Custom application development requires a million and one decisions. It’s enough to keep anyone busy. Here at Modern Launch, we know it’s a lot to manage on top of an already busy schedule running your startup. We understand you value your time but also want to create a great app that represents your business and helps it grow. 

We’ve compiled a list of core Do’s and Don’ts to remember when developing a custom application for your startup. If you can keep these ideas at the forefront of your development process, we believe your app will be all the stronger for it.

Don’t hesitate to get in touch if you need further assistance or professional support. We’d love a chance to discuss your startup so we can help you reach your goals. 

The Don’ts

  1. Go Too Big & Complex

What are the expectations for your application? What do you think it’s going to look like when it’s finished?

If you are building your startup’s first-ever custom application, ensure you understand your natural limitations. Custom application development is complex and expensive. You will not create an app that rivals Netflix, Facebook, DoorDash, FitBit, or Uber. It takes significant time, resources, and a highly-skilled large, and dedicated development team to create anything of that size and caliber. 

The Dos and Don'ts of Startup Applications | Custom Application Development

You don’t want to go too big and complex for your first application. If you outline a laundry list of advanced features for the app, your startup may run out of money before the app is complete. Spending money on an app that never reaches completion because it’s in a perpetual state of development is a quick way to lead your startup to an early grave. Feature creep is one of the greatest threats to early-stage startups and founders. 

Before starting development, define a clear minimum viable product. This will help you produce something manageable, something you can be proud to show to investors and engage with early users/adopters.

  1. Be Uninvolved

If you’re not building the app in-house, don’t take that as an excuse to be uninvolved in the development of your application. If you’re working with an agency, they’ll most likely handle the following services for your startup:

  • UI/UX Designs
  • Database architecture
  • Frontend/backend development
  • Quality assurance/testing
  • Systems & 3rd party integrations
  • Project Management

But custom application development is much more than that. There are important decisions to be made at every turn. You and other startup team members should be very involved in the development process. You don’t want to hinder timelines by constantly requesting changes, but by staying involved, you can ensure that development continues in the right direction. No one understands the vision of a startup better than the founder themself. It’s critical to stay engaged with your team throughout the entire development process and share feedback regularly. 

  1. Forget Market Research 

If you’ve started a business, you have a business idea that you think offers value to a customer base. You’ll need to find a way to connect with potential customers and bring them to you. 

The Dos and Don'ts of Startup Applications | Market Research

Market research will help your team learn more about what consumers are looking for: their needs, pain points, and expectations. With this information, you can make informed decisions about what features your customers require and what kind of user interface is appealing to them. Your developers or the software development agency can incorporate this market research to improve your application. 

Forgetting to integrate market research during custom application development might result in a final product that misses the mark and struggles with adoption.

A good idea doesn’t magically turn into a successful application. Sales and marketing will drive user adoption and it’s impossible to scale a business with a product that no one wants or needs. Early-stage testing and engaging with users is the best way to validate and improve upon your product throughout the process.

The Do’s

  1. Put User Experience First

Applications are built for people. This is true whether your startup is developing a proprietary application for internal use or a customer-facing application. The main difference here are the needs and expectations of the end users. 

Regardless of the app specifics, your startup should prioritize the user experience. If your app isn’t designed for users, they won’t want to use your app. It’s that simple. End users have very high expectations for software, which are constantly increasing. Your team must commit to meeting or exceeding these expectations. This means an efficient, modern, user-friendly app with an appealing user interface and useful features. Keeping it simple is almost always better, especially at the early stages of a new product.

Combine market research and a robust testing phase to ensure the application meets your user’s needs while being intuitive and enjoyable to use. The design phase will dictate the look and feel of the whole build. Be sure to work with your development team to create the best experience possible.

  1. Stick to Core Functionalities

One of the best ways to avoid underdelivering on your startup’s first application is by sticking to core app functionalities. Select a handful of specific features your application should have and build those features out. It’s all about prioritization early on. Don’t overdo it, it’s easier said than done. Research, build, test, improve, implement, scale, repeat. Your product should be everchanging so don’t focus on every bell and whistle from the get-go. 

By adhering to this principle,  your app ratings on Google Play and the App Store will also be much higher early on. A high rating helps to build your brand identity and reputation. Users won’t have any qualms writing a scathing review if it’s full of poorly realized features and riddled with bugs. The idea extends into custom development for desktop apps and other software. Outline the essential features and build them for your first version launch. Then your developers won’t be scrambling to roll out patches and can start working on more advanced features. 

  1. Get Professional Help with your Custom Application Development

Your startup doesn’t have to take on the burden of custom application development without help. Actually, it’s often better if you don’t. Software development is complex, and there are lots of essential pieces that must come together to result in an application that is:

  • Highly optimized for performance
  • Updated regularly
  • Well-designed
  • User-friendly
  • Secure 
  • Scalable 

Because custom applications are now the norm and an essential component of a successful business, many startups are turning to software development companies for help. Agencies like Modern Launch can be your saving grace if your startup doesn’t have an in-house development team and isn’t looking to start one anytime soon. 

Agencies have teams of professional software developers and IT professionals who can develop a custom application with all the essential pieces outlined above. Besides the technical knowledge, they have established application development pipelines and proven processes for working with startups.

Modern Launch will work closely with your startup to understand your vision and bring your application to life. We have experience creating both small proprietary and large customer-facing apps for widespread distribution. We are no strangers to the unique differences between B2B and B2C applications. Consider our services if you want professional help from a proven agency committed to delivering an app that serves your startup well. 

We hope you found this article helpful. If you have any questions or comments, feel free to reach out to us. 

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