15 December 2020

How Building an App is like Decorating a Christmas Tree

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GearedApp Team

What do developing a new mobile app and decorating a Christmas tree have in common? More than you might think!

Here at GearedApp, we feel like Christmas is the perfect time to get creative. To get into the festive spirit we’ve taken the typical mobile app development process, sprinkled in some good tidings, and discovered it’s not actually that different to decorating a Christmas tree.

Join us on this digital sleigh ride as we share some holiday cheer and app development insights!


Find The Perfect Spot For Your Christmas Tree To Make Sure Everyone Sees It

Identify Your Users

You’ll put a lot of time and effort into putting up your Christmas tree, so finding the right location to make sure it gets the attention it deserves is an important first step. 

As it happens, you’ll also put a great deal of time, money and resources into building a new mobile app. Not only that, but you want to make sure your new app catches the eye of your prospective users. Your digital product is almost guaranteed to underperform if you don’t identify your target users and set out with the goal of solving problems unique to them. 

Right from the start it’s key to work out who you’re trying to impress so your app (and Christmas tree!) stands out and makes spirits bright.

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Unpack The Box And Construct The Base

Develop A Product Roadmap & Sound Strategy For Your New App

Establishing strong foundations is going to keep your Christmas tree standing long into the New Year (and maybe even until July if your heart desires). Just like setting up your tree, you first need to unpack. For development, this means mapping out all of your ideas to gather a clear vision for your platform before diving in.

Creating a thorough game plan ensures your new app is destined for success before starting development. Don’t be like that person who leaves all their Christmas shopping until the last minute!

Without a product roadmap in place you run the risk of making time-consuming and frustrating mistakes that could have been easily avoided early on. We all know the feeling of having our Christmas dinner interrupted. No one wants to go back and redo parts of the process when there are festivities and good food waiting to be enjoyed!


Assemble The Tree

The Technology Stack

Split into front and back-end development, the ‘tech stack’ is the combination of programming languages and software products used to create mobile and web apps. Just as no two Christmas trees end up the same, there are hundreds of different approaches, technologies, and programming languages a developer can use to build a mobile app.

Part 1: Set-up The Bottom Half Of The Tree

Back-end Development

Back-end development is the server-side of a build focused on allowing an app function. Code written by back-end developers communicates information between a database and an app or web browser, just like the bottom set of tree lights connects with the top half. 

Having the support of strong back-end development is guaranteed to fill you with that warm, familiar feeling like watching a classic Christmas movie (for the hundredth time!). 


Part 2: Build The Top Half Of The Tree

Front-end Development

Just as the top of your Christmas tree relies on the bottom half to stay standing, effective front and back-end development is a collaborative team effort when developing a successful mobile app.

Front-end developers add some flair by displaying data in a graphical interface to be proud of, using coding frameworks such as React Native and Javascript to make the magic happen.


Separate The Branches 

Development, Testing & Iteration

Separating the tree branches is a necessary step to straighten out any twisted sections or wonky offshoots. After all, no one wants a lop-sided tree. 

Sometimes bending a branch in a certain way helps you spot a better way to hang an ornament. We’ve all been there (for longer than we probably should) reshaping branches and seeing what works through trial and error.

Similarly, mobile app builds are also an iterative process. An agile, iterative approach allows developers to split the development process and work in sprints. Doing this means the development team can cycle through the build-test-rebuild process quicker and at lower costs. No two projects are the exact same, and iterative development allows teams to proactively identify challenges and positively shape an app’s progress going forward.

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Add Your Favourite Decorations (And Make Sure They Don’t Overlap Others!)

Integrate Features & Functions Into Your New Mobile App

When you begin decorating your tree, it’s hard not to trigger that inner-perfectionist as you work out which baubles and ornaments should go where. As it turns out, choosing the best features when developing a mobile app can feel the same way!

But, both decorating and developing should be a fun experience that ends in giving people pleasure. When designing a user-centered app (or putting up a Christmas tree), ask yourself:

  • Are the best features front-and-centre and easy for people to find?
  • Do individual elements interfere, overlap or affect others?
  • Has a feature been added for the sake of it, or because it adds value?
  • Are there too many components overwhelming your new app?

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Put The Star On Top And Plug The Tree Lights In

Deployment: Launch Your App!

Now your tree is decorated, it’s time to put the star on top and plug in the fairy lights. Imagine lighting up your Christmas tree as launching your app. You’ll feel like a kid on Christmas Eve.

Once you’ve added all your app features, implemented the necessary functions and run performance tests, the long-awaited moment to “switch the lights on” and send your app out into the world is over!

Don’t forget to stop and celebrate this huge step, but bear in mind that your app will always need to be maintained and modified going forward.


Tweak The Decorations And Branches For The Rest Of The Festive Period

Ongoing Maintenance To Keep Your App Going At Peak Performance

Even once you’ve put the finishing touches on your tree, you’ll probably find the branches and baubles need some minor adjustments so that they sit “just right”.  

In exactly the same way, an app is rarely fully complete after the initial launch. There are always app updates and maintenance needed to make sure the software continues to perform and solve problems for users as you designed it.

If you properly maintain your app and your Christmas tree, you’re guaranteed to squeeze extra life out of them. Great news if you love Christmas and want to keep those decorations up for as long as possible. Ignore those Scrooges and embrace your inner anti-Grinch! christamas tree star


Happy Holidays from GearedApp!

Jack Frost might be nipping your nose, but developing your next mobile app should be a breeze. 

When you choose GearedApp for your next app build, our team will be with you from our initial sit-down chat all the way to releasing the finished product. Discover our process to find out more about how GearedApp works.

Get in touch today to find out how our team of pros can help turn your awesome ideas into a digital reality.