A successful mobile app is the outcome of a great app idea and superb execution with winning design and feature set. Haven’t you heard it already? But still, what prevents you from building a great app that can win the heart of thousands, if not millions? Well, there are millions of apps crowding the app stores and only a small percentage of them make enough to sustain a business.
But, what is about the market potential? Do you know, as of 2016 there are 4.61 billion mobile users worldwide which are going to reach a figure of 5.07 billion by 2019? With this imminent and impending market growth, the opportunity seems really huge for apps. At the same time, without a unique concept, beautiful and engaging user experience and a sophisticated marketing strategy your app hardly stands a chance in a highly competitive app universe. Focusing on both sides of the challenges and potential we have formulated here 10 highly effective tips for successful mobile app development.
1. Know your audience
Who are going to use your app or more precisely to ask, who will actually need your app? This is the first question to ask. Knowing your audience and the motivation behind using a new app like yours will guide you in designing and developing the perfect app to win their preference. Once you know the target audience in respect of their demographic and social profile you need to focus on the ways your app can help them. Meeting their expectations and helping them solving a problem in a unique way is the only way you can make your app popular.
2. Knowing your and market and competitors
You are not alone in your niche and it is very probable that there are many other equally appealing apps targeting the same audience. Do you know about them? Do you know how these apps are doing in respect of gaining a foothold in the market? What are the best apps in your chosen niche and how they are helping the audience in doing the needful? What are the things most such apps lack and what are the detested elements in these apps? Well, once you know all these in depth, you can easily avoid doing the same mistakes your competitors previously made and can offer something others could not deliver.
3. Make it lightweight
Just think of an app that grabs too much of your internet data and that too much time to load. Think of another situation where too many features in an app just confuse the user as where to start with. Well, these days the attention span of the users are drastically low as most of us are habituated to take a fleeting glance on our handheld device screen and hardly give any rigorous attention. So, volumes of text with dense paragraphs will not be read at all. In the same way, too many features will make the performance suffer and by creating confusion can add to the irritation. Most important of all, too heavy app can create an overload on the internet data usage and users may stop using it for this reason alone. The app should be extremely lightweight and stripped off all unnecessary features and elements.
4. Offer something fresh and unique
Even though we particularly do not detest the food of one restaurant we always like to take a chance with the menu of another eatery, right? Well, can you guess what propels such a craving? It is nothing but the indomitable human craving for something new and fresh. So, the app universe is no different in this respect. Every great app by offering something fresh and unique creates a stir in the audience and soon we see, it is galloping to new milestones of growth. Uniqueness is not just about a stunning never-before look, but more about some unique ways to help users getting things done. It is more about the ‘feel’ part of the so-called ‘look and feel’ of an app.
5. Ensure optimum page speed
Mobile attention span is unbelievably low and so maintaining optimum page loading speed is crucial to retain users and make them return frequently. A crisp, lightweight and minimalistic design stripped off all the heavier elements can ensure optimum page speed. Moreover, even when a particular heavy element is taking the time to load, there should be some micro interactions indicating the loading progress. Otherwise, users just can have an impression that your app is not functioning properly.
6. Focus on rewarding user experience
At every level of your app development, you need to focus on creating a satisfactory user experience. User experience is what makes an app memorable and popular. We have already discussed the importance of lightweight design, optimum page speed, etc. These are all part of a great user experience. What else are there?
There are several other aspects that make a great user experience. An easy, smooth and conventional navigation will add to the ease of use. Secondly, CTA buttons and all clickable links should be designed for quick finger tap. Thirdly, visual cues coupled up with a good sense of contrast and typeface will guide users to take actions and go to certain areas. The typeface used in the app should help to boost readability and design elements and should not cause a visual distraction. The scrolling should be optimized for the single hand browsing. In ecommerce apps, the checkout process should easier and devoid of necessary steps. Social registration will help users avoiding the time wasted in filling forms.
7. Proper pricing and monetization model
Pricing of an app is important to monetize the app, though it is not the only way to do it. Whether you want to offer your app for free and earn from the in-app ads and in-app sales or want to have another premium version beside the free one, will only depend on upon your preferred monetization model. The freemium model corresponding to a free and a premium version of an app can be effective only if you can make your free app immensely popular and convince users of the additional value with the feature rich premium one. Gaming apps can also offer their app free but can monetize the app with gated features and elements that need to be purchased. Typically, customer focused business apps that targets mainly the existing customers of a retail business are offered free but allowing ease of purchase and ordering they generate revenue through sales.
8. Focus on one platform first
It is always advisable to concentrate on one platform first and then after ensuring a successful presence, to develop the app for the next platform. This step-wise focus would help to perfect basics which are important at the beginning. Choosing your priority platform depends on upon your audience demographic, location and the device used by them.
9. A marketing strategy with steps and milestones
A marketing strategy for your app should begin with a robust pre-launch marketing targeted to make your launch bigger. It should be followed by clearly laid out plans with milestones and short and long term goals. Your app store optimization (ASO) initiatives should get a boost with equally robust SEO and SMO (social media optimization) strategy. In doing all these you must take professional help from some effective analytics tools.
10. Test, test, and test
While testing your app is most important to ensure glitch-free performance, the testing should be done at different stages. After completing each coding and design attribute you need to test it before heading for the next. Without a robust test mechanism that helps perfecting things side by side you cannot ensure performance the way you want from your app.