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Being a full-stack web app developer gives me the full visibility of creating a customized web solution from Front-End to Back-End, which is a crucial piece of knowledge I yearned to acquire few years ago when I started off as a freelance web designer in Singapore.

Today, I am going to share 5 techniques that I used in project BizLoan that helped to fast-track the web design, MVP and mobile app development…In a tremendously short period of time – 21 Days (Not even a month)! With COVID-19 looming over the market, we need to find ways to pivot and transform our business fast.

Knowing what are the tools needed to get it there

1. Set the right framework to build on since the start

I am lucky to have came across all sizes of projects throughout my entrepreneurial journey (Inclusive those that rack 6 digits in dollars). Some developers / designers would say spending enough time on architectural design would save all the hassles later, which is true in some sense. But spending months designing on the architectural framework makes no sense to me. Depending on the scale of the project, for example BizLoan would require a front-end portal (a mobile-friendly website) that handles user registration, account management and transactional listings / tracking of past applications. On the back-end, it would require an endpoint that store all the applications from all users and a dashboard for different managers with different roles to access their designated applications / transactions. On mobile application level, since it is for customers as a start, it must support all the features listed on website plus push notifications integrated on the users’ payment reminders and announcements / sharing of latest news.

I am a fan of using WordPress as a framework which most people would argue on and be naysayers that it is not safe…that WordPress is only a tool for website…etc. But I am going to say it is a wonderful, fast-growing, established framework to leverage since it already has plenty of security and features built-in such as users management, action hooks and filters, REST API in the core. It is the perfect tool for the project since it has halved my effort to build those functions in other more well-known PHP frameworks. WordPress has evolved over the years, and so am I along with it. It is a great development tool right now.

Then, you may say…Calvin, you are only mentioning of the front-end / website only, what about the mobile application development? I will share more in the next points. But for now, I have used Ionic framework for that purpose.

2. Be the master of your tools

There are way too many tools out there in the market…Are you master of one or master of none? In order to manage single-handedly in developing from front-end to back-end within 21 days requires not only focus but being the master of the tools that I have picked.

A little history over here…I have picked WordPress as my web building tool since 2005 when Blogspot was still popular. And Ionic has joined since 2017 as my mobile application go-to-tool. One key decisive factor when I am picking the tools to “level-up” on is its depth of documentation available online. Number of users and Support from community come next.

3. Try to not reinvent the wheel

There are plenty of plugins available on WordPress and public repositories shared on GitHub that can be a good reference to our coding challenges. We are at a digital era when inventions are able to be created freely and easily. Otherwise, there is always a free platform such as StackOverflow where we can ask our questions regarding development and being offered help by others who have done it before. What I am saying is, leverage on what’s out there to grab. Save your time so the development cycle can be shortened by whatever means as launching the MVP plays a more crucial role in validating the solution.

freelance mobile app developer

Time is of the essence…

4. Set the criteria for Minimum Viable Product

Always strive to list what is the “Good-to-have” and “Must-have” for the product / solution that we are creating. Failure in doing that will impede us from releasing the product to the market at early stage to gather sufficient feedback before further improving the solution. And the by-effect will always be more holes burnt in the pocket, resulting in unnecessary Operating Expenses and Cost Opportunities, especially if you are a SME business owner like I am.

5. Know when to stop

I know there are plenty of hardcore app developers and web designers out there who swore by the name of “Perfectionism…”, “The codes written must be of the highest standards…”, or however we want to name it. Often times, I got caught up in spending endless hours just to explore on making things “better” too, which I personally would think better off spending with people who are dearest to me like my family or investing in some other activities that could potentially bring more value. Knowing when to put a stop on a development is a skillset we all need to develop over time.

Going through digital transformation can be a painful process but it may not necessary need to be like that if you are working with an experienced digital business strategist. I have put together a personalized e-Commerce web design and mobile apps package together to help your business accelerate in building your own digital store front within 48 hours that connects you and your customers, overcoming sales challenge during the lock-down / circuit breaker period.

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Thanks for reading.