Great custom application development demands attention to detail and dedication to collaboration from day one. Although no two developers do their jobs exactly the same way, certain standards of communication, involvement, and research apply across the board. We’ve outlined some of the most important of these standards below.
Meeting Face to Face
Great custom application development involves frequent face to face interactions with clients. Good application development demands at least an initial face to face interview. This first meeting isn’t just for introductions or manners. It’s actually imperative to the quality and success of the custom product.
When developers first meet their clients, they need to engage in a full interview. If developers leave after just collecting a list of technological parameters and requirements, they can’t build a great product. You can take a shopping list into a store. The advantage of custom application development is the fact that it’s unique to you and your business. During the interview, developers should ask about your businesses goals, methods, work culture, and more.
Even if this information doesn’t appear to directly impact the application being developed, it provides a vital foundation for developers to build on. A customer-oriented business that focuses on cutting edge technology to serve their clients will best profit from a very different application than a business focused on production and internal affairs would order. Even if both businesses ordered a customer portal, for instance, they would have vastly different end goals. Custom applications should not just solve a technical problem, but also help businesses achieve success.
Working With Instead of For Customers
We mentioned the difference between accepting a shopping list of requirements and participating in a face to face interview. This precedent should carry through for the duration of the application’s development. The best software requires cooperation and collaboration rather than a simple list of assignments.
Custom application development involves the client more than many customers expect when they contract custom development services. After the initial meeting, the developers should have a chance to interact with staff, tour areas their product will change, and spend some quality time with the existing system. Software documentation is a good example of the team effort required for superior custom applications. Although the developers are the application experts, and they know their work better than anyone else, no one knows your business, associates, and procedures the same way you do. Application development takes both of these areas of expertise. If you cannot think of your application developers as teammates, if they do not work with rather than for you, then you cannot expect an extremely high quality end product.
Getting to Know the User
Whether your application is for in-house use or customer use, developers still have a responsibility to get to know the user. If the custom application is designed to assist in production, management, shipping, etc. then your developers need to spend even more time at your place of business. Have them speak with the staff members and associates with roles your new application will change. What do they like and dislike about the old system? What would they like to see in the new product? Gathering this information gives developers the creative sparks they need to go beyond the call of duty and make an excellent product. Armed with this information, they’ll also be better equipped for additional discussions and planning sessions with the clients themselves.
Applications for customer use require a different approach to research. Developers need to ask questions about not only the customers the client business currently serves, but also their target audience and new, potential markets. By designing the application for all of these groups, developers can extend the life and value of your custom product.
Following Your Schedule
In the age of ecommerce, a minute offline could be hundreds, if not thousands, of dollars in lost profit. While any kind of software maintenance or upgrade requires some downtime, planning is critical. A part of any great custom application development service is installation. Developers should incorporate your new application into the old system themselves if at all possible. They also need to follow your schedule. The communication described in the above points will ease this process. If you’re already in regular contact, it’s much easier to show your developers how traffic rises and falls on websites, the slowest points in the sales season, and more. Using these natural breaks and sluggish periods minimizes losses during transition and ensures there are as few interruptions as possible.
Finding custom application development services is relatively easy, but finding great application developers takes more work. Pay attention to how much time the developers spend with you in person, not just at work in their own offices. Demand collaboration and watch the best developers rise to the challenge.