“I would like to have a notepad application. How much would it cost?” As a customer, this is a very important question, but as a developer, it’s pretty hard to answer. If you want to know a close estimation of the overall costs, you must provide the dev team with a proper specification.
You should think through the points below, not only to get a better estimation, but also to have a better grip of exactly what you want your project to be.
Below I gathered the important elements needed for a reliable price estimate. You need to answer all of these questions, in order for your estimate to be well grounded and dependable. If some of these points are missing from your spec info, developers will be likely to top their estimation with extra dollars/euros/whatever for the yet unspecified, though existing costs. It seems easy, however, missing parts will make the estimation a bit shaky for both you and the developers.
In order to know the number and complexity of the screens of your app, a draft of every single one is needed. This process will make superfluous and missing functions apparent and will clear things up in your mind as well. The draft can be prepared using any kind of drawing app or even paper. Of course, there is a plethora of online tools designed for this process exactly.
Here are a few:
A wireframe is basically the description of the relationships between your screens. The word ‘description’ is a bit misleading, because this is really a clickable draft of the screens, showing navigation options between them. Apps are not linear slideshows, users can usually go around, back and forth. It’s important to see the options for navigation. The wireframe helps us notice any missing or extra buttons on the different screens, for example, if there is information on one screen, there is usually no need to show the same thing on the next one.
Here are our favorite tools for wireframing:
This is the looks and the feels of your app. Imagine mock-ups as really high quality, colored screen drafts, perhaps applied onto your wireframe. These are useful if your app aims to be very user oriented.
There are devices available with seriously awesome performance capabilities nowadays. One of the possible ways of using these performance abilities is to spice up your surfaces with good looking, interactive animations. An animation put well, can have great effect on catching the users’ attention. However, even one little animation can require significant effort (hence, hours of work) from the developers, so it’s beneficial to think through the possibilities in advance and make an informed choice.
Here is an example: