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What is Usability Testing, and Why is it Important?

Usability testing is essential for the digital product development process. Through usability testing, it is possible to understand the end-user and determine what elements need improvement. Find out how to do usability testing and why UX is the foundation of a product’s success.

What is usability testing?

Usability testing is a method of testing the functionality of a digital product (app or website). It consists of observing a group of representative users who use the product during the research and perform specific tasks. Usability testing can be carried out many times, from early product development to its release to the market.

The researcher observes the user’s behavior and collects feedback on the product. With usability testing, the researcher can check if a product has any design flaws, what activity was difficult for users, and work on improving the product’s performance.

Why is usability testing necessary?

The goals of usability testing may be different. Depending on the test, they can include:

  • assessing whether users/testers can perform the tasks themselves and correctly,
  • assessment of users’ mental state to the completed tasks,
  • learning about users behavior,
  • assessing whether users like to use our product,
  • identifying the problems that occurred during product testing,
  • finding solutions and improving product performance.

Usability testing types

When assessing user behavior, the type of tests should be selected. Two types of data can be collected during usability testing: qualitative and quantitative.

Qualitative usability testing

Qualitative usability tests monitor users’ reactions (facial expressions, body language, squinting) while using the product. After the test, the user fills in a questionnaire to assess his subjective satisfaction and the level of difficulty of the tasks performed. These tests are suitable for identifying problems in the user’s environment and are more often used than quantitative tests.

Quantitative usability testing

Quantitative usability tests measure the time spent on a given task and analyze success and failure rates. The user’s effort to put into the task (the number of clicks and moments of confusion) is also determined.

Usability testing methods

In-person usability testing

During the in-person survey, the moderator physically observes the user’s behavior. Contextual interviews, focus groups, and eye-tracking can be used within this method.

Remote usability testing

Remote usability testing is the performance of tasks that take place without a moderator. This method is used when the budget for the usability test is small, and we want to get the results as soon as possible.

When developing your product, don’t forget to adjust it to the market. Read our article on product-market fit and learn how to do it.

Good usability testing practices

1. Define what exactly you want to test.

2. Decide how to run usability tests and define their scope.

3. Define tasks to be performed by users and prioritize them.

4. Make sure the tasks have realistic goals.

5. Create scenarios that include realistic actions to be performed. Do not give the user instructions to complete a task; just let the user handle it himself.

6. Recruit testers from your target group. The more people test your product, the more likely it will increase its usefulness and potential.

7. Moderate the research, observe users behavior and interview them.

8. Pay attention to the moments where users feel confused or misinterpret the rules.

9. Ask users how they feel while performing the test and compare it with the usability assumptions of the project.

Better UX is a foundation of a product’s success

For a product to be successful, the focus must be on its usability and the user experience. Usability testing lets you check whether users understand the functions correctly and use the available functionalities properly.

Usability tests allow for a deep analysis of user behavior. Thanks to them, we can examine such aspects as:

  • the attractiveness of the product in relation to the competition,
  • efficiency in achieving the set goals,
  • speed of achieving goals,
  • aesthetics of the product,
  • ease of use and intuitiveness,
  • satisfaction and emotions related to the use of the product.

Usability testing allows you to examine user problems that may arise during interaction with such application elements as search engines, subpages, menus, navigation, search engine, forms, galleries, widgets, product cards, layouts, or information architecture.

Benefits of usability testing

Thanks to this research method, it is possible to quickly improve the operation of a digital product and eliminate problems encountered by testing users when using a website, mobile or web application. Tests can be carried out at every stage of product development, i.e., from mockup and prototype to the final product.

The usability test results allow for the efficient diagnosis of problems that can be eliminated at the design stage. Product perception, user experience, and satisfaction can be improved with usability testing. Confronting the product assumptions with the examination of the actual needs of users allows for a better adjustment of the product to the target group.

In a broader perspective, a well-conducted usability study reduces costs related to customer service and increases customer loyalty to our product. It also has a positive effect on increasing ROI (return on investment).

Product-Market Fit – adapt your product to the market

 Product-market fit

When developing a product, don’t forget about adjusting it to the market. Why is it such an essential element? How can you adapt your product to the target market?

What is product-market fit?

Product-market fit is one of the most important assumptions of the Lean Startup methodology. Product-market fit means being present on the market with a good product that fits the market and meets the target group’s needs. There is enough demand for a well-matched product to make it profitable to sell. In other words, to be adapted to the market, you need to meet the needs and expectations of a group of people, of whom there are so many that the investment in the product pays off.

If customers do not appreciate or do not notice the value of a product, people do not talk about it, and sales do not grow – it means that the product does not work and does not meet expectations. If we manage to adjust the product to the market, you can immediately see an increase in sales, your company grows with new people, your product is spoken of loudly, and customers recommend it to others.

Product-market fit in product development

Adapting the product to the market is one of the components of the product development process. This process usually consists of the following steps:

  1. 1. Prototyping
  2. 2. Building MVP (Minimum Viable Product)
  3. 3. Product-market fit
  4. 4. Scaling

The most important thing is the iterative nature of the entire product development process. Product-market fit and scaling are the culmination of this process and can start it anew if, after the market research phase and measuring the results, some modifications to the project need to be implemented.

Why is the product-market fit important?

The answer to this question is simple – without careful observation and understanding of the market, it is challenging to create a product that will be successful and bring reasonable profit. A tailored product provides a solution to the target audience’s problem, and therefore your product becomes valuable and desirable.

The product-market fit allows you to optimize the budget for product development. We focus on investing in such functionalities that our potential clients need. It is essential in the initial stages of product development to focus on who we are targeting our product to and whether it meets the real needs of users.

Product-market fit is a part of the software development process, thanks to which we can research customers’ reactions to our product and see what their attitude towards it is and whether they understand our offer. During the testing phase, we can determine what customers think and say about our product, whether it is attractive to them and whether they appreciate the solution we propose.

The benefits of product-market fit

Practical application

Everything we learn in the product-market fit phase translates directly into our other business decisions. We know more about the target group’s needs, and we can better adapt our product to their expectations.

Growing profits

A well-matched product that meets the needs of potential customers gives us a guarantee of success. Customers talk about our product, recommend it further, and thanks to this, the demand and profit start to increase.

Business sustainability

The moment your product fits the market and begins to be successful, your business begins to grow.

