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App Development: The Process, Costs & Timeline to Create and Publish a Successful New App

February 21, 2024

4 Crucial app development insights for saving up to 25% on your final product, while ensuring a great user experience from the get-go and more accurate planning for a better chance at success

App development is highly involved and specialised. The level of technical know-how, collaboration and organisation needed to roll out a successful new product probably rivals some space missions in complexity.

That’s why some say up to 90% of new apps may fail. (With only 0.01% of commercial apps ever achieving real financial success, according to StartupGrind.)

The absolute best thing that you can do for your team and your new product (and avoid being one of that 90% statistic) is to commit to critical thinking, securing the right partnerships and then plan, plan and plan some more.

We help you get the ball rolling with 4 crucial planning steps before you commit to a single line of code – What’s the app development process? How long does it take to build an app? How much does it cost? And where to find the right development partner.

About app development

A successful product starts long before coding. We’ve mentioned before that research shows 95% of people feel user experience is key with any new app. That’s why a vital first step is validating your app idea, (also see the steps to validate your mobile app idea and how to run some key validation experiments) and then investing in quality app design. To get the full picture of timelines and options for launching a new product, see our guide to how long it takes to create a new app. And also see how to outsource app development successfully, the ultimate MVP method for e-commerce, the ultimate guide to design thinking principles for UX and a look at the future opportunities in mobile app development.

Once you have those locked down, it’s time to look at the actual product development. Start with these 4 insights first.

4 Crucial app development questions for a successful end-product

1. What is the ideal app development process?

The development phase of any app is complex and highly involved, and it can make or break your product – that’s why it's best to have absolute experts at your side. From assembling the right team to creating a custom project management system, keeping every line of code user-focused to best-practice in testing, staging and deployment. See all the benefits of custom software.

Discover the ultimate 10-step guide to the ideal app development process, in-depth exploration of new app development, a look at the future opportunities in mobile app development and what you need to know about Android app development.

2. How long does it take to develop an app?

One of the biggest pitfalls for both tech companies and corporates rolling out new products is misjudging the time it takes to fully develop and deploy a high-quality product. Every project is different, and of course, timelines will depend on your app’s complexity, but a general guideline is that a simple app should take about 3 months and a complex build up to 12 months.

Explore a complete app development timeline, with variables and an index for measuring your app’s complexity, so you can get the complete picture of how long your product will take in our guide to app development time. Plus: Did you know you can build 3 times faster? See how long it takes to build a low-code app and get the right price with beneficial low code development cost.

To move even faster, discover the benefits of low-code development.

3. How much does it cost to develop an app?

There’s obviously a difference between a basement build and a professional high-end product that’s ready to scale and perform from day one. And it pays to do your research – for example, we at Specno are South African-based, which means we can generally turn around new products for up to 25% less than other territories (especially when it comes to more complex builds).

See a complete app development cost breakdown, with a list of variables and indexes to help you plan and build more affordably in our guide to app development cost.

4. Where to get someone to develop your app

It should go without saying that working with an agency VS a freelance designer is in most cases faster and more preferable. At Specno, for example, we’ve built dedicated design and development teams and systems, to allow us to test ideas more rapidly and deliver work faster.

That’s why we’ll always recommend you employ a specialist app development agency. See all the benefits of custom software.

Also see what you need to build an app development team and explore the facts, figures, pros and cons around outsourcing and insourcing your development.

And see why it's important in our roundup of the impact of digital transformation on South African businesses and the ultimate MVP method for e-commerce.

Get Us to Develop Your App For You

There’s a lot that goes into developing an app that actually works the first time, and that’s why we at Specno spent years building one of the best multi-speciality app development teams.

To get your app designed beautifully with an immersive user experience, contact Specno now.
(You’ll get a response immediately.) 

You might also be interested in…

Worried about your product’s performance? Discover 9 critical causes of low app engagement and learn how to calculate your app engagement rate. Then see how to increase app engagement.

And discover the framework for testing your product concept before development with app idea validation, then see exactly how long it takes to validate an idea and how to check if an app idea already exists. Also discover why you need design thinking in finance.

Also see what to expect during the UX audit process and what goes into a full-scope UX audit and redesign.

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Specno Team