Read why flexibility in time and materials contracts can improve your product's lifetime value.Read more
Your product’s lifetime value (LTV) depends on the choices made during development and after application release. Continuously improving your product’s LTV means sustainably delivering quality and discovering new customer needs that help grow the user base.
T&M contracts work well for your product’s lifetime value because they give you the flexibility to change project requirements as per your ongoing discovery activities. In other words, when the development starts, the scope isn’t fixed — you can swiftly adapt to trends and emerging customer preferences.
Trends come and go. What was once a lucrative idea for an application, can become irrelevant in a matter of months. The most recent example is how Covid-19 has influenced many areas of living and consumer behavior, e.g., the increase in the use of digital tools.
In T&M contracts, you approach the scope for your product’s features agilely. For example, if halfway into the development you want to include a feature that engages your target audience, it’s easier to implement it.
In T&M, the vendor’s team is almost like your internal staff. You communicate daily, and the team shares status updates.
Daily communication helps talk over any issues or ideas that might crop up. When there’s an opportunity to look for alternative solutions that can cut the development time or otherwise add value to the product, swift communication is key to fast implementation.
This one ties in with communication. As the team works on the product, they know it inside out. They can suggest simpler ways to achieve a given goal. Also, when a better solution or a library appears on the market during development, the team gains additional means to decrease development time.
In agile products with a flexible scope, you’re a part of the project. That said, you can check the progress of your app via project management platforms or move a step forward and ask for a CI/CD approach to see how your app evolves daily.
Whenever you spot an issue, just communicate it to your team so that they can deal with it comprehensively. When the software agency deals with issues poorly or delivers low-quality solutions, you can end the contract before losing any more money.
T&M contracts ensure cash flow and keep the software agency healthy. It’s the foundation for business continuity that promotes long-lasting partnerships.
When you work in a T&M contract, there's no economically driven reason to exchange the team for less experienced and therefore cut the provider's service cost. You can verify the quality of the code during two-week demo releases, where you check how the product works. Whenever you feel the product underperforms, you can react and, for example, strengthen the team.
With good and frequent communication where the development team acts as a partner who can suggest solutions and features based on their experience, the team becomes more invested in the project. Developers feel they’re doing the right things and doing things right.
Positive relationship dynamics encourage the team to suggest solutions that cut implementation time or improve the product. The team is focused on quality development instead of a fast release to get the buffer.
A product’s LTV increases the more it continuously delivers high-value functionalities. To ensure your team implements these high-value functionalities, they need to stay in touch with customers during every stage of development.
By employing a variety of methods designed to get to know the end customer better, teams can focus on continuous product improvement and value delivery. These research activities should be part of the development process and decision-making.
Customer interviews bring out valuable insights directly from customers. Rapid prototypes and experiments help introduce these insights and see how they affect a product’s value.
In fixed-price projects, once you do customer preference research before development, this activity rarely gets repeated in the later stages of development.
To be able to continuously deliver value and improve your product to increase its LTV, you need to involve the customer in the decision-making — in an ongoing capacity.
Digital projects are rarely finished with the first release. Take Instagram or Strava for example. Both applications have evolved tremendously over the years, with numerous new features and user interface modifications.
There’s always something that can be improved to deliver new value for the customers. These improvements can be ongoing, without the need for scope reevaluation — think of these improvements occurring every week or even every day.
With proper analytics set up, you see how those tweaks in the product perform.
Being close to the customer lets you discover how they perceive the product — in effect, you can make efficient decision-making where customer input drives the product.
Learn what makes estimating fixed-price projects practically impossible if you want to target shifting customer needs.Read more
In the software development world, fixed-price projects often mean fixed scope — just like in the Waterfall methodology. To prepare a fixed scope, you need to make lots of upfront planning.
But today’s software development is a highly volatile environment where technology trends and customer preferences change rapidly.
In the end, all the effort put into upfront scope planning can crumble, either at the product launch or during development itself. Learn what makes estimating fixed-price projects practically impossible if you want to target shifting customer needs.
But in the 2000s, Python 2.0, C#, and JQuery were released, allowing developers to build safer and more robust software and websites. With the release of these technologies, the complexity of software increased. More complex software took longer to develop, and the standard approach to development at the time — the Waterfall methodology — started showing cracks.
Complex projects often resulted in irrelevant software that fell short of customer expectations — by the time the solution was released, the market and customers already had different needs.
Because of these growing complexities in software development, fixed-price contracts became increasingly difficult to estimate accurately. The need for a change was recognized, which gave birth to the Agile Manifesto.
Following the Agile principles let developers release software in iterations and collect feedback that guided further development. Agility in that sense meant delivering relevant and highly user-focused digital products.
Of course, it doesn’t mean all projects have to be Agile and that the Waterfall methodology is inherently flawed. To learn which types of projects are a good fit for fixed-price contracts, read Waterfall methodology vs Design Thinking, Lean Startup, and Agile.
Note: Even the projects that can be built in a Waterfall model, should be broken up into chunks for the stakeholders to review and give feedback. This helps avoid a situation where the product has already lost its relevance at the launch date (by that time so much development work has been done that any changes are simply not viable financially).
Let's see what may happen if we try to build successful projects in a strictly fixed-price model.
When a software agency can’t deliver a complete product within budget, they might restructure the initial team and let junior developers finish the work. This frees up their senior devs to pursue more profitable projects.
When a vendor nears the deadline but the product is far from being finished, the company might turn to quick workarounds or scope cuts. Quick workarounds make the product unstable and unreliable in the long term. On the other hand, scope cuts result in an unfinished product that doesn’t meet the initial requirements fully.
The fast and hectic decision-making process in software development projects makes it difficult to collect all the details upfront. Even with a detailed specification, there's always some level of assumptions on both sides.
For example, during development, it might turn out that certain parts of the app have to be written from scratch to secure a fully custom code that’s not limited by OS policies or third-party solutions. Another example can be the inability to use certain paid tools and libraries.
It’s close to impossible to learn which parts of the product need a custom approach before the contract begins.
It’s difficult for developers to validate all open-source libraries and plugins before they actually start implementing them. Conversely, when there’s nothing reliable in the currently available resources, the necessary plugins have to be written from scratch. If the available libraries are outdated, developers have to update them.
This goes on to show just how difficult it is to accurately estimate what will and won’t be available in projects that run for, say, half a year.
If a software agency doesn’t have any inflow of cash and is waiting for product release, it can run out of money to operate and as a result, abandon your project altogether.
With a partially finished product, it might be difficult for another vendor to take over the development work and meet the release deadline. The second team needs to familiarize itself with your business and the product.
Once a fixed-price and fixed-scope contract is signed, you can make very few changes. If a better solution enters the market during development, you’ll still have to go with what’s agreed on in the scope.
A vendor might also use the opportunity and valuate something simple as complex to make up for the loss.
That said, you might end up releasing a product that’s already irrelevant technologically.
Some complex software solutions take upward of six months to develop. Half a year is enough for consumer preferences to shift. As a result, once you release your product, market fit might already be lost.
Explore how NFC is changing industries. See exciting uses for NFC tags.Read more
Contactless payments are the gold standard for Near Field Communication (NFC) tags in 2021. A great majority of mobile phone users have made contactless payments in recent years. The use of NFCs for payments is likely to grow as we move toward cashless societies. But there is much more to NFC tags than payments.
Let’s look at how NFC is changing industries by exploring uses for NFC tags.
NFC technology has been around for more than a decade, steadily growing in adoption.
NFC solved a major pain point — providing secure contactless payment systems for mobile payment processing. As less digitalized businesses saw the contactless potential, they started looking for new ways to use NFC in their everyday affairs.
The retail sector has been using NFC for contactless mobile payments. But NFC in retail has moved beyond just a payment method.
Retailers are using NFC tags for sharing product information, offering discounts, in-store marketing campaigns, etc.