The success of the entire team

When the team works on product development and sees with their own eyes how successful they are starting to be in the market, they are more motivated to work and improve the product in the future.

Do you know the term validated learning? It will help you tailor the software development process to the client’s needs.

 Product-market fit cycle

How to adapt your product to the market?

Above all, it is vital to understand who we are targeting our product to. Defining the target group, its needs, and problems should directly influence the creation of the so-called value proposition, i.e., the benefits of the created product that will meet customers’ needs.

To get started with measuring product development, there are a few necessary steps:

  1. 1. Test your product
  2. 2. Observe user’s behavior
  3. 3. Talk to the user
  4. 4. Analyze and learn
  5. 5. Improve the product

Feedback from your target audience is crucial. It gives us the basis for product development based on actual data. The iterative nature of the process allows for the revision of assumptions and modification of the product concept to better adapt it to the real needs of the target group.

Thanks to the feedback, we will pay attention to the aspects that need improvement, e.g., better UX design or a better user interface. It may be necessary to expand the functions that we thought were an addition, but they are practical and crucial for our users.

How to measure product-market fit?

Dropout and retention rate

The above indicators make it possible to determine whether the product has been adjusted to the market. The churn rate shows when a customer has stopped using your product. The opt-out can even happen the first time you use the product. This gives you precious information regarding the product’s weaknesses that need to be worked on. The churn rate also helps you understand where you need to improve your UX to quit using your product.

Net promoter score

To measure the suitability of a product to the market, ask the target group what they think about your product. The survey can be carried out, for example, using an NPS questionnaire. Net Promoter Score (NPS) is the simplest and most popular type of survey, where the respondent rates one question on a scale from 1 to 10. Usually, it is a question “How likely is it that you would recommend our product to your friends?” On this scale, 1 means “would definitely not recommend,” and 2 means “would definitely recommend.”

Product-market fit – data analysis

After you have found the information you need to fit your product with the market, consider the following:

  1. 1. How can you improve the UI of your product?
  2. 2. What features can you add to meet customer expectations?
  3. 3. How is your product rated against the competition?
  4. 4. Should the security system in your product be improved?

appjet.io will help you achieve product-market fit

Our team will go with you through all stages of product development and help create a product that will be tailored to the market. Our job is to carefully understand the target group’s needs, build a prototype, test solutions, and validate assumptions. Thanks to this, we will create a digital product that will be successful.

Contact us and describe your product vision!

Scaling in the product development process

Product scaling allows you to check its adaptation to changes resulting from the market influence and user behavior. Find out how to effectively scale your digital product and why you should do it.

What is product scaling?

Scaling confirms that the product is sufficiently efficient, safe, and robust to stay in the market. It allows you to test whether the product meets the current needs and functions. Scaling helps to adapt the product to the current situation and the needs of its potential users.

Scaling is part of the product development process. The whole process consists of the following phases:

  1. 1. Prototyping
  2. 2. Building MVP (Minimum Viable Product)
  3. 3. Product/Market Fit
  4. 4. Scaling

Prototyping allows you to validate the assumptions and business concept so that you can go to the MVP building phase. Minimum Viable Product is the first version of the product tested by users. After receiving feedback, the product can be improved. The Product / Market Fit phase means adjusting the product to the market and understanding the needs and problems of customers.

After going through the stages of development mentioned above, you can start scaling. Scaling is based on actual data, e.g., measuring the increase in the popularity of a product and the number of users.

Scaling a digital product

The scalable application works efficiently regardless of the number of users and transferred data. Therefore, scalability is the ability of a digital product to function and grow under changing conditions. In software development, it may be the need to adapt the application to a broader group of users, add new functionalities adjusted to the target group’s needs, or adapt the application to the increasing volume of processed data.

Scaling allows you to introduce a new, improved version of the product, which is tested by users and then analyzed to check the changes’ effectiveness.

Please note that the released product is not an end product. Both the market and the needs of consumers are changing, so you should carefully analyze these changes and take them into account in product development. Scaling allows you to improve the product, adapt to external factors and increase its competitiveness.

The process of creating mobile applications consists of several stages. Read our article and learn how to create a mobile application step by step.

Why is product scaling important?

Scaling keeps your product in the market by refining it based on data such as user needs and new technologies. Scaling is a process of careful observation and quick response to changes to ensure a product is reliable continues to perform its function and brings profits.

The main advantages of scaling the product:

  • the speed of changes saves time and budget,
  • changes and updates improve the product,
  • responding to user needs and feedback increases the user base and profits,
  • the efficiency of the iteration and testing process has a positive effect on the programmer’s work efficiency,
  • small but significant changes reduce the user difficulties when using the application,
  • noticing and appreciating changes in the application by users has a positive effect on the reception of the product and increases consumer loyalty.

How to scale a digital product?

  • tracking and analyzing users’ activity,
  • observation of users’ problems with our product,
  • analysis of unexpected uses of the product.

After the analysis, you can, for example, expand the existing functionalities or implement new ones that take into account users’ unique needs.

Scaling does not always mean adding new functionalities. Automation can lead to automating tasks previously performed manually or semi-automatically. The use of artificial intelligence (AI) or machine learning can help in automation.

Vertical and horizontal scaling of the web application

Due to product development, you should consider the type of scaling that will help the application in future growth. A scalable application works efficiently regardless of the number of users.

There are two types of application scaling:

  • vertical scaling (scaling-up),
  • horizontal scaling (scaling-out).

Vertical scaling is about increasing your RAM or CPU capacity, that is, adding more power to your existing machine. Vertical scaling is relatively quick and easy to implement as it all runs on a single server.

Horizontal scaling is related to expanding resources by a more significant number of servers operating in parallel. This solution helps to distribute the load over more elements. Scaling horizontally also protects against system failures (one non-working server does not paralyze the entire structure).

By understanding the difference between vertical and horizontal scaling, you can make the following decisions:

  • selection of the appropriate system architecture: monolithic or microservice,
  • selection of a cloud platform and its configuration to our needs,
  • database structure selection.

Moreover, it is essential to test and monitor the developed application. Quick response to errors and identification of problems allows you to increase the application’s performance and positively influences the user experience.

Product scaling partner – appjet.io

Scaling allows you to improve the product and strengthen its position on the market. In appjet.io, we improve the product by adapting to the current and forecast conditions and the expectations of our users. Scaling helps to analyze the situation and introduce changes or new functionalities quickly.

