So you’ve established that you need a mobile app to further your business interests by reaching out to customers on the go and making it a convenient experience for them. Now you embark upon the app creation and release process going through several stages such as identifying your goals, wire framing, designing, coding, testing etc. etc.
This post won’t talk about the app development process. What it’ll do is to provide you with some handy pointers that if kept in mind, will result in an app that satisfies the needs of your business and is a delight for customers to use.
Choose the right platform
For the last few years, iOS and Android have been the two dominant mobile operating systems. In Australia, Android now occupies over 54% market share while iOS is close to 40% (Kantar World Panel Report). Choosing the ideal platform for your app depends on the target audience for a better outcome. If you don’t have a product out in the market yet, you’re likely still learning or tweaking the features and design that will create your app’s experience. In this case, it will likely save you time and money to start building for one platform first while you’re still figuring things out. You won’t end up having to make big changes across multiple devices which can be costly.
Our recommendation is to build for one platform, one device first. Get that right, and then expand to other platforms and devices.
UI and UX are Vital
User Interface (UI) explores how an app looks and interacts with a user. User Experience (UX) defines how an app feels, from the user’s point of view.
A well-organized and properly designed UI is the key to avoiding the app un-installs. It must be driven by a clear understanding of your business and operations. A good UI design is backed by ease of use, efficiency of key tasks and simplicity of layout.
The major motive of apps is to fulfill key business objectives for generating revenues, traffic, brand building and reputation. In order to achieve the commercial goals, effective UX design is must in engaging the emotional or transactional response from the user.
Native vs Hybrid App
This dilemma is partially answered by your choice of platform. However, should you decide in favour of app development for both iOS and Android, then choosing between Native and Hybrid app development is always a tricky choice.
Due to all of the app’s elements being included in a single native package, Native apps tend to have fast graphics with fluid animations built in. They also can access exclusive native APIs in the phone’s OS such as push notifications, camera, and in-app purchases, which would otherwise be prohibited, or provided in a cumbersome manner on a mobile web application. However, If you intend to also publish your app to a different app store, your application will need to be rewritten in order to be a native app on another mobile OS. This usually delays features for the next platform in development.
Hybrid app development can do everything HTML5 does except it also has some features of Native applications. They do this by deploying a native harness or wrapper to act as a bridge between platforms and access native features. However, automatic generation may not work on all devices, which can get especially complicated when trying to accommodate to different Android phones.
Most of the flaws in hybrid are usually due to its adolescence in the mobile development space. With the large room for growth in hybrid mobile development, its critics may eventually view it as the better choice in the future.
The wearable market spans several categories for manufacturers and app developers such as health, fitness, sports and communication. Although some may consider the current wearable devices too costly and imperfect to go to the mass market, many experts believe that once consumed in the same way as clothing or accessories, they will become main stream.
If your app has to be available on a wearable device, it’ll need adapting to the major changes in screen size, user interface, and functional capabilities.
Internet of Things is becoming all pervasive - from smart homes, to smart cars, to smart trash cans, IOT has added the smart edge to everything. It’s changing the way we experience and interact with devices. The next step for mobile apps will be their ability to easily connect with gadgets, devices, sensors, enterprise data, and cloud services. Should your business requirement dictate that your app integrates with IOT devices, and then custom development will need to be undertaken.
A mobile payment gateway is a safe and secure way for a mobile user to wire money to your account in exchange of your service/product. In essence, it’s an EFTPOS machine in your mobile/web application to help your users buy your product. There are several Payment Gateways available for integration into your app – PayPal, PayCharge, Braintree and several others. The choice depends upon your requirements, the ease of use and the price you’re willing to pay.
Testing is critical
Test, Test, Test. This can never be over-emphasized. To ensure that your app works as it’s designed to – at all times, under any situation, you got to test it rigorously. Think of all possible scenarios that the users may want to use the app for, and then some more. Try to break it as much as possible – it’s better if it crashes on you rather than your users.
Standing out amongst the million plus apps available in the global mobile applications market is becoming challenging day by day. The key to success is accurate marketing strategy and timely execution. Marketing your app is as important as creating it. Digital marketing, Store optimization, Press releases, integrating social media, Burst marketing etc. will help your app to stand out from the rest.
Store Optimization: “Don’t get lost in the crowd”. The App store / Play store search engine works on the key that the user input’s, so it is very important while choosing “Title” for your app. There are some other tricks like good reviews and ratings, more description, famous category, impressive screen shot of app will help.
Branding : “Let the Logo speak for itself”. It is the first thing the user is going to see. Make you app logo elegant and appealing based on the core idea. The logo of successful brands gives the user enough confidence and prior knowledge about the app before they read its description.
Privacy & Security
With the growth in the app sector mirrored by a marked increase in regulatory scrutiny, considerations of privacy and data protection should be front and centre. It is important that all stakeholders understand their privacy obligations. Privacy should be considered at all stages of development and production.
Mobile malware often taps vulnerabilities or bugs in the design and coding of the mobile applications they target. Security must be ingrained into each aspect of the app development – code, device, data and transaction. Several frameworks are available that provide all essential support to mitigate privacy and security concerns. Timely updates of the app also help mitigate security concerns.
A mobile app is an excellent way to get your brand out there into the personal world of your customers. If you keep these tips in mind, your app will not just fulfil your business objectives, but will also be loved by your customers.