Kishokanth Jeganathan, Author at Mood Up team - software house
macbook with Slack sticker 1

8 Slack etiquette tips you should know about

 

There was once a time when e-mails were considered the go-to tool for internal and external communication. Then came Slack, who carved itself a place as the preferred tool for internal communication, leaving emails for communicating with those outside the organisation. 

Slack for its part is a very useful tool for opening up communication and creating transparency throughout an organisation. It’s core features that facilitate instant communication, however, can be over/misused, leaving fellow coworkers very much frustrated. It is for this reason that we created a poll on Slack (the irony!) to evaluate the pet peeves of the Mood Up team. Heres what we found out. 

1. Posting irrelevant content on channels

Slack is a fantastic tool for segregating workplace communication, provided this communication happens on the channels they are reserved for. Such channels are created specifically to address certain areas of activities and should strictly be used for said purpose, as not doing so can create confusion amongst your coworkers. It will also be near impossible to find attachments or past conversations if they are posted on the wrong channels. 

Take a look at the below channels. One is where we book times for playing Bomberman and the other is for letting the management know of what we need from the supermarket.

Now imagine if I asked for more milk in the games channel!

Screenshot 2019 09 17 at 10.30.28

2. Slack bombing

Slack as I keep on repeating is heaven-sent for workplace communication. But there is such a thing as messaging etiquette and bombarding your coworker with numerous messages when you could have simply written it in one go is quite frankly irritating. Remember that their notifications will be pinging constantly when such messages are sent and might disrupt them from a very important task.

Save the Slack bombarding messaging tactic for when something is actually urgent.

Screenshot 2019 09 17 at 10.41.26

3. Messages outside work hours

Messages and emails outside work hours have been a thorny issue for many and this hasn’t changed with Slack. Keep the work communication on Slack during work hours and respect your coworkers time. 

Have a message that you have to send tonight, as you might forget tomorrow? Write the message but do not send it. These messages will be displayed with a pencil in the following morning (as I’ve shown below) allowing you to send them off with a press of a button.

Screenshot 2019 09 17 at 10.51.40

4. Not using threads

Slack has a very nifty feature which allows for the creation of a thread on any message sent on the channels and private messages. This is very helpful to keep all conversations related to a specific topic as with forums.

Not using these threads would make keeping track of conversations difficult and make coworkers meander needlessly. 

Take a look at Piotr’s request for some assistance that was answered immediately by the rest of the team, in one thread. 

Screenshot 2019 09 19 at 14.58.42

5. Using public channels for private chats

Public channels are for public use and not meant for discussing matters that could have been done so in a private chat. Remember, no one likes seeing communication that does not involve them as its a distraction.

6. Using company-wide mentions liberally

Sharing pictures of cute doggos is great for relieving stress. Just make sure that you use mentions such as @Channel and @Here sparingly since those alert all your co-workers and not everyone would like to be interrupted during their work to see a picture of a cute pupper you discovered on the internet.  

adorable animal breed 1108099

7. Leaving messages in the air 

Mentions should be used sparingly, but also when you need them. Not doing so when needed is akin to throwing questions or comments in the air and will give you no answers. See below example 

Screenshot 2019 09 17 at 11.39.54

Sending a message such as this where I need Bart’s help is not useful as he would not receive my request for help. Mentioning Bart on my question, however, will ensure that he is notified. 

Screenshot 2019 09 17 at 11.40.12

8. Not acknowledging messages 

Slack loved by many due to its ability to allow instant communication between coworkers. The coworkers, therefore, need do their part and acknowledge any messages received as failing to do so can have the other party waiting for a reply (as with an email, ugh). 

Remember that acknowledging a message doesn’t always have to be via a very wordy sentence. I use ✅ to acknowledge the receipt of a message, 👀 to show that I will think about it and 🚫 to say no. 

To conclude

Slack is a wonderful tool for workplace communication, provided you don’t use it akin to a social media channel. Follow these tips, establish certain communication standards with the team and you will notice an incredible jump in your productivity and overall liability at work.

Do you have any Slack etiquette tips to add? Let us know in the comments below! 

Header image source- Giorgio Minguzzi

illustration with 5 stars 1

Why you should look at reviews before picking a software house

 

Creating and launching a successful mobile app is no easy feat and one of the main reasons for app failure is mobile app complexityTo create a beautifully designed app, many developers will create a product that becomes too complex to use. At Mood Up Team, we go by the motto that “less is more” and work with our clients to make sure their apps are easy to use, do not crash, and look enticing  to customers. 

But how will you, as a seeker of a software house for your app know all this? By reading our reviews of course!

To develop successful mobile apps for our clients, we rely on customer feedback and reviews. We appreciate companies like Clutch, a ratings and review website for B2B service providers who ranked us as a top mobile app development company in Poland in 2019!Mood Up Team is also proud to be in the top 100 of Internet of Things developers around the world on Clutch’s sister site, The Manifest. 

One of our satisfied clients recently left a review on Clutch’s platform. This client asked us to create an iOS/Android self-help app that allows users to access coaching sessions, log thoughts, and prepare for future goals. 

Clutch review Moodupteam

We created a Slack channel with the client to maintain constant communication and keep everyone accountable so that we may deliver the product on-time. This client gave us 5 stars in the “willing to refer category” and wrote in the review that they would definitely work with Mood Up Team in the future to create another app. 

Not only was our client happy with this self-help app, but the app itself was also met with positive user feedback! We worked with this client after the app launched to get updates on user experience to ensure our app was not difficult to use. 

Another satisfied client was an insurance company for whom we developed a native iOS and Android app that could interact with security equipment, provide direct contact with technical support, and enable customers to monitor insurance status. 

Clutch review Moodupteam project

In their review above, the CEO of the insurance company wrote that “the app has enabled the software to work across multiple systems.” and gave credit for our experience, diligence and communication skills. 

Such reviews help improve our business processes and allow our clients to hear third party feedback about our work. This is important as app development if done wrong can end up being a costly affair and should be an important consideration when picking a software house.  We continue to work with our clients based on their reviews as with our apps as a successful project is one where all stakeholders are happy with the outcome.  

Considering 32% of small businesses have an app, businesses recognize the value that apps offer. Contact us today about how we can provide app development solutions to grow your business.

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7 reasons Poland is the best place to outsource developers

 

If you are reading this article, it’s safe to assume that you are doing so with purpose and seek to have a software product developed. The expectations you have of the software development partner, therefore, would be a history of successful products , a commitment to quality , great communication standards and flexible costs. These are all areas in which Polish software houses excel and the reason Poland is fast becoming the tech powerhouse in Europe. 

Don’t take our word for it, take a look at the data yourself. 

1. High quality IT education and abundance of skilled developers

Poland as per theWorld Bankis among the top three fastest-growing economies in the European Union, with inflation under control and strong wage growth.