NFC-based SOS features are now standard on many smartphones. One can scan a smartphone to know the medical history, raise an SOS alarm for a person involved in an accident or in case of an emergency.
Also, NFC tags on sealed medical packages help doctors and caregivers check dosage info and prescriptions using their smartphones.
Banks and financial institutions are using NFC beyond payments. Apple Pay, Google Pay, Android Pay, and other NFC-enabled mobile wallets are just the tip of an iceberg in the banking sector.
NFC tags are easily recyclable, reducing the use of non-degradable plastic cards. Many financial institutions are also using NFC tags as keys to lockers and deposit boxes for customers.
NFC has been integrated in several mobile apps, especially during COVID-19. Here are some of the best uses of NFC tags in mobile apps:
NFC has reinvented the archaic practices that have been in place for the better part of the last century. The travel, tourism, and transportation industries are rapidly rolling out NFC-based apps and contactless ticketing solutions.
Airlines and airport authorities are experimenting with NFC boarding passes, and public transport systems have shifted to NFC-powered ticketing apps.
Commuters are no longer required to buy a paper ticket to access bus, metro, tram, or other public transport systems. They can use NFC tags embedded in smart cards or smartphones for contactless payments across public transport systems.
NFC-powered public transportation systems are operating in several major cities — New Delhi (India), Nice (France), Beijing (China), Seoul (Korea), etc.
Restaurants, bars, and popular tourist spots are also using NFC stickers and tags for information exchange. Hotels are using NFC-based smart locks for keyless entry to rooms. Tourists and customers can use an NFC-powered mobile app to get more info, read reviews, find the best deals, get entry to an area/room, and post reviews.
NFC apps allow venue owners, organizers, and artists to comply with local social distancing mandates, sell tickets, promote contactless payments, and ensure minimal contact.
NFC simplifies ticket delivery and venue access for locations like theaters and concert halls. People use NFC-enabled devices and smartphones to validate their entry — at sporting events, theme parks, concerts, conferences, or a live show.
SafeTix by Ticketmaster uses NFC technology to enable people to use their mobile phones as entry tickets. The company is digitizing tickets for big-league sporting events like NFL, concerts for stars like Ed Sheeran, among other events.
NFC tags can streamline access control and security protocols. Companies are using NFC to upgrade their old access management systems. NFC tags can be embedded into mobile phones, wearables, wrist bands, and key chains to identify team members, visitors, and workers within office campuses.
HR teams can use NFC-enabled apps to track work hours and team attendance without being intrusive.
An NFC-based access control system like AEOS by Nedap brings systems, electronic devices, smartphones, and people on the same network. Modern offices can use this solution to facilitate and track movement, provide access to conference rooms, cubicles, or floors.
NFC tags can automate homes, offices, buildings, and even vehicles with IoT networks. NFC apps can be used to configure device operations, share WiFi passwords securely, and control a computer system remotely.
Businesses can use a blank smart tag and download an NFC app like NFC Tools from Google Play Store or App Store to create gestures. You can easily program NFC tags using the app. Apple AirTags also work like programmable NFC tags. Here’s what all you can automate when you program NFC tags:
NFC tags can also power smart locks and work as a keyless solution to access apartments, cars, and hotel rooms. Many hotels are now using NFC-enabled smart locks as an alternative to plastic keycards. Guests use their own smartphones instead of plastic keycards to unlock hotel rooms. This helps hotels follow safety and hygiene protocols. Plus, hotels ditching plastic keycards for NFC can reduce plastic waste.
Wearable tech is heavily dependent on NFC tags for fitness-related information exchange. Fitness apps collect data from wearables and track sleep patterns, calories burnt, heart rate, and other metrics in real-time.
All major fitness bands use NFC as an underlying tech to improve user experience and become a part of daily life.
MI Band 4 by Xiaomi supports contactless mobile payments and configurable gestures to create a workout schedule, play music, set an alarm, etc.
NFC has other use cases for fitness and healthcare apps, too. Caregivers can monitor patients’ vitals and ensure a safe delivery of genuine drugs. Prescriptions can also be stored in NFC tags.
Many pharmaceutical companies and institutes have started using NFC-powered smart drug labels that store a medicine’s expiry date, dosage information, authenticity information, etc.
Tapp is a smart medicine strip that stores prescription data, medicine information, and dosage schedule. Caregivers and family members can use the Tapp app to set reminders so that no patient misses medication.
Read about T&M contracts to learn how they work and how they give you control over product development.Read more
When choosing a vendor for development work, you have to decide on the type of contract: fixed-price or time and materials (T&M). Whereas the mechanics of fixed-price contracts are rather obvious — you pay for the whole project upfront — the T&M model begs a more detailed explanation.
Time and materials contracts are usually woven tightly with the agile approach to software development.
As such, the project follows agile rules of development. After each two-week sprint, a part of the application can be tested and analyzed for feedback. This feedback shapes further development, which means the product’s shape can be adapted based on the learning you get after every demo release.
The core of the T&M model is therefore agility and flexibility.
You’re not locked in the scope of a fixed-price project, where it’s difficult to introduce any changes after kickoff.
In T&M, you can swiftly adjust the scope based on your growing knowledge of the product. The decision-making process is also not sealed at the start of the development, as is the case with fixed-price contracts.
Possible scenarios where scope flexibility is handy in product development:
Now let’s deconstruct how T&M give you control over budget and quality.
When you know the team’s composition and hourly allocation for a month, planning for the development spending in the budget is easier.
Besides, in the T&M approach, you’re being charged only for hours devoted solely to your project. Internal duties like company workshops and meetings shouldn’t be included. That said, you should have access to timesheets and be able to regularly verify the invoice status.
Once the development begins but the design isn’t yet finished, changes in the design can influence the cost. This can go both ways, either increase or decrease the final cost.
For example, the greater the number and complexity of screens in a mobile app, the longer it takes to code them. So, whenever possible, the team you’re working with should suggest ready-made libraries that take less time to implement.
Good designers consult the design with developers during development. This lets them find solutions that cut development time but retain user experience.
In fixed-price contracts, software agencies usually add a buffer to set off any losses caused by a variety of internal and external factors.
In T&M contracts, a software agency doesn’t have to add a buffer to the final cost to ensure all unexpected expenses are covered. By principle, you only pay for the actual effort the team does on your project.
Let’s look at how push notifications can help a modern mobile app.Read more
We’re exposed to upward of 10,000 ads per day. While this might be surprising news for some, it only proves just how difficult it is to catch a user’s attention. An ever-growing competition doesn’t help, forcing companies to find new ways to interact with users.
In the age of permission-based marketing, carefully executed push notifications are an amazing alternative to engage with customers. Let’s look at how push notifications can help a modern mobile app.
A push notification is a short message that nudges a user to act. Introduced by Apple in 2009, push notifications have become a powerful user engagement tactic in recent years. Push notifications help catch a user’s attention in a busy, distracted world with low attention spans.
Push notifications notify users about an update, remind them of something, or prompt them to return to an app.
Websites, web apps, mobile apps, and even wearable apps can all send push notifications. With people spending between 5 to 6 hours on average on mobile devices, mobile app notifications are an exciting opportunity for developers, marketers, and app publishers to spur users to action.
Modern mobile marketers utilize different types of push notifications to nudge users and increase engagement:
Time-sensitive push notifications: These push notifications create a sense of urgency among users. Great for launching limited-time deals or announcing flash sales in the ecommerce industry.
Reminders: Reminders help users avoid forgetting something important, like meeting someone, completing a daily task, etc. Great for to-do apps, personal assistants and health and wellness apps.
Personalized notifications: Personalized notifications are used for sending relevant content to mobile devices. For example, a personalized special offer to convince a user to buy something.
Triggered push notifications: These push notifications are a result of the user’s actions. A daily mobile notification about a workout streak after you sign up for a health or fitness challenge is a great example.
