It is a very common question we often hear. In this post we wanted to provide an insight into the art of software development, and try to describe it using a simple analogy, in order to put things in perspective.
Often when people think software development, they think technology, code, maths, geek, glasses… in no particular order. But in reality, this is very far from the truth.
Just like writting a novel, producing a movie or a theatrical performance, Software Development is a mix of Art + Design + Craft + Skill + Knowledge + Psychology and more… In most cases, a collection of talents and skills work together for weeks or months, with the goal of producing a user experience.
Mobile Apps, are custom Software built to solve real personal or business problems. That includes Mobile Apps built for entertainment. Games are custom software too you know! To help you solve problems, developers need to gather enough knowledge about your business, industry, customers and the problem you are trying to solve.
It’s not everyday that we get to develop a game that entertains children while performing cognitive behaviour therapy. In order to come up with a game design for such a specialised need, we need to spend enough time with the client, the patient and specialised people in the field to learn as much as possible about the conditions of the patients, the suggested treatment and human psychology.
“Well that’s an extreme case” you say, “my app is simple, it dipslays stock options graph and helps people trade, compete and share with friends”. Good thing we’ve got some knowledge about social sharing, and multiplayer only because we’ve gathered that knowledge for our past projects. But trading options is an entire new world, which we need to explore and learn before suggesting a solution.
The app you are building is the world you intend for your users to immerse in. That world can be small or large, but it is never as simple as you think.
If it is designed to be used by people, it is complex.
Note that complexity is not proportional to how long it takes to build it! Some Complex things can be built fast, and some simple ones take years!
Let’s take your favourite email app for example. It is a world on its own. A crazy interactive living thing. It’s got a name, navigation signs everywhere. Many things happen to you when you are there! You can get frustrated, angry or happy emotions when interacting with that world.
Well a lot of work goes into shaping that world, from both your business side and the developer side. By developer, I mean developer company or group of people, UX/UI designers, graphic artists, software developers, sound artists etc… They all need to work together, to translate your ideas into graphics, sounds, user interfaces, and functionality put in the world.
Once the world has materialised, you finally get a closer look. Usability issues start to appear, new requirements begin to crawl and before you know it, the project has took another turn, another feature and another week.
It takes long, because it often doesn't FEEL right.
UX/UI designers, graphic artists, software developers, sound artists etc… will have to go back in the world, time after time after time … to make neccessary changes to make it right.
If you are looking to build an app or game, before you start throwing away your savings, or budget, seek an expert team to discuss your idea, and get their feedback and advice on how best to plan and get started.
Get in touch and we can discuss how we can help on your project.