A mobile app is even more indispensable compared to a website. Millions of people are using mobile devices for a variety of purposes and they certainly prefer an app rather than do it through a browser. This does present constraints given the different environments of Android, iOS and Windows. Though the former two have a larger share, Windows apps are catching up and, for some business purposes, are far better since it is easy to sync with Windows desktop and server applications. If you are in this situation where you have a well-entrenched Windows-based IT infrastructure and wish to deploy a Windows app as an extension then you will want to outsource custom windows mobile application development. Just how much of the Windows mobile application development should you outsource? There is a lifecycle to app development and different phases.
The Concept And Purpose Of the App
You could put together a team of Windows mobile apps developers to create your app or outsource it to custom windows mobile application development experts. However, it all starts with the concept and purpose of the app. Even outsourcing the process to app development experts is of little use here. You know your business best. You know what your user base is like. You know what functions the app should perform. You know what your other desktop applications are like in their interface and will want the mobile app to be an extension of such software in functionality and user interface design. This inception stage is when you examine the value it brings to users and to your organization. Should you purpose it for one specific function or try to include a group of related functions? At this stage, you focus on what the app should do. Then there are other factors such as monetizing the app, using it to generate ad revenues or to gather data about users. This stage is best handled by you and your team. It forms the basis of the brief you will give the Windows mobile apps developers. Putting it down on paper is a good idea. You could even draw sketches and give a graphical representation in the brief. Brainstorm the app with teams within your organization so you get this part right.
Is It Feasible
It is easy to dream up a concept and a flow. However, technology has its practical limitations. What looks good on paper or as an idea may not be easy to translate into a practical and usable app. This is where the outsourcing windows development team can be of assistance. Your brief now takes shape as a concept that can be implemented. The developer will point out what can be done and what cannot be done for which you will need workarounds or to redefine your concept. Work on this along with the outsourced Windows app developer team and let them come up with their side including a roadmap of the software development lifecycle.
Now that the windows mobile application development team knows what you need they will get to work and come up with a complete project that starts with the design of the user interface and the underlying technology implementation to enable the functions you have defined. You are involved at this stage in giving approval and perhaps recommending changes aligned with what you want in that app. As you can see, once the project progresses, your involvement decreases and the outsourced windows mobile app development team shoulders more responsibilities.
Smart windows mobile app developers do not just jump in and proceed with final development. They will deliver a working prototype to let you know just how it will look and to give you an idea about the touch experience. You approve this wireframe app. The outsourced Windows mobile application development team then gets down to work. This is the most crucial and perhaps the most time-consuming part but if you have outsourced it to the right people you can expect speed since they may already have reusable code components and the expertise for fast builds on an agile basis. At this stage, they are doing 90% of the work and your team simply collaborates to check progress and point out changes that need to be made to the app. It does not do to meddle too much or request many changes outside the original brief. The developer will do it, no doubt, but it does hamper smooth flow to speedy completion. Talk of speed and one of the biggest advantages to outsourcing is that they have teams working in parallel to design the UI, write the code and put it together and also test it as it goes along.
Your windows mobile app is almost ready and at this stage, your involvement turns to testing it within your department and with a select group of users or clients. The developer too has his own setup and is likely to test for a variety of parameters before a beta version is out. While that team is working on ironing out kinks, you test the app and provide feedback to the development team working on your Windows mobile app. This will help them to make changes and make the app as perfect as is possible for its first launch. The first launch must be an absolute success otherwise users are simply going to be turned off and are less likely to return and make use of the app even if you have had bugs taken out. Treat this as a critical phase of the mobile app development lifecycle. Test it thoroughly for ease of use, logical flow of navigation and functionality. Can a user who is not familiar with apps use it and enjoy using it? Does it work on all Windows based mobiles and tablets? Of course, the developer will be making sure of this but so should you. The app now becomes a candidate for release.
If speed and perfection are of the essence then you will find that outsourcing almost every part of windows mobile application ultimately proves cheaper and better.