The future of product development in app development companies
Summary: MVP, data-based feature prioritization, agility, and products managers that could innovate will shape product development’s future.
There was a time when the term “product” was only used for material objects. But, since 1990s, it has been used to describe software, websites and other digital offerings. Recently, we’ve referred almost anything a product, which adds value to consumers, from apps and physical products to banks and car-sharing services. In this post, we will discuss factors that may shape product development’s future. It is important to remember that we will be discussing product development with respect to mobile app development.
A mobile application is software with a different level of complexity, as developers can apply same conventional methods like Waterfall, Iteration, Agile, and Scrum along with different mobile app development techniques and tools to develop a mobile application.
An overview of a general product development model
For a better understanding of product development models, we have discussed phases (stage) of a general product development method below:
This is mostly the first and foremost step in most product development models. Generally, idea generation involves brainstorming sessions, research, SWOT analysis, and discovery methods. In mobile app development, this step is primarily focused on solving a particular problem.
Requirement (Information Gathering)
In this part product managers gather information for functional and nonfunctional aspects of the application. A functional requirement describes the functionalities/services of an application.
Mobile App design phase is a critical phase where a graphic designer creates UX and UI of an app.
Coding of mobile app is similar to a traditional software application coding with some challenges and complexities involved due to software and hardware constraints.
Many companies adopt following four important testing aspects to avoid low quality apps.
- Functional testing (black box testing)
- Code testing (white box testing)
- Security testing
- Performance testing
Each platform offers a certain set of testing tools by default. However, there are plenty of tools available in the market for testing mobile apps.
Upon release, most of the times, users may face few issues that were not identified during the mobile app testing phase. Reasons for such issues may include device compatibility, software/hardware problems, and network troubles. Maintenance phase deals with fixing the issues that were confronted by the users and also involve developing/releasing new features.
What future holds?
The fast and ever changing consumer world has forced companies to develop and launch products quickly. Due to this reason, we may see a lot of companies following Minimum Viable Product (MVP) framework for product development. It is an excellent framework to launch a product with minimum viable features and functionalities, and then build more features and functions once it is successful.
This MVP approach will eventually result in a data-based feature prioritization. For example, Uber added a “SOS” button in India after an alleged rape incidence. This will help product managers to make decision about prioritizing new features and functions in their product. However, they have to work closely with sales-support teams to get the right picture, as well as monitor the sources (like surveys, feedbacks, and interviews) of that data.
In the future, we may see more hybrid development frameworks emerging for agile and faster coding. Moreover, we may see a lot of developers working on hybrid app development frameworks, because developing hybrid apps that run just as fast as an app built on a native platform would be easier and faster. We have already seen a lot of frameworks supporting hybrid app development like Adobe’s PhoneGap.
Today, product managers love cloud based development platforms for a more collaborative approach towards product development. This helps them work from anywhere at any time, moreover, they can show their team a bigger picture while working on individual features and functions. Cloud based development platforms like Nitrous.IO and IBM’s Bluemix is already targeting enterprises in PaaS (Platform as a Service) industry. We may see more cloud based platforms in future.
Some tools for coding
In this post, we have discussed a couple of things that will impact product development in near future. The future face of product development will be shaped by agility, MVP, data-based features prioritization, and products managers that could innovate. New technologies and model will definitely emerge; however, their utilization will depend upon product managers’ requirements and skills.