The year 2017/2018 saw close to 70,000 students studying IT in Polish universities as per GUS (Central Statistical Office in Poland). These students upon graduation will join an already sizable population of developers, which in 2017 numbered to254,000

We invite you to take a look at the breakdown of the number of developers in Central & Eastern Europe. Where do you see an abundance of developers?

developer population of central and estern europe

But are these developers good? Do all of these find jobs? Yes and yes, as per the World Bank who cites Poland’s unemployment rate below4%

2. Polish developers work with the latest tech stacks 

Poland has always been a hub of innovation, but this was largely throttled during the period of occupation by the soviets. The fall of the iron curtain, however, saw Poland surge ahead to catch up on the latest technologies and is why Polish developers are not held back by system thinking and old mental models created from work on legacy technologies. 

This is the reason why Poland ranks in the top 3 amongst nations with the best developers in research conducted by HackerRank

countries with the best developers

3. Polish software is a testament to how quality code can also be moderately priced

Costs are important and we don’t blame you for being wary of pricey software developers as the top priority of any project manager is to minimise the spend and maximise the returns. The real question, however, is quality code and good rates mutually exclusive? 

Median salary for developers by experience

The answer as per the latest data fromstackoverflowis yes if you look to get your software developed in nations that are traditionally associated with high-quality developers. This is reinforced by the many horrors stories floating around about how companies that opted for cheap outsourcing in India and China were left stranded with overblown budgets and no discernible results to show. 

Now take a look at the median salary per month of the developers in Poland

median and salary distribution monthly poland software engineer

12,395 PLN (local currency) which is the highest median salary per month for Polish software developers is around 3132 USD as perXE.com. The cost of hiring a highly skilled software developer per year, therefore, would be around 37584 USD. 

4. English is the de facto programmer language and Polish developers are darn good at it 

Communication with your developers is pivotal and the preferred language for most clients is English. The Poles rank 13th in the 2018EF English Proficiency Index, with 62.45, study English as a compulsory second language and do not seem to be slowing down on their English entertainment consumption anytime soon. 

EF English Proficiency Index

The number of developers who are proficient in English is close to 100% as it is the de facto language for communicating, filing tickets, contacting tech support, code comments and documentation. Companies such as ours also invest in English lessons for our employees as we are firm believers in continuous professional development. 

This mindset and capacity to learn are perhaps why many big players such as Microsoft, IBM, Oracle and Google have their R&D and software departments in Poland. 

5. Poland is in the centre of Europe 

One of the key reasons Poland is fast becoming the preferred location for software outsourcing is its central location in Europe. Poznan, a popular IT hub in which we are based, is a 3-hour drive from Berlin and 2 hours by flight from London. All other European cities are equally close and pose no travel difficulties owning to the many airlines that fly back and forth. 

Just take a look at the flight routes of LOT, the national airline of Poland. 

LOT Europe Routes

But what if you live in North America? Well, the flight is considerably longer, but we are only a mere 6 hours ahead of Washington and 9 hours in front of California. 

This time difference is very useful as it allows us to give a report of the work in progress, which the client can read throughout the day and provide feedback, just in time for when we return to work the next day. Win-win!

6. Very little cultural differences

Poland’s culture is very similar to those you would find in the rest of Europe, so you won’t encounter any drastic changes in the manner we do business, conduct negotiations and deliver the services you require of us. Communication is smooth and without hitches due to our high proficiency in English, ensuring no surprises are waiting at the end of the development due to misunderstandings. 

This existing culture is strengthened and added to by a rapid influx offoreign students who now opt to study in Poland. These students as you can imagine study in English across many disciplines and enter into the Polish labour force (IT mainly).

foreign students in poland numbers and facts

7. Poland complies with EU regulations on intellectual protection 

Poland is part of The World Trade Organisation, the Patent Cooperation Treaty, the European Union and takes a very strict approach to protect intellectual property (IP). Europe’s standards on IP comply with those of the United States, giving you peace of mind in the knowledge that your product and all its data are safe from any undue harm.

Conclusion

Outsourcing or nearshoring your software development to a company outside the boundaries of your nation can be a tough decision. But rest assured if you do decide to invest in your product with a Polish company after doing some diligent research and asking the right questions. Polish developers are young, eager to learn, adapt easily, speak English, highly skilled and is a testament to how quality code can be delivered at reasonable prices. 

man typing on macbook

Should you expand your in-house development team or hire a software house?

 

Most companies require the services of software developers at one point in their business operations, whether it be for developing an app for internal use or as a tool to reach out to their customers. And then there are some companies with an already existing in-house development team who are looking to upgrade or expand their digital service offerings. The top of mind question that stymies any business owner or decision-maker then is whether to invest in expanding the number of in-house developers or outsource the development work to an external software house. 

What benefits can in-house development bring?

Having your very own in-house development team is appealing to many business owners, who credit their always availability, loyalty, expertise, familiarity with the company culture and ability to keep sensitive information within the company as pros. This is very true and is why we would like to start with a quick brief on the advantages an in-house development team can bring you. 

1. Shorter turnaround time – in-house software developers are a company’s asset due to their always-on availability. Having a face to face meeting with internal employees who you already have a rapport with and understand the company’s business needs will help get the development started right away.

2. They know the business –  in-house developers have an innate understanding of the company, its people, process and will be able to grasp the business requirement for the new software. They can then use this knowledge to highlight gaps and even make suggestions for improvements. 

3. Compliance to existing code quality – the code of a company’s products matures with it and gives rise to quality benchmarks expected of the code in future products. Your in-house developers would be familiar with such standards and ensure the new code meets these parameters. 

4. No extra paymentsthe biggest concern many companies have with outsourcing their work to external software houses is the additional costs that would need to be incurred. In-house developers are part of the company’s existing personnel and require no extra payment to start work on the new software requirements. This is ideal if the requirements are minor and needs to be deployed rapidly. 

5. Best cultural fit – with no lack of stories about how software projects were derailed due to misfits between clients and software development houses, your concerns about a good cultural fit is justified. You need not worry about this with in-house developers as they have already gone through the4 stages of team formation(forming, storming, norming and performing).

That Would Be Great Meme on software outsourcing

We admit that the above advantages make a pretty convincing argument to hiring more developers for your in-house dev team. But bear with us for a moment and take a look at the not so positive side of in-house development too. 

What are the disadvantages of in-house development?

1. The lack of developers – you don’t hear the term unemployed software developer much, as the ever-growing demand for skilled software developers is eclipsing its supply. This increased demand for specialists in the field of computer software is expected to grow by  24% from2016 to 2026(faster than the average for all occupations) as per the United StatesBureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). No wonder software development skills were chosen as the 2nd most promising job in the US for 2019 byLinkedIn!

The real question then is do you have the resources necessary to attract a software developer that is being poached by many companies? Skilled software developers today care more about the level of challenges they encounter, the company’s purpose and their work-life balance over the mere promise of higher pay. Can you tick all these boxes?

2. Hidden-costs – remember how we mentioned that you wouldn’t be paying extra to get any development work done by in-house developers? What you have to remember however is that having high earning in-house developers can have you paying more for rent, equipment, software, insurance, taxes and retirement funds. These are fixed costs that you would incur whether the developers are busy with projects or idle. 

3. Training with new technologies – continuous professional development is vital for software developers in order to keep up with new and emerging frameworks. Such training, however, does not come cheap and will have to be borne by you. 

