The world is moving towards advance technologies in the field of mobile app development. In late 2015, mobile users around the world were 2.2 billion and the number is likely to reach 3.8 billion by 2020. The usage of mobile device has been rapidly increasing and plays an important role in various business sectors such as transportation, retail, hospitality, marketing, healthcare, manufacturing, and education. Mobile apps are a tremendous opportunity for entrepreneurs to drive their business in a successful way. More than technology innovation a mobile app should be highly engaging and user-friendly. In this article, we have highlighted 11 important things that every entrepreneur should know before developing a mobile application.
Q1. What makes your Mobile App different from your Competitors?
There are over 3.3 million Android apps on the Google Play store and 2.2 million iOS apps on the App Store. Standing out in such a fiercely competitive environment is difficult but it is possible.
Ensure that you have answers to the below questions.
- What problem does your app solve?
- Who is your audience?
- Why they (audience) should download your app?
- Who are your competitors?
Research and infer what your competitors offer? Any mobile application can be successful depending on how it adds value to the customers and how it resolves their issues. Creating an app with the same set of features similar to competitors’ apps will not help to drive customers to use your app.
Analyze your competitors’ App review section. See what their users feel about their app, watch out for negative reviews and see how you can incorporate those features/feedbacks in your app.
Instead of developing a me-too App come up with a Unique Value Proposition for your App that solves a problem, this would make it go viral.
Q2. What is the aim of your Mobile App?
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Developing an App with no purpose or scalability is going to be a waste of money, time, and resources. Mobile App should have the best UI so that the users can interact and clearly understand what they actually need. The aim of any mobile App should certainly fall under these three categories;
- Problem-Solving / Solution Providing
- Added Value
Once the purpose of the app is defined, just keep these things in mind before developing the App.
- Streamline business Operation
- Brand building
- Improve Customer and employee engagement
- Better data analysis
- Time saving
Aim of Mobile app development:
- User friendly app
- Bug free
- Effective UI design
- SEO optimized
- Awesome performance
- Scalable and secured
- Can update easily
- Mobile responsive
- Offline access
End users goals:
- App that are easily accessible
- App that utilize less memory
- Problem solving
- Better user engagement
Q3. What will a mobile app do better that a responsive website can’t?
Mobile Apps are generally faster than mobile websites. Mobile Apps can store data locally on the device allowing data to be saved and retrieved within seconds whereas a mobile website fetches data from the web server which takes a few minutes or even more depending on the network speed. Mobile apps can use the device’s hardware such as GPS, accelerometer and other sensors on demand.
Mobile apps deliver a seamless experience through storing data which can be further accessed offline. Mobile apps are the only answer to processor hungry applications like a gaming app, It also improves the user’s experience by delivering certain features by accessing the phone’s hardware. In contrast, mobile websites’ access to a device’s hardware is limited.
Q4. Who will be your Mobile App’s main users?
Photo Courtesy — 5ines
If you have a product or a service, you must know your target audience like who buys your product and get benefits from your service. At first, know who is already using your product or services and then identify who most wants to buy from you. Once you understand your existing customer, you can go for more users who fit the same framework. Collect information like age, location, language, spending power, and patterns, interests, stage of life of your existing customers, so that you can use to track trends and averages. For any application, a well-defined target customer benefits both the marketing as well as technical team.
Q5. How will you get these users to download the app?
Influence your users even before they get to your landing page. ASO [App Store Optimization] helps to improve the mobile app’s visibility by optimizing each metadata element such as app title, description, keywords, and screenshots on the store. Once optimized, the app customers are more likely to find the app in the store consequently improving the downloads organically. Some important strategies are as follows;
- Keyword Research
- Social Media and Email Outreach
- Creating an alluring App Icon
- Eye-catching images and demo videos
- Writing a clear and concise app description to market effectively
- Collecting more ratings, reviews for downloading apps and also resolving
- Targeting localization to get more downloads
- Adds on pricing to get more downloads
- Focus and stay connected with the users
Q6. Can you lay down the flow of the app user in one page or less?
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The customer experience of your mobile app is everything, where you need to find on how the pages will flow from one to another and how customers will utilize it. Creating the customer flow helps to prioritize content requirements, in terms of what the customer is trying to attain and how to reach them to the right place in the most effective possible ways. This involves emphasizing potential barriers in the navigation flow to find the quickest or least painful route to complete a planned action. Helping the customer to complete a task efficiently engages them for more time on the site, lower bounce rates and improves the customer onboarding experience. So you gain good user flow to your site to be successful.