If future needs are not considered at the application design stage, they may significantly hinder product scaling. This will extend the time and cost of system modifications. Therefore, it is vital to make plans for future product development at the very beginning.

With the appjet.io team, you have the opportunity to create and develop your product. Contact us, and we’ll talk about your business needs!

Develop your product with validated learning

validated learning

Learning, including learning from mistakes, is essential in the software development process. The validated learning process makes it possible to check whether the end user will be satisfied with the product. Find out what validated learning is and how to use it in product development.

What is validated learning?

The definition of validated learning derives from the Lean Startup methodology, which is an approach to efficient business development management. This methodology was created by Eric Ries and described in the book “The Lean Startup: How Today’s Entrepreneurs Use Continuous Innovation to Create Radically Successful Businesses.” Ries constructed the concept of the five principles of Lean Startup, in which validated learning is one of them.

Creating a new product requires setting goals and hypotheses; therefore, these conditions are described as highly uncertain. In order to reduce the feeling of uncertainty in making decisions about product development, Ries believes that the focus should be on effective and practical learning. The sooner a given hypothesis is disproved or confirmed, the faster we learn, and we can improve our product.

Validated learning is based on testing given solutions and checking which are good or not. To verify the assumptions, you need to get feedback from potential product users. After receiving this data, you can start the process of validating the assumptions and consider their possible modification.

MVP in the validated learning process

Minimum Viable Product (MVP) is a useable prototype that allows you to collect as much verified and measurable information as possible about the product and the needs of its potential users. Creating an MVP, launching it, and collecting data must be fast and cost-effective.

“Create – Measure – Learn” Loop

The basis of the Lean Startup methodology is the “Create – Measure- Learn” cycle. Using this loop, you can make business hypotheses and perform experiments (tests) that can be validated (concluding and verifying assumptions). The Minimum Viable Product (MVP) is tested during the cycle, and based on this quick experiment, we get users’ feedback.

The “Create-Measure-Learn” loop helps you to validate basic business hypotheses quickly. Without wasting time on producing a finished product, you create its prototype (MVP) and use specific indicators to analyze a given assumption.

Measurable results based on data

The key to validated learning is the measurability of the result. The process is based on measuring data, observing users’ involvement and their opinions about the product. The validated learning process means that we learn empirically, i.e., practically and based on evidence.

Thanks to validated learning, you can improve your product development with each iteration. A properly conducted process of validated learning is beneficial in creating a product that will meet users’ needs.

Prototyping is a great way to test a design concept in no time. Read our article on prototyping and find out why you should start working on your idea with a product prototype.

Validated learning process

  1. 1. Defining hypothesis or idea
  2. 2. Building an MVP
  3. 3. Testing / Experimenting
  4. 4. Measuring by receiving honest feedback
  5. 5. Validated learning from conclusions
  6. 6. Generating new ideas

The loop above allows you to formulate business hypotheses, test and analyze them. Thanks to iteration, it is possible to confirm or deny given assumptions, which offers the basis for drawing conclusions and verifying hypotheses.

The sooner a hypothesis is confirmed or rejected during a given iteration, the faster product development will take the right direction. The empirical data generated during the loop will result in conscious decisions, adjusting the product to the market and users’ expectations.

Why follow a validated learning approach?

The implementation of the process of validated learning in work on the product has many advantages:

  • helps shorten the product development process,
  • eliminates the creation of unnecessary functions,
  • thanks to empirical data based on user feedback, the product becomes customer-oriented,
  • testing is a source of valuable knowledge about consumers and their needs,
  • shorter product development time translates into financial savings,
  • flexibility and agility in working on the product, purpose, and mission are promoted.

Validated learning and customer-centricity

Validated learning enables us to truly learn about the market and users’ needs without wasting time on wrong assumptions. Actual interactions with real customers allow for a thorough insight into users’ real problems and needs. The product becomes customer-oriented and can succeed once it is launched on the market.

Validated learning allows you to answer questions such as:

  • Do our clients know they have a problem we want to solve?
  • Would our customers decide to buy our product if it solves their problem?
  • Would our customers buy this product from us?
  • Can we build a product that will actually solve their problem?

Validated learning and Scrum

The Scrum methodology is based on empiricism. In empiricism, knowledge comes from experience, and decisions can be made only based on what we know. That is why validated learning is closely related to Scrum.

One of the common characteristics is that the process is iterative, as the loop, so that the team learns more and more with each iteration. Flexibility and focus on the user manifest themselves through prototyping or A/B tests.

At appjet.io, we use both the Scrum methodology and the process of validated learning. We build an MVP based on data and measure the effects of our work. We want the product we are working on to satisfy both the end user and our client.

Our appjet.io team will help you build a validated learning MVP. Contact us and let us create a customer-centric product.

Digital Prototyping – test your idea with a product prototype


Prototyping is a great way to test a design concept in no time. With the help of the created product prototype, you can quickly verify your vision with the real needs of users. Find out why it is worth creating a product prototype.

What is product prototyping?

Prototyping is a process during which a basic version of a product is created in a short time, ready to be shown to potential users. You can prototype websites, web applications, and mobile applications, etc. With the help of this interactive product visualization, you can test its basic functionalities, taking into account the target group’s needs, set goals, and customer requirements.

Before you start prototyping your product, ask yourself the following questions:

  • What need is to be met?
  • What is the target audience? Who is to use the product?
  • What goals and functions should the product fulfill?

What does the product prototype look like?

The web or mobile application prototype is the basic and simplified version of the final product. It usually includes elements such as:

  • application/website design,
  • dimensions, spacing, and arrangement of elements,
  • simplified contours of graphic elements,
  • availability of navigation elements,
  • basic clickability.

The prototype allows you to focus on the basic elements of the application, its design, and such functionalities as navigation or clickability. This solution helps to test the established concept and engage users in the first tests.

Depending on the time spent on prototyping, low-fidelity, middle-fidelity, and high-fidelity prototypes can be designed.

Why is it worth creating a product prototype?

The possibility of validating an idea with a prototype brings several benefits:

  • minimal investment of time and resources,
  • visualization of the appearance and basic functionalities of the product,
  • the ability to verify customer requirements,
  • feedback from users,
  • the ability to verify the concept of the project,
  • verification of the strengths and weaknesses of the product,
  • detecting and eliminating potential errors in the user interface at an early stage of the project.