4. Lack of domain expertise – developing software requires project managers, designers, QA testers and not just developers. A lack of these skill sets would mean that you need to look outside the company for freelancers or an external agency. 

5. Management of personnel and processes – the development of your project needs to be planned meticulously in order for it to be put into action. It also needs to be managed once the work begins and should be done by someone with some knowledge of project management, coding, design and QA. 

6. Shifting of focus – tasking your in-house developers with a new project might cause their focus to shift from their daily duties.

7. Reduced creativeness – in-house developers who do most of their work within the company work in a silo and might not be as creative as external software houses who keep in touch and are inspired by new standards in design, development and QA. 

Boardroom meeting meme on disadvantages of inhouse developers

In-house development as you can now imagine can be a tricky path to trod, especially if you do not have the resources you would need to take a project from the planning stage to its deployment. This is where outsourcing to software houses that have the necessary skills, capacity and creative thinking can prove to be a boon. 

What advantages do software houses bring?

1. Reduced costs – hiring a software house for your project will be cheaper in the long run as you would only pay for the hours of its development and nothing more. These payments are directly tied to the development of product features agreed upon at the planning stage with your software development partner. 

Such an agile pricing approach is more beneficial for you as you need not spend too much on recruiting and contributing towards the pension funds and insurance of an in-house development team. 

2. Time-saving – recruitment, on-boarding and everything associated with hiring new developers take valuable time and resources that could be better diverted to a software house who will begin work immediately. 

3. A comprehensive range of services– a software house possesses the project planners, designers, developers and QA testers needed to make your project come to life. These teams have many years of developing software products and have innate processes that can help deliver a great product, faster (that means cheaper).

4. Updated on the latest technologies and trends – a software house’s revenue is heavily dependent on the products it creates. The designers, developers and QA testers must, therefore, stay updated on the latest technologies and educate themselves in order to maximise the value it generates for its customers.

5. Creativity – the developers in a software house have worked on a multitude of projects before you and even some that are in the same industry. They would, therefore, be more creative and think innovatively when compared against in-house developers who are locked into certain thinking patterns due to organisational mental models. 

6. Quality products – end to end software development teams create higher quality products due to their ability to function as one. This, however, wouldn’t be possible if the designers, developers and QA testers were freelancers and new to working with each other. 

Alright Gentlemen We Need A New Idea Meme on agile pricing

Outsourcing your software development to an external software development team is a good idea that can be attested by many. This demand for software houses is propelling an industry that can at times contain some disadvantages.  

What are the disadvantages of hiring software houses?

1. Distance – we’ve seen many companies outsource their development work to software houses situated in very distant countries, making it nearly impossible to communicate and resolve issues. It is for this reason that we at Mood Up team prefer to nearshore and work with clients who are closer to us geographically. Remember, a certain overlap in time difference that allows a team to catch other during office hours is acceptable. Not one where both teams are up too early or too late. 

2. Cultural fit– outsourcing your software development work to a nation where the cost of labour is low might not be the best idea if the two cultures are at odds with each other. This is another reason why we prefer clients who nearshore their work to us. 

3. Difficulties picking the right software house picking a software house is not a task that should be taken lightly as the wrong choice might mean a loss of a sizable amount of money, time, peace of mind and more importantly, opportunity. This is why at Mood Up encourage you to dig deep into a software house’s people, skills, previous work and processes. Ask for a trial period if you must. 

4. Security and confidentiality – breaches of contracts by dubious software house can have you concerned for the confidentiality of your project and data. This, however, can easily be remedied by entering into a partnership with a reputed partner that offers NDAs and all source code to you at the end of the project. 

expanding brain meme on nearshoring software development 1

Conclusion

Picking between expanding your in-house software development team and hiring an external software house can be a daunting decision. Both as you saw earlier have their pros and cons, and the approach to your expansion can only be decided after careful consideration of factors such as the requirements, budget, deadlines and expendable resources. If you do decide to opt to hire an external software agency, make sure you pick one that is right for you with these tips

Illustration of native apps being superior to hybrid apps

Native vs Hybrid – which is better for Mobile App Development?

 

With hybrid development tools such as Ionic or Cordova being all the rage for app development these days, you might think that native app development is taking a backseat. We believe otherwise as native app development is still far superior to hybrid apps due to their inherent ability to fit into the app ecosystem it was made for . Such development is vital for when working with the world’s top mobile operating systems, which are very different from each other and require developers to use languages such as Java, Kotlin (Android), Objective-C and Swift (iOS). 

So why should you pick native app development over hybrid? We have 7 reasons.

Press button hard choice Meme

1. Access to device hardware– apps developed on the SDKs (software development toolkits) released for Android and iOS have full access to their hardware capabilities. This ensures that any app you create would be able to use the full set of features offered by the device in which your app would run, seamlessly (think GPS, cameras and microphones).

Hybrid apps have the same access to a device’s hardware capabilities, albeit much slowly due to its dependence on a bridge to connect. 

2. Higher security– remember that an apps owner is solely responsible for any data breaches and can be held liable for damages caused to the users. All the more so with the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) that ensures the data security of all citizens in the European Union and the European Economic Area.

Android and iOS have been around for some time, giving them time to develop many layers of security, making them difficult to be broken into by malicious hackers. Any native apps developed using the SDKs of these platforms, therefore, will be protected by the same, unlike with hybrid apps that depend on third-party frameworks. 

Meme on impact of GDPR on gross profit

3. You can scale faster– an app needs to change with its end users which is why we love the scalability native apps brings us. Such apps as we mentioned previously are created for their very own platform and have the ability to fit the updated needs of its end-users. The developers need not worry about adjusting the development to fit several platforms and can focus on developing the app fast so that it can be released faster.

Shorter update cycles from hybrid web apps, however. puts pressure on an app to update itself every so often to keep up with its competitors, and can be an expensive process.

4. Instant access to native app updates – with giants such as Google and Apple behind them, iOS and Android will continue to be upgraded over time. Any updates on such platforms, therefore, are pushed to the developers via their native SDKs, who then push it to the app to ensure it stays updated. 

This, however, is not the same as hybrid apps as you would need the creator of the framework to push the updates on any new system features. This might take a day or a month (precious time that can be used by your native competitor to push a better, more updated product of their own). 

Waiting skeleton meme on hybrid app updates

5. More developers– native app development as you can imagine has been the norm since the days in which apps were released. A majority of the developers, therefore, has many years of experience with it and will be able to deliver above and beyond on the software requirements you seek of them. This experience they have gathered over the years will be invaluable in troubleshooting issues as and when they appear, shaving off the time you would need to spend on QA. 

The same cannot be said for the number and experience of hybrid app developers. If you intend on developing a hybrid app, make sure the developers know what they are doing and not dabblers in a technology they do not fully understand. 

6. Better UX/UI– mature operating system such as iOS and Android have guidelines for developers who create apps for it, ensuring the new app’s UX will be one that is already familiar. Such enforcement of UX standards increases the app’s acceptance from users as they can navigate intuitively based on their experience from previous apps. This already familiar UX, together with the performance improvements granted by native app development allows the app to run smooth and fast.

