Apps, and the people who make them, can seem mysterious and even magical to those not in the tech world. This lack of understanding has led to many myths about what exactly goes into creating an app. With literally millions of apps, you may believe they are quick and easy to create. But before you quit your day job with your idea for ‘the next Facebook,’ check out the list below and bust some myths.
1. Every App Needs to Be a Social Media App
One common myth about apps is that they need a social media aspect. Social media has permeated our lives and how we interact with technology. Social sharing is a good feature for applications that thrive on community, but not necessary for every single app. If it doesn’t add value to your customer experience, then feel free to leave social sharing out of your app. Some of the best apps are created to solve problems, not share them with others.
2. Apps Are Cheap
Apps fall into what we call the ‘Quality Triangle.’ Apps can be two of three things: fast, good, and cheap. If it’s cheap and good, it won’t be made fast. If it’s cheap and fast, it won’t be the best quality. And if it’s made fast and of good quality, it won’t be cheap. You may see advertisements for app development for a few thousand dollars, but the product is guaranteed to disappoint you. If you really want to make an app that is secure, scalable, and good quality, it will come at a price.
3. More Hands Can’t Always Do More Work
Many hands make light work…to an extent. App development is a process, and some aspects have to be taken one step at a time. Adding more developers can make the process faster, but it can quickly spiral into a ‘too many cooks in the kitchen’ situation. If there are too many hands, it can take more time to sort out the different code than it would have for a few people to do the same work. It really depends on the project to determine what can be expedited.
4. Your Developers Should Always Be Tech Support
With any new technology, there are bound to be some questions from your users. Many times, the first instinct in this situation is to connect the developers to the user. Simply put, tech support on the individual level is not the job of your developers. Many simple problems can be fixed by non-developers, on a non-developer salary. Contacting the developers should be a last resort or reserved to tackle problems that occur at the code level.
5. An App will Market Itself
You’ve spent months planning, developing, and testing your new app and the day is finally here! You are ready for the big launch, the official release to…crickets? Why is no one using your amazing app? Because they don’t know it exists! “If you build it, they will come” really doesn’t apply in this case. There are millions of apps; even if yours is the best one ever made, no one will find it if you don’t spend time and money to market it.
6. Apps are Set It and Forget It
Creating an app is a continuous process that doesn’t end on launch day. Like any technology, maintenance is key in order to keep an app running. Plugins, packages, and third-party technologies are bound to have updates that can have breaking changes. On the upside, the security fixes that prompt these updates are worth it. But it can be hard to appreciate when it causes an issue in your app. You will need to account for maintenance over the life of the app.
7. All the Money Goes Directly to Writing Code
It’s easy to forget exactly how much goes into creating an app. You might think that you are just paying for code, but that ignores all the other aspects of development. Your investment goes toward design, testing, research, product management, and so much more. Starting any kind of work without a plan is a bad idea. The time and resources spent at the beginning of the project allows the thought and care needed to save you time and money on the back end.
Hopefully, this guide debunked a few myths you had about app development. By taking away the mystery, you can be more informed and empowered to make good decisions going forward in your own projects. App development can be complex, but it doesn’t have to be a secret.