Smartphones and tablets are so popular that they resulted in the creation of the mobile app industry. In fact, the Federal Trade Commission notes that over 1,000 mobile apps are released each day.Gaming companies, social networking sites, and even individuals create apps. Mobile app development isn’t a simple task, though. Unfortunately, most apps wind up failing to attract an audience, and others never even see a release. Avoiding problems during the development face can help improve an app’s chance at success, so here are some great tips on mobile app development!
Mishandling the Project
Lacking experience or expertise during the app development process can doom any project. Of course, mismanagement can occur due to countless reasons. This includes accelerated timescales, lack of resources, non-existent communication, and scope creep. Then there’s misjudged scope, missing project milestones, overlooking risk management, poor project planning, and an unclear end goal. If an app has everything but proper management, then the entire project can fail.
Poor User Interface and Design
Plenty of mobile apps come with unparalleled functionality and features. Sadly, they might look like utter trash to consumers and get ignored completely. A poor design turns off potential users, and a difficult user interface (UI) enrages them. A variety of factors can lead to poor design and a lackluster UI. For instance, mismatched color and text, poor color choice, and low quality images can doom an app. An unintuitive or overly simplified UI, unresponsive gestures, and improper button sizes lead to similar results. The same can be said about an inconsistent design or a lack of basic features.
Then again, too many features won’t bode well for an app, either. A bloated app will actually degraded the overall user experience. When developers attempt to translate a whole website to an app, such issues often arise. To sidestep this issue, the whole user interface should be revamped and simplified so that it’s user-friendly. To accomplish this goal, an app should feature a few perfect features rather than many poor ones. Boasting the most features for an app does come with bragging rights. However, this becomes detrimental in the mobile app market. Bloated apps wind up confusing users and never become popular. Apps with limited but perfected features often top the charts, though. Limiting the focus and creating a niche app leads to the best results, surprisingly enough.
Targeting More Than One Platform
These days, most developers create apps for the Google Play Store and Apple App Store. They’re the two largest app stores, but others exist today, too. Despite the popularity of developing for both stores, it’s important to only target one of them. Developing for both stores requires a slightly different approach. Plus, dealing with updates, bug fixes, and new features for both versions of an app can prove quite difficult. In other words, targeting two platforms at once ups the costs of managing, marketing, maintaining the apps. Avoiding this bottleneck can only be accomplished by creating an app for a single platform. Such apps can be ported to the other app stores later on when more resources are available.
Absence of Scalability and Integration
When it comes to app development, developers always need to keep the future in mind. Mobile technology changes on a regular basis, and apps often require upgrades and enhancements. Also, apps must deal with firmware requirements and integration with multiple APIs. Lacking integration and scalability can cause an app to become obsolete and unsuccessful.
Failure to Utilise Mobile Phone Functionality
Mobile phones are packed with tons of features and technologies, so apps can take advantage of such functionalities. Obviously, smartphones are capable of texting, making calls, and taking photos. They’re packed with sensors, including an accelerometer, gyroscope, and countless other sensors. Apps needs to utilize these features whenever possible to maximize the capabilities of said app. Otherwise, failure to use such features goes against the very purpose of mobiles apps.
BEST APP DEVELOPMENT PRACTICES
Thorough Research and Analysis Before Starting Development
In most cases, an app that’s built upon lackluster foundations is guaranteed to fail. The foundation is formed by the app idea and its associated features. If an app is based upon concepts that already exist, then that app will have a tough time finding success. Likewise, an app that fails to provide value to its users will be cast aside quickly. It’s important to consider which features users want from an app. Then developers need to consider how these features provide value and how they’ll be used by smartphone owners. Intensive research is required in order to discover the use cases for an app, along with how users will utilize such an app over time.
A Precise, Well-Defined Goal
Before starting the development process, developers must create an intended goal for the app. Said goal must be expressed regularly to developers throughout the app development life cycle. All efforts must be made to ensure that every decision is based upon achieving this goal. For that reason, developers should ask themselves the following questions: * What do I intend to attain with this app? * What should be included in the app to achieve the goal? * Will users take away from this app what I expect? * How can the app be optimized to create expected user behaviors?
Creating a Roadmap of the Project
A detailed roadmap of the entire process is necessary. The roadmap should explain the steps required to succeed, time requirements, and cost estimates. From there, a well-crafted roadmap will assist designers and developers in going about their tasks and completing them on schedule. A roadmap should address unnecessary expenses along with how to spend every penny wisely. On top of that, such a roadmap helps developers create a timely schedule and handle padding throughout the development cycle when necessary.
Choosing a Mobile Apps Company Over Other Alternatives
Companies that want to develop an app have various options at their disposal. However, all these alternatives come with plenty of risks. Major worries include a lack of quality, an app that’s nothing like originally planned, or a faulty app. Undoubtedly, nobody wants these things to happen. It might be a little expense, but hiring an app development company makes the most sense as it guarantees the highest quality of app with a potential for a good ROI.
Assigning a Project Manager for the App
App development requires dozens of tasks, and someone needs to ensure that these tasks are completed. Likewise, someone must ensure that quality standards are met. Project management is a skill that some people lack, so a person with this skill must be chosen to lead the project. When it comes to developing the app, a dedicated project manager needs to be assigned. Hiring a project manager streamlines the entire development process. This also ensures that every task is centered around creating the best app possible. Plus, a manager ensures that communication is always maximized so that the app turns out according to specifications.
Pilot Testing For User Feedback
Every app development cycle requires a pilot test. Pilot tests are designed to garner feedback from the user’s perspective. To accomplish this task, the app needs to be tested with potential users for pros and cons. A feedback tool gives users the perfect opportunity to voice their comments and concerns. After enough feedback is received, appropriate changes should be made.
Comprehensive App Testing
All apps reach the testing phase in order to ensure quality and a properly working app. In today’s world, a well-tested app will likely be perfect in functionality. This reduces the chances that the app gets rejected from a given store. Developers should first check for random crashes. For obvious reasons, a frequently crashing app is worth nothing. Apps should then be checked for functionality, text errors, and graphical problems. Multiple devices should be used to test the app because every device handles an app differently. Also, an app should be tested to ensure that it doesn’t drain a device’s battery. It shouldn’t consume too many resources either. For complex apps, a test bed can be implemented to help with upgrades later on.
Communication Between Team Members
Every team member needs to communicate with each other. In team settings, transparency encourages optimal communication. Constant dialogue between designers and developers helps correct problems when they arise. Regular participation in communications by a project manager ensures the project doesn’t run off course.
Mobile apps often store customer information from point A to point B. For hackers and identity thieves, such information is very enticing. Security should take priority during the development process. In that vein, security protocols like SSL/TLS should be used to encrypt usernames, passwords, and most data handed over by users. Plus, source code should be made hard to reverse engineer, and debugging tools should be disabled before the app releases.
Tracking and Stats
All apps should contain analytic tools in order to track user metrics. Such information is vital in figuring out daily active users, retention rate, and more. Similarly, developers can track monthly average users, time spent on the app, crashes, and any in-app purchases made.
Encourage User Participating Throughout the Process
Involving users in the designing and testing phases helps developers in numerous ways. In this process, developers will learn what does and doesn’t work. Figuring out things like the correct button and icon sizes is difficult when users aren’t being used for feedback. In the end, a properly designed app can make a business recognised from being an unknown entity overnight. Reaching that goal is only possible through proper planning and avoiding major mistakes. Moreover, only a company that creates an app which provides value to consumers will become widespread in use among smartphone and tablet owners. Far too many companies have learnt this lesson the hard way.