The tools used to develop a product are never discussed during business meetings but they can make a massive difference to the speed and quality of product development. It’s understandable though, you don’t go to a mechanic and check that they have the best torque rench money can buy to use on your car.
Better tools make development quicker.
Better tools make development better?
As they saying goes. “It’s not the tool it’s how you use it.” For development, this isn’t entirely true. By just changing the tools you use you can save huge amounts of time and produce a better product at the same time.
Time is a huge factor in development as no one has unlimited money to spend on creating a product. New tools can give you short cuts, speed up visualisation and prototyping, allow faster tracking of bugs and much more.
Quality is one of the biggest things we focus on in our development and tools can even help us improve this. Firstly, we can use the time saved to improve quality. We can also improve quality by using the additional functionality at our disposal to match designs, validate work and improve user experiences across all platforms.
Tools have evolved tremendously over the years for project management, design, development and testing. We really are lucky to have such valuable tools at our disposal to bring products to life.
Is it a bad thing that we have these products that are making our life much easier?
Are we missing out by being able to create something in 10 minutes that used to take hours? For one, it lowers the barrier to entry for many of these jobs and that’s awesome. However, With that comes a lower level knowledge of the underlying systems, and therefore a rigidness that doesn’t let you think outside of the box as easily. It may also breed bad habits like not sticking to traditional development guidelines. Overall I believe there’s no issue if the tool does what you need and makes the job at hand easier and more cost-effective. So what are these wonderful tools that I speak of?
Microsoft Project has been around forever but is now being challenged by many new cloud-based management systems. From basic systems such as Trello to more complex systems like Jira and Asana, these tools are revolutionising how projects are managed.
Photoshop has been around for a long time but with each update it includes ever-improving functionality that when used gives a huge benefit. Newer tools have also become available such as Adobe XD that give a quicker turn around on prototyping and concept development. One of our favourites, Invision, is a game changer allowing for designs to become full click-through prototypes that gives the feel of an app without having to write a single line of code.
Previously we had simple text editors for developing. Now we have fully integrated development environments (IDEs) that provide us with Autocomplete, frameworks to support devices of any type and even visualisers. We now even have systems that can develop apps for all device types at the same time, these aren’t tools as such but still amazing nonetheless. These tools also come with emulators and extensive debugging tools that allow testing to be completed in a more comprehensive manner. Depending on what you’re developing, some common ones include Visual studio code, Xcode and Android Studio.
For apps, we’re lucky to have Xcode and Android studio that are made by the companies whose products will be using the software so they know the best practices and ins and outs of products and tailor it to them.
For websites, we don’t have that luxury, but we do have Google. They haven’t created a development tool as such but have given us development support tools that test the speed of websites and similar.
For Hybrid apps, we have systems like Ionic that are revolutionising and making people rethink development as a whole.
Tools don’t make products on their own but they can provide a better framework to efficiently make world-class products provided you’re using the best ones you can.
We have a big tool box, Get in touch.