Making a successful app
The world does not stand still and is rapidly changing. Especially it concerns the sphere of mobile app development services. The development of a mobile application can provide a huge number of new business opportunities depending on goals and functions.
Attracting customers, expanding the target audience, increasing sales and increasing loyalty to the brand – this is not the full list of possible benefits that mobile product can provide.
Everything that your company does online or in real life can also be presented on mobile devices, which in turn allows to add mobility and improve the technical approach to the provision of services or the sale of goods.
Today, all major brands have their own application, which allows customers to spend less time on the purchase and simplify the process of interaction with the company. Look at such giants as Starbucks, Amazon, Walmart and Booking.com – they all have their own application, which, in addition to simplifying interaction with the client, also represents the company in the digital space.
And if even 5-10 years ago it was enough to make a website, today large brands have to go with a mobile application, which must meet many criteria, which we will discuss below. But how to make a successful app?
Steps to think about
Making a successful app is not a set of ready-made templates, because there are a lot of factors that can influence different indicators. Facing with the problem of creating the first (or not) application, the customer may not be aware of some hidden rocks that can wait for him ahead. So, what to think about before developing a new product.
Native or cross platform app
• Working pace
The application is created for a specific platform using the original development tools, and the final code is optimal for the selected operating system and/or device. What is important is that the program gets the ability to interact with device’s hardware – to use geolocation, camera, microphone and to make graphics or 3D processing within GPU.
A separate point in advantages is the ability to work with contacts and internal memory, which makes it possible to personalize the application specifically for some tasks. Also, using this approach, it’s possible to monitor the speed of the application at different stages and optimize the RAM consumption or the computing power of the CPU.
• Newest technologies
Both Google and Apple constantly improve their os and bring a number of new features in it, which help mobile technologies to keep up with the times. Choosing a native application, you can be always sure that you’re creating a modern product, which, if necessary, can support all available hardware and software functions of the device.
As an example, you can consider such functions in iOS as embedding Siri into your application or the ability to add push notifications, searching for the desired content in system partitions and applications and also HealthKit API, which allows implementing projects in the healthcare field. All this can not be used in a web or cross-platform application.
• Usability and design
Android and iOS have different approaches and design requirements, which should be taken into account to make the application more predictable, easy to use and to have a “natural feel” and greater personalisation.
>See also: The growing importance of sales and CRM apps
Unlike the restrictions in interface design and animation / visual effects creation for cross-platform projects, in the case of native development, it is necessary to realise those opportunities that are provided by specific mobile operating system.
• Quality assurance
Quality control is a very important part of developing a project of any size that has an impact both on the quality of the app as a product and also on the credibility of the developer and brand as a whole. In addition to performance and application utilisation, testing also includes control over usability and design.
By creating a native application, the developer always focuses on adapting the application for different versions of the system and screen resolutions to achieve maximum intuitivity and speed of response, which allows applications to pass official stores validation.
Main cons of cross-platform applications
• Negative user experience
The main disadvantage of using (and developing) cross-platform applications can be called a non-native feeling that a user can experience while interacting with such application.
What is meant – Android users are accustomed to a certain arrangement of control elements in the application and its logical management of the device and functions, while iOS users are accustomed to the other.
Therefore, when creating such applications, you should either pay attention and try to find a golden mean, or make different versions of one “cross-platform” program.
• Functionality limitations
Cross-platform development can also incur some issues to the developer. The thing is that some actions or interactions with the device application are looking logical and understandable for users, but on different platforms these functions can be implemented in a different, specific way, so sometimes developers have to solve such optimisation tasks. And in order to get things right and imperceptible to the end user, experienced developers are needed.
>See also: What’s key to designing a successful app?
• Competitors, target audience and market analysis
To build a successful app for business it is strongly recommended to check your competitors and analyse the market. Ideas for the promotion and development of your application can (more likely even necessary) be overseen from different sources, so there is nothing to worry about if you peek at some information from your competitors.
