Design and Development are the new commodities

WordPress theme: $30; an entire mobile website: $15; your website up-and-running without having to hack someone else’s code, that’s priceless!

The commoditization of the web design and development is inevitable. We live in a world that is saturated with options. When it comes to web and mobile development-and-design, there are tons of alternatives, frameworks, and examples to choose from. Even when designers and developers may choose to start a project from scratch, it is common that the end solution will end up looking like something that already exists.

Is your problem really different?

If you ask 100 architects to design a house for a middle class family locate on a 5,000 sqft lot, that oversees the ocean, I promise you, you will have 100 different designs. There is no doubt, that each design will include a bathroom and a kitchen, however, each of the designer will probably emphasize different aspects of the family members of the house location, to express their individual viewpoints.

I am not suggesting every house for a young couple with two kids, 2 cars, and 2.5 pets must be identical, but after so many centuries of dealing with the home-design-problem, is it really a new problem or are we abusing the available resources (money) to force the design to be different, just because we can.

The search for individuality

In mobile web as well as in housing solutions, you will find common denominators. It will be silly to treat every single design and developement problem as something so unique that will require us to do everything from scratch. Using frameworks, templates, stock images, clip-arts, etc. is nothing new. What’s new, is our denial to accept that our job is now about filtering all the available options, to narrow them down to a manageable number of relevant solutions. In most cases we have to build what holds things together and in other cases the missing pieces.

Take for instance any “news app”. they all have to list categories, articles within categories, and display the actual article. Instead of refining existing solutions and making them flexible to accommodate our individual needs, we look at standards as something dirty. Something that will make us look less creative, when in reality is more responsible. You must have a proven reason to break the rules. That is the biggest challenge: how to assess when to adopt standard available solutions, and when to look for the “new thing” that no one has created before. Fortunately, there is something called budget.

Labor not included

At Appcropolis we believe that starting with an end in mind is the right way to go. In today’s market, automation and achieving efficiency are a must. The commoditization of design and development should not be rejected, it must be embraced. This is a challenge for designers and developers to use their minds and time to create greater value. Beyond what you can borrow (open source), buy, or license, there is a universe of truly new solutions ready to be discovered. rather than spending time doing the same things over, and over, and over —some people call that, experience, time to time we should  reflect about what we’ve done and task ourselves with the goal of doing things faster, cheaper, or better.

On the bright side, design and development have become commodities at the right moment. Nowadays, tools, frameworks, reference material, and technology in general, are at the top of their quality. It’s easy to learn new things, and cheaper to build complex solutions using widely available technology. But make no mistake, you still have to run the last mile. Whether that is filling the gaps, connecting dots, or learning how to use something that you  got for free, those are real costs. When you buy a WordPress theme for $30 or less, you save a lot of development and design time. But the cost of turning a general purpose assets into truly individual solutions must be taken into consideration.



Whether is a tutorial, a video, an email, or a one-on-one conversation, at Appcropolis, we want to help bridge the gap between common assets and individual expression. There are unique problems that will require unique solutions. But if you find yourself amongst the individuals that wants to build a mobile solutions on top of great assets, is the place to start. We are committed to create great quality assets, ready to be used. But our commitment extends beyond being a mere data provider. We want to help you run the last mile, to assure that you will success when using Appcropolis solutions.


There are complicated mobile applications that require unique solutions, for everything else, you have Appcropolis.