We understand that the number of options and factors to consider while developing your app or other specialized software might be intimidating. We’ve put together this guide to show you how to do it the right way.
Here are the top ten things to consider when building your custom software.
1. What problem are you trying to solve?
Many companies tend to start with solving a problem before they understand why they need it. For example, it’s easy to say, “We need the app because our competitors have it.” But if your competitors have built their app with a deep understanding of the problem their users are facing and you haven’t, then your solution will struggle to be as successful.
However, if you take the time to understand the problem your business faces or your users/customers face, you can apply empathy to innovation and create a product that puts the user first. This issue should be your first concern when developing applications and software.
2. Get a solid understanding of how to solve the problem
After you’ve taken the time to study your users’ concerns, the next step in in-app and software development is to figure out what kind of software you’ll need to address them and what particular features you’ll need.
There are many options to consider here. For example:
- Looking at competing brands’ software to see if your ideas are on the right track.
- User research to see what users like and dislike about your current system, what they think about other programs in the field, and what features they would like to see in your solution.
- Conducting workshops with your team to better understand their view of the audience and the potential features they think could satisfy that demographic.
- Working with an outside partner who has the expertise to help you channel all of the above and can offer their suggestions.
Once you have the results and reduce them to the most valuable and relevant, you can move on to the next step.
3. Explore Your Options
You should investigate the types of solutions accessible to you now that you’ve spent time understanding the problem and researching the characteristics your new program will require to assist address it.
There is an option between:
- In-house development: Does your team have the necessary resources and skills to complete the project? If this is the case, maintaining it in-house may be the best option.
- External development: This provides the advantages of outside knowledge and greater flexibility in scaling up or down on resources as the project proceeds.
4. Take time to determine the limitations of your project
This step involves taking the time to understand all the factors that your software development partner will need to think about for the project. These may include:
- Your budget
- Your timeline.
- Legacy systems and compatibility with them
- The technologies used by your target audience
5. What features are most important?
In the next of the ten steps of custom software development, you’ll decide on a hierarchy of features.
This is useful because your software doesn’t have to be equipped with all of the features you identified in step two. If your goal is to get the product to market quickly, defining the core features and creating a roadmap for adding other features later can be a very viable strategy.
There are several approaches you can consider in this phase, including:
Agile development: This approach allows developers and stakeholders to work closely together, removing the barriers of lengthy processes. It allows developers and the client to collaborate to create software quickly, iterates quickly, and explore opportunities dynamically.
Developers using the CI/CD approach use automation tools to speed up the integration of new code.
6. Integration with existing systems
This step can be crucial if the software you’re building is designed to solve internal problems.
It even included a notification system, allowing those who leave feedback to receive a confirmation text message while maintaining anonymity.
The app is now easily installed on GPs’ computers, allowing them to report problems quickly and without reproach.
7. What kind of reports do you need?
For many companies, the more data they have about customers and product or service performance, the more effectively they can optimize their internal performance, marketing, or sales strategy. Therefore, reports are also one of the most important aspects to consider when creating your custom software. You need to make sure that your software partner provides a reporting package that is easy to use, outputs information simply and straightforwardly, yet is flexible enough to use the data in any way you may need it, both now and in the future.
8. The “home” of your software and how people will find it.
The solution to this question depends on the type of solution you choose and how you want to distribute it. It can be hosted on a server or a cloud service, or if it’s an app, you can use any of the app stores – like Apple, Google or the Microsoft Store.
At Altezza Creative Solutions, we can help you make your decision and bring it to life.
9. Getting Ready for a Launch
You may also want to do a soft launch, targeting certain user groups, or release a full-featured app or program from the start. At this point, we’ll also look at data migration, user training, and how you’ll communicate with your customers about the product launch.
10. Launch and post-launch
In today’s world, a launch is no longer the end of the process; it is just another step toward serving your customers.
This is because software is no longer a single release released to the market without the need for updates or user support. On the contrary, it is a living service with regular maintenance and new features.
This is where a maintenance agreement comes to the rescue, ensuring that your bespoke software runs smoothly and can grow and scale as your business demands.
A maintenance agreement is critical to building your brand, retaining existing customers, and attracting new ones.
Altezza Creative Solutions has extensive experience developing custom software to solve all kinds of problems for businesses and managing the maintenance of that software through successful long-term partnerships.
Our range of services is designed to help you plan, design, launch, and develop the best custom software. From early UX workshops in which we review the usability features your application should include, to hosting your software and sending it to distribution channels such as various app stores, to developing additional features after launch, we think through every detail, working quickly and reliably with a tried and tested agile approach.