Especially it concerns the analysis of the market and the target audience in order to find an unoccupied niche.
• Target audience
To make a great app you need to know a lot of information about the target audience in order to turn them into potential customers in the future. In this case, competitors who already have the audience might be your allies.
What you need to know: the geographical location, age, sex, education and the approximate amount that customers are willing to pay for the application in your chosen category.
• The most obvious advantage is the demographic data. Knowing the market of which country and the age group is oriented your competitor, it will be easier for you to search for a free niche for your application;
• The target audience is directly connected with the choice of the monetization strategy, because knowing how much your future customers are willing to pay, you can choose the optimal strategy to get income;
• Age indicators affect the content and its delivery;
An important point if you are considering your application as an additional source of income. If not, then you should think about it as a potential source and, of course, you need to do this in advance.
What factors influence the monetisation model
In order to understand which model to use, it is necessary to do a market analysis, to identify the major players and compare their methods of making profits, so as to draw conclusions based on this information.
Understanding the method and prices of competitors will help to determine the desired strategy and payback of the future product more accurately.
It is necessary to take into account other factors, for example, to identify popular applications from the selected category and find out whether they are paid or not, for example, to make your application free and stand out among others.
Today, many people talk about the MVP as a minimal working product with a cut-down functional, forgetting about the needs of users and the feasibility of development as a whole. MVP is not just a version of a product with a minimum of functions (most of which are basic and do not convey the business logic of a future application, unfortunately), but the least resource-consuming, both in terms of time and in terms of funds, tool to confirm the feasibility of development or idea as a whole.
Is it so useful to make a minimally viable product as it is commonly believed? Of course, yes, but in order to achieve the maximum result, it is necessary to remember that the main goals of the MVP are:
• To testing product hypotheses, analyze the market and customers with minimum costs;
• As a consequence, the rapid retrieval of the information required to make a decision;
• Saving money and time for development, which can greatly help small startups;
• And most importantly – the fastest delivery of a minimum product that will help to solve at least one problem of its users.
Typical problems to solve when creating a successful app
Business might not know the specific needs of its customers and does not seek to study it in the long run.
The client-oriented strategy, in general, is aiming at solving problems and anticipating needs of clients in a special tool that would help optimize their business processes or improve performance.
In other words, it’s worth thinking about how to help the client, and not solve your personal problems. And here comes the analysis of different actions of the client (or his clients) in the network, understanding why a person can launch your application, at which stage a need for a product or service was formed and what they will do next.
Business is not always aware of the need to be represented on the network. Many companies do not have any communication on the network and they interact with their customers either offline or through personal email correspondence, which is archaic today.
The user who has addressed the problem is looking for an immediate solution but may stumble on a weekly waiting for an answer and, without getting any help, can turn to another service provider, which negatively affects the company’s recognition and image.
A bigger problem is the poor brand’s representation in the network and social media, which also undermines the brand’s credibility and does not contribute to the audience’s loyalty.
It is much easier to communicate with customers on the network, when there are special communities aimed at receiving feedback from users, analysing / correcting errors and survey about the next versions of the application.
Conducting a large digital transformation can be costly, but even a partial transformation is aimed at achieving business objectives to provide a higher level of services, not only for development but also for marketing, of course in case if you want to make your app successful.
Application development is not an easy task that requires many aspects and analysis of many factors before the time of direct development, but this is the golden key that opens the door to building a sustainable online business on all platforms.
You can make a lot of predictions about the payback or popularity of the application, but you still have to come up with your own unique brilliant idea that will be aimed at more comfortable solving your client’s problems.
On the other hand, the task of any business is to minimise risks and also reduce the cost (or increase the speed) of processes that are difficult or expensive to do by own personnel or developers.
The analysis of the market, the search for the target audience and the selection of the monetisation strategy requires a lot of effort and a large number of completed projects, therefore, in the case of developing a custom solution, the correct solution to minimise risks and maximise security will be the cooperation with experienced partner, like Applikey.