Transactional push notifications: Transactional notifications update users about their recent purchases, subscription renewal, order status, etc. Banking apps, fintech platforms, and ecommerce apps all use transactional notifications.
Abandoned cart push notifications: These push notifications remind customers to complete their purchase. Ecommerce platforms also use these notifications to remind buyers of the time-limited nature of a deal.
Rich push notifications: Rich notifications include video, GIFs, emojis, or images for grabbing attention and maximizing engagement. Online food delivery players use food images linked to restaurant menus to make users crave and order directly.
Informational push notifications: Informational notifications deliver information and updates in real-time. Think of news apps sending instant updates with world news, or a weather app updating you about weather.
Promotional push notifications: Apps send promotional and marketing offers to segmented user lists via push notifications. Promotional notifications can increase website hits and conversion rates, and also serve as an affordable marketing medium compared to PPC, social media, and other channels.
Location-based notifications: Users receive location-based notifications when they visit a particular location. Think of Google Maps telling you about the nearest places of interest based on your recent travel history or a dating app reminding you to find your date in a new city.
Global skill gaps, pandemic-related border closures, and travel limitations stress the need for remote assistance solutions. Discover Remote Assist App.Read more
For many of us, technology is a staple commodity. It permeates a growing number of households, and factories increasingly rely on highly specialized machinery. And while technology has catapulted the evolution of our civilization, it’s prone to breaking.
But technicians who can fix problems may not always be available, and on-site service is often costly. Pandemic-related border closures and travel restrictions also limit the availability of specialists. In this context, remote assist solutions emerge as reliable support across industries.
In the last 30 years, the adoption of specific technologies in the US alone has skyrocketed.
In the business world, technology has spurred production and manufacturing on a palpable scale. According to the World Economic Forum, OECD producers that adopted technology “have grown at a rate of 3.5%, compared with an anaemic 0.5% for the laggards.”
Even small manufacturing facilities have seen an increase in the diffusion of technological development, which led to a more productive workforce and output increases.
Developing countries have also observed an increase in technological innovation, albeit at a lower scale.
The global technological advancement and the ubiquitous presence of technologies in many sectors call for engineers and technicians who can not only drive that innovation but also maintain it.
Yet there’s an alarming shortage of skilled engineers and technicians who can carry out innovative infrastructure projects. On the other hand, less qualified personnel can complete tasks with varying levels of complexity given professional assistance.
Remote assistance might therefore become an affordable and scalable solution that bridges the gap between the need for support and the lack of on-site skill.
The app has two modes: consultant and user.
When a user connects, they choose a problem from a list of available topics.
The user then waits for a connection with a technician.
After logging in, the technician sees a list with active user sessions awaiting help for a given topic.
Once connected with the user, the technician has access to the user’s rear camera.
The technician communicates with the user:
React Native can be used to build mobile apps and websites from a single codebase. Learn which companies use React Native.Read more
React Native has been around for five years now. When the framework was first released, small teams and startups used React Native to build MVPs. Now, tech giants and Fortune 500 companies use React Native for large-scale cross-platform app development.
React Native can be used to build mobile apps and websites from a single codebase. As a result, the technology solves one of the biggest problems in app development — intuitive user experience across platforms. React Native also helps simplify development efforts, reduce development costs, and cut time-to-market.
Let’s look at React Native app examples and how major businesses have tackled various mobile app development challenges with this tech.
According to Statista, React Native is the second most popular framework for mobile app development. 38% of the developers use React Native in 2022.
React Native is now part of the tech stack at several Fortune 500 companies and tech startups. Here are some popular React Native apps:
Khan Academy is one of the largest EdTech companies on the planet. The company provides short video lessons, learning material, and exercises on various subjects.
Before implementing React Native, Khan Academy had two different codebases for Android and iOS with lots of dependencies. In 2017, they decided to shift to React Native because:
Khan Academy completed the transition to React Native in 2020. Now, the same engineers take care of the Android app, iOS app, or website from a single codebase.
React Native gave developers the convenience and comfort to build better features, improve UI, and spearhead innovation. Plus, Khan Academy’s apps became smaller. The user experience on the app and the web grew similar.
Find more details about Khan Academy’s migration to React Native.
Bloomberg is one of the world’s largest financial media companies that use React Native for mobile app development.
Bloomberg offered an interactive experience for accessing personalized content across iOS and Android. The company was searching for a truly native mobile app experience that came without the overhead of having two separate codebases.
Bloomberg’s engineers used React Native to rebuild the apps for both platforms with a host of new features. A single codebase and automatic code refresh in React Native helped their team to speed up the development.
Also, conducting A/B tests and collecting beta user data to validate any experiment or workflow got faster.
React Native enabled quick app updates in sync with fast-moving markets, analysis data, news, and more.
Flipkart is one of the largest eCommerce players in the world with more than 100 million downloads and 400 million weekly visits. Flipkart is using React Native for iOS and Android apps and also for its sub-brands such as Myntra.
Flipkart chose React Native to solve a few challenges with its iOS and Android development journey, such as:
React Native helped Flipkart move faster without impacting the app’s performance. The team’s first goal was to implement infinite list displays on search pages, which React Native delivered successfully.
React Native also helped Flipkart push frequent OTA updates. The teams got more data from end-users and closed A/B experiments in approximately three weeks instead of the previous six. Speed helped improve personalization, boost engagement metrics, and increase sales during flagship sale events like the Big Billion Days.
Also, React Native helped the dev team adopt a modular approach with custom native components. The team was able to share 95% of the codebase between Android and iOS.
Read about Flipkart’s React Native journey.
UberEats — Food Delivery
UberEats simplifies ordering food from restaurants in 6000 cities across 45 countries globally. The on-demand giant started UberEats to make ordering food as easy as booking a ride on Uber.
UberEats picked React Native to rebuild its restaurant partner dashboard. The original restaurant dashboard was designed for the web. It needed an upgrade as new insights came in on how restaurant partners operated.
Uber had an existing team proficient in React. Thus, React Native became the natural choice for building the UberEats app for iOS and Android.
With the help of React Native, UberEats shipped new features in days instead of weeks across all platforms. Updates now propagated faster (thanks to background downloads) and bugs were fixed quicker, reducing disruptions at partner restaurants.
More about UberEats’ transition to React Native.
Coinbase is a popular crypto exchange that offers trading and other financial services to over 56 million users.
Till 2017, Coinbase had separate teams working on iOS and Android versions of its app. But challenges with scaling, performance, and feature roll-out encouraged the company to explore new avenues.
Coinbase decided to move ahead with React Native and planned a complete code rewrite. There were several reasons for this:
Coinbase was able to migrate its massive codebase with substantial business logic easily. Also, Coinbase tackled its scalability challenges and enhanced app performance across platforms.
Impact of the migration to React Native on Coinbase’s key performance metrics. Source: Coinbase Blog
Read more about Coinbase’s React Native experience.
LendMN by AND Global is a mobile app facilitating the disbursal of small loans. AND Global provides financial services to underserved populations. The company operates in one of the most underbanked regions in the world — Mongolia.
React Native has been one of the key enablers of AND Global’s achievements and helped the company tackle some burning challenges. The challenges included:
React Native helped AND Global optimally utilize the budget and cater to local market needs.
React Native’s famous “learn once, write anywhere” mantra, helped AND Global use its existing web development team to develop and deploy the mobile app. The LendMN team used React Native to release an MVP and secure an investment.
The framework helped AND Global stay compliant with the dynamic financial ecosystem through continuous improvement and OTA updates. With React Native, LendMN quickly fixed bugs, improved app performance, and saved time on the app review process.
LendMN knew users wouldn’t trust an app that needs regular updates in a country with high mobile data prices. 1-2 Mb OTA updates for minor bug fixes helped increase the trust factor. React Native allowed the company to offer trustworthiness and convenience — LendMN gained popularity in a country with limited availability of financial services.
Learn more about LendMN’s experience with React Native.
