In details
Many customers come with a very specific idea of what they want, and others have a more general idea, but we realise that, whatever you bring to the table, you have the greatest understanding of your industry, target audience and goals. It is our job not only to offer our technical expertise and insight, but to listen to you and familiarise ourselves with all of these aspects of the project.
This means many discussions, lots of questions and drafting a plan of action that will work as a roadmap throughout the project. This part of the process is often underappreciated or underestimated – it can take just as long as the rest of the project, but it is through these activities that we build our base, avoiding later misunderstandings and ensuring we both will end up with the best solution.
It's easy enough to figure out the price of petrol or how much for a pint of your favourite lager at the local pub, but that’s because a pint’s a pint everywhere you go (at least in the UK). Now, imagine that you don’t want what everyone else is drinking – you want a special pint made just for you. To do that, a brewer is going to need to spend a lot of time getting to know you and your tastes before he even begins his craft. And what if you don’t just want your own beer, but your own pint glass, your own coaster, your own stool to sit upon, or even your own pub to drink it in. The draught world has now met the world of mobile development.
As with any fully customised product, mobile and web solutions are all about the details that make them unique. You don’t want a one-size-fit-all approach; you want solutions that meet your needs, which sometimes only requires a simple product, and sometimes a complex one, but always requires an individualised one. For that reason, the first step of any process is getting to know you.
From this point, the rest of the project falls somewhere on a scale of complexity, based on how much functionality you want to see in your app
Let’s take a look at two points on that spectrum to get an idea of how cost connects to all of this.
Imagine first a very simple application, such as a “Reminder” app. This would be useful for simple tasks like shopping lists, recipes, or other lists that you might quickly write down to remember later. In terms of functionality, this app would allow for text input and saving of that information.
After learning everything we can through dialogue with you, our team has to do some research on our own, discuss the project and plan a strategy. Our first goal is to create what is called a Minimum Viable Product (MVP). This is essentially your app stripped down to the barest form it can be and still function. We determine what this looks like and set that as our major milestone. From here we can test, add and evaluate, as well as offer you the first taste of what your app is shaping up to look like.
After defining the MVP, our team moves to pre-production, taking this idea to the development teams
The Design team first reviews the component parts and figures out how to organise them in the most intuitive way. You may have used an app or visited a site that was beautiful and had lots of different features, but getting to them never seemed to follow the logical path. That's what happens without input from good user experience testers. Their job is to predict all the possible ways a user might use or might want to use the app. Then they create some basic sketches of the layout on each screen. Even on a basic app, this process takes several days. (The number of ways users might use or misuse even the simplest app is shocking.)
Of course, the Design team also handles the aesthetic aspects of your app. They work to ensure your brand and your identity are represented in everything users see, from font and colour scheme to interactive buttons and the logo. The Design team shares their initial ideas with you, explains them and decides what best suits your business through your input.
The Engineering team handles the action behind the scenes. They identify the limits of the technology, the ability of it to serve your needs and obstacles to be overcome or avoided. They also determine how to best structure the app’s architecture, not only so that it functions at the launch, but so it can be upgraded and maintained with the least amount of effort to ensure long-term success. Mapping this all out takes a day or two for basic apps.
At the Production and Development stage, the teams move from the drawing board and create the content and coding, which they then unite. The initial sketches begin to take form as actual screens, adorned in the colours, fonts, icons and other features the Design team have painstakingly created, and which the engineers then connect and place upon the architecture they craft. In an application with little functionality developed by a well-organised company, the design process takes approximately five days and the engineering takes ten.
Throughout the process, a key step is quality assurance (QA). It is a set of special actions implemented by the QA department to control the quality of the software from the draft stage to the application launch.
Concerning B2B apps, for example, we may discover a lack of functionality for special cases your business encounters, an unfriendly interface or other errors, any of which could stall the whole business process. With B2C applications, a lack of quality leads to frustrated users and negative feedback, possibly crashing the whole enterprise. So, quality assurance is a vital part of proper app creation.
We don’t stop there. Once you are ready for launch, we bring our experience in effective strategies in the Apple App Store, Google Play and other markets to ensure your product reaches the largest audience, which requires another day or two to compile screenshots and write descriptions that will appeal to your customers and assure you see a return on your investment.
Well, what does that investment look like? Let’s see a breakdown.
Defining MVP, Strategy and Goals 2 days (16 hours)
User Experience and Visual Design 8 days (64 hours)
Engineering 10 days (80 hours)
Quality Control 3 days (24 hours)
Publication 2 days (16 hours)
Total 25 days (200 hours)
That’s right, even a “basic” app takes five working weeks to complete (not even including the initial conversations). Development agencies charge somewhere between $700 to $1,500 a day, so on a 25-day project, the bill runs anywhere from $18,000 to $36,000. The same project, as done by Magora, would cost from $11,500.
OK, but we realise you want to see a few bells and whistles in your application. It adds utility for the user, which means more value for you. Adding functionality obviously requires more time on behalf of everyone involved though. Let’s say we ramp up our initial “Reminder” app to include some social features and utility. We’ll add a location finder, which will react to your proximity to shops, for example; the ability to access your contacts and share reminders with others; and full-integration with existing calendars to ensure all of your notifications are in one spot.
Now that is a fairly big overhaul, and each change we make and bit of complexity that we add is reflected in multiple locations and aspects of the project. So, for each additional feature, we can expect exponential growth.
Our new breakdown will look something like this:
Defining MVP, Strategy and Goals 5 days (40 hours)
User Experience and Visual Design 20 days (160 hours)
Engineering 60 days (480 hours)
Quality Control 10 days (80 hours)
Publication 2 days (16 hours)
Total 97 days (776 hours)
Using the same rates as before, we can expect a 97 day project to cost between $70,000 and $140,000, which Magora would be able to achieve for $44,600.
Is That the End?
Mobile technology and its markets are in no way static. Devices, OS’s and even coding languages change. Mobile apps require someone to support them, upgrade them and change them to meet the demands of this ever-evolving market, and Magora commits itself to the long-term success of projects by filling that role.
We have seen two very different projects and their expenses. Sometimes what people believe to be a quick or “basic” task is far more intricate than it seems, but a well-organised, experienced team is always able to commit to take any idea of any size or scope and take it from inception to a fully-functional, value-driven product that brings your business what it needs.
Prices range at Magora from (rare) projects under $22k to expansive ones that cost more than $1.5 million. On average, we charge $45k to $65k per project, a price far below that of most of our competitors. To answer your question precisely, it will take a consultation and a bit of dialogue to let us know your goals, your business and your tastes.
If you are ready to invest in a mobile solution for your business, have an idea of how you want to see your business go mobile, or simply wish to dig deeper into the world of B2B apps, you can get in touch with us any time!
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