Software Development Lifecycles
By Joshua Weiss
There are three phases used to build software:
Phase I (“Blueprinting”) is the process in which we create the UI/UX and the technical specifications that will thoroughly detail the system architecture and design, business logic, rules, functionality, design for software. The requirements are locked down at the end of the blueprinting phase (Phase I) to prevent scope creep.
Phase II (“Software Development”) is the software development process itself, in which we will use the materials we produced during Phase I to develop (program) the software.
Phase III (“Testing”) consists of alpha and beta testing, in which we create a myriad of simulations to test the functionality of the entire system. Error handling, code cleanup, user interface and user experience bugs are fixed during this period.
There is often a 1:4:1 ratio with respect to the three phases of software development. So, for example, if it takes one day to design the software, it will take four days to program the software and one day to test the software. All things “being equal,” for a typical app, depending on whether it is for both iOS and Android smartphones and for tablets, the complexity of the business rules, the intricacy of the design, etc., it can take anywhere from 4 to 16 weeks to properly complete Phase I, and the remaining timeline is simple math. In this manner, building an “app” can cost as much as it would to build a house.
App creators should expect their prospective vendor to prepare a proposal with a timeline and quote that outlines the requested functionality. But bear in mind that costs may change depending on the length of Phase 1.
Building a successful app is more than the sum of its features. The app’s intuitive nature, elegant user interface, and user experience will have a direct impact on the app’s stickiness. A very successful sticky feature that drives results is gamification, which is the process of creating a “gaming feeling” or perception among app users. This sticky feature boosts engagement and draws people repetitively. The app need not be a game for it to employ gamification features. For example, Instagram, which is not a game, has a gamification feature that makes its users want more followers. The “player” with the most followers has the perceived value of increased popularity.
We’ve seen many gamification models work to help app creators attain quick download numbers that translate into high retention, and the common feature is always some level of perceived value that the app user gets from use of the app or actual value that the app user obtains from using the app.
Joshua Weiss is the founder and CEO of TeliApp, where he heads the strategic vision and initiatives of the company.