Build Better Software Products
How can I make my software better? Software companies must ask themselves this question to improve their services and stay ahead of the game. If you do not provide unique products/services, your client base will shift elsewhere.
Apart from setting you apart from the competition, innovative software product development can help reduce production costs and boost productivity while helping you diversify your offerings.
You may have the latest tools and high-quality resources to build excellent software but it is also vital to think outside of the box. Not only that, but you also need proper documentation, planning, and testing to develop exemplary software.
There are 26.9 million software developers across the world. So you can imagine the level of competition you have to sustain. Due to globalization and internet penetration, people no longer stick to their geographical locations to find talent. Outsourcing is the new normal.
Unless you break from the herd and have a bunch of experienced, talented, and innovative professionals working for you, it will be hard for you to compete with the top players. Most importantly, you need to adopt the latest technology like AI, cloud computing, etc along with the ideal software development practices.
In this blog, we will give out the 11 best tips to build better software products. Let’s get straight into it.
11 Top Tips for Optimal Software Product Development
1. Think from the customer’s perspective
How will your product benefit the end-users? Do you have a value proposition? Ask yourself, would you buy a product/service if you are unsure about its worth? Customers will also think from that perspective. While carrying out software product development, keep in mind what it can do for your clients and customers.
Some other questions you need to ask before starting software product development-
- Does your product solve a customer’s pain-point problem?
- What problem are you trying to solve?
- How does your product stand out from others in the market?
- Have you figured out the right time for product development and deployment?
- Why should a client choose your product?
- Are there better alternatives to your product?
Developing innovative and feature-rich software is meaningless if you do not consider what your clients want. Understand their demands; analyze the market and current trends to develop software that provides value to customers.
2. Do not ignore customer user experience
Create software that provides value and relevant user experience for clients. You may have the best software in your industry but if users do not connect with or face problems while using it then it’s of no use. Make sure that your software has the necessary features while being user-friendly. Even a small glitch will result in negative reviews and make your customers switch to other alternatives.
Research the latest software design and style because appearance matters too. If your software looks a decade old, nobody is going to download it or recommend it. Keep up with the times, see what your competitors are doing and make changes in software applications while considering your brand image. Software development companies can help to improve user experience. Here is how?
- Ensure that the software product performs well on all devices like laptops, desktops, tablets, smartphones, etc.
- Consider the possible time and place where customers may use your software.
- The customer should be able to operate the software easily in his environment.
3. Easy integration with other tools and applications
Every client is different. Depending on the industry and target customers, you can customize your offerings but there is a limit to how much you can do. What is the solution? You cannot pressurize your software developers to make changes continuously. Firstly, it is unfair and secondly, it is not cost-effective.
Hence, the software product that you develop should integrate well with other tools and applications that would help clients achieve their business objectives. When clients get what they want, they will stay with you for long. Choose a stable and relevant API for the best results.
4. Understand the market
Understand your clients and their pain points. When you know what they want, you can create software that matches their requirements. Every software development company must adopt the above practices. The more relevant and practical your software is, the more people will download & use it, and advertise it through word of mouth. Eventually, this will increase the software product’s growth and profitability.
How do you develop practical software that provides value? Conduct market research and figure out your target audience. After you get the information related to customer demographics, analyze their needs and preferences while predicting their behavior.
Most importantly, you should conduct a competitor SWOT analysis. Once you know their strengths and weaknesses, you can devise a strategy to target a larger customer base. While creating a marketing & advertising strategy, highlight the salient features of your software product and how you are better than other players.
5. Test the software before you sell it
It is never a good feeling when your clients come back to you with complaints. It says a lot about your working pattern and professionalism. Use the software before you sell it to the client and test it under various parameters and situations to see how it performs. You may come across some problems like bugs and once you fix them, your clients can use them safely.
Be it the functionality, user interface, user experience, or design, examine each aspect thoroughly. Once you are satisfied, send it to the client. This will create a good professional relationship and improve your reputation.
6. Hire creative and talented people
Your employees are the key to your organization’s success. A few individuals can’t carry out all the tasks and ensure client satisfaction. Right from the sales team and development team to the testing them, you need employees with the right skill sets.
