One of the most important aspects of maximally effective app development is to release software features early and often. No matter what stage of app development you’re in, the sooner you can get essential feedback from your target users, the stronger the product you will ultimately build.
Releasing early and often is an iterative process wherein repeated cycles of agile operations work toward continuously refining and enhancing the user's experience using your software. With each iteration, development moves forward by achieving incremental benchmark goals within each cycle. We accomplish this at Code Hangar through sprints that typically last two weeks .
This process is best facilitated by regular feedback at each stage of development, even beginning stages when you may only have a prototype. We encourage start-ups to test every assumption with potential customers at every stage of the process — even if, at first, that might be through initial feedback from founders, potential investors, or friends and family.
The goal is to create a feedback loop that allows you to test whether your assumptions are actually on target. If they are not, your company can more easily pivot and adjust priorities as quickly as possible, or as soon as the next sprint begins. This allows the development process to be ongoing without wasting time building and rebuilding features which ultimately costs a lot more money and doesn’t serve your customers' needs as well.
Release Your MVP Quickly
Once you’re ready to build your app, it’s critically important to get a Minimum Viable Product into the hands of your customers as quickly as possible. At Code Hangar, we specialize in rapid design and development of version zero software applications for lean tech startups. We accomplish this through iterative sprint cycles of agile development — and our most popular specialty is our 8-Week MVP package.
In just eight weeks, we produce a release-ready full-stack application with common features like user accounts and profile management, plus one or two high-impact customized user workflows. Within eight weeks, the product is ready to be used to gather initial feedback from users.
We believe that releasing an app as an MVP at the earliest possible iteration is crucially important. Once feedback is received from actual users, augmented feature updates and timely bug fixes can be much more efficiently focused.
This process allows the development team to more effectively leverage users’ feedback to determine what work most urgently needs to be done in the next sprint. We know from experience that this ultimately builds a better app at lower costs than more traditional methods.
Regular release schedules establish impressive customer service expectations early and build authority with users.
App development is never completely finished because applications are not static. Apps are usually seen as tools to help users accomplish something in a new or more effective way. You want users to happily return to your app over and over again. When you release early in the development process, you’re able to gain valuable feedback from your most active users, many of whom are savvy power users for your app — and can help you better understand the long term needs your app can solve for them.
When you’re able to create new features and fix the most pressing problems identified by your most vocal customers in a timely manner, they’ll trust that they will be able to enjoy using your app for years to come.
The efficiency of this process is a crucial customer service benchmark. Because your users will see that you’re continually working to refine and enhance your product and taking their feedback into consideration to make something that is tailored for them, you will better earn and keep their trust and confidence.
One of the most important things you can do as a start-up is to quickly build this sort of relationship with your user base. To do this, you need to rapidly deliver targeted solutions based on the most pressing needs or wishes they express to you. Then, continue listening to them to provide even greater enhancements and build an app comprehensively designed with their feedback and experiences in mind. This creates efficiently constructive feedback loops that will help much more rapidly build a network of customers who love your app and enthusiastically recommend it to others.
Releasing updates early and often allows you to create positive feedback loops that consistently communicate to your customers that you’re actively listening and rapidly responding to their needs and preferences. The best way to do this is by releasing the highest impact features as quickly as possible. By doing this, you show your most loyal customers that you value them. In turn, they’ll continue to use and share your app at higher rates — becoming your most effective and authentic cheerleaders and spokespeople.
In conclusion, we hope we’ve helped you understand why testing your assumptions with real market feedback early and often in the development process is so important. Ultimately, being able to test your assumptions with real users earlier will allow you to build a stronger product in less time, and with a smaller budget.
About Author: Code Hangar
Code Hangar is a software development company that builds amazing web, iOS, and Android apps for startups that are ready to launch ASAP. Are you ready?