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Building an App: Your 7 Biggest Questions Answered

Rudy Mutter
August 4, 2020

These days more and more small and midsize businesses are realizing that an effective mobile strategy involves more than just a mobile-friendly website- in fact, it's become nearly essential for businesses of all shapes and sizes to have their own dedicated mobile app.

However, for many small and midsize business owners, the actual process of creating that app can seem like a confusing, if not completly mysterious, concept.

To help de-mystify the app development process we sat down with Yeti's CTO & Co-Founder, Rudy Mutter, and asked him some of your biggest questions about the process of building an app.

1. I have an app idea, what should I do first?

This is one of the most common questions we hear at Yeti. The answer is always unique but we generally suggest beginning with the fundamental first steps outlined in this article and in the video below.

Want to Learn More? Check out these resources:
The User Persona Template and Guide
The User Journey Map Template and Guide
Defining Your Problem Statement

2. How long will it take to develop my app?

Project timelines can vary significantly depending on many possible variables, such as the robustness and scope of a project.

When extensive R+D, hardware, or emerging technologies are involved development can take much longer - but in general, we like to create the first version of software applications in 1-3 months, during which time we’ll establish a core product loop and begin the iterative design, build, and test process.

Check out the video below for more information on the timeline for building an app.

Learn More:
The Ultimate Guide to Mobile App Design and Development

3. How much will it cost to build my app?

It can be difficult to estimate the cost of building your app without some insight into what you want it to do and the many factors that play into that. This article breaks down many of the common factors involved in building apps and the cost associated with them.

4. What does the app design and development process look like?

Work on a new product usually begins with a Roadmapping Sprint. During this time we work with our clients to define the problem we want to solve and for whom we are solving it, consider solutions and work together to choose the best one.

From there, the actual development work begins. We use a method called “Applied Agile”, which means that we deliver working pieces of the product every two weeks. At the end of those two weeks, our clients have the opportunity to give us their feedback on the work we have done.

By delivering usable pieces of the product at the end of every sprint and receiving feedback on them, our clients don’t run the risk of spending hundreds of hours (and even more dollars) building a flawed product.

The Design and Development can be quite complex. Take a look at the video below for a more thorough look at what's involved.

Learn More:
Introduction to Applied AgileProduct Roadmapping: The Complete Guidebook5 Steps to a Succesful Product Roadmap

5. How can I create an app that people will actually want to use?

To create a great product, you first have to understand how your users think and interact
in relation to the problem you’re trying to solve with the product.

Check out the video for methods you can use to truly understand your ideal user.

Learn More:
The User Persona Template and Guide
The User Journey Map Template and GuideEmpathy Mapping

6. Is there a way to test the viability of my product without spending all the money to build it?

Yes - and we would highly recommend you do! Good software engineering is not cheap - so making sure you've tested the viability of a product first will derisk your investment in building it out. You can do this by building prototypes.

A prototype will allow you to see real users interacting with your product, giving you significantly more accurate feedback about if they have a need for the product, how much they would pay for it, which features are useful and how they need it to work.  

Learn more about the hows and whys of prototyping in this video:

Learn More:
The Ultimate Guide To Prototyping Success

7. How can I ensure that my product development team really understands my vision?

We use a vision brief to align with the teams we work with. You can think of a vision brief as a project's blueprint that provides high level guidance, direction and goals for your project.

Learn More:
Stay Aligned with Yeti's Top Three Vision Brief Tips
The Vision Brief Template and Guide

Did this article help answer some of your biggest questions about the app development process? Do you have any questions you'd like to see answered in a future article? We'd love to hear from you!

Rudy Mutter is a CTO + Founding Partner at Yeti. He found his passion for technology as a youth, spending his childhood developing games and coding websites. Rudy now resides in the Yeti Cave where he architects Yeti’s system and heads up project production.

Follow Rudy on Twitter.

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