Estimating the costs of mobile applications: things to avoid

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The competition in the mobile application market has become so strong that you are simply just not allowed to publish a poor-quality mobile app in app stores anymore. It can also be difficult to meet quality standards, as these imply high development costs. For investors who are unwilling to take the risk of investing in a quality application, they miss an opportunity from reaping the full benefits that mobile application can bring.

Let’s take a look at the common mistakes that are made in this type of project.

Numerous studies indicate that the actual costs of making a mobile application often exceed the initial estimated cost. To mitigate this situation, you must have all the information available to manage the financial risk involved.

1. Underestimate the UX / UI costs.

UX / UI is strongly influenced by the type of devices on which you want your application to be used. Which operating system(s) do you want to distribute your application on? Android, iOS or both? In each 3 cases, the user experience will vary significantly from one system to another. It is very important to keep this in mind; turning an Android app into an iOS app is not a simple copy-and-paste job. The design between these two platforms will be different. As a result, the cost of UX / UI will increase if the app is intended to be distributed on the Apple Store and Google Play Store, and if you want to have an optimum user experience on each. A complex design will also impact and increase the costs.

The test phase of the application.

In many situations, this phase is underestimated, even sloppy, because some companies tend to concentrate all their efforts on development whereas a lot of attention needs to be placed on this phase. The more the application is tested, the more its chances of success increase. It is necessary to plan a retinue of important tests and to double this step if the application is intended for Apple and Android. iOS do not behave the same way; it has its own specificities that must be tested in real conditions by samples of end users.

2. Do not anticipate the costs of updates.

Applications need to be regularly updated. There is a general misconception that it’s necessary to wait for a modification in order to update an app. However, in reality, interventions and updates on the application are by ideally regular and will include bug fixes and improvements related to the interface, etc. This part is to be taken into account in the development costs in order to limit unpleasant surprises. These updates will increase the performance of your application and the rate of user uptake.

The maintenance costs of the app should be planned. This will help you to maintain a better control over, and a reduction in, development costs. 

3. Not being able to choose between native and hybrid application developments.

You must know the difference between a native and hybrid application. The development costs are not the same between a native and hybrid mobile app.

Native application developments are more expensive than hybrid developments. Because native development requires a particular, unique development process. Native applications are more powerful and the user experience is better.

A hybrid application, is developed only once to work on different platforms, so they are also called multi-platform. They are therefore more budget-friendly than native applications. This type of application is closer to a webpage in terms of user experience.

As soon as you define your requirements, you must have in mind what type of application you want, and the budget you can afford.

4. Ignoring the high cost of new features launched on the market.

During the development phase of your application, you may need to add new features to your mobile application project. You become the inventor of this feature because it has never been developed before. This type of function can be resold to other companies. On the other hand, embarking on this type of development is expensive. When you ask your developers to develop a feature never launched before on the market you inevitably face budget overruns.

It is for this reason that it’s essential to entrust your mobile project to a specialized company experienced in IT development (web, mobile and software). A company that is used to managing projects with new features.

5. Forgetting that an offshore IT provider can reduce your development costs.

Faced with the growing number of digital projects launched on the market, more and more IT decisionmakers choose to outsource the development of their products offshore. The advantages offered by offshore are numerous, and there are many computer engineering companies that compete in quality with Western companies. The most interesting for companies considering this option lies in the savings of IT development costs, because depending on the country, the costs are very competitive and thanks to digital, time differences are no longer so restrictive (example, Madagascar, Vietnam, Mauritius). Some companies are even taking advantage of time differences by establishing, with their in-house developers and offshore developers, a very wide range of continuous productivity on their product, which is a considerable competitive advantage in many business sectors.

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