Hybrid apps on the hand will not be able to provide the aforementioned intuitive experience with the expected performance.

7. Reduced time spent on fixing bugshybrid apps on both iOS and Android is maintained in one codebase, and this is as troublesome as it sounds due to the complications involved. Native apps, on the other hand, have individual codebases, is more mature and gives developers plenty of opportunities to code faster with fewer bugs

scroll of truth meme about hybrid apps

To summarize,yes, hybrid app development is much talked about due to its relative recentness, speed and cheaper development costs. Not all that glitters, however, should be mistaken for gold and this is the same for hybrid apps that will cause performance, UX, security and update issues for you in the long run. 

Need to develop a quick app that works on the cheap? Go for hybrid apps.

Looking to develop an app with complicated features, makes use of all the hardware available and will stay relevant? Invest in native app development with us here.

illustration of man thinking

8 questions to ask yourself before developing a mobile app

 

With 5.28 billion mobile broadband subscriptions as of the end of 2018, it’s safe to assume that developing a mobile app would open a company to a world of opportunities. This, however, is common knowledge which is why the app marketplace today is very saturated, creating a winner takes all environment. Breaking into this requires careful scoping, strategic planning and picking a top-notch software development team

What’s important however is that you have a good idea of the end product you would like to receive as its owner. It is your idea and ultimately your resources that wills the software development house into action.  

Its to aid in this that we ask the questions below from all our clients. 

1. Do you have a project description or other resources?

Most of the clients we work with tend to fall into three categories, which is why the resources we need from them tend to be different. 

  • Brand new project – A project description as can imagine will go along way towards helping us understand what you require and how we can help create it. Such documentation will help narrow the expectations of the end product by yourself, ensuring we have a good starting point to create a list of requirements, scope and an estimate.
  • The takeover of an existing project – such clients usually have the documentation we need to get an understanding of the expected end product. What would be very helpful here, however, is access to the code of the app that’s in development so that we can gauge what’s been done, what remains and where further improvements are needed. Remember, the more we know what we are dealing with, the faster we can take over and get down to the actual work.  
  • Updating legacy apps – keeping your app updated is essential, considering the speed at which operating systems are upgraded, security vulnerabilities that keep popping up and the fast-changing requirements of the end-users. The updating of such apps require us to have all the documentation that was completed during the development of the app and access to the code in order to see the scale of the improvements needed. Depending on this analysis, we might decide to refactor the code or even write it from scratch again!

image of papyrus scroll

2. Who is going to be using it?

Developing an app for everyone isn’t very strategic. That’s why we encourage our clients to get a very strong idea of the end-users they are targeting. Such information is important as it helps us create user personas and really narrow what is required. Think on the below for example

  • Will creating an app that requires very fast internet be useful for end-users who live in a nation with low bandwidth speeds?
  • Would integrating NFC payments make sense if the banks in the target country do not support it?
  • Would having a paid app make sense in a market that has low purchasing power? Wouldn’t it be wiser to make the app free and earn income via ads? 

3. Which platform do you want the app to be in?

With two giants such as Android and iOS fighting for each others market share , it might be difficult to make a decision on which platform to host your app. This is where you should really pay attention to the data and user personas of the typical Android and iOS user.

Let’s say that you would like you to be available on both platforms. How would you like it to be developed? There are two options

  • Native app development-refers to the individual frontend development for iOS and Android, the world’s top mobile operating systems. This type of development is the most mature form of frontend development and allows users to benefit from all the device-specific hardware and software available (GPS, camera and microphone). It is also very high performing, provides the users with a very intuitive UX and produces fewer bugs during development. The development of such apps, however, can be rather costly on account of the dual development that needs to be done.
  • Cross-platform app development-refers to the building of one codebase for the app and running it across multiple platforms such as iOS and Android. This concept of sharing code components across the two major operating systems is fast gaining traction amongst developers and clients due to its ability to reduce the development time and costs. Such development, however, is not a perfect solution as cross-platform apps are not able to take advantage of all the native hardware and software features as with those that were developed natively. Lagging performance is also an issue due to inconsistent communication between a device’s native and non-native components. 
  • Hybrid app development-refers to the development of an app using technology reserved for developing websites and hosting it inside a native shell. These apps need to be written only once to be supported across many platforms and can access native device features such as GPS, camera and microphone once permission is granted. Such apps as you can imagine can reduce the time and cost of development, making it suitable for projects that must be deployed fast. One must, however, remember that the native shell creates an extra layer between the source code and the mobile platform, hindering the apps performance and the developer’s ability to debug. Another issue that you should really keep in mind when opting to develop a hybrid app is potential UX problems in your quest to make it look and feel native (focus too much on the iOS UX and it will have repercussions on the Android UX!)

The Scroll Of Truth Meme on cross platform and hybrid apps

4. Who is going to be managing the development?

Every project needs a manager from both ends in order to ensure its completion on time and budget. This is vital as the agile development practices we use in our projects is heavily dependent on feedback from the client

It would be ideal if the project manager is supported by someone with a technical background in order to verify the decisions and suggestions made by the software house. 

If you don’t have someone who fits the above description (especially the technical expert), you might want to consider hiring a consultant to do the same. 

5. How is your budget looking? 

The cost of app development varies based on a multitude of factors. What we see most often however are the costs for the below

  • Research – embarking on developing a project based on an assumption is a recipe for disaster, which is why we insist on conducting thorough research on the end-user before even working on a wireframe. There can be no compromise on this. 
  • Design – what use is a great app that no one can use? Investing in the design of your User Interface (UI) and User Experience (UX) is pivotal in your quest to make your app be top of mind with your end-users. 
  • Development – this one is self-explanatory but should be mentioned as it will weigh the heaviest in the estimate you will be provided. The development of an app is done using monthly sprints in most software houses. Each sprint will usually add a new functionality to the app, letting you monitor the bang you’re getting for your buck. 
  • Quality Assurance – no app should be released without testing it for bugs. That’s why the QA team who handles the testing for bugs and usability very important. Fail to do this and you will have an app that is abandoned by your end-users. 
  • Marketing – no one will download your app if you don’t market it. This is out of the software developers purview but should be given careful consideration. 
  • Updates – quite often the most forgotten part of budgeting for the development of an app. App updates are very important if you are to retain your users by stay relevant and useful to your end-users. 

Remember to not get caught up in not showing your hand when it comes to the budget. Software houses are not out to exploit you and can only provide an accurate idea of the product you can develop as per the budget you specify. This isn’t poker. 

Keep the Change ya Filthy Animal Meme 1
We kinda like Home Alone (in case you didn’t guess)

6. When do you want it?

 Yesterday is not the answer many software houses are looking for. Great products require good planning, execution, monitoring and updates that simply aren’t possible with a very tight timeline. What is ideal however is if you would let the software house know of why the app is being built and whether there is a deadline such as a product launch for which the app will be pivotal. The software partner can, therefore, work backwards on the development stages mentioned in  #4 and provide you with an estimated date in which the product will be ready.  

Keep no secrets and inform your software development house of why and when you need the product. That’s what partners do after all, right?

