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Top 10 Tips for Successful App Development

by David Burkett, Aug 31, 2018

Startups and enterprise business work differently on a variety of levels, from business models and corporate culture to delivery expectations. While enterprises usually have established brands and budget guidelines, startups face time and budget restrictions. Despite their differences, when it comes to app development, the end goal is the same: build an application. 

Regardless of your business size, these 10 tips will ensure the application you build is a success.

1. Know your application's purpose

With millions of software platforms and mobile applications already on the market, two big questions will determine your app’s point of difference.
  1. What is my customer’s pain point?
  2. Does a solution already exist, and if so, can I provide a better one?
Once you have a clear understanding of pain points and purpose, you must conduct market research to ensure the direction and proposed application has product/market fit.

2. Identify your target market

A successful market research analysis will identify and thoroughly understand your target market. You should identify: 
  • Demographics (age, gender, location, income, education, etc),
  • How they think (personality, attitudes, values, interests, behaviours), 
  • Their desired action (buy, donate, advocate, etc.),
  • Their challenges (that you can solve),
  • Motivations (for engaging with your application), and 
  • How best you can reach them (what channels do they use?)

It doesn’t matter if you are a startup or globally recognised brand, paying attention to your audience is crucial when ensuring your application has product/market fit.

3. Keep your design simple, yet distinguishable

Any good app designer - particularly iOS developers - will tell you that uniqueness is essential for an application to reach its full potential for commercial success. But it’s not just about making things look pretty. They have to be intuitive and easy to use. As the world gets faster and the average attention span decreases, ensuring your users aren’t constantly blocked by inefficiencies is vital for your application’s success. Don’t overcomplicate things for the sake of aesthetics. 

4. Reuse existing code and content, when possible

If you have existing content and visuals that are suitable for a mobile application, you can reshape and fit them, rather than wasting hours recreating content. For established brands in particular, it is important to use resources from existing channels. This improves user experience, making your new application feel like an extension of the brand they already know and trust.

5. Make your app compatible with different iOS and Android versions

Developing an app specifically for the latest version of iOS is one of the key mistakes made in app development. This significantly restricts your apps use, excluding Android users and those on earlier versions of iOS. Avoid this huge and common mistake by ensuring your app supports a number of versions of iOS and Android systems. 

6. Create a high-performing app

Speed and reliability are key features users seek in their apps. Long download times and excessive buffering will quickly cause users to become frustrated and lose patience and interest in your app. They’ll uninstall it, and you’ll likely be bombarded with negative reviews. Ensure you optimise your app to meet user expectations for speed and flexibility. 

7. Test, test, test!

There’s nothing worse than releasing your app to the App Store or Google Play and being inundated with negative feedback from users noting a key piece of functionality is missing, or not working as expected. To avoid a potential PR nightmare, or worse, complete failure at launch, extensive testing should be conducted throughout the build process, especially before release. 

You should have a clear and complete “Definition of Done” before releasing your app to market. 

8. Determine your monetisation strategy

There are three main ways you can monetise your app.

Offer a freemium model.

Revenue is generated based on advertisements. It is important to ensure you don’t embed too many advertisements.  This can result in user frustration to a point of abandonment.  

Offer in-app purchases.

Users attain your app for free, then either:
  • full functionality is restricted to paying users only;
  • full functionality is available for a short trial period with payment required for continued use;
  • all features are available free with in-app advertisements that can be removed upon payment.
This is a popular method, allowing users to experience your application before making a purchase decision.

Offer the app as free to download and feature in-app advertising.

Basic functionality is free, with premium functionality or features offered at a small cost. This can encourage repeat purchases. 

9. Plan a promotion strategy

There are a variety of ways you can promote your app. Developing an effective promotional strategy is important for reaching customers and consequently, increasing profit margins. If no one knows about your app, how will they know to download it? It doesn’t matter if you’re a startup or seasoned enterprise, you must communicate before you can expect results. 

If you don’t have a marketing professional on your team, you may wish to consult with a marketing or PR agency to build a successful promotional strategy. 

10. Invest in ongoing support and development

A common misconception with software and mobile app development is the idea that once your software or application is built, it’s complete. New market research and user insights will become apparent after launch. In order to remain competitive as trends change and additional requirements arise, it is essential that you plan for ongoing support and development.

Listening to consumers can ultimately help you better serve their wants and needs, resulting in higher engagement with your app. WorkingMouse offers a strong support program for all our clients, post-development. Our support begins before development kicks off; we provide all new partners with a copy of our white paper, so they have a clear vision of our process. For more information on how we work, download a copy of our white paper.