Don't worry. We've got this.
So, you know very little about apps or technology? You've just got a great idea. We are here to guide you through the process to bring it to reality. You probably have a lot of questions running through your mind... "How do I protect my idea?", "How much is it going to cost?" "How will it make money?"
You might have already spoken to some other developers or even unsuccessfully started with one of them - almost half of our clients come to us to "rescue" their current projects. We want to build long term relationships with successful apps and clients. Therefore it is in our interests to make sure we help you achieve your app's full potential.
So here are our 10 Steps to get your app built:
- Let us know what it must do - We probably get 10 calls a week along the lines of "how much does an app cost?". Come on, that's like asking "how much does a car cost?". For us to be able to provide an estimate, we need to know a bit more about what the app must do in your own words. This helps to bring it to life for us so we can understand the probable requirements based on our long experience. What will the app actually do? How will people use it? What will the app contain and how will the content be provided? Give a “use case” of how someone would use the app in real life? Start by completing the short questionnaire that asks all the important questions we need the answers to. Please provide as much information as possible.
- Protecting your idea - Are you uncomfortable sharing your idea with us? Don't worry, we are not offended. It's totally understandable. We're happy to sign a Non Disclosure Agreement (NDA). You can download, sign and email ours and we'll countersign and return. Or we can sign your NDA if you have one.
- Let's talk - Once we have a good understanding of your requirements (this might take a bit of to and fro via email), ideally we would meet or speak to you to finalise any questions that are easier to answer face-to-face. Our clients find these sessions very useful because we can offer advice in terms of the Minimum Viable Proposition (MVP), monetisation models and potential platforms we might be able to use to save time and cost.
- Proposal - Once we are clear on the requirements, we will work on a detailed proposal with our development and design teams. This will provide information on the deliverables, technology stack, cost by task, timeframes and payment schedule.
- Payment - Our normal payment schedule is: 40% deposit followed by 20% payments when we hit certain development milestones that are agreed up front.
- Prototyping - For large projects we always start with a prototype showing all the main screens and User Interface/ Navigation elements. It is better to start with a laser-focus on the user experience before it gets lost in the tech. In addition to giving you something to show potential investors or stakeholders before the app is launched, it also confirms all the technical deliverables because there is no-where to hide. Every key screen, button and function is shown and so we know what must be built. We typically start with a brainstorm/ kick off workshop at our offices with our design team, a white board and lots of great coffee!
- Development - Each project is different, but we utilise Agile Project Management methodology with weekly or fortnightly Sprints with clear deliverables. Every client and project is allocated a single point of contact, a Project Manager based in our South African offices who is always available to answer any question you have and provide regular project updates. We typically manage our team through Slack, our project management on Zoho and the code base via GitHub
- Testing - We take testing very seriously. Not only to ensure you and your customers have a flawless user experience, but also because our project costs (and your frustration) can rise very quickly without proper version control and bug list management.
- Marketing, Store Listing - During the project we will normally discuss with our clients their marketing requirements. At a very minimum we need to work together to prepare and optimise the app's listing on the app stores to ensure maximum exposure from launch.
- App Submission to Store - The most common reason apps are delayed are because they are not built to Apple and Google's requirements and so get rejected by them. In addition to designing stable, beautiful apps we fast-track this process by normally submitted a beta version to the stores well before the launch deadline. This helps us to pre-empt any rejection issues for the final app. Apple in particular are very rigourous in their app approval process.