7. Do you have competition? From whom?

Research on your competition is vital and will serve as a good stepping stone to figure out what is working, what is not working and most importantly, what you can do better (do some digging at the complaints and requests for new features on their review section). 

Don’t have direct competitors? Look for indirect rivals. 

This information is vital for your software development partner as it gives an idea of the design standards and features that the end-users of your app might be used to. Being inspired by best practices is not a crime. Outright plagiarism, however, is just sloppy and could cause issues in the long run. 

God father meme on rivals
What will happen if you don’t do your app research

8. How will you measure success?

The development and launch of an app is no easy endeavour which is why encourage our clients to think on hard metrics that they can use to monitor and measure success. These key performance indicators provide all the stakeholders with a goal to strive towards.

This definition of success can be measured by either one or many of the metrics outlined below

  • Income earned- does the rate of income match expectations?
  • Number of users- is the number of users as expected?
  • Session length- how long is a user spending on your app?
  • App rating and reviews- how is your app being received by its end-users?
  • Retention rate-what is the % of users who use your app during a certain period of time?
  • Churn rate- what is the % of users who stopped using the app during a certain period of time?

We hope the above has given you some food for thought, as it’s never a good idea to jump into building an app without a clear idea of its expectations. The next step is for you to select a software development partner who can match or even exceed the commitment to your idea. Need a little help? We have an in-depth analysis of 10 factors you need to consider when picking a software house

illustration of sad looking broken phone

Does your App need an update? Check for these 7 signs

 

With almost everyone scrambling to deploy an app to bring their services closer to the customer’s fingertips, your app must be top of the line, have great functionalities , be smooth and have a great UX if it is to make its mark. Sounds like a tall order? That’s because it is. 

Developing a great app isn’t rocket science, provided you do your research on the end-users. Such apps must be customer-centric (we cannot reiterate this enough) and be developed with your customers (think usability tests ). Doing so, as you can imagine can be rather costly as it involves many hours of design, development and testing before you can finally release the app. You must then focus on marketing your app to ensure your app gathers traction with your users. That’s it, right?

Not quite, as the business landscape your app would be operating on is bound to change very fast, requiring the app to stay ahead of the curve. This is why we recommend our clients to set aside a portion of their app development budget for upgradesthat can preempt new customer requirements. 

Need further convincing? Take a look at how your peers think and compare your app against these 7 traits of outdated apps.

Graph 2 how often businesses update app pt. 2

1. It lacks the latest functionalities 

One of the simplest reasons you might want to consider updating your app is to add new functionalities to it. Doing so gives your end-users what they want , preventing their migration to other apps, whilst attracting new users who will contribute to boosting your bottom line. Such updates impact the experience your users would have within the app and might open new revenue streams that just might be the break your organisation needs. 

A fantastic example of this is Facebook Owned Instagram , who started replicating the exact features Snapchat offered in its app in a bid to lure young users to it (after afailed bidto buy it in 2013 for $3 billion). The strategy worked as Instagram stories now see400 million daily userswhilst Snapchat who introduced the stories feature and considered it a key differentiator is now at 191 million users. 

Another interesting development you might want to keep an eye on is Instagram’s IGTV which might prove to be a worthy rival to YouTube. 

2. App performance is declining

The success of your app is dependent on its performance, which is why it’s important to go dig into the quantitative data. We encourage all our clients to have a set of metrics through which they will be able to measure the performance of their app, and set benchmarks through which the performance could be measured. A few of our top performance metrics include but are not limited to

  • Active users – the number of users who use the app in a set period of time 
  • Session time – time spent on the app
  • Uninstalls – the number of users who uninstalled the app
  • Crash rate – even a single crash is unacceptable. An increase in this is definitely a push to upgrade your app

The above quantitative metrics will inform you of the decline in performance and therefore the existence of an issue. Finding the exact issue, however, is only possible through qualitative data gathered through your interactions with the customer and observations of user behaviour within the app. 

prisoner meme about app crash rate

3. Your users have trouble navigating 

Most apps have set design standards that provide users with a sense of familiarity and intuitiveness when navigating their way within the app. A break in this can have the user feeling disoriented and at a loss on how to use the app, impacting the overall UX. This will then cause a decline in the app’s performance, driving your hard-earned users to rival apps.

Can you imagine an app that doesn’t stick to Google’s Material Design being a hit? What about one that goes against Apple’s Human Interface Guidelines? 

Remember, the hardest battle is retaining your users and not gathering them

4. Reviews/requests from users

The best judge of an app is its users, which is why we encourage our clients to pay attention to reviews on the App/Play Store. Another way through which you can supplement this feedback is via the gathering of in-app feedback. 

A sizable amount of negative feedback or weak ratings on your app should give you pause and deserve a closer look at what is amiss. Such feedback is essential to establish what is working and what is not so that you know the actual scale of the upgrade that is required.

Similarly, you might find a sizable number of users asking for a feature that deserves consideration. Deploying an upgrade with such a feature will allow you to be seen as an organisation that listens to its users and create a positive impression with your end-users. 

5. Your app doesn’t follow the latest security protocols 

With security breaches divulging user information on an almost constant basis, there is simply no reason for your app to be behind the latest security protocols. Remember that an apps owner is solely responsible for any breaches and can be held liable for any damages caused to the users. 

Such breaches also dampen the trust your users place in you and can cause irreparable damage to your brand’s reputation. Remember Facebook’sCambridge Analyticadata scandal? How about Yahoo who had 3 billion accounts hacked?

Meme on impact of GDPR on gross profit

6. Your app doesn’t support many devices

The goal of developing an app is to bring it to the hands of as many users as possible and is one reasonyou should support multiple devices. Doing so with new hardware devices such as tablets require the development of another version of the app, in order to ensure it matches the new display, graphics and device-specific features. 

Remember, your users should receive a very consistent and cohesive experience whilst using your app, whether it be on a mobile or a tablet. 

7. The codebase is long outdated

The codebase of an app is the complete source code that maintains its functionality. Such codebases usually contain a time interval after which they will cease to function as usual and should be updated over time in order to ensure its compatibility with your app’s operating systems. 

Such information is usually conveyed to a client by the software developers in advance and should be taken very seriously. 

Wrapping it up

App updates with today’s technology and lean development processes do not take much time as they used to. Investing is such updates will ensure your app remains relevant, boosts your bottom line and is a brand asset that will improve your ROI many times over. Doing it wrong, however, can have you experiencing the opposite as negative reviews create bigger waves and lasting impressions than those that are positive.

Are you ready to roll the next update for your app? Let us know how we can help you here.   

Paying for software using fixed price contracts vs time and material contracts

Fixed Price vs Time and Materials: which software pricing contract is right for you?

 

The cost of development is always an important consideration when looking tohire a software development partner, and rightfully so. Such partnerships can be built on either fixed prices or contracts where the client is charged for the time and materials needed for the development. Making a decision on which one to opt for however depends but are not limited to factors such as requirements, budget, quality of work and the date in which the product needs to be delivered to the client.

Read onto to find out whether your business needs fixed or time and materials pricing for its software development.

What is a fixed price contract?

