This article was originally posted on Codica Blog.
Did you know that over 90% of startups fail after launch? That's what findings of the Startup Genome Report tell us. Skipping the market research, hiring wrong specialists, too early scaling - this is an incomplete list of factors that may lead to failure.
In this article, we will focus your attention on the most expensive mistakes you should avoid at any cost while building a web application.
1. Not creating a prototype
After checking the feasibility of your idea and defining the interests of your potential customers, you need to show a working app version to the investors. That’s when a web application prototype comes to the rescue.
As a rule, a prototype is a clickable mock-up demonstrating the product’s design and user flow. Though it is far from a working application, it can still show what features are really necessary or what should be added/removed/changed.
With the prototype, you can greatly reduce web app development expenses and time.
Take a look at the mobile prototypes of the multi-vendor vehicle marketplace designed by our team for the customer.
2. Skipping MVP development
After getting positive feedback from early adopters and investors, you may want to proceed to app development.
However, we would recommend that you take it slowly and build a Minimum Viable Product (MVP) first.
In contrast to a prototype, it is a working web application that includes only the basic features required for getting feedback from real users.
3. Saving on a software provider
The best way to proceed to building a web app is to hire a software development partner. But what criteria should you consider in the first place? Let’s find out.
- Domain expertise
Choose a software company with a solid background in building web solutions similar to your project. The experienced agencies know how to reach your business goals through an app.
- Relevant references
Such popular platforms as Clutch and GoodFirms will help you find a reliable software partner. On these websites, you can see the lists of the most trustworthy development companies. These ratings take into account such factors as market presence, relevant experience, and client reviews.
- Narrow technology stack
Partner with the software provider that specializes in only a few technologies. As a rule, narrow focus means high expertise.
At Codica, we specialize in Ruby (Ruby on Rails), React and Vue, as we find these technologies the most suitable tools for web application development.
If you have an eye on some software company, it would be useful to view their portfolio of works. Case studies will prove that the chosen agency delivers user-friendly and intuitive products. You can see them on the company’s website or visit such platforms as Behance and Dribbble.
- Further product support
Make sure that a vendor guarantees further maintenance of your product. It will not save funds in the short run but will keep support costs down in the future.
These are key factors that are worth your attention when you are searching for a software development company. Follow these tips and you will find a partner that will build a product that fully meets your needs.
4. Creating needless functionality
Don’t be so quick to implement all possible functionality. You may create a complex user flow which will result in the unintuitive interface and the delayed product launch. Besides, these features may be unnecessary and will lead to a waste of time and budget.
To start with, define the most required functionality and then, gradually add new functions. The MVP approach discussed above will help you with this task.
The initial version of Airbnb’s website had only basic functionality: Sign Up/Sign In, post function, search options, the listings nearby, and the map navigation feature.
5. Forgetting about usability
Sometimes you need more than a visually appealing design and extensive functionality to satisfy users. In this case, make the web application intuitive to the max. It means that users who interact with your app for the first time should not have any questions on how to use it.
Always keep customers in mind when developing your startup product. Firstly, focus your users’ attention on the core functionality. Secondly, follow the key usability principles to make your website user-friendly.
Below you can see a screen of a travel management platform with a simple navigation panel created for our customer.
6. Neglecting the testing stage
Another popular misconception is that you can do without testing. At first sight, it may seem that your app is functioning properly. In reality, some functions and operations may contain errors and bugs. As a result, disappointed users may give up on using your application.
Therefore, you need to spend some time testing the app and fixing bugs.
The chart below displays the web app development life cycle and the place of testing in it.
These are the most common mistakes that can cost you an arm and a leg during web app development. Now you know how to avoid them and release a successful and profitable application.
For more information on the matter, read our full article: Avoid These Costly Mistakes During Web Application Development.