Q7. Do you plan to monetize the app? If yes, how?
Yes, monetizing is a good idea! There are different ways to monetize an app. One-time purchase, subscription, freemium and display ads. The best way to make your project successful and to generate revenue is going with the freemium model. In this model the user, first downloads the app and explore all the features. Once they are used to the app and get benefited, they look out for more features and end up purchasing additional features. As this creates a win-win situation for both the parties, this is the right model that we recommend to monetize an app. Below are some of the important things to have in mind before thinking of monetizing.
- Advertising Method
- Affiliate marketing
- Sponsors and Partnerships proposal
- In-App Purchases
- Free/Premium modules
- Strong Content and Data-Driven Strategies
- Multiple Payment Options for Subscription Services
Q8. Have you thought through on the costs including ongoing fixes and maintenance?
There are many reasons why you should invest in regular app maintenance, such as bug fixes, core updates and functional updates to ensure that the app evolves over time and is fully functional at all times. Let’s have a glance on the following app maintenance.
Adaptive maintenance: Changes must be done to in the application to make it compatible with the updated external environment such as operating system updates.
Perfective maintenance: Changes are made to optimize the app’s performance.
Corrective maintenance: To fix bugs and errors.
Preventive maintenance: Predict future issues via code optimization and efficient storage usage.
Regular system maintenance: Developers perform system maintenance work every 2-3 months. A best practice is to communicate with customers so as to understand the performance of the app.
Operating system updates: Android and iOS regularly release updates; your developer will likely update your app so that it is still compatible with these changes and will remain functional in all devices.
Design/UX Updates: These updates are based on feedback that you gathered from users related to the App’s design, new buttons or capabilities to comply with your custom requests.
Server Maintenance: Servers need to be updated regularly and ensure that the network is performing optimally by reviewing the server’s performance and also checking for security threats on a regular basis.
There are several factors involving the costs to maintain any app depends on what code your app is built, whether it is a native or hybrid app. So maintenance costs may be slightly higher for different code and operating systems you prefer. As per industry norm, the app maintenance usually accounts for 15-20% of the contract cost.
Q9. Build it purely Native or using a library like React Native?
It may be confusing whether to go with native app or cross-platform app development. It simply depends on the circumstances for which the app is developed. Both has its own pros and cons.
Native applications are developed for specific platforms like Android and iOS. They are developed using specific programming languages like java for Android and Swift, Objective C for iOS.
Meanwhile applications that are built using frameworks like React Native are cross-functional on both the platforms. As the same code-base is being used in both the platforms, it saves time and resources. Hence, developing hybrid apps is less expensive compared to native app development.
But native app has its own advantages. Native app is the right choice when developing processor hungry applications. Native apps can have a better control over the device’s hardware which is not possible in case of a hybrid app.
Q10. Does it also need a web interface? An admin panel to manage app users?
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It depends upon the application but an admin panel is recommended. One can prefer any technology they are comfortable with for an admin panel.
An admin panel can also have a role based access with specific functionalities for each role. One need not focus much on the admin panel UI /UX as it is basically for the employees/staff in your company. To reduce the development cost it is advised to use pre-built templates that are available and customize it according to the needs. Let’s see a few best admin panel/template available on the Internet.
Q11. What could hinder your Mobile App’s Success?
Introducing a new app to the market is like the natural process to validate assumptions about customer’s behavior and their requirements to improve customer engagement. Many components are involved in constructing an application that provides the user with a great experience. At a basic level, your app needs to be more perceptive. If the users struggle to perform functions on your app, you can’t figure out core functionalities. It leads to the poor visibility of your apps. MVP- Minimum Viable Product is a concept to identify user pain points and analyze the proper functionality to address those issues. Just look at below things to overcome these obstacles.
- Appealing UI and UX design
- Identify key expectations and requirements based on how people use a certain features
- Reliable and stable workflow
- Provides adequate data protection
- Offers rapid access to desk/help service
- Improve user experience
- Offers rapid and hassle-free payments
- Data-breach protected information
- Cost-effective for future development and maintenance
- Easy update method
Today billions of people are using mobile phones across the globe. Around 80% of people use mobile phones and spend time on apps for shopping, making payments, playing games and so on. Irrespective of any company, mobile applications play an important role in their business growth. There are still challenges that could be out of the box. Hence, before developing a mobile application keep the above things in your mind to make your app stand out from the crowd of competitors’ apps. We also hope this article gives you the knowledge and the confidence to move forward with your app idea.
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