Many apps you use every day are built with React Native. Walmart, Wix, Discord, Pinterest, Soundcloud Pulse, Facebook Ads Manager, and several other social networking platforms use React Native in 2021.
Apps built in React Native offer a native experience for both Android and iOS because React Native renders native UI elements. Under the hood, React Native apps behave just like Java- or Kotlin-based apps on Android or Swift- or Objective-C apps on iOS.
Yes. All three use the React Native framework for their iOS and Android Apps. React Native was created by Facebook to simplify cross-platform app development. So, all of Facebook's companies use React Native.
How should you integrate the cloud and IoT into your business strategy? Read on for answers.Read more
Cloud computing has been the catalyst for achieving unimaginable goals for companies of all sizes. With the cloud, businesses can handle, manage, process, and analyze huge amounts of data.
Cloud computing enables startups, early-stage companies, and large enterprises to draw valuable business insights. Integrated with IoT, the cloud gives modern enterprises the ability to become more efficient at data analytics.
Enterprises use cloud computing services and IoT solutions to stay relevant and become more competitive. Jeff Weiner, the former CEO of Linkedin, said the cloud empowers modern companies to have access to the best innovation infrastructure.
How should you integrate the cloud and IoT into your business strategy? How do these two technologies tie into a single thread to make sense for a modern business? Answers below.
Cloud computing and IoT complement each other. Cloud computing allows IoT devices to record, capture, process, analyze, and store data at a massive scale.
Together, IoT and cloud computing services streamline cost-effective automation and data analytics.
When we look at the ways IoT helps modern business, user analytics is one of the major drivers for IoT adoption. Businesses use the cloud and IoT to analyze big data to reveal patterns, trends, and associations.
Modern IoT solutions are built on a basic premise — helping businesses optimize operations. Cloud computing helps process all the data generated by the IoT. Big data analytics plays a large role in making IoT solutions efficient at automation and optimization.
Cloud computing takes care of storage and security for an IoT-based app. At the same time, cloud computing acts as a bridge between the IoT platform and big data.
Cloud computing services enable IoT solutions to act intelligently by handling:
Cloud computing paves the way for IoT devices to the internet for data storage and processing. The data can then be used by any other complementing technology, system, or solution remotely.
Think of it like this — you ask Alexa, a consumer IoT device to find you the nearest restaurant. Alexa connects to a cloud application like Google Maps and provides you the results. Data feed (your voice), the IoT device (Alexa), and the cloud application (Google Maps) interact to give you the right result here.
Saving large data volumes generated from IoT devices can be a security nightmare. Cloud allows encrypting critical operational data while bringing down the costs of storage.
Your business doesn’t have to invest in server infrastructure and security. Plus, you get high-end security measures embedded in the cloud. Using the cloud for IoT helps in reducing the chances of leaks and cyber attacks.
Nomtek Labs is our internal research and development department where we explore technologies and how they can benefit businesses and users.Read more
The world we live in is far from being idle. Technologies and industries evolve rapidly, with maddening speed at times. When Nomtek was founded in 2010, Apple was selling the iPhone 3G. It was the company’s second iPhone and the first to use the 3G network.
We hopped right in, to participate in the development of the mobile world.
3 megabits per second — that’s the dizzying speed 3G promised. Sounds bleak compared to 100 megabits per second possible with 5G. But that’s how fast mobile life was spinning back then.
The Android ecosystem itself was also in its early stages. In October 2009, Android Eclair (2.3) was released, with Motorola Droid reigning as the most popular mobile phone.
By today’s standards, it was a strange-looking smartphone, with a hidden keyboard at that.
Much and more has changed since Motorola Droid’s reign over ten years ago. IT systems have become denser, more complex, and more accessible.
Take a Japanese farmer who, in 2016, created a system that uses AI to classify cucumbers. Sophisticated technology such as deep learning has become increasingly present in areas commonly associated with manual labor.
3G was soon replaced by 4G in developed countries, dramatically improving network connectivity and changing how people consume content. 4G helped Netflix conquer the world of streaming services, giving users access to favorite films and series at home or on the go.
All these new connectivity technologies, more efficient chips, and the evolution of augmented and virtual reality can cause a reverberating wave of changes for industries and people across the globe.
At nomtek, we always knew that investing in our development was the best thing we could make, hence the idea for nomtek labs — our answer to the rapidly evolving world.
As a company made of people who relish discovering innovation, we don’t intend to stand behind or rely solely on old technologies and methodologies.
We are tech enthusiasts who love exploring new sectors and playing with technology.
At nomtek, everyone can participate in a number of initiatives that boost knowledge and develop skills. We have internal weekly guild meetings, free time for self-development, and budget for workshops and conferences.
Nomtek labs is one of these initiatives.
Learn how you can use artificial intelligence in mobile apps.Read more
Artificial intelligence is one of the most inspiring innovations of the last five decades. The technology has transformed the way we play music, shop, and work. Mobile apps have also enjoyed the features AI offers by boosting personalized recommendations, powering chatbots, and introducing automation. Learn how else you can use artificial intelligence in mobile apps.
Artificial intelligence is exactly what you imagine it to be — machines mimicking human intelligence. AI uses machine learning (ML), natural language processing (NLP), and deep learning (DL) technologies to build algorithms that have reasoning and decision-making capabilities.
AI allows companies to process high volumes of data quickly and derive valuable insights. Companies use these data-backed insights to improve capabilities, get more productive, and grow faster.
In a study by Gartner, the number of companies that use AI grew by 270%. Another projection by Gartner predicts that the use of AI across businesses will create “$2.9 trillion of business value and 6.2 billion hours of worker productivity.”
Artificial intelligence can help increase mobile app retention, engagement, and conversion rates. Let’s look at how AI enhances mobile applications.
AI-powered apps are more intuitive, intelligent and can do more for the end-user. There are three major dimensions for implementing AI in mobile apps:
AI helps app algorithms solve complex problems and aids decision-making. Mobile apps can analyze and logically conclude what to do using AI.
Google Maps estimates accurate travel times. Uber finds the nearest cabs and optimizes the best routes. These companies track historical traffic patterns using AI to come up with the best solutions in real-time.
AI makes mobile apps capable of making decisions and solving problems. User satisfaction improves when they get what they’re looking for, with AI helping in the background. Satisfied users lead to higher app retention rates and Net Promoter Score (NPS).
Companies use AI to build powerful recommendation engines within mobile apps. Recommendation engines analyze past user actions and offer relevant suggestions for the future.
Netflix uses AI to analyze what viewers like and suggest the next movie that matches their preferences. Amazon tracks shopping behavior and recommends more products customers are likely to buy.
AI can analyze data faster than a human and uncover prevailing trends. This helps apps know users better, provide contextual recommendations, and boost engagement rates.
AI simplifies pattern analysis to create more personalized app sessions. Startups can use deep learning and sentiment analysis to enhance the user experience.
For example, AI can help understand why a user abandons an app. Google Analytics or CleverTap (an app analytics tool that uses AI to track user sessions) analyzes touch heatmaps and discovers navigation paths within mobile apps. AI-based analytics help adjust the app to user expectations.
Code refactoring ensures that the code remains clean and preserves the desired application performance. Learn what code refactoring is.Read more
Every software application needs continuous updates according to customer requirements and user data that stream in. When developers fix a bug or add a new feature, the source code grows larger and more complex. Code refactoring ensures that the code remains clean and preserves the desired application performance. Learn what code refactoring is and when and how to do it in different mobile applications.
Code refactoring is the procedure that improves the software code without changing its existing functionality or the external application behavior. It involves cleaning the code for better clarity, readability, and maintainability. This process ultimately improves the application’s performance, scalability, and security. Refactored code is easier to debug and, most importantly, has fewer errors and bugs, lowering the likelihood of technical costs in the future.
