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« Making Sense of Sensors, Future of Mobile 2011 | Main | Vexed acquires Future Platforms »

October 05, 2011


Steve Pinches

Tom - Steve Pinches here - FT product manager in charge of the Web App. I'd like to clarify a couple of things here as I mentioned on email, just so we're clear. It'd be a shame for the message taken from this to be that web app development takes longer than native, as our experience is certainly that that isn't the case. We're not wedded to one approach or the other, and you'll see a variety of different approaches being taken by us web vs native vs hybrid as we take things on a case-by-case basis. But, to clarify on your post above:

Whilst the *core* web app development took around four months of 3 full time developers, we have spent a lot of time with Assanka on feature development and optimisation.

In addition to this, the core development was predicated on some previous work done for our Samsung native app. We now maintain ongoing resource at Assanka for new feature development, as well as for rolling the app out onto multiple platforms.

So while Andrew's correct that Assanka have spent that kind of length of time on the app, it would be wrong to represent this as the time required to 'deliver the web app', as a great deal of time has been put in to developments we have either recently put live or are about to put live.

The important point here is not to infer that the time was spent due to the technology being immature or difficult to use; it's mostly because we have spent time, effort (and money!) getting the user experience right, tweaking behaviours, improving advertising propositions, delivering new features, etc etc.

It would be like saying that it's taken 15 years to build which, clearly, it hasn't.

Tom Hume

Hey Stephen - thanks for jumping in.

Are you able to provide comparative figures for your web vs native apps? You're one of very few organisations who have built an equivalent product using both methods, it'd be great if you could share

And any feel for how much over and above the core 12 man-months was spent on feature development and optimisation? It reads to me like the effort from scratch for the iPad-only version of your web app was something between 12 and 24 man-months (lower bound being your 4 months for 3 developers, upper being the figure I was given by Assanka). The difference between the lower bound and actual effort would be whatever was reused from Samsung, plus feature development and optimisation.

I'd certainly count getting the UX right, tweaking behaviours, adding new features, as being part of the product development (we did some bits of that with the Glastonbury app I'm contrasting with).

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