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How to Create a Successful Custom Web Product Step by Step: Codica's Practice
The article was initially published in the Codica blog. When creating a winning web product, the team must follow the best practices and certain steps for development. This is how Codica ensures building top-quality websites. This article is a complete guide that shows the approach at Codica to creating web products that users enjoy. What methodologies are commonly used for project development at Codica? Today, custom software product development mainly relies on two methodologies, waterfall and agile. Both of them are useful and have their peculiarities. The waterfall methodology implies that the next stage of software development starts after finishing the previous one. So, the design of the web product starts only after the product discovery step is finished. Meanwhile, agile methodology means moving in small steps and applying changes whenever they are needed. This iterative approach offers more flexibility and mitigates risks early. At Codica, we rely on the agile methodology appreciating iteration as its main advantage. We hold daily, and weekly meetings to discuss the results achieved, further goals, and expected deliverables. What is the Codica team involved in the development process? The development process requires several careful steps, from assessing the business idea through development and finishing with quality assurance and support. These steps require certain professional roles. They are as follows: - Project managers (PMs); - UX/UI designers; - Frontend and backend developers; - DevOps engineers; - Quality assurance specialists (QAs). Working together, they follow the main steps to create functional and secure solutions. Let’s discover what these steps are. What are the 5 main steps that Codica follows in software development? Step 1. Product discovery sessions Product discovery is a preliminary step when we discuss the business and technical aspects of the client’s idea. This process involves stakeholders on the client’s side, a UI/UX designer, a tech lead, and a project manager. The result of the product discovery process is the specification document and project estimate that a designer, tech lead, and project manager create together. Also, they create prototypes, a roadmap, and a process diagram and show all these documents to the client for discussion. Below is an image illustration of the main tasks we complete during the project discovery phase. After the discussion and approval of the project documents from the client, our team proceeds to design and develop the project. Step 2. Skillful designing At Codica, we create designs for each product regarding the outcome and deliverables from the discovery session. Our designers consider the style of a web product and the appearance of UI elements and font hierarchy. For example, below is a design that our team created for a kids' activities marketplace. Also, designers create a guide on the website design that is used by developers and quality assurance engineers. By the way, you can see attractive and user-friendly designs we created on our Behance profile. Step 3. Web product development After all preparations, our team starts the development process. Typically, we recommend our clients create their product as a minimum viable product (MVP). It is a primary workable version of the product that includes basic features and can be launched to the market. It is useful because you can see how users try and accept your product with the least effort for development. The development at Codica includes several phases. Let’s discover what they are. Preparations for the development Starting with the inception phase. The inception phase means planning and allocating roles for the development. An entire team takes part in this stage. It involves discussions of the specifications and prototypes created in previous stages. Also, the stage includes assessing the risks and difficulties of product release. Creating the product backlog. A project manager creates a backlog in Jira, a collaboration tool. The backlog includes epics, which are milestones for each set of features to be developed. The epics constitute the roadmap that helps developers move through the development process. Building a staging environment. Creating a code takes small steps as we follow agile methodology. Every part of the code that we create undergoes testing with Gitlab CI/CD (Continuous Integration/Continuous Delivery), a tool that automates development processes. Both staging and prod environments are created and managed by our DevOps engineers. Also, DevOps help to host a product properly. We prefer Amazon Web Services (AWS) for this. It is flexible and has a rich set of features that ensure the secure and stable work of a website. Our iterative software development process While building a web product, developers and quality assurance engineers check the code logic and the code compliance with syntactic norms. We also check the code for vulnerabilities, and stylistic errors, run tests and deploy our code to test servers. Then a tech lead verifies the completed code. These operations are conducted in the staging environment and are a must before deploying the product on the prod. Step 4. Testing In parallel with designing and developing, we perform testing. So, quality assurance engineers (QAs) start testing the code from the moment when they receive specifications from a project manager after the discovery sessions. QAs clarify the details of how the product must look and function and write these nuances in the Acceptance Criteria document. Also, QAs use the following documents: - Checklists that present the compliance criteria for the code; - Test cases that are a complete description of test scenarios with steps and prerequisites. After all necessary checks of the code on stage as part of development, QAs perform regression tests. Such tests clarify that changes made to the code during development do not break the code structure. So, regression testing is an initial check of the product as a whole. After the checks are completed, the project goes to the prod environment. Thus, QAs check the code on the prod once more. For example, as a result of development and thorough testing, we created an online travel marketplace that helped our client to double their expected sales. Step 5. Maintenance and support As new features appear and technologies evolve, we help our clients keep their websites up-to-date. So, our designers, developers, DevOps, and QAs make the relevant changes to keep web solutions running. The maintenance and support involve the following services that we offer at Codica: - Ongoing support, system maintenance, bug fixes, backup, and monitoring; - Improvement and updating of applications/systems, integration of new functions; - Redesigning software solutions to meet business requirements and conditions; Product technical support. We have a stack of tools that help us monitor the solutions and receive the metrics and alerts. They are as follows: - Prometheus; - PagerDuty; - Grafana. Conclusion When creating web products, we rely on the best software development practices. Following the five crucial steps, our web projects help our clients grow their businesses. If you need a website or want to test your business idea, contact us. Our experts are eager to help you.