A typical software development team consists of developers with different coding styles. During development, they keep updating the existing code. Sometimes, they can introduce correct but ugly code hacks as part of a quick solution, for example, in situations like a high-priority production incident or when trying to meet a quick deadline.
When there is no routine for refactoring such code, code rot can creep in. Code rot is when the code is getting cluttered and loses integrity. Examples of code rot include duplicated code, unnecessary dependencies, unused variables, or too many parameters. That’s why code refactoring should be introduced early to avoid bugs and errors in the application.
When the code is clear, existing and future developers can understand the code easily. This means you do not have to spend time explaining the code to your team or provide special training before adding new features to the application. Easily readable code saves a lot of your time and money and is the key to streamlined mobile app development.
Refactored code generally results in better performance of the product. If your application has third-party integrations, code refactoring helps keep well-maintained dependencies that don’t bloat the application. Code refactoring ensures that the desired levels of response times for application transactions and throughputs are met, which eventually improves customer experience.
Discover how IoT helps businesses expand and streamline operations for a better bottom line.Read more
The Internet of Things (IoT) is changing how businesses optimize processes and engage customers. Discover how IoT helps businesses expand and streamline operations for a better bottom line.
IoT facilitates tech interaction to promote digital transformation. In recent years, IoT adoption has skyrocketed in almost all industries.
The IoT market is expected to cross over $1300 bn by 2026. It’s projected to generate $4-11 trillion in economic value during the same period.
The Internet of Things has opened up new avenues for growth and optimization. In fact, 83% of the organizations that implemented IoT technology have improved their efficiency.
Recognizing the numerous benefits of this technology, the business world is increasingly investing in IoT technology:
You must have heard — data is the new oil.
With IoT technology, your business can use every data point to achieve growth goals and optimize processes. Here are some of the ways IoT can benefit your business:
IoT solutions streamline existing processes across manufacturing, supply chain, production, and other industries. Streamlined operations minimize downtime and decrease costs.
The manufacturing industry is the best example of cost reduction via IoT technology.
IoT helps create optimized workflows through automation. It minimizes repetitive tasks and facilitates optimal utilization of available resources and machinery.
Optimization helps avoid wasted man-hours in organizations, making operations more efficient.
IoT connects hardware, software, and artificial intelligence for deeper analytics. Because of better insights, businesses can use IoT to catapult their operations toward the future.
36% of businesses discover new opportunities with IoT.
Businesses build new product lines and revenue models based on emerging patterns.
For example, insurers calculate premiums based on driving habits. Retailers plan their inventory levels and in-store display by recording consumer behavior. Marketers use IoT-based beacon tech to gather insights about consumers. Data analysis helps businesses adapt to change and create market-ready products.
IoT can connect every unit, device, asset, machinery, or equipment to a single network. With smart sensors, businesses can then track assets and control equipment. Real-time insights and autonomous control reduces waste and optimizes the entire workflow. Asset-heavy industries like transportation use IoT to promote transparency through location tracking and updates.
IoT reduces security risks and vulnerabilities through sensors designed for live surveillance in physical locations.
Connecting CCTV cameras to IoT networks creates a powerful surveillance network. This network can be further enhanced with automation, deep learning, and computer vision to create custom security solutions. For example, ALERTWildfire, a new AI detection network, is becoming increasingly accurate at predicting wildfires.
Learn how to mitigate the risks of outsourcing development.Read more
When you outsource mobile app development, you want to get the work done professionally at a reduced cost and with little overhead. And while this sounds enticing — in 2019, the global market size of outsourced services was $92.5 billion — outsourcing development doesn’t come without risks. But there are ways you can keep these at a minimum level. Learn how to mitigate outsourcing development risks.
If you're like many business owners, outsourcing mobile app development might seem like a good idea, especially from a financial perspective. The average business is strapped for cash, and even if you’re more financially stable at a bigger company, launching a mobile app can still be costly if you don’t have in-house resources experienced in mobile development.
But outsourcing mobile app development is not a one-size-fits-all solution, and it has its own set of advantages and disadvantages. Handing over a list of specs and expecting a service provider to come back with a great digital product isn’t necessarily how outsourcing looks like. The communication is critical, and it's the core of good cooperation with your business partner.
And while the overhead with outsourcing is significantly lower than if you were to build an in-house team, some questions also need to be answered — What is the cost? Will I lose access to my data? What about intellectual property rights and trade secrets? Who will be managing the project?
These are all valid concerns that should be taken into account before choosing an IT outsourcing partner.
The first major problem with having a remote app development team comes when you want to oversee how outside contractors handle their part of the job. The need to be in control is sometimes hard to let go, especially when you’re working with a partner with different processes.
If you’re in the trust-building stage, consider asking about the possibility of CI/CD (continuous integration and continuous delivery). In the CI/CD approach, you get to see the development of your app daily through a working demo.
CI/CD will help you oversee the progress and evaluate the quality of the deliverables. So when your outsourcing partner is underperforming, you’ll know it very early in the project and will be able to halt the work without risking losing money.
Knowing how the app’s development is progressing also helps to estimate whether you’re going according to the time frame or not. A delay is the last thing any project owner needs in their schedule. But keep in mind that delays are one of the trade-offs of lower costs per hour when you hire offshore developers.
Another issue might stem from different time zones and cultural differences.
Every time you work with a remote team, it’s important to remember that they’re on a different schedule than the one your business operates on. Take extra measures to avoid any miscommunications or mistakes by keeping communication channels open and setting clear goals. Most of all, be considerate of their time by meeting when it’s suitable for both parties.
Assessing the expertise of a remote development team can be a difficult task. And if they’re unfamiliar with your business niche, there's a chance the team you're working with won't be able to navigate industry problems as well as they should. In that case, it will take longer for them to integrate your business vision or project idea into your mobile application.
The solution? Look for an experienced outsourcing company that knows the ropes of your industry. Ask about their processes, project successes, case studies, and anything that will help you assess if they're qualified enough to do what you need them to. We recommend starting with a project discovery phase where intensive research allows teams to gain more understanding before jumping head first into implementation.
Outsourcing app development means sharing portions of your data with another company. This can put your company at risk for security breaches, compliance violations, and financial scams. According to the Deloitte Global Outsourcing Survey, data security and loss of IP (intellectual property) are the leading concern among companies that outsource their operations.
To mitigate the risk of security breaches, outsourcing companies have to be vetted thoroughly (e.g., by checking their reviews on social media). Employees need to stay vigilant for possible misappropriations of trade secrets or loss of IP rights. There is also sensitive customer information that can leak through outsourcing — login credentials, medical records, credit card info — all can make their way to third-party hands depending on what type of solution you're developing.
To minimize those risks, ensure you sign an NDA (non-disclosure agreement) with an offshore company involved in your project before you share any data with them. This way, if any data leaks, they will have to pay penalty clauses. Furthermore, try to collaborate with a company that is legally bound by intellectual property laws (e.g., European intellectual property law).
While it’s tempting to settle for the lowest bid, in the end, the development might cost more than you expected. Before falling for the cheapest, consider the possible consequences of choosing a partner that has never completed similar projects. Also, is the company you want to partner with big enough to meet the demands of your project timewise?
When new agencies enter the market, they often offer low bids that aren’t feasible. Ultimately, the development ends up costing organizations more because these newcomers can’t manage the scope of the project correctly.
When you're looking to outsource a project, ensure that your contract covers all of the services and deliverables needed. The contract should outline the timeline, estimated costs, and explicit details about what is expected from both parties.
Ask what is included in the per hour contract, so as not to fall into the trap of being charged extra.
The key to success for any project is clear communication. You can avoid many costly and time-consuming problems with your projects if you make sure that both parties are on the same page. Without a clear understanding of what is required, delays will pile up and turn good outsourcing relationships sour quickly.
When engaging a partner for outsourced work, make sure to consider and discuss all aspects, including deadlines for deliverables, milestones along the course of your project, software requirements, and expectations on quality.