Fixed Price contracts as the name implies are software contracts whose deliverables and prices are agreed upon before starting work . Such projects involve intense questioning and probing of the client’s ideas and requirements to ensure the software house has a very clear idea of the end product. Wireframes can be extremely useful here as it will help visualise the end product. The software house then does some scoping inside itself to evaluate the technologies , designers, developers and other resources that must be deployed to deliver on the requirements expected from the client. The client is then presented with the scope of the work that is required to create the product, a plan for the development of the product, a deadline and its fixed cost.

What advantages does a fixed price contract bring you?

1. Helps with budget allocations – Having a fixed price for the deliverables can help clients allocate a set budget for it and not worry about it increasing. Any charges over the agreed amount must be notified of in advance and agreed to by both parties.

2. Requires little client involvement – Fixed price software contracts require very little involvement from the client as the deliverables are agreed by all parties well in advance. Such contracts are ideal for clients who have little technical knowledge, little time and/or prefer a hands-off approach to working with their outsourcing partners.

3. Predictability – Clients that need to plan a budget for development costs can benefit from fixed-price contracts as they are fixed and predictable. Such contracts allow the client to have a birds view of the development as it happens and makes reporting easy.

4. Fixed deadlines – Fixed price contracts provide clients with fixed deadlines that the software house will need to meet. Any inability to meet the same can have the software house incurring financial penalties.

advantages of fixed price contract meme

What disadvantages do fixed contracts have?

1. Marked up prices –Fixed price contracts tend to be costly as software houses mark up their development costs to cover any development work that might be outside the scope of work agreed in the contract.

2. Rigid scope with no possibility of changes –  Fixed price contracts make no room for adding new functionalities or any change in scope. This is detrimental as the customer requirements today change rapidly, and might have the client receiving a product that is redundant.

3. Long planning sessions –  Agreeing on the scope of fixed-price contracts is a tedious affair as all requirements and deliverables have to be planned well in advance. This takes an inordinate amount of time, pushing the development time further.

4. Quality assurance issues –  Instances of software houses delivering products with substandard code with little testing to meet the stringent deadlines set by fixed-price contracts aren’t unheard of.

5. Miscommunication between teams – Misunderstood project requirements can have the developers doing a sizable of work that will end up being of no use. This risk of miscommunication is very real when the cultural differences between the client and software house are rather large (yet, another reason why Mood Up prefersnearshoring).

Disadvantages of fixed price contracts boardroom meeting meme

What is a time and materials pricing contract?

As you might have guessed Time And Materials contracts charge for the actual work that is done(agile pricing) against the more rigid one-time payment required of in fixed-price contracts. Such software development is accomplished by scoping the project requirements with the client, accessing the work required and then dividing the work intosprints(components). The client is then informed of the number of hours and materials that would be required to build each sprint of the project. Such an approach to pricing software development lets the client be in charge of the development and have a birds-eye view of development as it happens.

What are the advantages of a time and materials contract?

1. Better control of costs –Time and materials software contracts give clients better control over the development costs as they are usually charged on a per sprint basis. Such an approach to software development is best for clients who prefer to see what they are paying for as it is being developed.

2. More flexibility to change requirements –The ability to pay only for the work done allows clients to add and/or modify the requirements from their software product, at any time of their choosing. This is important as the market and customer requirements might change, thereby requiring new/modifiedfunctionalities.

3. Less time scoping, more time developing – Time and Materials based software products work towards building a minimum viable product (MVP) first and then making iterative improvements to it. Development work, therefore, can start immediately without the need to spend days pouring over requirements as with fixed contracts.

4. Transparency throughout the project – The client is informed of the work hours and materials that is required for development, along with the hourly rates before every sprint. Such transparency allows for better cooperation between the development house and the client.

5. Ability to terminate the partnership at any given time – Time and materials pricing contracts allow clients to pull out of contracts at a time of their choosing as the charges are by sprints. Such a pricing approach tends to be useful if the quality of work from the developers do not match client expectations.

What are the disadvantages of a time and materials contract?

1. Requires more client involvement – Time and materials software contracts requireclients to play a lead role in managing the development of the product. Clients tasks in such an approach to development can have the client creating, managing the product backlog, attending weekly reviews on the state of development and product demos.

2. Costs can escalate with more functionalities – The ability to add/modifyfunctionalitiescan have your product being more costly than it was budgeted for. This, however, should not pose much of an issue as the client can always terminate a contract should the cost become too excessive.

3. Uncertain deadlines due to changing requirements – Any changes in project requirements can push the deadline of the product back and delay the release of your product to the market.

So which should you choose?

Both software pricing approaches have their pros and cons which is why we recommend our clients to opt for one that best suits their development and business needs.

fixed contract vs time and material contract meme

Fixed price contracts are ideal for when the software that is required is of limited functionalities, for a set purpose that will not change anytime soon and has a very strict budget. Such an approach to development should only be taken if the product is akin to a MVP and has a strict delivery deadline.

We at Mood Up prefer the time and materials approach to software development, as it matches our agile design and development principles. Such an approach we’ve found is ideal as it is impossible for both us and the client to have a concrete idea of the end product before starting its development. The flexibility offered by this pricing approach allows our clients to add new functionalities and ensure the end product is relevant and not redundant as with a product delivered at the end of one long fixed-price development cycle.

Developers coding custom software on laptops

8 Reasons You Should Opt for Custom Software Development

Making a decision on whether to invest in custom software development or in an off the shelf software solution can be a daunting prospect for many companies. All the more so if the requirements of the said software are for mission-critical or process improvements, involving a substantial amount of investment. Such considerations and the unfamiliarity many have with custom software solutions encourages the easy purchase of off the shelf software products which in most cases do not fit the full scope of requirements.

Off the shelf software solutions are created to fulfil the general purposes a company such as yours might have and offers little customisation. What we know in our 7 years of software development , however, is that each company is unique and require software solutions that fit it, and not force the company to fit itself to the off the shelf software that was purchased. Your software solution should fulfil your needs and this is only possible if it is developed from the ground up, in consultation with the end users. Such an approach ensures that the end users do not have to compromise and the final product is in line with a company’s business needs.

Custom software development might sound like a lot of work and it could be if you pick the wrong software development partner. Theright software partner, however, should be able tounderstand your needs, scope your requirements and provide you with the benefitsthat are inherent to customized software.

1. You own the source code

Custom software development makes products for you, based on your requirements, thereby making you its owner. All code and materials related to your product will be provided to you by the developers, so that you may exercise your ownership over it. This, however, is not the case with off the shelf software solution providers who retain its ownership, with your business incurring a monthly fee for its usage. The support is also not as comprehensive as you find with the developers who designed your software from scratch.

Another factor you have to consider here is custom software development’s ability to let you dictate what you want to be developed. This freedom would allow you to integrate multiple business requirements into your product instead of compromising and/or using multiple off the shelf products. This would increase the uptake of your product with customers, employees and reduce churn rates.

Off the shelf software kermit meme

2. The end product is unique

No business is the same which is why off the shelf software that takesa one size fits all approach, a bad idea.Custom software development is done after analysing your need for it, business processes, people and expectations. Such software has a higher chance of fitting seamlessly to your business than off the shelf software that is more rigid and offers little to no customisation.

