How many people does it take to develop an app?

For people outside of the tech world it can be hard to fathom, how much time and effort goes into creating the apps, games and software we interact with every day. Like painting, coding is considered art and is classified is such when it comes to IP Protection. Why you ask? A painting takes an artists hundreds, to thousands of hours, coding is the same. The apps you use every day, also take hundred to thousands of hours to develop. From design, to coding, to testing, the process is complex and people do not understand this until they dip their feet in for the first time. Some people will spend hundreds of thousands of dollars on art, but flinch when they are given the cost of developing their idea. This is simply because we have become a world where everything needs to be completed tomorrow! In some cases, like art, a coder will obsess over a project for months, if not years! And this is why apps are expensive to build. Finding great coders, is like finding great artists. You commission them for projects where they will put there heart and soul into it, however, because the world we live in demands things to be finished in shorter and shorter time spans, it requires teams now to develop software, apps and games and the successful agencies, the ones that survive, build teams of incredible people coming together in unison to create art.

Let’s use the games you play on your PC and consoles as an example. The AAA rated games you are playing today have teams of 500 – 3000 working on them. From designers, to choreographers, voice over artists, terrain artists and of course the army of coders, these agencies work tirelessly to deliver you the games you play today. Now, while in most cases app and software development agencies only have 10 – 100 employees, they still work in the same way. You have people designing how it will look and how a user will interact with it. You have coders building in the functionality, server specialists making sure your setup will be able to handle the amount of traffic, and you have people testing it, trying to find bugs that need to be fixed.

Now, some apps are really simple! You can have an app developed quite cheap, if it is a once off build that won’t need updating in the future. In other words you know exactly how it will work right from the beginning. These apps are called hybrid apps and tend to only need one or two people working on them, plus a designer should you want it to look good. One thing we have learnt over the years, is that while developers are incredible at coding, they are shocking at designing. It is like anything else at the end of the day, you get what you pay for. Unlike websites, which you can get very cheap these days thanks to WordPress, there is no shortcut for apps. They take time and the price is reflected. Don’t expect to get a good app built for less that AUD$5000, if you do it will likely look horrendous and cost you more in the long run because you will have to redesign and rebuild it.

If you app is going to evolve and grow overtime, you will need to develop what is called a “Native APP”. Native apps are built specifically for the operating system of specific devices. In other words, if you are building an app for IPhone only, the app will be built to work solely on IPhone, same goes with Android for almost all other phones. This means that if you want your app to work on both IPhone (IOS) and all other devices (Android), then your app will have to be built twice! It is also more than likely you will need two different types of developers specialising in the coding language for each device. For Android you will need a Java developer and for IPhone you will need a Swift developer. There are developers that can do both, but is rare to find a good one. As you will have minimum two different developers working on your app, it is vital you have a design to follow. This is where the third and fourth members of the team come in for your project.

For best results you should have a designer create you the layout of the app. This is how the app looks, without functionality. When you have a theme, getting a UX designer onboard to design how the user will move through the app, interact with it and most importantly make a sale. Like the developers, you can get what’s called a UI/UX designer who do both, but obviously this can will cost you more.

So, as you can see, app development is a long process and we have found that a total project from planning to launch will take around 12 months. This is because you will likely end up following this flow;

  • First meeting (1 day)
  • Brief (1 week)
  • Design (2 weeks)
  • Development (3 – 12 months)
  • Testing (2 – 4 weeks)
  • Development (1 – 2 weeks)
  • Deployment (1 – 5 days)
  • Advertising (1 – 6 months)

The length of time for each will vary based on the complexity of your app or software, which app type you choose, how big the team is working on it, the amount of pre-planning you have done and of course your budget. Anything can be quicker if you have a higher budget because more team members can be assigned to the project.

As always, if you are looking for help with your project, our team of Brisbane app development team can help you plan, build and advertise your project! Get in touch, we love to share our passion for app development with out clients and prospect clients.

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The Innovation Agency

17/18 128 Bowen St,
Spring Hill, QLD 4000

1300 451 196