One of the risks you possibly haven’t considered but most outsourcing companies are familiar with, is your own engagement. If vendors don’t get timely responses from you regarding questions or requests, chances are you won't be satisfied with what's delivered in return.
When project managers and developers work closely with their clients, they're able to understand all of the nuances in your business and create a solution that fits exactly what you need. This means that there will be less miscommunication between team members on the project, and it will likely end up being completed faster.
The more your outsourcing partner knows about what you want, the better their work will be for you in the long term.
A minimum viable product (MVP) is a way to bring your product into the market as quickly as possible. Learn about different MVP types.Read more
A minimum viable product (MVP) is a way to bring your product into the market quickly, without risking too much time or money on developing features that might be redundant. But building an MVP in its most commonly understood meaning (a working version of your mobile application) isn’t the only approach to validating your ideas and probing market demand.
Just like there are many factors to consider when creating the foundation for your digital product, there are many types of MVPs. Context, competition, offer, business model, business objectives, and many other elements determine the best types of MVPs for your project. That’s why there’s no single minimum viable product template that will be accurate for all mobile app projects.
One thing remains 100% sure, though: the necessity to validate your product ideas if you want to succeed. According to a Harvard professor, 65% of startups fail. And the reason for failure is simple — poor and untested product ideas.
Building a minimum viable product is the first step when launching any new project, but there are many different ways to approach an MVP.
Also known as the Flintstone MVP, a Wizard of Oz is a product that doesn’t yet exist but makes an illusion of being a completely functional product. Even though it seems complete on the outside — just like the Flintstone car — there actually isn’t any software present on the inside to do the work.
In fact, all work, e.g., in-app actions are done manually by a developer. Zappos, the online shoe retailer, was built with a Wizard of Oz strategy. In 1999, Nick Swinmurn, the founder of Zappos, searched for a pair of shoes but couldn’t find them in a nearby mall. He discovered that none of the major companies sold footwear online. Soon, he built a simple website and started taking pictures of shoes from stores all over and placing them on his website — no inventory system present whatsoever.
Yes, Nick Swinmurn was doing everything manually, which meant running to the store to fulfill an order that came through the website. Once the sales became significant, he knew it was the right time to invest more money, and that the business would take off.
A Wizard of Oz test can be time-consuming, but it's an excellent option for entrepreneurs looking to validate their product or service before investing large funds.
When Spotify founders were thinking about setting up their business, they noticed that other media streaming companies often went for expensive websites and apps, without really testing the viability of their products.
So instead of burning through all their funds on a fancy website or complex software development process prior to launch, they created an MVP in the form of a desktop application with music streaming as their core functionality to test the market need. However, their biggest focus was to bring down latency as much as possible, giving the experience no lag. The result? Spotify became the most significant music streaming company in the world.
So when creating a single-feature product, you need to understand that one functionality must work exceptionally well. After confirming that your product is viable, you can add more features as you learn the behaviors and preferences of your users.
The piecemeal MVP development framework relies on existing solutions to deliver a new service. For example, instead of building an entirely new content management system, you use solutions such as Wordpress. You don’t have to invest a lot of time and money to build a prototype or build a whole product from scratch in one go — you can assemble an MVP with existing tools.
This is exactly how Groupon was created, as an asset initially built on Wordpress. If the founders had insisted on building their own CMS first, the company might not have survived.
This approach allowed Groupon to quickly test the business idea with pet adopters, leveraging other software without spending too much money on expensive designs or complex functionality.
Concierge minimum viable product is similar to the Wizard of Oz test. With a concierge MVP, you also manually go through every step of the process with each customer. This gives you the opportunity to get feedback on your product or service and make any necessary adjustments to your product roadmap.
In the book Lean Startup by Eric Ries, Food on the Table is used as an excellent example of the concierge MVP. Food on the Table is an app that figures out what you like to eat based on the recipes you submit. The app then creates a shopping list using coupons to help users save money. To test out the idea, the founder personally collected coupons and compiled lists for each customer without any automation or a big team.
UPDATE, June 2022:
Hiring developers to build an MVP just so you can check if your idea will pick up on the market or inside your user base is justified only when you already have initial signs that there will be traction. While custom development gives you code ownership and flexible scalability options, the traditional approach takes time (roughly three months). Of course, you can use that time to put in the effort to build a following so that when your MVP is ready, there will be users signing up for it. But there's still a great deal of uncertainty whether your product will pick up or if you'll need to pivot or kill it.
You can use the above approaches such as concierge MVP to mitigate the risk of product failure, but these don't give your users a finished version of your product.
A quick and cost-effective way to try a product with your users is by building it using one of the no- or low-code tools. These tools let you import Figma designs and set up simpel logic behind them so that you have a ready-made product available for release in less than two weeks. A no-code MVP gives you plenty of time to test how the product fares among your target audience, letting you introduce all the necessary feature changes to meet user needs as you discover them.
To determine whether an MVP concept solves a problem, and therefore is immediately valuable, test whether it does the job.
Jobs-to-be-done (JTBD) is a theory based on the premise that customers “hire” products or services as tools with which to complete tasks.
Even though an MVP can be very cheap, it’s not always free to make. Jobs-to-be-done is a powerful tool for measuring the potential of an idea before any investments whatsoever. It considers two things: what job customers would require your product to do and how well your new product satisfies unmet customer needs and pain points versus existing solutions.
A great example is Clay Christensen’s research for McDonald’s. During customer interviews, Christensen realized that people were “hiring” milkshakes because they're easy to consume with easy-to-dispose packaging and appetite-quenching qualities — perfect for those with time restrictions in the mornings. By understanding what was a milkshake’s job-to-be-done, Christensen’s team created a better milkshake, one that addressed the specific needs and wants of the customers.
Make good product development decisions by picking a North Star metric and focusing on what helps your product mature.Read more
You can measure hundreds of different metrics, but they will get you nowhere near making good product decisions. By picking a North Star metric, however, you can focus on what helps you build a foundation for data-based decisions that matter. A North Star (or master) metric will very quickly give you the answer to a basic question: is the product evolving according to your expectations, or not?
I’ll describe a simple framework that helps our clients find a master metric for building better products that reflect what users do and what decisions they make inside the app.
Invite stakeholders and at least one technically versed person. Mobile analytics requires experience and the terminology can sometimes overwhelm the stakeholders. Having someone who gets analytics and can translate complex terms into layman’s words is an asset.
Master metric meetings can be held remotely, so you can use Miro (or a similar tool) to organize thoughts.
You start the meeting and set up a goal. In this case, it should be “looking for the master metric that currently matters.”
To better explain the goal, describe what is a good metric and what is a North Star metric if it’s not obvious to all people at the meeting (e.g., not every developer has experience in defining metrics, hence I recommended inviting someone versed in analytics to the meeting).
A good metric lets you measure the usage of a specific feature with direct value to the user.
However, the definition of usage itself can get tricky and deceitful if you don’t understand it correctly. For example, metrics such as the number of sign-ups or the total number of registered users aren’t really going to help you build a better product because they give you neither valuable nor actionable insight.
If you make metrics more granular, say, the number of new users per week or how many times a day/week a user opens your app, you can correlate the results with some other action (e.g., change in design, reduction of the number of steps in a process). In other words, you can get a learning opportunity.
Now the even more granular “percentage of users who do the same thing inside your app X number of times a day/week” is a metric that influences decision-making the most.
With all that in mind, a definition of a North Star metric emerges: every other metric you measure means nothing until this master metric hits a predefined goal.
Now that everyone is on the same page as to the qualitative aspect of metrics, we’re going to focus on bringing to light everything we know about the most important user persona in the current state of the product. Master KPI will refer to this group of people.
Have your meeting attendees work together in a group to find a North Star metric. Set a time limit of ten minutes, for example. Every person works separately, without seeing the results until time runs up.
Use post-it notes in Miro for this step.
