Understanding the Software Development Process
One of the biggest issues within the software industry and clients with little to non-tech background is the lack of understanding about the software process, cost and expectations.
I started my career in online marketing almost a decade ago where applications were still in its very early stage and ‘apps’ were referred to as ‘widgets’. My first tasks were to revamp the old website and create a new educational online game. At the time, I had some experience in front end development, knew my way around Photoshop and went through a gaming phase – and this was more tech experience than most of my peers.
Armed with an outline scope of what we wanted to achieve and a very generous budget, off I went in search for a software developer in the area. But before I went, I had to google “software development” first because I, like most people in my department, had little to no idea of how complex building software could be. And just a like a newbie, I made the mistake of choosing the cheaper/less detailed quote, made change requests during the development stage and missed key deadlines. It was no surprise our costs also doubled.
If I’d had a better understanding of how it all worked, had enough information before rushing in to development to meet deadlines, it would have helped iron out a lot of the frustrations experienced during the development process.
Below is a general guide of our own scope of services and the phases of the Software Development Process (SDP). I’ll explain more in later blogs about each of the phases and the software we use for each of those phases, the information we seek and documents we send out to our clients.
I hope this helps as it has helped myself, and many of our new clients understand the software development process.
PHASE I – The planning phase and creating the blue print.
- Project Setup
First things first, we set up your Apple Developer Account.
- Use-Case Scenarios
We’ll help define your app’s user goals, what they want to accomplish and define your audience
Once we’ve gotten to know your audience more, we’ll outline the app’s functionality and workflow to meet their needs
We’ll minimise unknown surprises by mapping out any additional content you want to have in the app
We’ll provide a visual representation of the sitemap which also shows the navigable prototype of how the app will work
PHASE II – The Visual Phase. How your app is going to look
- App Branding
We’ll incorporate your existing brand (where applicable) and artwork in to the app
- Visual Design
Finally, we’ll design a mock up for the home screen and sub screens before development.
PHASE III – The Development Phase. Your app is now in progress
Once we begin production, our developers will focus on completing the task set before them. It also means while we will constantly update you on the app’s progress, there will be no change request until the Alpha Test version is ready for review.
This is why it’s so important to get the planning and information architecture phase correct at the very beginning.
Our testers will try to break your app, not literally, but our testers will spend a lot time trying to crash your app and fix the bugs internally before it is released on the App Store.
PHASE IV – App release. Get ready for launch!
- Submit to App Store
Your app will be submitted under your company’s name. It takes about 7 days (depending on the wait) for Apple to review any app submissions.
If there’s any feedback from Apple we will handle those issues so you can focus on the app’s launch.
- Launch in App Store
We’ll let you know as soon as the App is available on the App Store
PHASE V – Maintenance
- App Care
After the app launch, we’ll provide ongoing support by fixing any existing bugs for the next 3 months.
Rosherl is the CEO for Kerofrog, with a background in online marketing, design, project management, chronic insomniac and a DIY disaster.