It’s the first question asked when it comes to developing a mobile app:
“How much will my mobile app cost to build?”
While there are many factors that go into the cost of a mobile app, the real cost lies in the time and resources of the talent specialists required to build the app. If you think you’ll be able to hire a freelance developer and app designer to build an app within a month or two for a few thousand dollars by all means, go ahead. But you won’t get what you want. App development is like most things in life, you get what you pay for.
In order to build a quality mobile app that is well-designed and fully functional, you need different specialists to play a part of the overall development. While general factors like the design and framework of a mobile app figure into the cost, what you’re really paying for is the hours, resources, and skill set of the talent specialists. To gain a better idea of who the major players in app development are, we’ve put together this guide of the required specialists for a quality mobile application.
App Designers / UX Specialists
Responsible for creating the application interface and the overall look and feel of the app, the UX designer lays the foundation of how users will interact with the product. First, the designer will gather data to understand how users will interact with the functionality of the application.
Then they’ll create mock-up designs that fit to the specific the needs of the end user. The UX specialist will ultimately develop the ins and outs of navigation and on-screen elements that deliver a seamless experience.
A good designer will know how to design for different devices: iPhone, Android and Windows phone screens. That’s why the app designer plays an important role, as it doesn’t make sense to code the app until you’re sure it meets users’ preferences and needs. The app designer will create the right size, graphics, icons and theme for the app across all platforms.
Once they’re set with the design of the app they feel is best suited, they’ll provide proper guidance to the programmers and quality assurance team who are developing and testing the application. The UX specialist ultimately creates the experience you want out of your mobile application, and is compensated well for doing so.
The app developers are responsible for turning the app from an idea to a reality. They’ll take what the app designer has created and turn it into working software. They’re responsible for coordinating the implementation of supporting architecture/infrastructure, and ensure all code is written within the project standards.
Depending on the platforms and devices your app needs to function on, you may need app developers who are well versed in multiple programming languages including but not limited to objective c, swift, and java. This is where the process becomes extremely resource intensive. The developers need to build multiple native applications and possibly integrate them with external data sources.
After the app developers have completed writing the initial code, they will work with the QA team to automate testing scenarios, signing off on known bugs, bug fixes and any technical troubleshooting that may arise. In order to build a quality mobile app, it’s imperative to hire experienced and talented app developers that will deliver the product you want.
The Quality Assurance (QA) team, as their name suggests, is responsible for ensuring the quality of the product. They extensively test different scenarios to ensure all facets of the application run smoothly. They’ll test integration with third party software, logins on difference mobile devices, swiping features at certain stages, handoff capabilities, and everything you can possibly imagine.
The QA team is extremely detailed oriented and have experience in looking for the functionality and design issues that are not easily seen by the app developers. If you want your app to be top-notch, you’ll have to pay a team of experts to make sure you’re delivering the best possible product, or suffer the consequences of a sub-par app.
It should be pretty clear that developing and maintaining a mobile application is a much more complex process than many think. It’s a major investment of time and resources of certain skill sets. If you’re looking to build a quality mobile application you should expect to have a team of at least 4-6 and expect to pay tens, or even hundreds of thousands of dollars. It’s important to always keep in mind – you will get what you pay for.