Whether you are developing a mobile application to complement your business’ website or hope to make all your revenue from the app, it’s important to carefully consider how you are going to make your application stand out from the crowd. With millions of smartphone users in the world today, app stores are saturated with apps for productivity, shopping, gaming, and much more, which are all available to download with a few swipes of the screen or in the case of the iPhone, simply touching your fingerprint on the home button.
...the future of mobile is the future of everything.
Because of this, it’s important to enter the mobile application market knowing that you’re going to be up against some serious competition. However, mobile apps are still as popular as ever before, and those that get it right can enjoy some serious popularity. Here are some top tips to keep in mind before you get started with developing your mobile app:
Tip #1. Offer Something Unique
With so many different apps out there today that serve a whole range of different purposes, coming up with a unique idea can be easier said than done. This is especially true for shopping apps, which can all be quite similar to each other leaving it down to branding and customer experience to help them stand out and be set apart from the rest.
However, if you are developing an app for another purpose, it’s important to first research the market to ensure that it hasn’t been done before. If it has, it’s a good idea to download the app yourself and take a look – is there anything that you could improve on if you still want to go ahead with a similar idea? How well has the app been received by users – check out reviews on the app store or third-party websites to get an idea of what users liked or disliked. Remember that there’s nothing wrong with developing an app that serves the same purpose as another, as long as it’s separate and unique. The main part is understanding your competition first, so that you know what to do to stand out.
Tip #2. Understand Your Target Market
If you are hoping to develop a mobile app to complement an already existing brand or website, then chances are, you already have a better idea of who your target audience are and what they require from you to have a satisfying customer experience. If you are already running an established brand, then you can use this to your advantage by asking your existing customers to share their opinions about your mobile app ideas, along with leaving suggestions and ideas that they would enjoy. As a result, you’ll get a better view of what your target market would like to see from a mobile app, making it easier for you to get it right first time.
On the other hand, if you’re developing an app for the first time and will establish your brand along with it, you’ll need to first determine your target audience and engage with them to understand the best route to take. Think about the type of service that your app is going to offer – who is going to benefit from it the most? Is your app going to be free with in-app purchases or will people need to pay to download it? Will it be simple to use, or should users have some experience with smartphone technology to be able to fully utilize it? All of these questions and more will help you put together a clearer picture of the type of person who is going to be using your app. As a result, you can gain a better understanding of their needs, requirements, likes and dislikes when it comes to the user experience.
Tip #3. Hire the Right Developer
Unless you’re a trained app developer yourself, the best course of action to take is to outsource the coding and development work to a professional. Once you’ve decided what your app is going to do, how it’s going to stand out from the competition and who you’re targeting with it, it’s time to take your ideas and give them to a developer who can make it all come to life. To get the best results for your mobile app, it’s essential to spend some time researching different developers and what they offer. Don’t always go for the developer with the best price – this doesn’t always mean that you’ll get the best service and sometimes, it’s better to invest more for better quality which is more likely to provide you with a higher return.
Look for app developers with great reviews, an extensive portfolio, and plenty of information shared on their website and social profiles, such as The App Developers, who are iPhone app development experts in the UK. Ideally, your app developer should be an expert and leader in their field – even better if they are recommended to you by somebody who runs a successful mobile app.
Tip #4. Build a User Testing Group
Once your app is beginning to take shape, it’s a good idea to release it early and exclusively to a group of testers, who you can then ask for feedback about their experience and suggestions as to what they would improve to make your app better when it’s finally released to the public. For many brands and individuals, this is an excellent way to avoid mistakes on the main release date, since getting an objective, user-centric point of view can often unearth issues that you may not have noticed yourself.
In addition, user testing can be an excellent way to get new, fresh ideas for your app that come straight from the horse’s mouth. You can engage with your group of users on a regular basis to not only gain feedback about the app, but new ideas for features and usage that you may not have thought to include beforehand.
Tip #5. Prepare for Multiple Releases and Updates
Lastly, once your app is ready to be released to the big wide world, it’s vital that you are prepared for multiple future releases and updates. With mobile applications, the initial release is simply the beginning of a journey, and it’s never enough to simply develop and release a mobile application only to leave it. Studies have shown that users are far more likely to continue engaging with and using an application when regular updates are added.
As a result, it’s a wise idea to have ideas for updates in the works as soon as your app is initially released to the public. The first few releases could focus on key functionality and improving the user experience, whilst later down the line, you could focus on bigger releases which offer new features that your users will find useful. Use social media and analytics to help you determine which updates are going to be the most well-received by your users; for example, if you’re developing a fitness tracking app, you could ask your users for their ideas on what would make it better or easier to use and make them a reality with the next update. Listening to your users and providing them with what they want will always help boost your app’s popularity.