Developing a high-quality app definitely requires much effort from the product team with a large amount of expert resources. As a result, a great app cannot be a cheap endeavour. It is obvious that such huge app development cost will add too much burden to those startups or small business who are budget-constraint.

However, there are still some specific ways to help reduce the unnecessary expenditure you are going to spend on your app development without compromising the quality of the product. The following five juicy tips we came up with are based on the experience we have gained in our numerous app development projects. I hope these tips can serve as a good reference for you to develop a quality app at low costs.

1. Focus On Core Features

When developing an app for your business, you are always confronted with a common scenario: My great app should combine all the features that target end users’ benefits and the app itself cannot have any bug around. This is a typical illusion that many startup entrepreneurs hold when they are still either in the idea validation phase or at hypothesis testing stage. In fact, no matter which types of app you are going to develop, you should always focus on the core features which assist you to improve your app performance from scratch. Sometimes, we would suggest our clients develop minimum viable product equipping with core features to test the market prior to their official product launch. As MVP with core features places a strong emphasis on “build-measure-learn” feedback loop, you can gather invaluable data of early adopter customer insights and further consider expanding the co-related features according to your test results.

2. Set Up A Comprehensive Documentation

Initiating a comprehensive documentation process is never a one-stop activity. This procedure requires a heavy amount of effort in terms of gathering information from sketches and wireframes. But in the long term, since such documentation has already captured every step of each feature development and identified user workflow under each feature in detail, this process will free your development team from spending too much time understanding what you want. Additionally, while creating the elaborative documentation, you actually start gaining deeper insight into your end users by summarising their specific needs and requirements. This also contributes to writing precise user stories later and reduces unnecessary app development cost incurs accordingly.

3. Apply Agile Development Model

Waterfall, pipeline and agile development process are three prevalent development models nowadays. However, compared with the other two models, developers start working on small modules and these modules are completed on the basis of periodical sprints. The biggest advantage of using agile development model is that developers can review, assess and test the tasks they have done and react fast if something unexpected happens. On the other hand, the iterative nature of agile development means that more value-added functions will be implemented as the product continues to evolve. Most importantly, as the agile approach depends on fixed timescales and evolving deliverables, the scope of product development and its features are variable rather than fixed.

4. Establish Tracking Standard

Defining your app development blueprint is not enough! In line with the list of tasks, you also need to identify the criteria of “done”. If you have already built a high-profile development and testing framework, configuring right criteria with measurable metrics is a vital way to keep your team on the right track. A well-defined tracking standard not only controls the quality of the whole operation process, but also helps decrease the incurred cost due to operation failure.

5. Develop A Cross-Platform App

If you are still confused about which platform to choose to build your app, a cross-platform app can be your supercut at the beginning. As cross-platform app allows you to use one code base for multiple platforms, you do not have to develop three separate apps for web-based platform, iOS and Android respectively. However, the drawback is also obvious. It does not provide rich user experiences compared with a native app. Again, cross-platform app works well for those small business owners who are budget-constraint in general if they do not want to pay much attention to offering unique functions in a particular device.