Today most people use the Internet on their smartphones and tablets. In this case, they don’t click here to play at Playamo but download an app. So, more and more software engineers start creating apps. If you also want to develop yours, these tips will be helpful.
Set the Goal
It happens that the management wants it to be like the competitors, forgetting that your clients need something else. Or the task is set on the basis of the manager’s personal tastes: in the end he likes it, but the client is uncomfortable. So, the first step should be user research, a study of specific customer needs. And only on the basis of this research is it possible to write the terms of reference.
It sounds obvious, but every time you go through this anyway. When you are constantly watching your competitors, you forget that you do not have a symmetrical audience with them.
User research is a team task, not just the marketing department. For example, to create a banking application, you have to study the business profile of customers, the flow of transactions and their types, the tools people use. It is important not only to know what actions a client performs but also to understand why he does it: for what purpose does he want to check his balance, get a statement, make transfers between his accounts, and so on. To do this, you need to analyze the data that the company has or conduct interviews with customers.
Problems With Functionality
An app should allow you to do basic things. Trying to put everything in there makes it difficult to navigate. And you can’t navigate in a mobile app the same way you can on the web. So, you have to know exactly what the client needs and do only that. And this is already a task for UX.
There are times when a client asks for a certain feature. Doing something for two customers out of a thousand is wrong. You first have to find out how much it is needed by others and whether this functionality can still be deployed in some other way so that it can be used. As a rule, you have to choose what is more convenient for the majority.
The most important thing for an app is to have all the basic features in view. And if you have something more in-depth, it can be hidden so that a person can find it if necessary.
Technology: Native VS Cross-platform
Technologies for app development can be cross-platform or native. The first option is when there is one framework for Android and iOS at once. And the second option is a separate app for Android and a separate app for iOS. The native option is much more expensive. The cost of development itself almost doubles, and it will be more expensive to maintain. And if you choose cross-platform technologies, then the question of what exactly they should be based on depends on the details, tasks and the service itself.
When choosing a particular technology, you must think ahead and think about how you will develop – will the chosen technology be able to cover all the needs, will it be possible on this platform to implement everything you want.
The perfect option is a well-expandable technology, not tuned to specific options, that already has some history and will presumably be supported for the foreseeable future.
What seems simple today may be so outdated tomorrow that there will be no one to support the technology. Here’s something new coming out, and the smartphone supports it. And then a new iPhone comes out, and something is so innovative that only native apps can take advantage of it, and cross-platform apps will have a couple of months to adapt. And you have to take that into account, too. Many new frameworks and cross-platform developments die quickly. So, you have to keep an eye on how this or that technology develops.
Outsource or in-House Development
Doing it yourself or outsourcing is a question of resources. You just have to calculate everything carefully. Another thing is choosing the developer.
You never really know how things are going to end up here. There are times when a company is great, and its projects are great, but your project will be handled by developers who are not very professional, and everything will drag on. A combination of factors is important. Professionalism and experience of the company, professionalism and experience of certain employees and a lot of work on your part.
Going Through a Review
When an app is ready, it needs to be uploaded to the store and sent for review. In Android, this is done automatically. Yet, in iOS, it is done manually: a specific reviewer downloads the app and checks how it works and whether it meets iOS requirements. If he sees any irregularities or something that raises doubts, he rejects the app and sends it back for revision. Each cycle takes at least a day. So, to avoid this scenario, it is necessary to prepare everything thoroughly in advance.
Firstly, you have to keep track of the feedback that customers leave on the App Store and Google Play. If you don’t respond or change anything, the app’s rating will go down. So, the customer is unhappy, the comment is bad, the impression is ruined. Secondly, it’s a good idea to think of an alternative channel of communication. The phone or support button should be in the app itself, preferably in plain sight. If the customer has a problem and doesn’t know where to complain, he will write in the feedback for the application.
Suppose you have a hundred thousand customers, but only ten downloads. You need to look for a problem. Or you have a lot of downloads, but the client logs in and immediately leaves, and does not use the application. What is the reason? You need to collect analytical data on user behavior. There are a lot of services which collect this data. The problem is analyzing them correctly and drawing the right conclusions. And this is also a point worth taking into account at the start. At the very least, allocate such a task and appoint someone responsible.