10 Steps to Create Your First Mobile App
4.32 billion people use mobile internet worldwide, so it's no surprise that you should create an app for your business to be available when your customers need you. But exactly, where do you start? This blog guide you to create your first mobile app in 10 steps. Let's get started! Step 1: Find a Purpose Nothing is doable without having a specific goal in your mind. So the first step in mobile app development is to define the purpose of your app and how it will solve the problem of your target audience. Before you begin, set SMART (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic, and Timely) goals and break them down into simple tasks/milestones. Utilize Agile development methodology in your app development process to increase productivity, reduce risks, and deliver the product more quickly. Step 2: Conduct Market Research After defining the purpose and goal of your app idea, it is time to validate it. Idea validation allows you to determine whether there is a market for the app you are developing and how it solves customer problems. Competitive market research can also help you understand the issues that your competitors' users are experiencing, which you can then use to improve your app. Market research can help you determine which features to include and which to exclude. Even if your fiercest competitor has it in their app, you should not devote your time and effort to developing it if there is no demand for it. Step 3: Pick Your Feature After conducting extensive market research, you should now have a clear picture of the requirements for developing your app and the features to include. As previously stated, you are not required to build an entire app feature in a single launch. You can begin with a minimum viable product (MVP) and gradually add features! Identify and prioritize all of the features that will be included in your app. And, at each of the previously established milestones, you can add features to your app based on this priority. Remember SMART Goal? Step 4: Create a design You now have all of the requirements! Send it to your designer so that they can create mockups and final designs for your app flow. Also, if possible, conduct UX research to identify the needs and goals of your target users to improve your app designs. Transfer all of your market research knowledge to your designer and collaborate with them to produce the best possible result. You could create your app design with design tools like Figma or Adobe XD. After you've finished your design, hold a design review meeting with your team to go over the workflow. Step 5: Choose the Platform You must decide whether you want to create an iOS app, an Android app, or both. This problem can be solved by conducting extensive market research on your product. If you discover that you have nearly equal demand on both platforms, it is prudent to create both. 💡 Pro-tip: If you decide to go with readymade solutions, you will get both iOS and Android apps at a single cost. Step 6: Pick a Technology Have you decided on the platforms on which you will build your apps? If you want to create iOS and Android apps separately, you can use Native technologies such as Swift and Kotlin. Another option is to use cross-platform technology to create Android and iOS apps from a single code base. A few cross-platform technologies are Flutter, Xamarin, React Native, etc. Be proactive in your technology selection to improve the performance of your app! 💡 Pro-tip: We have used Flutter to build our readymade on-demand taxi app solution Wooberly - Uber clone app that ultimately reduced our cost of development and time. Step 7: Identify how to create As previously stated, there are numerous approaches to developing your mobile app. You should now select your preferred method. If you want to create a marketplace app like Airbnb, Uber, UberEats, Turo, or Instacart, we have readymade products to help you. Step 8: Create an MVP We're about to make your dream come true. After you've considered all of your mobile app development options, it's time to create a minimum viable product (MVP). An MVP includes features that are required for the app to work. Your MVP can be used to gauge interest in your product, solicit feedback, and scale it as your user base grows. This way, you can reduce the risk of investing a significant amount of money and effort into a product that will not last long. Creating an MVP is an essential component of agile development methodology. Step 9: Test your product "Be a quality yardstick." Some people are not accustomed to working in an environment where excellence is expected." Jobs, Steve After creating your MVP, you should test the product's quality before releasing it to the public. Send the app build to your quality assurance team for testing and feedback. Diawi can be used to distribute app builds. It enables developers to distribute Android and iOS apps using a web link. Your app should be tested for basic functionality, compatibility, user interface, accessibility, security, and other factors. Step 10: Launch it to store 🎉 Hurray! You've worked extremely hard. It's finally time to submit your apps to the App Store and Google Play. Both stores have unique submission procedures. To make things easier, make sure you follow all of their instructions. Here are some resources you should read before beginning the submission: ✅ https://developer.android.com/studio/publish ✅ https://developer.apple.com/app-store/review/guidelines/ Your app will be available for download and use by your customers once it has been published. All the best!