How long does website development or app design take?
As an agency providing web development and app design services to B2B companies, one of the most commonly asked questions we get from clients and prospects is “How long will developing my website / designing my app take?“
The truth is that asking that question is a little like asking “How long is a piece of string”, and the answer is “It depends”.
There are many factors that weigh in on the question, but a few of the most important ones to consider are:
What’s your business goal?
While the underlying goal for everything a business does is to generate profits, at a more granular level there may be a wide variety of reasons why your business is launching a web design or app development project at this this time:
Are you testing the waters for a new offer? If so you’re probably looking to build just an MVP (minimal viable product), and speed and cost savings should take precedence over polish and features. Note – These choices will inevitably have costs and impacts later.
Are you aiming for a particular event or tradeshow? In that case you’re probably most concerned about speed and quality, and costs might be higher as a result.
If your’e an entrepreneur at early stages of setting up your company and defining your product it’s probably a good idea to consult with an innovation accelerator or at least speak to some friends with experience in your field
What features do you need?
Feature creep is the phenomenon wherein an initial modest and clearly defined scope of a project inevitably expands as the project evolves, resulting in delays and ever extended launch deadlines to account for all the additional requirements and changes. It’s a project killer and unless you have a plan in place to prevent it, it’s likely to happen to your project, especially if there are a large number of stakeholders involved.
Having a clearly defined project roadmap that explains how every feature that’s being built is aligned to your goals for the launch is an important step in preventing feature creep. Working with a professional and experienced project manager to lead your team is another.
What technology are you using?
As a rule there are two primary choices you can opt for whenever you’re starting a project – Go with off-the-shelf components that are adjusted to your needs, or build a custom system up from scratch.
Going with off-the-shelf is nearly always faster and cheaper INITIALLY, but means your solution is likely to be inflexible for changes later, and limited in its ability to scale. This is probably a great choice for projects where cost and speed are the primary considerations and where the scope of growth and expansion are known in advance.
Custom website and app development is always more time consuming (= expensive) but allows you the freedom to get EXACTLY what you want. This is the solution to go for when you’re already pretty confident on the direction you’re taking, and are looking for a solution that is robust, scalable, and can support / optimize you’re existing operational model.
How can I speed up the process?
So what exactly can you do to help speed along your web design and app development projects?
It’s simple really:
Lead by example
Show the team that the project is a high priority for you by responding to questions, emails and requests for input and feedback as quickly as you can. Be available for meetings.
Price / Quality / Speed
These are the 3 pillars of any project. Ultimately you can only ever focus on 2 for any project. Select the 2 pillars you’re most concerned about, and stick with them.
Treat your website/app like the business venture it is
While you may not be a tech or project management professional, you should be able to provide these people with a detailed WRITTEN brief outlining your business plan for your venture. Clarify your goals and priorities. everything there is to know about your planned venture.
Do daily PM updates and have a weekly meeting with your team
The squeaky wheel gets the oil. Make sure you speak to your PM once a day, even if it’s just to say hi. Require a weekly update meeting to review progress and plan work for the week ahead.
Have your project content ready
The creation of the content for your site or app is your responsibility. You may rely on your PM to look after the process, but ultimately you will need to give the voice and tone for the venture. Content creation is time consuming and important. You’d be wise to plan for it in advance and figure out the best way to run this effort in parallel to the design and development process.
What if my provider is slow?
We’re often approached by companies frustrated with an existing provider. If you feel, given the list above, that your project is unduly delayed, it might be a good idea to start looking at other options.
The problem with a slow provider isn’t how long the project has already taken, but the amount of time you still need to wait until it’s delivered…
Product launch workshop
Over the 20 odd years our executive team has been involved in building web and app products we’ve identified that the best way to kickoff a new project or product is with an intensive workshop to help answer the questions above, and a whole bunch more.
A workshop gives you the opportunity to work intensively with our product, design and development professionals in order to scope out and plan your project’s goals, features, roadmap, and budget. It’s a big commitment – but failing is significantly more painful…
A good plan will help make sure that wherever you’re hoping to get to, you’re on the right track. Contact us to learn more.You X Ventures