Top Timewasters

genericmobile.gifIt’s often the case that the people responsible for specifying mobile applications rarely appreciate how apparently small requirements can mushroom into timewasting and costly endeavours. To some extent, some developers are to blame as they blindly implement things without asking ‘why’, whether it’s worth it and whether there is a business requirement.

Here are some aspects of mobile development that I have seen, on some projects, that strictly weren’t needed, yet contributed to more software development than expected …

  • Branding/skinning
  • Supporting both horizontal and vertical orientations
  • Having the same functionalty as already provided by an existing web site
  • Localisation
  • Supporting both tablets and smartphones
  • Requirement to support an OS version still in development
  • Synchronisation of data with a server
  • Supporting a large number of device types and/or OS versions

I am not saying these things shouldn’t be included. Indeed, all of them probably might be included in a quality application. However, there are some applications that need to be created quickly, cheaply or have a limited lifetime and it’s wise to involve your developer in conversations so as to assess the effort vs functionality tradeoffs for the various requirements.