One of the important aspects of app development is time management. How much time should be spent on each phase of the process? Sometimes there is a push for an app to quickly go into development. However, there’s a really good reason why this is a bad idea: if you get through the design phase correctly and without skipping any steps, the development phase becomes faster and easier to complete.

Changes in the design phase are welcome

It can be very costly to make changes in the development phase (the phase where code is being written). Creating new files and programming them takes more time than making a few clicks on a diagram. For this reason, it’s better to make all your edits during the design phase in order to minimize editing or replacing code.

Steps before going into development

The design phase consists of many steps, which includes: the creation of wireframes for the UX, UI and any prototypes; designing of app screens, icons and animations; and user testing the UX/UI flow before eventually user testing the final design. Of course, feedback should constantly be passed around as all of this is happening.

Each step may take weeks to fully complete, especially when considering the various user testing steps that are required. User testing can take one day or one week, it all depends on what’s being tested.

User testing: go all out

Users from within the development agency may test the usability of the app, but external users can deliver better results. For custom enterprise apps, the situation becomes more complicated because the app is tailored towards a specific business. Additionally, the user experience becomes equally as important as the organizational experience. For this kind of app you must ask: how does it impact the productivity, resource management and administration of the company as a whole? You may not want to do a lot of external testing and actually test the customers that you know are going to use it: the employees.

User testing: methodology

No general rule of thumb can really help decide on a methodology since there are always exceptions, so the decision will need to rely on certain factors, such as the type of results you want to obtain (quantitative statistics, qualitative insights or physical data such as eye tracking) and the complexity/number of features that the app provides. After choosing the type of users, you then have to decide on the number of testing days and how many users to test per day. You obviously want the best benefit-cost ratio. Some sessions last an entire week with 30 users (six per day) while other times only 5 users for one day of testing is required. This again depends on the factors explained earlier.

Do yourself a favor

Make sure to acquire a lot of  feedback during the design phase and remain patient. Don’t cheap out on the user testing phases, but also don’t go overboard by testing too many users. Again, there are many steps that precede the development phase and all of them should be dealt with appropriately. Keep all of this in mind and the development of your app will be a walk in the park.

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