After our last two posts, you might be wondering what is involved in building a custom app and how we take you through this journey to ensure you get the most out of your app.

So how will you get started? 

1. The idea  

You have one of those light bulb moments, or it comes to you slowly over time, but either way, you realise that your organisation could greatly benefit from a custom app.  This could come in the form of a holiday home booking system, a healthy living module system, or how about a gift wishlist app?

And then... 

2. Research  

The word that everyone hates but we should all love. It’s something that is often missed as you are excited to start the project, but there is little use in building a custom app if it’s not actually going to suit your employees, organisation or market. Investing in research at the beginning can save a lot of money and time in the long run.  This research should include the overall goal of your custom app and how you will reach your target audience.

3. Functionality  

This involves understanding HOW your app will work and also what it will look like. Often this stage is combined with the visual architecture and design stage of the process.  Understanding how the app looks is a huge part of understanding how it will also function. Walk through's and prototypes are delivered and deliberated upon. 

4. Development  

We begin to work on the back-end development of your app. Databases are put in place, software is meticulously planned and tested. This is where regular communication is crucial between yourself and the developers to ensure regular progress updates are provided.  

5. Going live  

An exciting time, the app is finished, has been tested and is now ready to go live. We launch, you learn and starting using!

It should not stop here... 

6. Monitoring and evaluation  

After the app goes live, your users will have a chance to work with the app and see how well it works for the purpose it was built for. Fixing any bugs and gathering user feedback, needs to be part of the project plan. Too often this is left out and is the primary cause of failure of custom apps.

7. Support and Maintenance 

Handholding, customer service, collating changes and implementing a regular update cycle ensures that the app stays current and relevant.  If there is no adequate support or maintenance strategy in place your app will be at risk.

8. Security, Backups & Speed   

Regular penetration testing, performing security audits and speed testing should be a regular occurrence as well as having a backup plan. Understanding the surface area of the app and security is critical. As the data store grows it is essential the system does not slow down. 

We inherit a lot of clients that have had web apps fail as there was no adequate thought put into nurturing or supporting an app, nor was there any consistency from the digital agency in terms of staff. 

What many people don’t realise is how a well-written and supported app can make a positive difference to your professional and personal life but the converse can just as easily happen.

In the next blog we look at how our longevity and consistency in terms of technology stack has made our clients very happy and how success comes from stability.


Other musings:

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