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Cut Mobile App Development Costs: Design Your Mobile App Correctly

Design a mobile app right and save money.Pay attention to these tips and you'll cut mobile app development costs. They'll save you significant money on the app development process by sanctioning new users to build apps. They'll help you master the app design process using new types of software. Increase the number of app designers and developers at your organization and you'll  build cross-platform apps than run on any mobile screen. You can also build many apps that eliminate pen and paper forms.

Every enterprise knows this simple fact: Building mobile applications is far too expensive. To begin with, there’s a shortage of experience developers, and they can charge top dollar. The jobs site Glassdoor says the average base salary of a mobile app developer is $98,492, and that doesn’t include bonuses and associated overhead, which means it costs $150,000 or more for every developer on staff.

Outsourcing won’t necessarily help, because app developers, mobile designers and user experience (UX) contractors charge top dollar. Beyond that, there’s additional overhead required for building apps that run on iOS and Android devices. This could include hardware, software, and support -- all which add significantly to your budget. There are ways to cut mobile app development and app design costs, though, and possibly significantly.

Developing a mobile app can be an extremely costly process. Here are 5 practical ways to cut mobile app development costs.

Robert Sheldon, in SearchMobileComputing, offers excellent advice on how to cut mobile app development costs and speed the app design process. A little preparation can go a long way to help you save money, time and ensure your mobile apps are adopted by end users.

Design a mobile app before writing codeThe first way to do it, he says, is to design your mobile app before writing any code. Sketch out workflows and interfaces, share them with the apps’ stakeholders, and keep making changes as you get feedback. Make sure everything flows logically, and no dead ends are left.

Don’t worry about trying to create an exact replica, just get a basic outline of the app. If you’re not comfortable doing it on paper, he says, use the tool Interface Sketch instead.

Next, focus like a laser on what’s important. Don’t try to mimic desktop software. Don't add features that, in Sheldon’s words, “are cool but have little to do with the app's primary objectives.” He adds: “When building a mobile app, minimize functionality, and include only those features that are in line with the app's main goals. The less complicated the app, the less mobile app development cost overall.”

Also important, he says, is to target multiple mobile platform and device types, and incorporate responsive design into the app. Doing this will cut the costs of trying to do the complete development process for each operating system.

Finally, he concludes, don’t reinvent the wheel. Turn to “prebuilt templates, third-party plug-ins or integration adapters for back-end systems.” This will be especially useful with user testing automation. Sheldon explains that "testing a framework helps produce a better product and saves time and money.”

We'll highlight a fifth way to cut costs: Use a rapid mobile app development (RMAD) or low-code platform. This allows people to write apps without using any code, or using very little of it. So-called “citizen developers” without development experience can write business apps for smartphones and tablets.

Users can also add key UI elements without built-in UX design and UI design. knowing how to code. That way, your existing staff can write apps that run on a range of mobile devices. And your full-time developers will be more productive as well.

Another benefit of rapid app development is the ability to quickly prototype and update apps. This allows app builders to craft mock-ups quickly to gain support or approvals from stakeholders.

Apps can also be rigorously tested before they go into production. The importance of user testing cannot be stressed enough. The more you can test an app with end users, the more likely you'll be confidence you've caught errors and ensured the app has an intuitive interface with outstanding UI design,

Rapid app development software can also respond quickly if an app is already in production but needs a tweak or important feature added, rapid app development software can respond quickly.

If you want to learn about app development more in depth, we recommended checking out this article on developing a mobile app strategy.

Design a mobile app for less money and timeAlpha Anywhere is one of the most highly rated RMAD platforms. This low code/no code platform lets you build an app once and then deploy it to multiple platforms, further reducing costs. InfoWorld named it a top mobile app development leader. Users consistently rate it tops on product review sites.

Learn more about low code software or get your free license of Alpha Anywhere.

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About Author

Amy Groden-Morrison
Amy Groden-Morrison

Amy Groden-Morrison has served more than 15 years in marketing communications leadership roles at companies such as TIBCO Software, RSA Security and Ziff-Davis. Most recently she was responsible for developing marketing programs that helped achieve 30%+ annual growth rate for analytics products at a $1Bil, NASDAQ-listed business integration Software Company. Her past accomplishments include establishing the first co-branded technology program with CNN, launching an events company on the NYSE, rebranding a NASDAQ-listed company amid a crisis, and positioning and marketing a Boston-area startup for successful acquisition. Amy currently serves as a Healthbox Accelerator Program Mentor, Marketing Committee Lead for the MIT Enterprise Forum of Cambridge Launch Smart Clinics, and on the organizing team for Boston TechJam. She holds an MBA from Northeastern University.

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The Alpha platform is the only unified mobile and web app development and deployment environment with distinct “no-code” and “low-code” components. Using the Alpha TransForm no-code product, business users and developers can take full advantage of all the capabilities of the smartphone to turn any form into a mobile app in minutes, and power users can add advanced app functionality with Alpha TransForm's built-in programming language. IT developers can use the Alpha Anywhere low-code environment to develop complex web or mobile business apps from scratch, integrate data with existing systems of record and workflows (including data collected via Alpha TransForm), and add additional security or authentication requirements to protect corporate data.