Yes, experience is critical but you also need to pay attention to other factors like aptitude for learning, passion, and ability to think out of the box, especially when you hire software developers.
Hire dedicated software developers that share your vision and understand your thought process. It is not too much to ask, ask the right questions and you will know whom to hire. With the right software development team, you can breathe life into your business ideas.
With the right training and exposure, your team can overcome every challenge and hit it out of the park. The software development cycle consists of numerous aspects, and you need the right staff for each one. Whether you hire an in-house development team or a top custom software product development agency, make the right choice and you will get the desired results.
7. Use analytics to facilitate decision making
Avoid guesswork for software product development because one wrong step can have disastrous outcomes. Data is money. Use analytics and AI to get valuable data and optimize software product development. Conduct surveys, gather customer feedback, and encourage clients to leave reviews and ratings.
These insights can help you improve your services, improve functionality and add newer features. If your client wants some new features or improvements, you can make changes to your next release to meet those expectations. Apart from that, analytics can help in software development cost estimation.
For example, when you have the analytics, you can easily know the features and functionality to be integrated into the software application. And when you have the features list, you can get the timelines and so do the cost.
8. Use the latest tools and technologies
With so much technology at your disposal, you can use many tools and third-party apps to improve your software. Software developers and the research department can see what is new out there, and what competitors are doing and incorporate tools accordingly. There are useful software product development tools out there that can even help you automate the testing process.
Depending on the industry and your objectives, you can consider using rapid action development platforms, an agile approach in place of conventional development practices. Such practices can help you save time and money while boosting collaboration and optimal use of resources. Ultimately, you can develop cutting-edge software that will immensely benefit your clients.
9. Always have a long-term vision
Change is the only constant. We know you might have heard this thousands of times but it is true, particularly with software product development. You cannot predict the future, but when you create software and make improvements along the way, clients will trust you and the business will keep coming.
Never stop experimenting and innovating. Thinking of different ways to achieve your goals can sometimes lead to amazing results. Adopt a proactive approach when dealing with problems. Learning from your mistakes or difficult situations will help you develop better software.
However, you should know if you are making the right changes. With the right software developers, strategy developers, and specialists, you can make wise decisions. Ascertain if your current software can accommodate new changes, anticipate the consequences of these changes and then proceed. Is your software flexible enough, are there any security concerns, and will it affect the existing functionalities? Think about all this before you take any step.
10. Make improvements along the way
The practice may not make you perfect but it will make you better. There will always be newer products in the market with new designs and features but you need to focus on your software.
These are some of the practices that you can adopt.
- Follow robust coding practices
- Choose the proper infrastructure
- Anticipate potential problems
- Consider risk mitigation
- Implement quality controls
- Use management tools
- Invest in employee training
- Focus on error management
Beta testing is very helpful, do not underestimate its importance and effectiveness because it can give you valuable insights and improve software product development life cycle from the client’s perspective.
11. Testing never stops
After software product development and deployment, you can relax. Wrong, the challenge begins after software deployment. Even if you may have created the perfect software, it might not necessarily function properly in the client’s environment.
Test the software continuously, and make improvements, because software and customer preferences are ever-evolving. For example, a certain technology that gets rave reviews in China may gain popularity in North America and elsewhere. Slowly, demand will grow, affecting customer behavioral patterns and the industry in general.
To stay relevant and compete with other software development companies, you must test, analyze and improve constantly. Not only that but being proactive and innovative says a lot about your company’s approach. Also, do not forget your key metrics.
Building better software products go way beyond implementing new coding practices and technologies. The above tips are generic but you can apply them to most industries. Depending on your niche market and industry, you will have to make a few tweaks here and there. See what fits well in your scenario and proceed accordingly. Connect with a software development company that best fits your requirement, meets your timeline, promises deliveries, and offers reliable services at affordable development costs.
Mustafa Al Mahmud is the Founder and CEO of Gizmo Concept and also a professional Blogger, SEO Professional as well as Entrepreneur. He loves to travel and enjoy his free moment with family members and friends.