3. Better long term return on investment

The biggest argument against custom software development is the costsinvolved in it. What you have to remember, however, is that custom software is designed and developed with your specific needs in mind,  which is why it might tend to be costlier than off the shelf products, whose costs are recouped through its licensing to many clients. It’s important to remember that developing your own software is a one-time investment in your business and will have you saving money from the process efficiencies achieved through it. Custom software that fits a company’s needs makes it leaner and more prone to shave unnecessary expenses. An off the shelf software solution, on the other hand, will have you spending more money on training and alternate tools to fill the rest of your software requirements in addition to the cost of licensing.

Another factor you have to take into account is the rapid rate of progress in the software development industry.Native software development is now being overtaken by hybrid software platforms due to the cost efficiencies they grant. The design of the software is also made cheaper and faster thanks to lean UX principlesthat are fast becoming a norm.

It’s important to take hidden costs into account when using off the shelf software solutions. Custom software development leaves no space for hidden costs or markups as you receive exactly what you pay for.

off the shelf software hide the pain harold meme 1

4. Provides full control of the development process

The software house you are opting for should give you periodical updates and demos of the product as it is being built. This gives you a holistic view of where your money is being spent, what is being developed,testedand full control over the process.

Such insight into the software development process will allow you to identify and resolve problems before they materialise in the finished product.

5. Able to scale with your business needs

The software made for you by developers you hired will have an innate understanding of how they can scale it to more users or with more features. This is important as your software should fit the updated needs of you, your customers and the business environment you operate in.

This, however, is not the same with off the shelf software solutions who are more rigid in their scalability. Such software solutions have limits to how they could be scaled and could have you spending more for a higher tier license, that still does not fit all your requirements.

6. Stronger security protocols

Custom software isdeveloped as per the latest industry standards and is updated with security protocols that match it . The developers who created your software from scratch are also very knowledgeable about security breaches and will be in a better position to assist you with issues as they happen and protect sensitive information.

Off the shelf software is a more risky proposition as they use technology and security protocols that are bound to be common knowledge and more attractive to a malicious attacker who will get more rewards for his effort.

7. You have full access to a support team

The support you can expect from a team that did the developing of your product is much higher than from a software vendor who has many clients who license its software. With custom software development, there is no need to wait for a security patch or any other updateas you would have to with off the shelf software solutions. Developing your software from scratch also gives you access to regular maintenance as and when you want without disrupting the business process.

Off the shelf software tech support air support meme

8. You have many software developers to choose from

Opting for custom software development lets youpick a software developerthat fits your business. These developers should be able to ask you the right questions to help scope the exact requirements you need from your end software product. You can then decide on what should be included in the minimum viable product (MVP) and build on it iteratively.

Off the shelf solutions do not offer this flexibility and can have you paying for pre-loaded features you do not require. Your options for picking an off the shelf software solution provider can also lessen if the industry you operate in, is not as popular or as saturated.

Conclusion

We understand that opting for custom software development can be a new experience, which is why we at Mood Up focus on educating our partners on the process and get themactively involvedduring design and development. Such a partnership enables us to deliver above and beyond the software development our partners seek of us and maintain a shared growth mindset in the years to come.

A person's hands highlighting words with a marker over desk full of design papers

8 Things to Consider Before Developing a Mobile App

 

With over4,7 billionmobile phone users around the world, who spent an estimated$19.5 billionglobally in the first quarter of 2019, developing a mobile app to tap into this vast number might seem like a no brainer. 

A mobile app, however, is an extension of your brand, and developing one should be approached quite carefully to ensure the app brings its intended benefits and doesn’t cause more harm than good. Another reason why we recommend the consideration of the below eight factors is as a haphazardly developed mobile app can have you losing money, time and opportunities. 

1. Do you really need it?

You’d think this to be an odd question from a mobile app development company such as ours, but asking questions such as this makes our clients evaluate themselves and their expectations.

Remember, an app is an extension of your brand and developing one for the sake of doing so is not a smart idea. 

Creating and adding value for your end user however is. 

2. End-user 

All apps should be developed after extensive research as doing so helps to understand the current offerings on the market and the expectations users have of such apps so that your app may serve a better solution. The top four questions you must ask yourself therefore is 

  • Who are my competitors and what is their app offering?
  • What’s their strategy and unique selling point(s)?
  • Are there any weaknesses?
  • Customer sentiments to the app offered by competitors

Having answers to the above should give you an idea of the state of the market you intend on entering and help identify threats as well as opportunities. Upon establishing this, we recommend doing some research on the end-users themselves as the success of any app lies in its user-centeredness. The question you should ask yourself, therefore, is 

  • Why are customers using these apps?
  • What are needs that are being met at present
  • Are there any needs that are not being met?

3. Operating system 

The global app ecosystem is dominated by two key players, iOS and Android, who each command81.8%and18.2%respectively. Any development of an app, therefore, should cater to these platforms and their users. 

It might be tempting to aim for the dominant Android platform and leave out iOS users, but do keep the following in mind 

  • 30 million iOS users switched to Android in 2017, whereas Android lost 112 million toiOS.
  • Almost half (45%) of iOS users have more than 5 paid apps or subscriptions, whereas only 19% of Android users could say thesame. 
  • Revenue from the iOS App Store was double the revenue from the Play Store in2018

We have a great article that can give you more information to help make a decision on your platformhere.

4. Native or cross-platform development

Once you’ve made a decision on the platform you’d be opting for, it’s important that you pay attention to the technology that will be used for app development. A key option you can pursue isnative app development, which is essentially apps developed for the specific operating system, which gives them the ability to utilise device-specific hardware such as camera, GPS and fingerprint scanners.  We at Mood Up favour nativeprogramming languages such asObjective-C, Swift for developing iOS apps and Java for Android apps. The downside of such an approach, however, is the increased development time and cost a client would have to incur if the apps need to run on both iOS and Android. 

There is however a secondcross-platform optionthrough which developers can create one code base and use it to run apps on both platforms. Such development using frameworks such as React Native and Flutter can reduce development time and costs, allowing the app to be deployed faster. One must, however, remember that such an approach is not always best if the app that is being developed need to be tightly integrated to their operating systems and/or will be performing heavy duty tasks such as graphic heavy games. 

5. UI/UX Design

UI is the interface that the user interacts with whereas the UX is the experience one has with it. Both design elements are equally important and can mean the difference between thesuccess and failure of your app. Such design thinking at the early stages of the design of an app is vital as it sets the look and feel for the app, which then allows the developers to start coding. 

A well thought out UI/UX design will provide your end users with a seamless experience that will translate into increased revenue, customer advocacy, faster growth and better brand image. 

6. Mobile analytics 

It’s impossible to improve on something that we cannot measure and that’s where mobile analytics become highly useful. This, however, should be done in conjunction with your business goals so as to recognize and optimise the performance of your app. Integrating mobile analytics to your app will help analyse and pinpoint functionalities that are performing well with those that are not, so that the design and development team can continue optimising the app to achieve your business goals. 