Remember that the created prototype is not binding in any way, and the final version of the product may differ significantly from it. Prototyping means quick testing of the idea and vision of the project, thanks to which we can validate our product concept.

Do you want to learn to solve problems creatively? See how you can implement the Design Thinking method in your team. Read our article on Design Thinking.

How to create a product prototype?

Product prototype creation should be treated as an integral part of the software development process. Skipping this stage has several consequences, e.g., more time is spent on redesigning and correcting errors in further design stages, which directly affects the cost of software development.

Creating a prototype requires an analysis of the market and potential product users. Adapt the product concept to the target group and its real needs. After defining the user, focus on the basic functions to be included in the prototype.

Then decide what type of prototype you need: low-, medium-, or high-fidelity. A low-fidelity prototype is fine in the initial stage, but the closer to the final version, the use of high-fidelity prototypes is recommended.

After creating a prototype, you can go into the testing phase with product users. It is feedback from the target group that is crucial in creating an application. It allows you to make appropriate modifications to the design and eliminate errors in the user interface.

If you are interested in effective work on developing your product, please contact us. Our appjet.io team will help you turn an idea into a prototype and then into a finished product.

Good prototyping practices

  1. Iterative prototyping – rapid prototyping involves testing a product prototype by users. Testing helps to efficiently screen out bad solutions and modify the concept based on user experience.
  2. Acceptance criteria – creating product requirements and selecting the most important functionalities will help in the prototyping process. Precise requirements and goals will be easier to test.
  3. Regular testing – frequent testing of prototypes allows you to quickly validate the strengths and weaknesses and eliminate anything that does not improve the product’s performance.
  4. Real content – already at the stage of testing the prototype, it is worth taking care of the actual content that will be displayed in the application. Filling a prototype with “Lorem ipsum” will not allow the user or the customer to experience the product fully.

The role of prototyping in human-centered design

Prototyping fits perfectly with the idea of human-centered design. The application is created to solve user problems, so focusing on the target group’s needs is very important.

The feedback we receive from users is to be used to verify the concept, test it and draw appropriate conclusions that will affect the next stages of software development.

During the prototype testing phase, you learn the reactions of potential users, and you can adapt the product to their actual needs. You analyze the emotions it evokes among the target group; check whether the prototype meets their expectations and needs; whether it is considered simple and intuitive.

Prototyping is part of the MVP creation process

At the prototyping stage, you can test assumptions and solutions. This allows for a better adjustment of the product to users’ needs. Once validation has been made, and the application development direction has been taken, you can move on to product development.

At appjet.io, we help with designing, constructing, and commissioning a digital product. If you wonder whether your concept will work in practice, we suggest creating a vision of the future application with its basic functionalities, i.e., Minimum Viable Product (MVP).

The process of creating an MVP in appjet.io consists of four steps:

  • Analysis and prototyping
  • Product UX / UI design
  • Development
  • MVP validation

Are you interested in creating a prototype of your product? Are you wondering if your idea is doable? Contact us!

Implement Design Thinking into your work. A step-by-step guide.

The term Design Thinking is a set of methods that allow for creative problem-solving during design work. See how easy is to implement Design Thinking in your team.

What is Design Thinking?

The Design Thinking method was described in 1987 by Peter G. Rowe in the book “Design Thinking”, although the first definitions of this model date back to the 1960s in the United States.

Design thinking allows you to solve problems creatively and is a universal tool that can be used in many areas: in products, services, and processes. This method is used by both large corporations and start-ups.

Design Thinking is focused on the needs of users and derives from the Human-Centered Design trend. This approach allows you to get into the shoes of your target group and work in-depth on the usability of the product or service.

There are 5 stages in the Design Thinking process:

1. Empathize
2. Define the problem
3. Ideate
4. Prototype
5. Test

Design Thinking, Step 1: Empathize

The first step in the Design Thinking process is empathy. This step allows you to understand the needs and problems of the target group. An important aspect is an in-depth analysis of the goals and motivations of our recipients.

At this stage, you can conduct surveys or interviews with your target group. It is worth finding out what problems, e.g. they encounter when using our application. Ask your target group, find out about their opinion and needs. Step into your user’s shoes and refine the product to meet their expectations.

Use Empathy Map and answer the following questions:

  • What does the user/customer need?
  • What experiences does the user/customer have?
  • What does the user/customer think about the current or proposed solutions?
  • What emotions does the user/customer feel towards the product?

You can also use other solutions such as statistics, analyzes, or research to understand what their preferences and behaviors are.

Design Thinking, Step 2: Define the problem

Defining the problem consists in understanding the user’s needs and analyzing the collected information from the first step. Information can be obtained from surveys, studies, statistics, and reports. Then you need to find a certain pattern of behavior among your target group.

The second step of Design Thinking often helps us redefine the problem. Thanks to the analysis of the user’s needs and behavior, we can conclude that we need to look at our problem from a new perspective, which may indicate a modification of the problem and purpose itself. Therefore, it is important to correctly define the problem to be able to move to the third step, which is looking for solutions.

Are you working on your first MVP? See what mistakes you should avoid.
Read our article “7 Sins of Startups Working on Their First MVP”

Design Thinking, Step 3: Ideate

It is very important to go through the Empathize and Define the Problem steps first before moving on to the third step. The lack of an analysis of the user’s needs and the lack of definition of the actual problem makes it very difficult to reach satisfactory solutions. At this stage, some teams use the Scamper Method or Charrette Procedure.

Scamper Method in Design Thinking

The Scamper method is an alternative version of the well-known brainstorming process that facilitates the creative process. It is based on the transformation of already existing ideas, without the need to come up with a completely new solution. With minor modifications, many design innovations can be made. The scamper method can be used in seven ways:

S – substitute
C – combine
A – adapt
M – modify
P – put to another use
E – eliminate
R – reverse

Charrette Procedure in Design Thinking

Charrette Procedure helps to brainstorm in a large team. When too many people are willing to take part in a brainstorming session, it often becomes chaotic. This method involves dividing people into smaller groups and allowing them to discuss and draw conclusions.

Each group has its moderator and after e.g. 15 minutes the moderators will change the group. Together with the moderator, the topic of the group changes, so the moderator, going to the next subgroups, brings more and more conclusions drawn in the previous groups.

