TipsUI & UX

6 Reasons to Use Iterative Design in Your Web and App Development

By Gowtham Raj on July 26th, 2019

There’s never been a better time to be a web or app developer.

Their services are simply in constant demand in today’s world!

Indeed, the employment of web developers is set to grow 15% in the 10 years between 2016 and 2026. That, according to the same source, represents a significantly faster rate of growth compared to the average for all other job roles.

Clearly, developer job prospects look fairly good over the next few years!

However, no-one can afford to rest on their laurels. It’s a competitive world, regardless of industry. It’s vital that developers do what they can to improve their skills and capabilities.

Learning new approaches to developing is one way to do it. And iterative design is one methodology that could come in particularly handy. Want to know more about it?

Keep reading to discover 7 key reasons to utilize it in your web and app development.

What is Iterative Design?

Let’s start with a definition.

A solid grasp of iterative design is essential to understanding the benefits it provides.

A typical approach to a project begins with receiving the requirements. From there, things progress to the design work, then the developing, testing, and, finally, to deployment.

This is a standard sequential pathway. It flows in a linear fashion from one step to the next until the project is completed.  

Iterative models follow a different pathway to deployment.

As the name suggests, a project proceeds in a non-standard way through different iterations. Imagine different drafts of an essay. Each one counts as an iteration. It’s then written, re-read and edited accordingly. This process may repeat numerous times until it’s ready to be submitted.  

The exact same process is used in iterative developing. It’s classic prototyping. A project is planned, built, tested and reviewed.

Then, based on the conclusions of the first ‘draft’ (aka iteration), the cycle will repeat. Changes will be made, which will then be tested and reviewed once again. This continues until the product is fit for deployment.

6 Benefits of Using Iterative Design

On to the main event. Here are 6 key reasons iterative design is so helpful in web and app development.

1. Fail Early

Iterative design work helps developers fail early on.

That might sound strange. But it’s essential to any bid to create a successful product.

Compare it to failing late. Imagine releasing a finished application, with hundreds of thousands of dollars of investment behind it, to the market, only for it to flop. That’s hard to come back from.

However, failing on a first iteration is less of a problem. Far less time and effort is risked. Releasing a prototype to be tested enables problems to be discovered early in the development process.

This allows developers to shift gears and change tack accordingly with less impact on resources.

2. Ensure Success

Any tech startup should listen up:

Repeated prototyping gives you a better chance of success in the long run.

By the time it’s deployed, the product has been tried and tested multiple times. The majority of problems have been highlighted and resolved in advance.

The best filmmakers are experts at this process. They’ll create their movie in beta form, or as a storyboard, and show it to a real audience. They’ll then ask the audience to rate and review it. It’s about testing. The data they receive will enable them to make vital shifts in the plot, characters, and script.

When the film is eventually released to a wider audience, they have a much better chance of it being a box office hit.

3. Save Money

It might sound strange…

But repeated failure in the short term will save money in the long run. Sure, each iteration requires capital. However, they a) save money from a failed ‘finished’ project and b) guarantee greater income from a project that’s known to work.

It’s best to iterate as soon as possible in the developing cycle. That way, feedback is received early in the project, when very little time and money has been spent. As time goes by, the more money someone stands to lose from a failed iteration.

4. It Saves Time

Iterative design saves time as well.

Again, it might sound backward- surely multiple iterations take longer?

In reality, iterations speed up the process to launch. Why? Multiple reasons. Firstly, because problems are dealt with as they occur. That means they don’t escalate into major revisions. Likewise, there’s less downtime. Larger projects are typically characterized by a stop-start process. One team does their bit, then another does theirs…

Iterations require all hand on deck. Downtime is reduced, working models are produced in record time, and any minor alterations can be made swiftly and easily.

5. Greater Flexibility

Iterative design welcomes setbacks and change.

It’s literally part of the process. Let’s face it, all design work will involve the evolution of ideas and needs. However, this is a problem for typical projects with a rigid, linear trajectory. Changes equate to obstacles.

Iterative design takes a more open stance. It’s about learning from the world and actively asking for feedback. Whatever comes back is worked with to create a better product. In this way, the unpredictability that’s intrinsic in new projects is handled effectively.

6. Improved Communication

Communication is a common problem in development projects.

It’s often a challenge to communicate effectively a) between team members and b) with the client.

Iterative design is an antidote to both. Indeed, it’s entirely dependent on regular communication among everyone involved in the project.

Team members have to regularly connect with each other. Indeed, they’re working in collaboration in various stages of iteration and to make necessary updates. Similarly, the client is kept in the loop more too. After all, each iteration requires their input and thoughts.

Wrapping Up

There you have it: 6 reasons to use iterative design in your web and app development.

We live in a golden era for web and app developers. As the digital world becomes increasingly important, the number of jobs available increase too. However, it’s as important as ever to work as effectively and efficiently as possible.

Hopefully, this article has highlighted how iterative design makes that possible.

Want some help with web and app development? Contact us today to see how we can be of service.

By Gowtham Raj

July 26th, 2019