulously ticking off every feature app idea on your long ‘to-do list.’
MVP can also help reveal the worst-case scenario–there isn’t any market for the app. However, consider this as the biggest time- and effort-saver of all since you won’t have to waste your time on an app product that no one really wants.
- Automate Testing
Testing is a time-consuming process, but a necessary evil. If you want to deliver a high-quality and secure app, then you’ll need to subject your code to rigorous testing. But it doesn’t mean that there’s no way to minimize the effort and time for testing your app.
Enter automated testing. By automating app testing, you can drastically reduce the amount of time it takes to test your app. Automated testing allows the simultaneous running of a suite of tests that would generally take hours to perform manually.
Since it’s possible to apply several testing methods at the same time, developers can use automated testing to increase the number of tests performed while reducing the amount of time spent in testing.
- Regular Code Reviews and QA
Don’t delay quality assurance until you’ve completed an app. Instead, conduct detailed and thorough QA tests after reaching milestones in your development process. This also applies to code reviews.
By checking the quality of each feature and element within your app as it’s developed, you can address any issues as they occur. Otherwise, such issues may be deeply ingrained within the app that requires you to mess with the whole code, making it more difficult to fix.
- Utilize Technologies for App Deployment
Automating the app deployment process is a no-brainer. Automated deployment means less error and that anyone in the team can deploy the app. In addition, doing so allows you to release more frequently with a much lower overhead cost.
There are various tools in the market that can help automate your app deployment. Tools, like Kubernetes and Docker, can help developers quickly and efficiently scale up without the need to increase team size. In addition, these tools also work across various infrastructure and platforms, as well as help in developing and deploying apps on various platforms.
The application development process is a lengthy and complex process, but you can certainly do better.
With the above tips, you can eliminate unnecessary tasks and streamlining routine tasks to improve the overall development process efficiency. Leverage these tried and tested ways to bring your creative vision to life as efficiently and quickly as possible, without compromising on quality.