Monday 3 April 2017

Cost cutting in Custom Software – 4 : Cosmetic Clutter

Welcome to yet another post on cutting down custom software cost.  Every step you take towards cutting down cost helps not only your organization but also urges consultants to provide quality solutions at effective pricing.  If you have not read the previous posts on this topic you may read them here, here and here.  Having said that, let us now explore the topic of today.

The Cosmetic Clutter of Custom Software:

Remember the last time you bought an up to date gadget which offered numerous features, some of which, you found most attractive. Perhaps it is those specific features that made you buy that product in the first place. And yet those features are either under used or not used at all.

Consumer surveys claim that majority of the users only use 40 % – 50% of functions offered by the gadgets.  Isn’t it strange that we pay hefty price to acquire those features of the product by seldom use them? Perhaps it’s the fear of missing out that that enables us to have more. The same applies to custom software development.  Trust me, functionalities requested for most of the software development projects are dramatically over exaggerated.

I have had customers who wanted applications to look sexy and sleek. I often ask them to define what these terms would mean to them, as they can be relative i.e. what is sleek or sexy to me perhaps would not be the same for another person.  These functionalities can range from overall appeal of the applications, like home page graphical components, animated UIs or functionalities serving to un realistic or un common situations. Or in other terms, Cosmetic Clutter which would contribute to the cost of the software.

Solution: De-clutter Cosmetics

While I am not against uber-cool Hollywood animations in the applications, I often question their purpose, as it is going to cost time and resources. By stripping down to the basics and most vital functionalities first, your consultant can often come up with a design that works in accordance to your need and eliminate the cosmetics costs. Choose something simple and timeless as what is current may not remain the same in future.

Secondly, these nice-to-have features are mostly the result of negotiations with the IT consultant. You compromise on one thing, hoping to get another and usually these compromises are also included in the cost of the application.  So be mindful when you make compromises, and ask the vendor whether the new feature would cost more effort in terms of money and time.

That’s all for today folks! Let us know what you think about the post and feel free to browse our blog section, for more interesting articles. If you wish to write to us about your custom requirements, head over here.  Have a fantastic day!

   Srivatsan Aravamudan
   Telephone:+65 62689551
   Fax:+65 62689858
   Business Analyst - Snr Software Consultant.


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