7. Testing 

An app that works is more useful than an app that looks pretty but is riddled with bugs. Such buggy apps that do not respond, crash and is generally unstable will have your hard earned users abandoning you for your competitors and damage your brand. 

That why at Mood Up place a core focus onrunning automated and manual testson each the end of builds we produce. Such testing allows us to discover bugs (if any!) that are then passed onto the developers, who ensure the issue is rectified. This rigorous process ensures that the product build our customers get at the end of every sprint is one that can be deployed should they decide to. 

8. Costs 

Custom app development isnot cheapand anyone who says otherwise should have you worried. The benefits of a custom app with a good UX/UI, strong backend and no bugs however far outweigh the costs of making it, and should be considered as an investment in your business with far-reaching benefits, 

Development costs, however, could be reduced if you choose a software partner withagile pricingwhere charges are only incurred for the development done, unlike the fixed pricing method which locks clients into a contract with set expectations and higher costs (due to set profit margins). 

Another thing to consider is, will you be charged separately for the design, development and QA? If so the bill will be on the hefty side. 

Mood Up, however, offers design and QA as value added services for our clients and only charge for the app development work that is done. 

Summary

Mobile app development as we mentioned is no walk in the park with many factors contributing to its success and continuity. Being prepared and giving due consideration to factors such as the UI, UX, the development frameworks used and QA, however, can help transform an idea to a great mobile app, at a considerably low cost.

Two people shaking hands

10 factors you need to consider when picking a software house

 

Picking a software house is not a task that should be taken lightly as the wrong choice might mean a loss of a sizable amount of money, time, peace of mind and more importantly, opportunity.

This is why at Mood Up encourage our partners (client is a word we steer clear off of) to look beyond the boastfulness and accolades that one sees at first glance and dig deep into a software house’s people, skills, previous work and processes. It might be a tedious task, but one that will pay off in dividends once the project is completed.

1. Presence and market reputation

Software development is no walk in the park and can be a costly affair if done incorrectly.

That’s why we encourage any client looking to develop a product to do their research on the business operation length of the software houses they intend on working with. This will dispel any doubts on the financial stability of the software house in question and create a lasting partnership.

You might also want to take a look at theportfolioof the software houses to evaluate their previous work. Recommendations from clients on websites such asClutchcan also be very helpful.

2. Communication strategy

Communication is vital in any partnership and all the more so in software development as a project’s velocity is dependent on the speed in which issues are discovered, communicated and fixed.

Inquire on the communication tools used by the software houses you intend on working with and find one that matches your preferences whether it be Slack, Jira, Asana or Trello.

Remember, communication with your software house, who are essentially your extended team should be seamless, and not a chore.

3. Partnership dynamics

The strength of a partnership is only as good as its dynamics and this is pivotal when picking a software development partner.

This is why we recommend expending some time to research your potential partners for a good fit. Meet them if it’s possible and/or encourage them to pay your company a visit.

Remember, you need to like the people you are working with.

4. Technology Stack

You need a partner with proven experience and skill sets that match the requirements of your particular app, and not one that dabbles in many programming languages.

Pose your potential software houses with your requirements and evaluate their approach to it. Ask for the credentials of the development team that will be allocated to you. Ask for examples of previous work using the same technologies.

Remember, a good software house should have no qualms about answering any questions a client might have.

5. The work process

Does your potential software development house use agile or the waterfall methodology in developing their products?

If it’s the latter, you might be in trouble as agile work processes such as scrum is now an industry standard due to its ability to increase the velocity of product development at lower costs.

6. Cost model

The cost of development is at the forefront of any customers mind and rightfully so.

Our recommendation is to opt foragile pricing modelsthat charge for the work done as the development progresses versus the fixed pricing model, which can have you paying more for limited functionalities as software house usually add a sizable markup to counter any unexpected issues.

Remember, if the price of a project is too good to be true, it probably is.

7. Scope of service

Some software house provides end to end services that encompass design, development, QA and even listing the final product on iOS and Android app stores.

Make sure you opt for one that has the services you require as close cooperation between designers, developer and QA creates better products, faster.

8. Contracts

Transparency is vital in any partnership, which is why you should ask your potential software development house to provide you with an example of the contract that will be signed.

You are also well within your rights to ask for a non-disclosure agreement (NDA) before submitting your idea for anestimate.

9. Location and cultural fit

Close collaboration is key to a successful partnership.

Working as such, however, is rather difficult if the software development partner you outsource to is on a vastly different timezone and culture.

This is why we at Mood Up prefer to work with clients whonearshoretheir software to us.

10. Trials

Outward appearances can be deceiving which is why we recommend agreeing on a trial period to test the dynamics of the relationship and all that we mentioned above.

A phone and an IoT device

8 things to consider before building an IoT app

 

With the Internet, you can upgrade your program.Developing such apps are now easier,Moreover, such apps can be smarter and more effective. 

It is a need for some special applications. 

1. Which platform will the app be built on?

The IoT platform is essentially the ecosystem that supports and connects it to.It can be managed and analyzed to improve functionality.  

Growth in the IoT of The has garnered a the Attention of the big tech players such as with thethe Microsoft,Amazon’s,the SAP, the CISCO andthe Googlethe who offer now! Just made the read, the secure platforms That help the app developers to Accelerate the Pace of development with lower power costs and Risks.Youn’t be able to create a custom made platform from scratch.

The right platform Choosing with Their Contents Technical jargon is the no the easy task, the which is why <br> we Encourage you tothe write to usAT the Up with your Mood: idea. 

2. The device you are connecting to 

If you are developing an app.Below questions

  • what kind of functionality does your app perform?
  • which industry do you want to cater to?Entertainment?Fitness?Home security?
  • do you want to connect to the IoT?
  • would you like to expect interoperability with many devices?

3. Making privacy of user data a priority

Our data is a significant concern in today’s digital economy. 

This is not the case. 

Remember, privacy breaches are costly to the bottom line and more importantly, its reputation. 

4. Securing your app from threats

IoT apps.IoT apps need stringent security protocols and continuous updates. 

5. Scaling the app to fit market changes.

WithGartnerexpecting 95% of all products to use IoT by 2020, your app should be able to. 

You will be able to add more functionalities while you are in the future.

6. The quality of the user experience

It’s a bit of a funk. 

Doing research on customer expectations, features and integratinglean design standards, therefore, is important. 

7. The speed and quality of the app’s functions. 

It is important that you get it connected. 

8. How much will it cost?

The costs of the building an IoT app as you might have guessed is different from a regular web or mobile app due to its nature. 

This, however, is dependent on many factors that include the above, the functionalities expected and the technical skills of the developers you’d hire. 

Summary

The role of technology is to ease the lives of its users and IoT devices are its forefront. Such devices provide a very large market potential which is why we are seeing an increased focus on developing apps that are always connected to the internet. Our advice, however, is to first be clear on the idea for your app and then partner with a software house that has the necessary skillsets, experience necessary to advise, build and deploy your app. 

Mood Up team several years of experience in developing IoT apps.AT a look of Take Our work in the IoT the appsfound hereor the send us your: idea for anEstimatefound here.