In my previous blog I wrote about three commercial options available to you for building an app: DIY: outsource the build; or licence an app from a platform.

In this blog I’m discussing the third option: built platform solutions where you license an app and explain why limited customisation and the need to compromise isn’t as bad as it sounds.

I can hear you say: “I can’t make a compromise, my business is unique and I need a bespoke app”.

Well, let me explain. Modular app build can be wholly bespoke, advantages are:

  •  we save you loads of time
  •  and money
  •  by working from parts that have been previously built
  •  and decreasing time-to-market

To use a comparison – there are now a lot of quality pre-built home manufacturers. They make the house in the factory and bolt it together on site. You can choose from several house styles, but you buy a complete kit and are limited to the range of designs they offer.

There are also companies that manufacture house panels, windows and doors in a factory, but you can assemble them in any configuration you want. You still need an architect to design your house and order the right components. They arrive as pre-built units and are assembled on site to your unique design.

Now, devotees to Channel 4’s Grand Designs will know that this is a popular method for the high-tech, energy-efficient self-builder. You get an air-tight, maximum energy-efficiency house by using a smart modular design and top-spec components. This is exactly what we are proposing with a modular app.

App building platform with 100’s of templates to create a mobile app

Your designer (architect) can draw up exactly what you want and we will have the panels that will bolt together to your design. If your designer includes oval windows, well, you can pay extra for those to be custom built, or choose rounded ones instead because we already have those, and so on.

There are some components visible to the app-user – the home page, for example. These we build to allow maximum flexibility. You want the standard tiled approach – great, it’s been tested, it makes sense, users like it and we have it ready to go.

You want alternating horizontal stripes, social media feeds, ticker tapes and video carousels – that’s fine as well. Your home page is totally unique, and all the components tried and tested.

Now, at the back end there may be a module which says : “Check server for new content, fetch content, show…” It’s a tool and it does not need to be highly configurable.

Yes, it may need bespoking to say: “Check server 1, server 2 and server 3, only fetch content newer than the last time-stamp, only show the first 1000 characters etc” but those are settings, which should also be highly configurable.

We make and host apps on the iOS and Android platforms, marketing tools included

So, we offer an affordable solution having spend years building these components, testing and bug-fixing them. We save you more money in maintenance because we only need to support and upgrade the one component – which just happens to be shared across all apps. And we’re frequently updating or/and implementing new technology.

What happens if you want something we have never built before? We will tell you from the get-go that it is bespoke development which you will have to pay for and cost it out.

We will also assess if it is something we can sensibly build and put into our maintenance programme. We don’t want a load of one-time components kicking around the workshop. If we cannot see a way to easily add it to the product range we may decline up front.

It’s one reason why we say we don’t just build any app. We are unlikely to build a gambling app – I am sure there are dev houses that are specialists in those.

But give us any spec that has content, communications, something to read, engage, learn, watch, listen or action and it’s likely we have a module for that.

App building platform with 100’s of templates – we’re Page Lizard, we’re making smarter connections.

Topics: guardian momentssocial hubmobile apponline publishingdigital tools

 

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