Code Refactoring: Meaning, Purpose, Benefits

Most clients want their application to be developed fast, cost-effectively, and reliably. However, in chase of time and money-saving, quality is often put aside and some quality-improving activities are laid upon a shelf. Refactoring is in a row of such activities and seems to be less tangible as testing for instance. There goes a reasonable question from the client "if it works, why do we need to refactor it?" Still the necessity of code cleaning up may not be always evident.

What is code refactoring?

Code refactoring is a process of application code's editing and cleaning up behind the scenes which optimize its internal structure, but without changing its external behavior and functionalities. Still, this is an inherent part o any project development. However, the necessity of code refactoring may not be really obvious for external observers.

Platform & Devices

First of all, you must decide on the platform and on which devices your application should work and be used. In some cases, the price can vary depending on this criteria. You can create an application that will only work on iOS or Android. This will save money on the development phase, but will “cut off” users of one of the platforms. An application for both platforms will cost more, but will give full coverage to a mobile audience.

With a limited budget, there are three development paths

Amount and Complexity of Features

Mobile apps functionality and complexity may vary a lot. There are some that are being implemented quickly and cheaply. There are some that are expensive, but are being implemented quickly or that take a long time to implement and are therefore expensive. There are no general recommendations which features to add to the application or not. This question can be answered only after a detailed study of a specific idea, research, comparison with competitors.

It happens that without some functions the application is uncompetitive and it just makes no sense to run it. Or, conversely, you can make a wider functionality than others, and become unique.

For instance, let’s take data processing. The more complex the application is, the more data it processes. There is not much data in the calculator, more in the fitness application, and a huge amount in the application for the social network. The developer team needs to think through custom scenarios, choose those that will lead the user to the result faster, and then draw the application screens.

The phone components and external devices that the applications interact with also have something to share with the application and the server. Proximity switch, a light sensor, Bluetooth sensor, and printers with Beacons produce their data. They also need to be processed so that the devices work correctly.

If the application expects data from the server for a very long time, then you can forget about the positive feedback from users. Therefore, do not belittle the value of the backend development team on your project.

Often, the discovery phase helps to understand the exact list of technical requirements and make a detailed technical task. According to a study by the analytic company Clutch, more than 70% of app development agencies surveyed require a discovery stage before moving forward with a project. This step can significantly reduce development time and save time. And according to for a little over half of the firms surveyed, the discovery stage costs less than $5,000.

The level of design

Android and iOS users should also follow their own habits, which the mobile application must meet. No need to make the design of the Android application as on the iPhone, because it’s more beautiful there. Unusual interface guarantees low user ratings and lower positions in the search. The amount of work depends on the number of application screens. The screen is all that the user will see: starting from the greeting and ending with the subsection "About the application", which reads one out of 20,000. The number of screens depends on the capabilities of the application: trimming functionality, we automatically reduce the amount of work of the designer. Small applications have 5–7 screens, medium-sized applications grow to 10–15, and large applications have more than 20 screens. Optimize design costs allows a prototype, which displays a general view of a mobile application with the proposed functional elements and an indication of user scenarios.

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