Design Thinking, Step 4: Prototype

After going through steps 1 to 3, it’s time to prototype. This step consists in selecting those solutions and ideas that we would like to redirect to the next step, which is testing.

After selecting specific ideas, we start prototyping, i.e. we create a preliminary version of the solution and assess whether we are going in the right direction or whether the prototype meets our expectations.

Design Thinking, Step 5: Test

Testing is the last step of the Design Thinking method and is based on testing the solution or idea. From this stage, you can easily return to the prototyping step, especially when you conclude during testing that the product in this form will not fulfill its task.

At this stage, it is worth asking our user, a potential customer, for their opinion. The involvement of the target group in the testing stage will allow you to look at the product through the eyes of the consumer and gain valuable insight into what we have created.

What are the benefits of incorporating Design Thinking?

Design Thinking focuses on the user

The user is at the center of design thinking. Understanding users’ needs allow us to get to the bottom of the problem and ultimately create a better product/project tailored to the needs of the target group. You can analyze the user’s needs and problems through interviews and surveys, and by observing the behavior during the analysis of reports and statistics.

Design Thinking sets the course of your project

Design Thinking helps us to clearly define the direction of our project. Thanks to an in-depth analysis of the user’s needs and definition of the problem, we can look for more accurate solutions.

Design Thinking revises ideas

Design Thinking allows us to check our ideas at the stage of prototyping and testing. Thanks to these steps, we can observe how the target group reacts to our product or project, what are the strengths and weaknesses of our solution.

Design Thinking is a constant development of business and team

Design Thinking, through its steps, teaches you to get to know the needs of the target group, ask accurate questions and look for unconventional solutions. Using Design Thinking, you encourage a team to solve problems creatively and develop along with the product.

Design Thinking and Agile methodology

Teams that use Agile methodology in their project management can effortlessly implement Design Thinking into their work on projects or products. Design Thinking allows for an in-depth analysis of customer needs, defining the problem, and looking for appropriate solutions. This type of thinking fits well with teamwork in Scrum teams, because being flexible and creative often allows for better results.

Both Agile and Design Thinking emphasize the workshop nature of creative problem-solving. The combination of these methods reduces the risk of poorly defined design and purpose. Prototyping and testing steps allow for quick validation of a given idea.

The Stages of Mobile App Development

This article is going to go into detail about the stages of mobile app development. It will give you great insight on what to expect and how to be prepared for the process. Hopefully, understanding this process will help you achieve the goal of launching your app.

What are the stages of mobile app development?

The following is a list of the steps we take in a mobile app development process:

  • Idea Workshop– Here you will define what you are wanting to create. Cover the goals for what the vision of your app is and what you want it to do.
  • Wireframe Delivery– this is the backbone of the project. It will serve as the ground between initial ideas and the end product
  • Design & Approval– Create the User Journey Map, design the interfaces, discuss animations, and the general look and feel of your app. Then get approval before creation starts.
  • Developing & Testing– Plan, Code, Build, Test, and Repeat.
  • Acceptance & Launch– Review the completed and app and prepare it to be launched on the appropriate platforms.

Let’s go deeper into each of these stages so we can have a better understanding of what they each include.

Step 1. Idea Workshop

Before you can begin developing your app, you need to have a clear idea of what it is you wish to create. This isn’t always easy, so it’s best to follow some suggested tasks to get you to that point.

An Idea Workshop will be that initial step in the development process where you can work with the development team to convey your vision and goals for what you want your app to be. The development team will know how to translate your goals into meeting the user’s needs. During this idea workshop phase, you should be prepared to focus on the following topics:

  • Reviewing Ideas- What ideas do you have for the app? What will your users think of the app? Can you help them solve a problem with the app?
  • Prioritization- Which features are most important to include in the app? Which ones will be the main focus, and which ones are less crucial?
  • Identifying Potential Users- Who is your target user? How do you want to help them?
  • Planning- What is the scope of the project? How will you measure the end result? How will you communicate with the development team throughout the process?

Of course, this is just a brief overview of what the idea workshop stage would include, but it’s important to come prepared so that you and the development team have a strong foundation to start the project. Ultimately, your goal here is to make sure you are building the app in the way that you see it.

Step 2. Wireframe Delivery

The goal of wireframing is to identify an outline of the content of your app and create a solid foundation for the next steps in the design process. A well-designed wireframe will make the visual and interaction design much easier throughout the process.

The development team will spend time to create and deliver the wireframe for your app. Key things to include in this process are:

  • Sketching out the Core Part of the User Flow
  • Setting Mobile Frames
  • Determine the Order of Information

Keeping these things in mind with assist you and the development team in delivering the wireframe, which will greatly assist in the development of your app. Turning it from an idea, into code.

Step 3. Design & Approval

Next up is the final design of the app. Designers will work to turn your idea into something visual. Setting up the layouts of the User Interface (UI), motions, and giving you mockups to approve.

You’ll likely get some presentations on the design and interface for you to better see the animations and transitions. You will want to be deeply involved in the design stage, after all, it is your product. The team will know this and will communicate often and present results for you to approve.

Once the design is complete and the team has your approval, they will be ready to work on developing your app.

Step 4. Developing & Testing

The developers will begin to write the code and create your app. They likely will be using Scrum to most efficiently develop the app. This means they will be breaking up the development process into smaller milestones and work in cycles. An example of a cycle would include refinement, planning, coding, testing, review, and retrospective.

  • Refinement– this is the act of making sure the backlog of tasks is updated, clean, and ordered.
  • Planning– usually a meeting at the beginning of the Sprint to discuss what will be done in that week. The team will make sure all the tasks are clear with acceptance criteria and that everyone accepts. You as the product owner should be actively involved in this meeting.
  • Coding– the developers will be actively writing the code and working on the app as discussed in the planning meeting.
  • Testing– version of the app will be tested by the team and providing crash reports as needed.
  • Review– during this time the team will discuss what was done during the Sprint. The team will check the tasks that needed to be completed in the Sprint and should send you a summary after the review.
  • Retrospective– this meeting is for you and the team to discuss ways to improve the quality of the process during the Sprint. You can create a plan for implementing the improvements as well.

As stated, this is an example of the development process using Scrum and Sprints. It is an effective way to manage the development of the app and keep you involved throughout the process.

