Not without reason, because the market for mobile applications and their use is growing rapidly. There is still a lot of potential here. Nevertheless, many people are not aware of which areas to consider. This article describes 10 tips for developing mobile apps.
Many founders and entrepreneurs are interested in creating mobile apps. Not without reason, because the market for mobile applications and their use is growing rapidly. There is still a lot of potential here. Nevertheless, many people are not aware of which areas to consider. This article describes 10 tips for developing apps.
- The conception
Many believe the concept is the most important part of creating a mobile application. Without a thorough elaboration of a conception, the subsequent steps make little sense. Questions like:
- Who is the user?
- What does the customer really need?
- How do we create a high added value?
- What do we have to do to keep the app on the smartphone and not delete it?
As part of the concept, it is advisable to write a specification. This can be done together with an experienced developer or agency. It also makes sense to involve the potential users from the beginning.
Some agencies create interactive PDFs before programming, which already displays the buttons and screens. This gives the user the ability to see the application before it is finished, so it can provide valuable feedback even before it starts programming.
- Mobile versus Native
Not all cases require a native app based on Android or iOS. If no device-specific functionalities are required, it is also possible to use browser-based applications based on HTML5.
The big advantage of this is that, once developed, they run on all devices. This reduces development costs immensely, as the native operating systems require programming separately for each one.
With online magazines, for example, HTML5 already provides the option of using the touch and memory functionalities of smartphones and tablets. However, if it needs functionalities, for example, a lot of processor capacity or the motion sensor (called gyroscope) use strong, then you should rely on native operating systems such as Android or iOS, as they are better tailored to these functions.
In terms of costs, programming for mobile browser solutions is much cheaper. However, you have to think long term here. Questions to ask in this context:
- Will users be satisfied with the limited functionality that HTML5 or other browser-oriented solutions offer?
- Will functionalities be required in the future that are not covered by HTML5 or similar solutions?
- Is the application being developed very computationally intensive and does it require many hardware components?
- Does it make sense to calculate higher costs, but to have long-term investment security?
- Less is more
The screens on mobile devices are small, so it often makes sense to focus only on the essentials. For example, the flirting app Tinder, which connects flirt partners in the simplest way, also proves to be successful with reduced functionalities.
Whether a reduction makes sense, however, should be weighed individually. In an online shop, this could even lead to competitive disadvantage; Higher functionality can help stand out from the competition.
- Planning in the long term
Usually not the full application is created, but a first prototype. Advantage: Only after receiving the first customer feedback, the app can be further expanded. This procedure has the advantage that it can be planned for the long term and extended at any time.
- Usability and Performance
Each application should be easy to handle for the user’s benefit. Therefore, sufficient time should be scheduled for the design of the user interface.
There are usability experts who can design such an easy handling before the whole thing goes into development. Even the potential user group can provide important feedback beforehand, which can be used to make further improvements to the workflow (also called Paper App Testing).
Also important: users today require storage and battery-saving applications on their mobile phone.
- Press and marketing
Marketing is underestimated. With so many different applications, it is no longer enough to have the best programming available today. It also needs a good marketing concept.
One way to pay close attention, with relatively little effort, is to collaborate with the press. There is currently much interest in reporting on the latest mobile applications. This can be used in marketing.
In order to get the necessary attention, it is particularly important to contact industry-related journalists. Every PR action should also be planned for the long term and be carried out by experienced staff. Press work should be top priority!
An exciting press release can also spark further interest. A matching PR kit will cover the following areas:
- App name
- Application Distinctive Features
- Link to the Website
- Link to the App Store Page
- Screenshots of the main functionalities
- If possible an explanatory video
- Sales pitch or brief description
- The press release, if available should be added to the short description in the email.
- Free activation code, so that the journalist can use and rate the app in advance
- Contact information
- Links to the social media appearances
Other exciting areas in the marketing: App Store Optimization (the optimization of keywords in the app stores to positively influence the ranking), online banner advertising, Google AdWords, blogging & social media, contact and collaboration with the platform operators Google and Apple.
In addition to providing a new and groundbreaking user experience (user experience), monetization is also the focus of every founder. There are various approaches for this. The following are briefly described:
- Paid Apps: The application can only be downloaded for a pre-paid amount. However, this only pays off if the application offers a very high added value and is tailored to a specific customer segment.
- Free Applications: The goal with this form is to get as many downloads as possible. The users get to see advertisements from time to time. The operator receives a small amount for each click on this advertisement.
- In-App Purchase: This is currently the best way to monetize mobile applications. The user can buy additional functionalities or levels in games. Mostly the initial program is provided free of charge. This increases the chances that the user will make the in-app purchases if they like the program.
For larger projects, legal advice makes sense and has these contracts checked with third parties. Many programmers only pass on the rights to the application, but not to the source code. This can entail high follow-up costs. Therefore one should inform oneself in the beginning to the legal topics exactly.
An appropriate consultation can be found at lawyers specialized in IT law. They have the necessary knowledge from the areas of copyright, trademark law, contract law and many more to provide competent information to the future operator.
The rating in the various stores is significantly influenced by the correct functioning of the application. Therefore, the app should be tested in advance by various groups.
- App Lifecycle
Programming the application is only one of many tasks. Areas such as marketing, maintenance and further development of programming are further very important components. One should already consider the different subareas in the conception phase.