How I transformed our one app to an app series business

Our first app was launched in February 2015. For the learn Thai app the development and content production took us more than a year.

slt_v1

A reason for that is because we did it as a hobby. During weekends I found new travel phrases, recorded my voice, edited recordings, tested the app. Simon developed the app, fixed bugs, improved the app.

We launched the learn German, Spanish and Chinese later. Each of the app took 2 months of work. These processes were running in loop for the next 4 apps…

 

Then, these issues revealed…

Content production:

  1. We got few complaints from users that there were typos in the program or few translations are wrong. I did not blame the translator as they did the best and humans just do mistakes.
  2. The payment for local translators and recorders was not that attractive
  3. The translators took time to do translation work

Release process to Play Store: took about 1 week: screenshot creation, in-app purchases, icons, landing pages

Build the app apk: many manual work and checking if some sound files are missing

Localisation in store listing: manually upload screenshots and meta data

The time of getting out of the loop has entered!

I was the only one who did the new apps release. I could give my best and still the fastest release precess was 3 weeks. And 1 week for update other apps to localise them into the new language. So in the end of the year I would be able to release 13 apps without taking any vacation.

This was not what we want. We could not rely on only one income stream. We needed to launch different apps and at the same time, develop the app for iOS.

These are our RUNNIG machines

1.Process orientation

As we come from Germany and worked with a German company we know that process is the heart of business. We did a lot of documentation (text, video, screenshots) for sharing knowledge between us and of course for outsourcing. The graph below shows our release processes of an Android app.

LanGo2. Automation machine

we created a track called “App Helper” that does automation in sound edition. Release time decreased by over 50%. It helps to generate screenshots with a click of a button. With FastLane we upload all screenshots and meta data with 4 command lines. Localisation of store listing took not more than 5 minutes instead of 2 hours!

3. Outsourcing

It took me quite a while to spend money to outsource work virtually and locally. But it is worth it for high quality of work. I have at least 3 proofreads of all translations. As all the production work is online now I could parallel the different of languages.

We have 2 local assistants. I did not spend that much time for interview process as we worked together before. They were our translator 🙂 It turned out very good. We have to say we are really LUCKY.

user story

 

As a team we work with the SCRUM methodology. We have user stories and user story status flow. We document how to develop/work on the user story. However, it is only the start, we did not enter the whole process of estimation and picking up user stories yet. Let’s see if we will reach this state of work!

At the end: we could launch an app within 1 WEEK. We look forward to see a big elephant group enters Play Store and App Store!

 

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