October 15, 2015
Mobile apps are ruling the world of technology today. It is these apps that make our Smartphones interesting.
But, while churning out a simple app is relatively straightforward, developing an effective mobile application development strategy is not. There are key phases of mobile application development that can ensure the product meets the needs and fulfills the expectation of its target audience. Each phase is critical to an app’s overall success. Here is a quick guide to help get you started.
The very first step is to define your strategy. Why do you want to build a mobile app? Is the purpose of the app to build revenue for your business through sales? Does the app exist to drive traffic to your business website? Is the objective of the app to provide customer service?
Who is your target audience? Your app content and experience will differ depending on whether you’re writing a test app for a learning institution, a do-to list app or a children’s game app.
What does your target audience want from your app? This might be the most important question to ask in the beginning.
Android or iOS, or both? You should judge whether you require an app for one platform or for more. If your audience is predominantly using the iOS platform, then you can consider starting with an iOS app. However, if your audience is using both iOS and Android, then you should plan on building for both platforms.
Planning the primary purpose of your app will determine and streamline the best features and functions for the application.
Define Your App Concept
Consider holding a brainstorming session. Allocate enough time for brainstorming – one to three hours is enough. You can brainstorm on your own, but you may want to bring in colleagues or tap into your professional network. If you choose to invite your colleagues, be sure to lay ground rules such as discouraging criticism. Sometimes ideas that seem odd or out there at first have a way of sticking around and being great additions to projects.
The Cost Factor
A lot of factors determine the cost of mobile application development. If the features and functions required in the app are complex or the feature list is lengthier, it will certainly cost more. It is also important to note that the cost will increase if the app idea is not clearly defined and keeps changing during the development. Even when all factors have been taken into consideration and budgeted for, there is still more to keep in mind. After the app has been published, you need to set a budget for updating the app, fixing bugs, etc. So set a budget plan that covers everything.
Pay Attention to UX/UI
How successful your app is will often depend on how user-friendly your app looks and feels as well as how well it interacts with your users. This user interaction is referred to as user experience (UX).
Mobile users are very savvy these days — they can spot a boring or difficult app in a heartbeat. They know what they want in an application, and it takes a lot more than just building a quick, cheap app to impress target audiences.
On the other hand, user interface, or UI, refers to the logical layout of an app that makes it easy for users to find what they are looking for. It involves making the layout of the application stand out so the user is tempted to navigate further into your app to learn more.
For your mobile application development project to be successful, you need to take the time and effort to consider your target audience’s user experience. Show that you care for them. Make it easy for the user. And for most app users, you only get one chance to get it right. Most users decide within a matter of seconds whether to keep the app installed after downloading it.
One of the most effective ways of getting an app to stand out should be creative design. What an app looks like is the first thing people notice about it – even before they download it and test it out to see if it is worth keeping they check out the design on the app store. The visual impression can affect the ultimate success of the application. To make your app successful, make sure every element counts no matter how small or big.
During the mobile application development phase, the actual coding and writing of the software is carried out. The application is produced in this phase and every effort should be made to create apps as error-free as possible.
Testing the App
What do you do after you are done coding your mobile application development project? Test the app. Testing an application helps ensure that it will function properly once it is launched. The goal of app testing is not only to find errors, but also to understand the quality of the finished product. Does it work as expected? Can it be successfully downloaded to the device and executed on the device? Does the app keep crashing? Monitor the end-to-end performance of your app and find out where issues are occurring. Do not wait for low ratings and bad reviews to find out that your app is having a few functional issues.
Launch Your App
Exposure of your app can be started before its launch. Grab the chance of making people aware of your app in advance. Spread the news about your upcoming release. This way, you will get target users prepared to embrace your mobile application when you deploy it in app stores.
Measure and Improve App Performance
When an app is created and launched, there has to be awareness of the performance of the app. You want to know the number of installs, how frequently users come back to your app and so forth. By tracking data, understanding your user base and measuring metrics that matter, you will be able to tell if your app gains or loses popularity and how you can improve it. User feedback can help you refine and improve your application to better meet your target audience’s needs.
Kimber Johnson is the co-founder of ASPEN App Design, which is a sister company of Pacific App Design and Vanity Mobile Apps. He has worked within the web development, graphics design, mobile application development, marketing and advertising fields for more than 17 years.