Now that you have considered making a mobile app for your business, great. Have you also thought about how you are going to build it? Your mobile app just like any other business process must be organized, strategized, and designed to solve the problems of end-users. The mobile app market today is very competitive, which makes a high chance that your app may go unnoticed, unless you build it to provide value to your end users.
So, before you decide on developing your smartphone app, do consider the following important key points to help you create a successful mobile app for your business.
Do a deep market research
Analyzing the market thoroughly shall let you know insights about your competitors, their strategy, their unique selling point, their current offering in the market, strengths, and weaknesses. Often, customer reviews give you a glance of what your target audience likes and dislikes about a particular type of app. This information helps in avoiding the mistakes your competitors have made, and to find a gap which your app can fill while providing a solution to the problem you’re solving.
Once you know what your competitors are offering to customers, you can plan on what best you can offer other than what your competitors are offering.
Define your target audience
Planning to build an app without having the understanding of who your target customer is, is akin to firing a shot in the dark. Questions such as who will be using this app, and how is it going to help them must be answered beforehand. If you meet your customer’s expectations, your smartphone app shall become a preferred tool for your end users. However, if it doesn’t solve their problem or adds enough value, it may not make a way to your user’s phone.
Choosing the platform
When you are planning to create a mobile app, keep in mind that the platform plays a crucial role whether iOS or Android. To ensure your app achieves a pinnacle of success, it is important that it runs on both platforms. The country in which you are going to release your application is also important. However, if you plan to choose either one of two platforms instead of both, then it is highly advisable to choose on the basis of your Target Audience’s preferred device.
There are few technical decisions that you must make in advance while planning to create your own custom mobile application. Your technical partner can also help you in making these crucial application design decisions.
In today’s competitive market if the application doesn’t perform well or shows any glitch then users will quickly uninstall it and give nasty feedback. Having a speedy database is very much important when it comes to the performance of your app. In choosing the database, your technical team must consider the following factors:
- Structure of your Data.
- Size of your data to be stored.
- Safety and security of your data.
- Accessibility of data.
- Speed and scalability.
Native, Hybrid, or Web App
Choosing between Native, Hybrid, or Web application carries many implications for your app development and maintenance. The core differences between native, hybrid, and mobile apps include programming language choices, access to native device APIs, distribution method, and multiplatform support.
Native apps are relatively expensive to develop, whereas web applications are easy to develop. Then there are hybrid apps which can potentially use majority of common code base for both platforms, albeit the flexibility can get reduced sometime.
Size & Screen Density
A mobile application can be designed in a manner that makes it fit into the devices. There are variations depending on the screen size. Among the most popular screen sizes are 1920×1080,1200×768 and 1280×720.
UI and UX design of your app
This is one of the most important parts of your entire mobile application development. UI and UX design are the deciding factors in the success of your app development. UI refers to the interface design whereas UX refers to the user experience. A good UI with poor UX does not work. This part of the app development is one of the crucial stages because 99% of people do not come back to apps that are not appealing and user friendly.
If your users are unable to understand the functionality of your app or how to use it, then it wouldn’t be long enough before they stop using it completely.
So, spend time on your app’s structure because you want to make sure that your users get to their destination as quickly as possible without having to think about where they need to click next.
Identify a minimally viable solution
Don’t try to handle the whole problem at once. Instead, try identifying a minimally viable solution and start from there. In other words, release a basic but functional app as a foundation and then take advantage of the efficient upgrade paths most devices offer, to provide regular updates. This shall enable you to enter the market more quickly and refine as needed and as per learning from actual users.
What job do you need your application to play in your business model? If you have plans of making money directly from your app then you must look at the following app monetization models:
- In-app purchases – This is a model that works if you use your app to sell digital or physical products like a mobile commerce sales channel.
- In-app ads – This is the simplest model compared to all models because there is no cost barrier for the user, and with any advertising space, it’s important to never sacrifice user experience in order to gain more ad space.
- Paid apps – In this model a user will need to purchase an app from the app store in order to use it. As the cost barrier is related to this model, a mobile marketing strategy is basic to exhibit the unique, better worth looking at than the free applications.
- Freemium apps – In this app model, apps are available for free to be downloaded, however, there are certain features and contents that are locked and can be accessed through a purchase.
If your app is stable today, it doesn’t mean that it will always work as it is. With the changing time, the requirement for your app may undergo changes. Maintenance of your application is as equally important as its development, to keep your app up-to-date as well as fight off bugs. Your app requires constant vigilance and hence, you have to plan accordingly.
Choosing the team for app development
Choosing the right developers for the job whether in-house or outsourced, is important. Both are equal & have their advantages as well as disadvantages.
From one perspective, you can keep the thing in-house and trust the skill of your developers. This is a cost-effective option but the challenge could be – the team might lack the required experience and insight or simply suffer from overload. Your developers must have sound information on designing applications to give the best client experience.
From another perspective, you can outsource to an app development company. These development companies play a significant role in making your app user-friendly, aesthetic, and intuitive. The upside of outsourcing to these development companies is that you can find the best experts in the field who can make a state-of-the-art application. It can be relatively expensive, but the right skills, knowledge and experience can be a big thing to have, in the longer run .
Apart from the important elements, which we have discussed above, there are few other sub-elements that must be considered to calculate the cost. To accurately assess the cost of the project, you need to characterize the functional priorities of what you need in your application.
At that point, you need to pick the manner in which it shall be developed. There are two most basic techniques — agile and waterfall.
The waterfall method isn’t really effective in a small business segment. You need to sort out the entire thing from beginning to end and then get the outcome. You have to plan for the whole thing at once.
The agile method is far more cost-effective. It is based on iteration development. This approach allows creating a minimum viable product, which can be tested in the market on the go. In view of its reception, the entire project can be changed. And because of this, you can clearly define based on the actual data what your project needs and pay only for that.
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Prototype your app
Prototyping is where you get visibility to implement all that you’ve arranged for figuring out the fluidity of what you’ve made (before it’s even coded). Prototype helps you in thrashing out whether what you have envisaged can be expected as an outcome.
Share the prototype with your known contacts, let them test it. Did they get lost at one point in the application? Not certain how to finish a particular task? Are explicit features not sticking out or intuitive enough for them to get it? Making a simple application for a client to comprehend isn’t generally a simple assignment. You may have to go through multiple versions of your prototype to get it right before starting the coding.
Keeping the above-mentioned points in your mind before you plan to develop your mobile app can make your app robust and a successful one. Mobile app development is a strategic call rather than a technical call, and therefore it must be developed fundamentally keeping in mind the company’s values and objectives.