Step 5. Acceptance & Launch

Once the first version of your app is ready, it will be time to publish it. This means that the app has met your approval and is ready to be launched. The team should then help you with uploading it to the Google Play Store and/ or the Apple Store. It will then be released to the world and your users can start downloading it!

The Stages of Mobile App Development – Summary

After reviewing this, we hope you have a good understanding of the development stages of a mobile app. From the idea workshop to the wireframe delivery, to the design and development, and finally to the launch of your app. You should be involved in these steps and stay engaged with the development team you are trusting to turn your idea into a successful app.

How To Make Your Intro Meeting with an App Development Company a Success

app development

So, you’ve got a great idea for a new app, what’s next?
The development process for that app can be confusing, and if you’re just getting your feet wet in this new world then you need to be prepared. You will likely meet with app development companies who will help you navigate through this process.

It is crucial that you have a successful introduction meeting with these development companies. Not only will you be seeking out the best company for your app, but the companies will also be assessing you and your idea to determine if they want to collaborate.

For this reason, you will want to do everything in your power to guarantee a successful introduction meeting. In order to do that, here are some highly recommended tips:

Research the Company

If you are planning on doing business with a company, then you should know who you are meeting with. Do some research about the firm; visit their website, look at some of their completed projects, look for some references.

You should also examine what services they provide and make sure it aligns with what you are seeking. Some good questions to ask are:

  • How long has the company been in business?
  • What kind of projects have they completed?
  • Does the agency provide the service that you need for your specific app?
  • Who will own the product after it is developed by the company?
  • What kind of development method do they use?

Asking questions and doing the proper research will help you narrow down which companies to consider meeting with. It’s a buyer’s market, there are thousands of app development companies in the world, and finding the right one to work with is critical to the success of your app. So, it’s okay to be picky when researching who you want to meet with. This ensures you are meeting with a company that fits your needs and expectations.

Understand Your Idea and Make a Plan

Even if you are new to the industry, it’s recommended to have a plan for your idea. This means understanding what your idea is and having a good plan for how to create it.

You must know what needs to be done in the collaboration. Is it an end-to-end app creation? Maybe you need design and development because you have some work already completed. Or maybe you only need design or only the development. Go into the meeting with the knowledge of what you need done.

Additionally, you should already have a business plan ready to present during the introduction meeting. This will show the development company that you are serious about your idea and are ready to collaborate.

This means presenting a summary of your idea, knowing who the target customer is, understanding how it can be marketed, planning the finances, as well as many other things. Presenting the company with a strong business plan will convince them that they are working with someone who is serious and committed.

Know Your Budget

It will cost money to take your idea and turn it into a live, functioning app. Different companies charge different amounts for the services they render, but the cost will depend on what you need.

  • What features do you want to include?
  • Which platforms will it be for?
  • What is your timeframe for the project?

You should understand what it is that needs to be done and set a true expectation for what you can pay for this work. Remember, you could be paying for strategy, design, coding, and testing of your app. Going into the introduction meeting with the knowledge of what you need and what you can pay will ease a lot of the stress.

During the introduction meeting you should be prepared to discuss the budget you have for this project. If you have a good understanding of how much time and money are needed to develop an app, then you will be better prepared to set a realistic budget for the work that will need to be done to create your app.

Come Prepared

When you are finally in that intro meeting you are going to want to make a good impression. The best way to make a good impression is to be prepared.

Know what you want to talk about. Prepare questions you want the company to answer. Remember that you are the one bringing the idea to them. This means that they should want to work with you just as much as you with them.

You should already know a bit about who they are and what they can offer, so this meeting will be for you to learn everything else you needed to know about this company. Use this time to ask the important questions you couldn’t answer from researching the company.

Being prepared also means having all your needed materials ready. Are you planning on sharing a PowerPoint presentation? Do you have a document you will share? Make sure this is all set and ready before you go into your meeting.

Show Them You Are Ready To Work!

Are you ready to put in the time and effort needed to be successful? 

Coming prepared is important, but so is showing the development company that you are serious about your idea is just as vital. The development process takes time and money, and the agency will want to collaborate with someone they feel confident will be dedicated to the process as much as they are. This means you should be prepared to work with and collaborate with the app development agency as much as they need. Efficient communication influences feedback and quick work on delivery. It also affects the quality and “feeling” of cooperation.
And you know what is happening on a regular basis.
This is, after all, your idea and your app. So be ready to work hard to achieve your goal.

Map Out the Next Steps

Imagine the great feeling you will have after holding a successful intro meeting with the development company that you want to cooperate with. So, what comes next?

Did you make any agreements with the company? Did they offer a proposal of the services they can complete? Were there any legal documents that needed to be signed (Non-Disclosure Agreement or Master Service Agreement)? When you leave that meeting you may be overwhelmed with questions or other information discussed. Can you answer these?

  • When will you meet again?
  • What materials do they need from you, and you from them?
  • When will the project commence?
  • What will the project team look like?
  • Who is the main point of contact and how often will you communicate?

These are all questions that should be answered before you leave your meeting. These answers will help you map out the next steps of the project. Those are the steps that you and the development company will take to realize the end goal of creating your app.

Make the Meeting Yours- Make It a Success

You can look at the introduction meeting as a two-sided interview. You are looking for the best team to take your idea and turn it into the app that you want. But those companies are also looking for partners who are prepared and serious about the work they are presenting to them.

This will take work on your side. Do your research. Know your idea and what your goals are. Come prepared to the meeting with questions. Make the company see your idea the way you do, make them believe in its potential!

If you can do that, then you will be well on your way to having a successful intro meeting. Which will then help turn that app idea, into a reality.  

What Are the Common Mistakes Made during the Development of a Mobile App?

What Are the Common Mistakes Made during the Development of a Mobile App?

It would be an understatement to say that it is easy to create a successful app nowadays. The market is saturated with competition and there are so many options out there for users that it takes real skill and determination to launch something that will have a meaningful impact. Sometimes you may feel like you have done everything right, but the end product can still be unsuccessful.

So, to help you with this we have compiled some common mistakes that are made during app development that can hinder the success of your mobile app.

Can you define the product’s value?

If you are developing an app, you should have a good idea of what value it will bring to the user. Does it solve some sort of problem for them that they couldn’t easily do without the app? Maybe it saves them time, helps them become organized, offers an entertaining diversion, or connects them with new or old friends. Whatever is it, it’s important to be able to define the app’s value.

