False Peaks in iPhone App Development
There are few things more rewarding (from an iPhone app development perspective) than when you get the first workable build on your iDevice. Months of hard work are beginning to pay off and your app now exists.
This first build, or Alpha, always brings the feeling of a “False Peak”. This term is used in mountaineering to describe a peak that appears to be the pinnacle of the mountain but, is in fact, not. False peaks can have significant effects on a climber’s psychological state by creating feelings of dashed hopes or even failure.
The Alpha build is almost always burdened with unfair comparisons since there is a tendency to think it’s going to be the finalized product, when in reality, a lot of work still remains. On average, we release 6 test builds to our clients before arriving at the final build to submit to the AppStore. The fastest we’ve arrived at a final build has been with 2 releases and the longest has been 15 releases. Our experience dictates, quite counter intuitively, that there is a sweet spot in terms of numbers of releases (5-6). The fastest is not always the best and here are a few reasons why:
- The more eyes we can get on an app the best. If a lot of people that care are actually testing the build, we will capture everything that needs to be addressed before the release.
-Ownership: As we release the builds, we expect our clients to comb through the app and provide us with detailed feedback. Our clients have a vested interest in providing thorough, accurate feedback, which results in a superior final product.
- Multiple build releases lead to multiple conversations that help position the app to launch. Changing from “build” mentality to “ship” mentality takes time and energy.
To keep the momentum going, we use world class tools like TestFlight to distribute the builds and Basecamp To-Do lists to log and track feedback. These tools, as well as constant communication, help defeat the “False Peak” phenomenon.
Building an app is an iterative and very collaborative process. We work closely with our clients to produce an excellent and well-received product. Give us a call, we would love to discuss your project and see if we are a fit to work together.