When time is up, talk over your results.
When the master metric exercise is complete, all stakeholders should think about the limitations that make a certain metric unsuitable to become a master metric. The constraint can also be that the metric is simply unmeasurable.
Once everyone has learned about the ideas of other team members and business constraints, we repeat the ideation process for the master metric.
The iteration should look like this:
The technical feasibility of a metric also justifies the presence of a technical person — a developer with the knowledge of analytics will be able to tell how difficult is the implementation of that idea or if it’s even possible.
This sifting process should be exhausted to the point of giving you a list of validated metrics.
There’s little room for democracy when voting for a master metric — one designated person has to be the decision-maker. Every stakeholder gets 2 to 3 dots to use for voting on the best master metric. Keep in mind that the number of dots a metric gets is only for the informational purpose of the decision-maker.
It will be up to that person to ultimately make the decision which metric becomes the master metric.
Sample Miro board with the whole process:
A North Star metric is a way to focus on many different measuring options, which is great for successful product development that’s guided by predefined goals. But you have to keep in mind that a North Star metric is valid for a set period of time — once you achieve the predefined metric goal, you should find a new North Star metric to avoid the problem of local optimization. The key with North Star metrics is to find a global optimum. So without working on at least a few North Star metrics, your product might not mature properly.
Having a North Star metric is important, but it doesn’t mean that the one you pick initially should guide your product’s journey forever — there’s a high likelihood that that first North Star metric will change.
Don’t get discouraged by the results with the first North Star metric you define. Choosing that first metric is the most difficult part of the process. The data environment isn’t yet saturated enough for you to make highly accurate decisions — don’t worry about that, just pick the first metric that seems good and iterate to set the baseline for further measurements.
Choosing a North Star metric is only one part of the process — the other is to assume what’s the satisfactory target level of that metric.
You can think about it as a kind of business gambling — you assume that a metric changes by X when you do Y. This approach is the quintessential element of scientific research and the foundation for making hypotheses and experiments.
If you don’t define a target level for your North Star metric, there’s a chance that its role in your product’s success will be blurred (you won’t know if it was the North Star metric that had a direct impact). And in a scenario where your product fails, you’ll try hard to rationalize it.
Thinking about how much you can squeeze out of a given metric before you actually start the implementation takes away the ability to rationalize post-factum.
You can use the Lean Analytics Cycle diagram to find and validate North Star metrics, plus transition from one metric to another:
Many business owners are hesitant about outsourcing development. Learn about the advantages and disadvantages of outsourcing mobile app development.Read more
We live in a world where we can get anything on demand. Want to order takeout? Done. Looking for someone to fix your plumbing or paint your house? It's as easy as logging onto the internet and making one phone call.
But when it comes to developing an app, many business owners are hesitant about outsourcing their projects because they don't know where to start or how much it will cost them in the end.
This post unveils the advantages and disadvantages of outsourcing. We’ll show you what to keep in mind while navigating outsourced development to minimize risk and maximize value.
Outsourcing means bringing services from an outside vendor into one’s own organization. It is a great way for small businesses without much experience in IT to get their hands dirty with technology with the help of someone who knows how to take care of the technical stuff.
However, outsourcing development also means hiring on-demand developers who do pure development work while your in-house team focuses on more creative product-related tasks. For example, your in-house team can be heavily invested in creating and testing hypotheses while the outsourced team will be implementing features.
In other words, when you outsource mobile app development for your company, you bring someone else in who specializes in developing apps. According to Statista, software application development is the most outsourced IT function worldwide.
Outsourcing development is a great way to get more work done, without the added pressure of hiring someone new and managing them. It's also an excellent alternative if you're just starting out and don't have enough cash flow for a full-time in-house team of developers. Take a look at other benefits of outsourcing mobile app development.
For one, there are a number of cost-saving benefits that come with hiring an outsourced company for your IT needs. Outsourcing software development is less expensive than hiring several team members, such as designers, iOS and Android developers, business developers, UI/UX experts, or any other related positions. Outsourcing allows you to take advantage of someone else's expertise while saving money on overhead expenses like equipment and software costs.
When you're running a business, time is your most valuable asset. IT outsourcing can save you time and energy by reducing the resources spent on finding the right software developer. You can put this extra energy into your company's core business functions, e.g., improving customer relations or creating new features that will enhance customer experience.
You can rely on experts to guide you through the whole process of mobile app development — from ideation and conceptualization of your app, all the way up until deployment and updates. To get a development team that you can trust, look at reviews and testimonials, preferably from unaffiliated websites or services. Choose a company that specializes in your industry to guarantee a high quality of deliverables and a high level of expertise.
Hiring an outsourcing company can also help you increase productivity by giving you access to top talent and expert skill sets. Outsourcing software development — or parts of development — to senior professionals will help you fill talent gaps and get necessary insight wherever and whenever you need it.
Instead of having to manage a development team by yourself, outsourcing companies hire a project manager. That person is responsible for managing the entire project. Your sole job is to focus on the vision. However, when you hire experts with years of mobile development work behind their belts, you can also count on their expertise and consult if your app specification is realistic and viable in your business context.
Outsourcing gives you a perfect balance between skills and rates. You’re able to find exactly what you’re looking for in a flexible contract within a reasonable price range.
Choosing an app revenue model for a mobile app can be tricky. Learn about the pros and cons of the most popular app revenue models.Read more
The mobile app market is booming. With approximately 247 billion global app downloads in 2020, it's no surprise that everyone wants to get their hands on a piece of this pie.
Mobile apps are an investment and can take time to grow into something substantial. There are many different ways to generate revenue from an app — choosing one that best suits your needs can be difficult. Let's talk about the most popular models of app revenue generation, how they work, and which one to choose for your business.
There are many app monetization models out there, but we’ll focus on the five most popular app monetization models available for developers:
In the in-app advertising revenue model, app developers display ads inside applications. The advertisers pay the developer every time an ad is displayed. The potential for this mobile app advertising revenue is essentially limitless. If your users spend enough time in your app, advertisers will want to buy the ad space.
For example, even though Instagram is a free social app, they generate revenue from advertising. By delivering highly personalized ads based on data acquired from its users, Instagram’s revenue has been growing rapidly. It’s projected to exceed $18 billion in ad revenue in 2021 in the US alone.
Still, even Instagram can overdo its advertising endeavors. The algorithms are smart at firing highly (and sometimes eerily) accurate ads, but the growing number of ads sparked multiple debates on Reddit and in media outlets. So the key to doing Instagram right is to make the ads feel natural and unique — you want your users to stop and enjoy the storyline of the ad, just as they would the content of someone they follow. And yes, this advice applies to B2B selling as well, both on Instagram and in mobile ads.
In-app purchases are a pricing strategy in which basic services or products are provided for free (or at lower cost) while more advanced services or products require additional payment. The idea behind this is that the company will make up losses by monetizing other features of its service.
When it comes to long-term revenue streams, subscriptions are often the best choice. Oftentimes users are either given free access to a limited amount of features or access to all features for a trial period.
One of the most profitable non-gaming apps that utilizes this model is Tinder. It offers two paid tiers and the option to boost or sponsor your profile.
Freemium is a type of app revenue model that offers an application for free and then generates revenue from in-app purchases. The freemium model has been widely adopted by app developers, as it allows them to distribute their applications for free while still generating significant revenues.
Spotify is a great example of a freemium model. They have a free, ad-supported tier that is available to all app users. If people get tired of ads, the premium tier packs additional features and eliminates ads. Spotify also offers a free 3-month trial for a premium version, which builds a stronger relationship with the product and convinces many to continue paying for the app.
Paid apps, also known as premium apps, are the least used app monetization model. Developers charge users a one-time fee to download the app from the mobile app store. The upside is that it's easier to plan expenses in advance if you know how much revenue is going to be generated from the start of the project. There are rarely any surprises later once users start using the app. The biggest downside is estimating how many users will actually pay for the app.
In a world where we’re bombarded with low-quality digital products, make sure that what you’re trying to sell has a laser-focused target audience, is tested, well designed, and delivers what it promises.
Currently, one of the most successful paid apps is Forest. For a one-time fee of $2,29, Forest gamifies productivity and focus. When users stay in the app for a set period of time, they get to plant a tree — both inside the app and in the real world.
Sponsorships are one of the least known app business models. While online banners or video ads improve brand awareness, they don’t necessarily give the customer anything. Sponsorships, on the other hand, operate on an app monetization model where users receive rewards by completing tasks in the app.
Sweatcoin is doing an amazing job when it comes to creating revenue and engagement through sponsorships. It’s a free step counter app that pays its users a made-up currency (sweat coins) for their steps. Users can use the digital currency on the app’s marketplace and grab discounts or even free products.
To choose a revenue model, first consider why you’re developing an app at all. You also need to know who you're developing your mobile application for. In other words, what is your mobile app's ideal customer persona.
Given that over 90% of apps are free, you might be tempted to go that avenue. However, it all depends on the long-term strategy you have for your app.
For example, you might develop an app for controlling your IoT (internet of things) device with the app being a complementary addition to the paid device. As the app matures and gets more refined, and you’ve attracted enough loyal and invested users, you can start charging for your app. This is especially valid for businesses that want to grow and scale with enough stickiness and financial capacity.
But again, the app monetization advice highly depends on your app and target audience. So it’s best to always start with the customer in mind. Try to talk to a few of your customers about their experience with the app: how much would ads spoil their experience; would they be willing to support your app by paying for it.
More app developers are leaning towards the hybrid model by including several monetization strategies. For instance, your app could be free with ads and an option to remove them via an in-app purchase.
Mobile apps are a great channel for reaching a larger audience. Here are the best practices that can help enhance your mobile app user experience (UX).Read more
Mobile apps are a great channel for businesses wanting to reach a larger audience. But designing apps with a positive user experience can be a daunting task. From understanding your audience to building the right features, many factors go into the design process. Here are the best practices that can help enhance your mobile app user experience (UX).
With a mobile app, businesses can reach more customers and incentivize them to make a purchase. But not all companies are successful in their efforts to develop a mobile app that becomes a reliable revenue stream. A staggering 99% of consumer apps fail.
A number of elements make a successful app — idea validation, user personas, mobile analytics, and comprehensive marketing strategy, are just a few of the necessary building blocks that increase a mobile app’s chance on the market.
For many businesses, it can be difficult to maintain consistent customer experience during the mobile journey. This article outlines some of the best UX practices that'll improve user retention and satisfaction.
Mobile UX describes how the design and performance of an app impact the user’s perception of a mobile application.
Mobile UX designers focus on:
To deliver high-quality experiences to your users, guide your designs with user personas in mind. Check out how to create user personas for a mobile app.Read more
User personas are a fundamental part of the user experience (UX) design process. To ensure you’re delivering the best experience for your target audience, you should create user personas before developing a mobile app. One of the most common mistakes business owners make when building an app is they often assume they know what their customers want.
But the only way to learn what are the motivations and goals of your customers is through user research and the development of comprehensive user personas. Once you know who your target audience is, you’ll have enough validated data to guide your UX design decisions.
A user persona (or buyer or marketing persona) is a fictional, yet realistic, portrayal of the most important user group. Designers use them during the design and development process to implement solutions based on the understanding of what your customers want.
Step into the shoes of your target customers to understand user needs, motivations, and expectations. A solid understanding of your main user groups is the cornerstone to designing an efficient and useful app.
You need to know who your end user is and how they interact with your product to be able to create a relevant and engaging product. If you don't have an established target audience and know little about your consumers, chances are that much of your time and money spent on app development will go to waste.
When you build your app with personas in mind, you’re able to create personalized experiences that resonate with target users.
According to a 2019 Econsultancy report, delivering personalized customer journeys has:
Marketing personas are invaluable during the product design process. They are an inherent part of your mobile app marketing strategy, helping you communicate your vision and ensure that you deliver a consistent message across all of your communication channels.
Marketing a mobile application involves a combination of tactics and strategies. Learn how to market your mobile app.Read more
With over five billion unique users on mobile devices, creating an app opens up a whole new channel through which you can interact with your current and potential customers. But a large audience means even greater competition.
Here's everything you need to know about marketing your mobile app and becoming visible in the crowded world of mobile apps.
Mobile app marketing is creating a strategy where your main goal is to attract targeted users to your app at every stage of the marketing funnel — from the moment they hear about your app to the time they become users and turn into loyal customers.
To do this well and effectively, your marketing content must be personalized and highly strategic.
Marketing a mobile application is a complex process that entails many steps and covers multiple angles from which you generate demand for your application.
We’ll delve into more details in later sections, so for now familiarize yourself with the basic setup for how to market an app:
Having an idea of who your app is for is the best place to start. If you can't describe your target audience aka the user persona, it’ll be tough marketing your app to them. When you know your target audience, you can be precise and effective in your marketing efforts.
A user persona should paint a picture of your ideal target customer. This will help you craft the app marketing strategy so that it resonates best with your prospects.
The key characteristic of every user persona is the pain point and challenge the customer is facing. These two should be top of mind when creating your user persona.
Besides these two, try to answer these questions:
Remember, a lot of answers to these questions will initially be assumptions. As you experiment with your marketing strategy, these hypotheses will be verified.
App marketing is not just about knowing your audience. It's also about knowing what your competitors have been doing. Market research and competitor research will help you discover successful strategies and avoid costly failures.
Watching your competitors closely will give you plenty of insight about which channels to use and the type of messaging to draw inspiration from. Watch your competitors, make notes, and use this data to make your mobile app marketing efforts even more successful.
The most successful apps in the stores are those that address the most common user needs. For example, Zoom or Google Meet — aka the most downloaded apps in 2020 during the pandemic — fulfilled the need for convenient remote communication for personal and professional purposes.
So you could orient your marketing message around a specific and current problem. Raise awareness through marketing content and then drive demand.
A landing page allows users to learn more about your app on mobile web and desktop. Use SEO and search intent keywords to attract your users and show them how the app solves their problem.
Landing pages are also a great way for initial app onboarding — you can create a video to let your prospects know what they can expect when they install your app. you can include screenshots on top of demo videos.
Use call-to-action buttons with links to your app in the App Store and Google Play Store.
This is another way to reach your target audience and use SEO to drive traffic to your app. Keep your blog updated and share valuable and unique content on your social media channels. Consider guest blogging to further increase reach.
A good practice is to start blogging and generating organic traffic long before app release. This will increase your app’s traction significantly once you launch.
You might wonder what content to publish. The best content is one that drives awareness about a problem — the problem your target audience is facing. These can be whitepapers, reports, videos, case studies, articles. Cover all verticals of the problem.
Optimizing your mobile app’s product page is a fundamental step in every app marketing strategy. Think about the title, design a catchy icon, and use screenshots that convey the app's selling points and benefits.
You never know what will trigger the customer to install your app, but doing the groundwork will give you extra points.
We’ll dive into a little bit more detail about product page optimization on app stores later.
Social media marketing can have a huge impact on the popularity of your app. When you're thoughtful about what content you share on social media and distribute it to qualified prospects via both organic and a bit of targeted advertising, you can increase your traffic significantly.
Don’t go for all social media channels available, though. Start with three major ones (Facebook, Instagram, and Linkedin) and verify which generate the most users for your app over time.
Look for influencers that your target audience follows. Contact them for a possible partnership (e.g., by sponsoring their podcasts). An honest review from an influencer on their social media channels can give your app lots of traction.
Build a community around your application by starting a podcase where you can discuss all the relevant information about how your app helps others change their lives and habits. Podcasting is a great way to keep engagement high and acquire a new and loyal audience for your mobile application.