If you are wondering how much it costs to develop an app, then this article is for you. We will take you through all major stages of a modern software development process and show what it takes to create a performing digital product.
An average cost of web application development, a mobile app development cost, or a product design cost estimate is hard to put into definitives. There are many variables and moving parts. That’s why you can use our software product calculator to find out how a product development cost curve will affect your project.
The calculator will give you a cost. Here we will give you a background.
What is the correct order for the product development process?
Before entering the development stage, you need to cover your basics. The first step to product development is to have an idea for an application. Then, you need to research the market and figure out what kind of product you want to have. You can change the scope of the project after the discovery phase (see below), and change the list of functional requirements, but the initial effort should always come from you.
As a software development agency, we only engage in five steps listed below: product discovery, MVP development, UX/UI design, product development and post-launch support. To give you the full picture of what the development looks like, we show the whole process. That way you can estimate what needs to be done outside of what we can give you.
Here are the main product development stages:
- product discovery
- market research
- minimum viable product (MVP) development/prototype design
- UX/UI design
- product development
- market deployment
- market entry
- post-launch support
Naturally, not all steps will be followed, since every case is different. For example, you may already have an MVP and you’re looking for a team to offer mobile app development. Or, you are looking for a prototype design. From our experience though, companies are looking for a vendor to go with them through a whole new product development process.
As you will see in a second, the previously mentioned eight stages are crucial for the product development process. Traditionally, people mention seven stages but we go with eight. Why? Because the list of stages of product development would not be complete without the very beginning and the very end. Here’s what we mean by that.
What happens in all stages of product development?
In the product discovery phase, we get an overall idea of your product. We need to understand what are your business goals and hopes for the software. What challenges will the software fix? How will it address customers’ pain points? What problems will it solve? What added value will it offer? How will it be different from existing solutions?
Don’t worry if you don’t have the answer to all of those questions. That’s what a product discovery phase is for after all. During that phase, we will learn about you and the idea for the software but we will also consult the project. Meaning, that we can change it around at the very beginning and advise on functionalities or technologies that you wouldn’t necessarily think about earlier.
Next, we turn the functional requirements of the application into user stories. That way we can address customer problems through real-life scenarios.
Then goes market research. At this stage, the scope of the project can change. We can support you by checking your list of functional requirements and recommend changes, and adjustments.
Then we have a prototype design or an MVP design. An MVP stands for a minimum viable product. Here we build a working version of the product that has all core elements but it’s not a fully-baked application. A prototype or an MVP gives you the ability to test the idea on the market.
UX/UI design is also a very important part of development. Product design costs are often overlooked in the grand scheme of things but they contribute to the overall success of the app. Especially when it comes to data visualization, which is crucial to at least some users. If a user can’t figure out money flows, then all the effort made in the previous and last few stages is for nothing.
Another step is the product development itself. The key to successful cooperation between you and the vendor is role play. Both parties have their responsibilities in the overall product development process. This is where the product development cost curve is clearly visible. If previous stages, especially product discovery, were properly implemented, then the process of making an app is faster and cheaper. There’s agility but there’s also a plan. And this is what it’s all about in the first place.
We have arrived at market deployment. To be successful, you also need a marketing strategy. Aside from development itself. Ideally, you should start working on it right after the discovery phase. To know what the product is, what are recommendations from software development vendors, and what is the scope. Marketing is also a process that you can outsource. Pick a partner that can really understand your business and has a deep-dive approach. Real results come only from understanding. Code & Pepper does not participate in that stage.
With market entry, you can celebrate the idea and effort put into finding the right partner and cooperating on delivery. But it’s not over yet.
There is another, yet optional stage. Post-launch support that comes in three different types:
- further product development (when you need additional functionalities and modules)
- product performance monitoring (for business and technical KPIs)
- quality assurance diagnostic and fixing
Let’s talk about the last one for a bit because outside of the main product development process, there’s something that should run almost throughout the entire development itself. It impacts product design cost estimate but it’s very important in the long run.
Quality assurance (QA). Sometimes it’s a given. Clients just assume quality will be there, therefore QA is treated as an integral part of the process. As it should be, but how should you proceed with it? You can read more in our blog section about QA.
How much does it cost to develop an app?
The shortest answer possible: it depends. With our software product calculator you can check how much it will cost and how long it will take to make you an app.There are multiple factors contributing to the cost but one thing is for certain: we are dedicated to the highest possible level of market performance. That’s why we use a future-proof technology stack. And that’s why you should consider going with us.