If the app does not add value to the user, then the chances of it failing are high. Even if you have a good design, a high budget, and limitless resources, all this becomes meaningless if you cannot define the value of your app.

We can refer to many case studies of apps that had put in a lot of work in the development but still failed because the end product didn’t offer added value to the user. Google Wave is a perfect example of this. What was supposed to be a service to combine work tasks such as email and messaging and make employees more productive didn’t take off. Even with thousands of developers and the mighty Google backing, it still was shut down after 6 months because users didn’t see an improvement from using the other apps independently.

The lesson here is that your app needs to have value for the user. Without it, you will have a difficult time getting users to adopt and buy into what you are offering.

What research was done?

Market research is critical to the success of your app. You need to know what your target user is looking for and how they will respond to the app. This requires meticulous insights into what you want/expect from the end product.

Ignoring or even failing to do research leaves too much unknown in the development and launch of the app. This is a common mistake that can be avoided by simply conducting the research needed to be prepared for anything that may come along during and after the launch of the app.


If you have an app idea that solves a big problem for users and is unique, that’s great! The challenge then is to stay relevant and fresh. Often apps become successful initially because they filled a need, but soon competition came along and left them in the dust.

A great example of this is the social network site MySpace. Initially a leader in the social network industry, it quickly became irrelevant when many other platforms were introduced. Not because the product was no longer good, but because they didn’t stay fresh and adapt to what the users were looking for. The same experience became stagnant and users flocked to newer platforms that offered more ways to engage on the network.

Once you launch your app, you need to be able to adapt to what the user wants and keep things new and interesting to maintain the attention of the user.

What sets your app apart from the others?

Even if your app is not a completely new idea, it still needs to offer something that will set itself apart from the competition. Have you created another scheduling assistance app? Why should the user download your app rather than the thousands of similar scheduling tools?

How many food delivery service apps can you name now? There are so many and most of them offer the same exact thing. It’s a common mistake to just copy a successful app and reshape it in the hopes to take a piece of the market away from the others. Unless you can improve on that experience in a unique and valuable way, the chances of success are slim.

Are you overwhelming the user?

Sometimes simplicity is best. A common mistake is forgetting that it can be easy to overwhelm the user. Too many animations, complicated navigations, information overload, all of these can frustrate or overwhelm the user to the point that they would rather uninstall your app rather than spend the time needed to get comfortable with it.

This doesn’t mean you can’t have a complex app, but this ties in with the research phase. Know your target user, and know what level of complexity is right for them and the app. Your app may have great value and loads of benefits to the user, but if they get stunned by the information overload then you can’t expect the user to stay engaged for very long.

A Lack of Experience & Talent

When choosing a development team, many people assume that every developer achieves what you ask of them. This is unfortunately not always the case. So many things go into building the best development team: experience, skill, ability to communicate., etc. You should feel not only comfortable but confident that the development team can meet the needs of your app development.

This strongly relates to the importance of choosing the right development team to work with. If you can have a great team with excellent communication and who bring the right skill and experience to the table, then you can rest assured that this will not be a mistake made during your app development.

A quick summary of the common mistakes

Being aware of these common mistakes will help you to avoid them. It is vital to keep your app user-focused and remember to have an understandable value, conduct the needed research, be adaptable and unique, don’t overwhelm the user, and pick the right development team!

These common mistakes can make or break the success of your app, so do your best to understand them and anything else that could be a hurdle in the realization of your app.

App Development Cost

The process of creating a new app can be overwhelming. A lot of time and resources are needed to achieve the goal of seeing your idea realized. Part of that means understanding the cost of developing the app. We will break down the cost of the development process for you so you know what to expect and can set a proper budget for your project.

Transparency is critical in this process. The more you know about what goes into the cost of the development of your app, the better you will feel about the money you are investing in your idea.

What are the main factors involved in the cost of developing an app?

Understandably, many things go into determining how much an app will cost to develop. Consider the following factors:

  • Supporting Platforms and Devices – Is the app intended for Android, iOS, or both? Will it be accessible from a desktop as well? The number of platforms the app is available on requires additional development which factors into the cost of the project.

If your app is intended for a single platform then it can be developed as ‘Native’. However, if the app needs to be available with multiple platforms, then it would be considered ‘Cross-Platform’. When deciding to develop your app, it will be important to decide how to make it available to the intended users.

  • Functionality – What features are to be included in the app? How do plan to engage with the users? Will there be device features such as NFC, Location-Based Services, Bluetooth, etc.? The features you plan to have in the app will affect the development time as well as the cost.
  • Complexity – This can range from a simple design of a few screens to a complex setup of dozens of screens. More complex will require more time to develop and will affect the cost. Your app may require a complex build, and it’s important to know what is required to make the app function as you intend. Apps that require a heavy amount of backend development or complex user interfaces tend to cost more.
  • Team Setup – Who you plan to build your app will significantly affect the cost of the app. If you plan to hire a major development agency, you can expect to pay top dollar. Or if you hire a freelance worker, you can save a considerable amount.
    You can also consider outsourcing the work to a development agency, which will change the cost depending on the location of the team. This is a great benefit to use an experienced and skilled team outsourced at a fraction of the cost of a top agency that can offer name recognition.
  • App Maintenance Cost – You need to include the cost to update, fix, and maintain the app after it is completed. This is something that should be discussed with the agency when agreeing to the work that will be done on the app.

Basic Cost Breakdown:

Our clients know that today’s market has an increased demand to digitize; and as such, the need to invest in the most cost-effective way is crucial to stay competitive. The cost of developing your app will mainly depend on the complexity of the project, below is a breakdown of the estimated cost to develop an app:

A basic mobile app for 1 platform can cost below $10,000

  • A basic mobile app for 1 platform can cost below $10,000
  • A medium-complexity app for 1 platform may cost around 10,000–$30,000
  • A complex app for 1 platform costs more than $30,000

If you are looking for an estimate for your project, contact us HERE and we can quickly get in touch with you and let you know what we can offer.

What level of complexity do you need? Below is a breakdown of what goes into the development of an app requiring different levels of attention.

Basic mobile app for 1 platform costs ~ $10,000

  • The expected work time from the development team is about 325-650 hours
    • No API integration
    • Little or no back-end
    • Simple UI components
    • Basic features (email subscription, social login, calendar, etc.)

