… or 6 steps to develop a killer AR/VR application.
How can I make the development process smooth and get a really good app as a result? We’ve been asked this question quite often recently. So, maybe it’s time to reveal the truth behind the magic of successful app development.
AR/VR app attraction is obvious: the barrier to entry is low, the chances of success are high., With just a little time and money investment, in light of the popularity of nowadays app stores, it has never been easier to try to become the next tech king.
If you are thinking of developing an augmented reality or virtual reality app, there is a bunch of things to consider. Due to a rapid growth of augmented and virtual reality adoption, it seems like a valid assumption that a lot of AR/VR consumers will be mass-market and will, therefore, expect seamless user experience. Making your application intuitive and simple to use will greatly increase its chances of success in a quickly growing tech market.
Below is everything a business owner/startup founder needs to know before getting started on his/her own virtual or augmented reality app development.
First things first: Idea development
The first step of creating a superior AR/VR application is to clearly define the purpose of your app. And no matter whether you are going to build it on your own or outsource it to an offshore software development company. A detailed description of the idea and an app you want to have as an outcome is vital.
Before taking a closer look at VR or AR app development, it is necessary to answer the questions mentioned below. The reason behind this step is that nobody has a better vision of your VR or AR app than you do.
So, here we go:
- What do you expect from the app?
- What is your target audience?
- What are the main functionalities of your app?
- What is the revenue model?
- Do you want to make your app free or paid?
Note down the features you would like to include, how you see their implementation in terms of platform, compatibility, etc. Create documentation with a detailed depiction of your idea, target audience, app description, table with app features and user flow (ideally). This will save you a lot of time. And will actually keep saving your time in future:
- During Q&A sessions, when choosing and IT outsourcing company in Ukraine or any other country (because they will ask you a ton of questions in order to understand the app and the project scope);
- Afterwards, while discussing the app with your chosen partner.
If you’re having hard times answering these questions on your own, you can create accurate documentation in collaboration with your IT partner, e.g. augmented reality development company or a dedicated team of professional Unity 3D developers.
Step 2: Have clear requirements ready
Getting your augmented reality application or virtual reality application ready on time and within budget isn’t that hard. Just be as clear as possible as to what your requirements for the VR / AR app development are. Draw up the plans and determine the technology, set consistent expectations for the budget, time frame, and outcome to your mobile app development partner.
It is vital to have a clear idea of the user interface and features that are expected of your future VR/AR app. If your requirements are fuzzy they may confuse your tech partner, hence falling short of deadlines. So, make sure the development team understand your requirements fully.
Rather than having countless unstructured conversations, get your offshore software development company to break down the project into smaller tasks or milestones, according to the specifications. Include wireframes (or develop them with your IT partner), tables of features and all the necessary detailed information to make the job of your mobile app development team easier. Besides, not only benefit your tech companion but it will also give you a clearer vision of your future product.
The systematic requirements list should contain:
- Detailed description of the project
- List of functionalities and features
- The overall VR/AR mobile app structure
- User path and user flow description
- A block scheme on how to navigate through the screens
- Design materials, prototypes, and wireframes
Most virtual and augmented reality applications contain 3D graphics or presuppose superimposing some text over the real-time images. So when thinking about developing an AR app, you will face the need to have access to image processing expertise. If you do not have a ready design of your augmented reality app or need 3D modeling experts to give you a hint, no worries. Simply ask your AR app development company in Ukraine (or whatever country you choose) to help you develop a unique design of your app.
Step 3: Disclose your deadlines and acceptable budget frames
It is all about establishing important milestones.
Milestones are those crucial points in your app development process at which particular tasks are to be completed. They allow you to test the modules and features as well as to assess the development builds on/upon their completion. An experienced offshore software development company might ask you for a project timeline breakdown, but in general, it’s up to you to push the idea of maintaining the schedule requirements.
Creating milestones is always beneficial as it helps both you and your IT service provider to understand the process clearly at the very beginning of your collaboration. Establishing milestones guarantees that the developers get in touch with you on specific dates throughout the project and give you an update on the app development status.
Review your VR/AR project regularly together with your augmented or virtual reality development company. This can help you make sure that you are on the right track. Make good use of free project management (PM) tools like Redmine or Basecamp to follow the project status and for continuous cooperation with the development team.
Step 4: Feel free to ask questions
It’s way better to clarify all issues before the start of the development process. Don’t hesitate to ask questions you’ll anyway face sooner or later:
- How much will my VR/AR app cost?
- How long will it take to build the app?
- Do you have a similar experience?
- Are you able to provide a turnkey solution or is there something you can’t handle?
Go on with your list of questions to get to know your developers better and make sure you can trust them.
Step 5: Be ready to cooperate by answering all questions
The rule says: communicate and make it collaborative. This step cannot be left out, so be ready to cooperate with your partners by answering all emerging questions. The best way to build a superior AR or VR application is to involve your IT partner into the thinking process. Usually, developers have far more experience and knowledge about tools and options available for your project and may have relevant experience from similar projects.
It is critical for the product owner to remain involved in the process. Feel free to ask for updates, ask and answer questions, as well as give your critique. It takes time to build trust, so when outsourcing your VR or AR app development to Ukraine, Europe or elsewhere, take advantage of your offshore team’s experience and expertise.
Step 6: Get ready to oversee but not micro-manage the process
Believe it or not, an everyday chat with your app developers may be distractive. If you need them to meet the deadline but still want to oversee the workflow closely, ask your VR/AR app development team to provide you with the weekly or at least 2/3-day updates on what has been done. This way, you won’t miss anything important, and your app development company will keep working at the most fruitful and effective pace. Nevertheless, once everything is done, make sure your app is carefully tested way before the release.
While outsourcing may be a reasonable thing to do, needless to mention that it comes with its own issues and challenges. And if you are a startup owner or a newbie on the market, finding the right app development company may be the biggest challenge.
Takeaways on finding the right IT partner
Amongst the variety of AR/VR app development teams, it’s not that easy to identify the right IT company for your project. However, the first thing to do is to look for a tech partner that puts a real effort into the understanding of your idea. Research and identify the top VR/AR app development companies that are well-experienced in your niche: Google, then check references, ask questions and follow these few easy steps:
- Inspect your potential provider’s portfolio and case studies
- Check for reviews and social proof of your potential IT partner (via Clutch, Facebook, Glassdoor, etc.)
- Hire an app development company based on the domain of expertise (ideally)
- Get ready for a ton of questions and a pile of docs (questions are everywhere)
- Define the optimal model of cooperation and pricing scheme to start the collaboration.
To get a deeper insight on how to find a true IT partner while outsourcing to a custom software development company, feel free to use our recent tips. Keep in mind that optimal vendors will use their experience to optimize your idea further.
Interviewing your potential IT partner thoroughly, ask about their experience and expertise in building outsourced VR and AR applications. Ask questions related to their creative skills, earned certifications and awards. Once you’ve made the decision, go back to Step 1 and 2 to ensure your requirements have been understood well.
Congratulations! You are ready to start building your killing AR/VR app!