You've got a great idea in mind. You and your co-founder just sit down and make a product roadmap. One of the critical questions you are very likely to go through is: what is the proper frontend-to-backend resource ratio?
You should spend 80% of your time on the frontend of your product, and here’s why:
The frontend is the main gate to your product whether you’re building a mobile app, a website or a console game. A consistent UI style enhances the character of a product, as you define the look and feel you want to create for your users. Do you want your product to look more simplistic or more expressive? It takes countless time and effort to test and find out the best.
All interactions with users happen here in the frontend. The UX of your product is the killer element that gets your users addicted to your app, which goes beyond graphic design: it’s the critical question of how your product tells the story and how users interact with your product. That said, your product will require the matching layout, copywriting, navigation and usability to put together and articulate your story.
The refinement process never ends: you need to constantly collect feedback and keep improving your frontend.
The only thing that's changed is everything, especially in the mobile world. Not only did the iPhone change, but also the Android devices and even web browsers changed from time to time; users demand your apps to work despite all these changes.
The major challenge is to continuously support your frontend in the ever-changing OS cycle. As Android and OS devices are getting updated more frequently, you'll need to update your front-end more frequently to keep up with new requirements and patch bugs in older versions.
In addition, you need to work on customization on different front-end clients. The correct use of style and default user behaviours is essential to make your users love your app on different devices and platforms. Drilling down into platform/device-dependent issues may take up a significant amount of your time.
All in all, you need to act fast to adapt to the changing OS and devices to ensure a consistent experience.
Oftentimes, most popular products share similar components: for instance news feed, followers, chat, push-notification, etc. Do not spend extra time repeating yourself, there’s no need to. By using services like BaaS, you can use merely 20% of time to build a common backend that communicates with your front-end clients across multiple platforms.
In addition, many BaaS related solutions provide hosting services for your product at a low price. This means you would not only save time from developing your backend, but also for hosting, deployment and maintenance in the future. All these workloads shifted to BaaS means that you can focus on building and optimising your frontend to keep your users happy.
There are a number of backend alternatives you may consider. Firebase, Kinvey, Backendless, etc — all have their own strengths with different features such as push notification and instant messaging. Most BaaS providers would also provide a hosting service, this would help make your deployment and maintenance much easier.
Another alternative would be an open source backend. Options would include Parse, BaaSBox, Dreamfactory, etc. All these open source alternatives help you build your backend infrastructure. Yet, you would have to host it on other hosting service provider such as Amazon Web Services (AWS).
Either way, it is going to help you build your backend at a much faster pace without losing your focus on your important frontend.
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