Medium-complexity app for 1 platform costs ~  $10,000$30,00010,0000,000

  • The expected work time from the development team is about 650-1100 hours
    • Custom UI/UX features
    • Built-in payment gateway
    • API Integration
    • Back-end server
    • 6-15 screens

Complex app for 1 platform costs $30,000+

  • The expected work time from the development team is more than 1100 hours
    • Multiple languages supported
    • Custom UI/UX design
    • Database integration
    • 3rd-party integrations
    •  Meets high-security demands

These are of course just examples of the estimates of the costs for different complexities of an app. You can look at this as a starting point to better understand the cost of developing an app.

Real-World Examples

Did you know that the average price for a basic startup app in the United States is estimated between 140,000 to $210,000? That is the cost expected to launch version 1.0 of the app. Of course, that price could be lower or high depending on the complexity of the app and who develops it (freelance or big agency). Here are some examples of how much some popular apps had to invest in their app development:

  • Uber raised $200 million to develop their idea
  • Tinder raised $485,000 in 2012
  • Instagram received $500,000 to further develop its app

So, how much will it cost to develop an app?

This is a difficult question that doesn’t have a cover-all answer. Every app is different; they have different purposes, goals, complexity, targeted users, etc. The cost of developing these apps increases with the complexity desired. On top of that, who develops the app will greatly influence the cost, which is why it’s a great idea to consider outsourcing the project.

To make it easier to estimate the cost of the app that you desire you can do the following before contacting the development agencies:

  • Know the number of platforms needed
  • Create a list of app functions
  • Prioritize the app features

With those things prepared you will be well on your way to get an estimate on how much it will cost to develop your app and to get it out into the world!

7 Sins of Startups Working on Their First MVP

Photo by Kai Pilger

Here’s the truth if there ever was one: startups tend to underestimate MVPs. How time-consuming it is to make one. How different what you need is from what you think you need. And so, they make bad calls.

Believe us, we’ve been there, a long time ago, and had to figure it out the hard way. But here’s the upside: now you can learn from the experience of others.

Behold, the 7 sins startup managers make when working on their first MVP!

1. Trying to reinvent the wheel

The idea behind the MVP is to bring the core value to the buyer. But as early as in this stage, new ideas and goals tend to pop up. Why not try to develop a product and software solutions at the same time? Why not try and create your own AWS platform and low-level software for hardware controllers? Why not add this and that, because you can and because it seems so cool?

If this is the case, you need to ask yourself: Is all this work really necessary for you to offer that core value we mentioned?

You are supposed to build a Minimum Viable Product. Do just that. Don’t overgrow your MVP. Your target users need to see their benefits, that’s all. You want to give them something that fulfills their immediate needs and nothing more. Focus on the target. Use the most accessible tools to create the exact product that your customer needs. In the MVP, everything beyond that is a waste of time.

2. Popping the cork too early

Sometimes your idea is good, and even your MVP is good, but you introduce it to the market way too soon. It might prove deadly for your product.

Numerous factors have to align in order for you to succeed. You might be 100% right about the innovation that needs to happen, but the market conditions will stop you right on your track. Thus, you need to watch out for any signs that your product may be ahead of its time. In this case, let it sit on the shelf and wait for a better moment.

3. Being overconfident in your abilities

The no. 1 reason for delayed releases are technical challenges. As a Product Owner, you’ve surely heard some optimistic estimations. “Seems easy enough, we can deal with it quickly, 3 months and we’ll get it done.” And then it took 6 months. If you’re super lucky, everything will go exactly according to plan, but frankly, we don’t know anyone with this much luck. Even if you are prepared and experienced, don’t underestimate Murphy’s laws and give yourself a margin of error.

Scalability is another challenge. Setting up new clients manually can take forever, and the demand could outgrow your ability to supply. So it’s not solely about making a product that works, but also about making a commercial package that is ready for the consumers. Be realistic about your software development estimates. For your own good.

4. Being too optimistic about investors

Oh boy, there’s a new investor coming on board literally next week! Everything is going to be just fine! Right?!

Not really. News about investors tends to be overblown. Don’t count on that truckload of money you were promised, even if they seemed really, really interested when you talked with them last week. You can get rejected after months of seemingly successful negotiation. You can get rejected literally at your ultimate meeting.

Stay positive and open, but don’t count your chickens before they hatch. You got the money only when you actually got the money.

5. Having the wrong customer in mind

What is your Ideal Customer Profile? Without knowing and understanding them deeply you won’t create a product that will deliver what they need. If you decide to create an analysis tool and research your users’ view on the product, you might discover that the topmost value is what you consider a secondary feature. They may use side modules while ignoring the primary functionality!

You should remember that not everyone can or should be your client. Determine what kind of client you want. Understand their needs, and this story will have a “they lived happily ever after.”

6. Multiplying bad prototypes

So you’ve finished a prototype, but now someone else wants something similar. Do you jump at the opportunity? Doing so might actually not be the best solution. Evaluate if it’s worth the effort because you’re probably stretching your resources already. One good product will benefit you more than a dozen half-baked prototypes.

In other words: find your focus. Make sure that your software prototyping leads somewhere.

7. Making delusional plans

You know what they say about promising things. Promises are cheap. Your business plan shouldn’t be just an empty promise. In theory, you can plan ahead for years and even take a whole lot of factors into consideration. But trusting such long-term plans on a project that’s just been born is a symptom of delusion.

During the early stages, you should manage your startup like it’s a child that needs your care. Learn by iteration. Try and try again. Never assume that what you wrote on a piece of paper is the ultimate truth. Instead, calculate your resources, then update your calculations next week, and next week. Use Scrum or other methodology for management.

It’s not about improvising along the way or allowing for chaos. It’s about going forward step by step, reaching milestones on the road to the ultimate goal. Observe the monthly horizon, pinpoint objectives, and strive towards them.

It’s about the nuances

Making any of the above-mentioned mistakes doesn’t make your startup, or your startup’s manager, bad. Don’t be too harsh on yourself. It’s so easy to lose what the MVP is about from your sight. Notice that most of these sins are about just that: going for something else than a Minimum Viable Product.

Make your life easier and simply ask yourself three questions:

  • Does your customer need the product you’re working on?
  • Is your product truly viable? (In other words: is it of solid quality?)
  • Does it offer the core value you’re going for?

If it seems simple, it’s because it is. Don’t overcomplicate it. The reason behind many companies’ problems is overthinking their MVP.