Many things can go wrong while designing and developing a mobile application. Often, the greatest errors occur even before writing the first line of code. Poor planning, improper requirement gathering and lazy project management can cause a number of problems, all of which can be removed from the beginning of a project with a little thought and planning. With vast experience into smartphone apps development and defining a Mobile Strategy, follow these seven steps to help you build successful mobile applications:
Many of today’s smartphone apps development initiatives have arisen solely from the IT or marketing department budgets without considering the actual power of mobile. Today, mobile is not just a communication tool; rather it’s a replica of your laptop and PC. Analyze how you can leverage various functionalities and native features of mobile handsets to feed customers with various information. It could be a simple mobile website or an interactive augmented reality-based retail application. It all depends on you – how you innovate and come up with the right kind of mobile application.
Don’t see the mobile application as ‘one fit’ for all your needs. Each mobile application has to be designed for a specific purpose and marketing campaign. You cannot include a complete set of services or products into one mobile application. Define clear objectives for each mobile application – what you want to achieve, who will be your target audience, what’s the expected outcome, and so on. Identify the exact scope of mobile application and then focus on how it can help you meet your objective.
Mobile applications are not built for aliens. They are developed for a specific group of people who can be your potential customer or existing customer base. Identify your company’s target audience, where do you think you can reach them? What are their implicit needs? What are the on-the-go features they might demand and how well can you satisfy their need? All these activities take a lot of effort and need continuous research before coming up with a mobile application. Bear in mind that the functionality and user interface must be in line with customer expectations.
You can declare your mobile application a success or a failure if you have done a proper analysis of the number of downloads. There are plenty of other ways to quantify the performance of the mobile application. These could include measure of the number of downloads, the total number of minutes spent by each user, or total revenue collected from the mobile app. Although these measures should be considered as a whole. It is important to decide on the most important measures as soon as possible to ensure that your application is ready to deliver the desired results.
Many companies assume they know what is more important to a user and therefore, spend much time and energy on features that do not really matter. A list of the actual features should never be left out of scope. Various interviews, focus groups, market researchers, and user tests will help you get into the minds of the end-users. After-all everything you do is for end-users; and if they are not satisfied with end results – Think about how you will succeed?
Test your application thoroughly during the complete software development lifecycle. Early and continuous testing throughout the development process will help you prevent unnecessary delays and run the production smoothly. It starts with quality assurance right from the project kick-off. Adopt a proactive QA approach rather than a reactive one, anticipate problems before they occur, and keep fixing small bugs throughout the process. This will help you release the application with minimum errors and raise standards of coding. Once the application is live, test it with actual devices and different OS versions to see how it reacts to various scenarios.
Smartphone apps development is not just a one time task. It needs continuous development and enhancement to connect with consumers. Don’t try to include each and everything in the first release. Try releasing the mobile application with small builds and help customers upgrade on a regular basis with new features. Release the application with the minimum, and then listen to what the customer loves, hates, or desires. Remember that, mobile app release is just the first step in developing a continuous evolution, not the final product. So, be prepared to have some critical reviews, it gives you scope to improve!