While the big numbers about the count of apps on iOS and Android portray a tale of triumph of mobile app technologies in today’s world, a low success rate of app-based businesses tells a different story. Intense competition warrants only the survival of the fittest in the mobile app world. Various aspects of app development like the feasibility of an idea, design, cost and process count in when it comes to a thriving app business. Experts are of the opinion that not all businesses need to float a full-featured product into the market in the very first go. Instead, adding features and functionality to a product gradually after working on responses from target customer group helps you serve them better. Developing a Minimal Viable product ensures that the strongest features of the app are brought forth to the customer in simplest of ways to gauge their responsiveness, save unnecessary wastage of resources like time and money and to figure out bugs. An MVP releases the product in the market in a streamlined fashion and helps gauge the reaction of target customer accurately. The feedback obtained can, in turn, be used to improve the user experience. The secret sauce for developing a mobile app successfully demands to begin as a Minimum Viable Product/ MVP as an important step. The advantages of beginning out small as an MVP are varied:
a.) A chance to market test product-related risks.
b.) Avoid unwanted costs
c.) Better spend the resources by avoiding spending on the single aspect of the app.
d.) Allows real feedback by real-time users
e.) Reduces business risks phenomenally
f.) Ensures validation of a product viability before the final launch
g.) Helps pitch app idea for funding
The steps to build an MVP for your mobile app idea begin with choosing imperative functionalities and features that help the customer solve a certain problem and have the potential of becoming the selling points of your app. After narrowing down on must-have features, you can choose app design that best fits to bring out the chosen features.
When compared to the actual cost of building an app based on an idea, building an MVP for the same incurs only a fraction of the cost. If you are an expert developer yourself, you can develop an MVP for your mobile app idea at a negligible cost. However, not every great thinker is good with codes. If you have an excellent app idea but are not as good with the process of app development, the MVP you develop might not be as efficient so as to appeal to the target audience.
There are a series of factors that count in determining the cost of an MVP.
The first important factor that determines the cost of developing an MVP for a mobile app idea is the choice of developer. One can hire a freelance developer to work on building the MVP or the project can be outsourced to an IT company. The cost of hiring a freelance developer or outsourcing to an IT company varies from country to country. In India, a host of cost-effective developing solutions are readily available when compared to the West. On an average, a freelancer can charge anywhere between $10/hr to $200/hr based on their experience and expertise. On the other hand, an IT company can bill you anywhere between $3000 to $20000 for the MVP project depending on the technicalities involved. While an individual freelancer would take a number of man-hours to finish the project because he would be handling it single-handedly, an IT firm brings together the expertise of a number of developers who work on the project and wrap it up in a shorter duration most of the times. You yourself can get estimates from noted freelance developers and IT firms in the know and can make an informed choice. It is advised that once you choose the best company/ freelancer based on their work portfolio, you indulge them in a detailed discussion about your requirements and budget. An open discussion with a developer or app expert can bring forth valuable feedback and help you in laying down details of the development process for building an MVP.
The second crucial factor that determines the cost of building an MVP for a mobile app idea is the design of the product. The more complex the design of the app, the costlier it is. To draw a rough estimate, calculate the cost of User Interface (UI) chosen to be used and add it to the cost that initial design incurred. It is recommended the one chooses UI that is simple, engaging and ensures a fruitful user experience UX. Preparing ahead of the meeting that you set up with the mobile app development company saves you some time and money, paving way for wireframing and developing mockups. Generally, the process of wireframing may take 10 hours and upwards to conclude and would be billed if you have hired a freelancer on an hourly basis. It is best that you wireframe on your own time using things as simple as paper layouts to make a blueprint of navigation, screens etc. Using tools like Bootstrap helps you create a wireframe with pre-designed templates for free. The design process of the MVP is incomplete without mockup development. While freelancers would charge you on an hourly basis, app development companies commonly charge for the landing page they create plus the cost of additional mockup pages created. Although a bit steep in cost, getting an interactive mockup developed has more chances of being a hit with the target audience. Popular tools on the market like Framer & incision help you convert regular mockups into interactive ones. You can develop an interactive mockup yourself to save a fraction from the cost incurred on developing the MVP.
The third factor that determines the cost of building up an MVP mobile app is the number of features and their characteristic complexity. Refer to the aim you want a user to achieve with the app and then think of all the desirable features you want in your app and segregate them into categories like “must-have” “desirable” and “optional.” Your developers must include the “must-have” features in your MVP. The more the number of features you need to include, more is the time consumed in developing those thus shooting the cost up. Similar logic applies to the degree of complexity of features in the MVP. The most time-consuming part of MVP development includes third-party API integrations, billing and payment integrations, database encryption and advanced admin panel insightful analytics.
The fourth important determinant of the cost incurred in developing an MVP for a mobile app idea is the kind of technology used to develop it. To save time pre-tailored solutions can be coordinated to bring together an MVP. However, a team of app development experts from IT firm can suggest whether a native or hybrid solution is best for your app MVP. Using native coded in a hybrid environment to develop features that are only available in native development can be a lengthy procedure that increases the eventual cost of development.
One can easily weigh in the factors like quality and cost to choose the best freelance developer or a mobile app development IT firm. If you compare the rated quoted, freelance developers may appear to be a cost-effective option at first. However, you must know that an app development demands design skills, Ux and UI skills, coding along with effective planning. As crucial as these skills are in the process of development they are a one too many for a single person to master. Unless you find a freelance app developer with an excellent work portfolio and work record, choose a mobile app development agency which employs trained experts for each stage of MVP development.
A mobile app development company that successfully enlists all the necessary feature of an MVP for your app idea can be your right choice of partner with. The goal of the company you hire must be to develop the MVP in such a fashion that the user experience can be customised to suit their preference. Another thing to consider is that the contract with the development IT firm must promise to deliver the first version of the MVP within 2 to 4 months to streamline the whole process. Getting an MVP designed from a mobile app development company will cost a business owner much less and would validate the business idea before they pour large sums of money and time into developing it.