6 Tips for Developing Mobile Apps
Considering that half of adult Americans own smartphones, and that by 2020 that number could be up to 80 percent, mobile apps are important to the future of sales, entertainment and information. If you’re considering building an app for your business, or creating an app to make money, there are important things to consider before diving in.
Technology is always changing, so if you build an app that is current, then you’re already behind. It will take time to develop a good app, and you need to think progressively about what will be innovative in the future, not just what is innovative now. Thinking progressively even includes considering technology that might not even exist yet. Consider technology that is being created and then incorporate that into your design to be ahead of the game.
Image via Flickr by Johan Larsson
Depending on the purpose of your app, you need to decide whether it would be a good idea to charge for your app. If you are selling goods or services, you wouldn’t want to hinder anyone from accessing your app. However, if your app is for entertainment or informational purposes, then charging for your app may be appropriate. Once you decide to charge, consider sending surveys to find out what people would be willing to pay. Another route could be to get advertising for your app to produce income from advertisers instead of users.
It may be very tempting to be frugal when hiring a developer, but just remember, you get what you pay for. There are so many components relevant to your app, it’s important to hire an experienced professional who can help you throughout the entire process. Talk extensively with the developer and make sure you can work well together, and ask to see the developer’s earlier work. Skimping on this aspect may cost you much more in time and money in the long run.
Consider Multiple Platforms
If you love Apple, swear by Android, or live and breathe Windows, don’t wear blinders when you build your app. Your app will look much different depending on the platform, and you don’t want to segregate any group of people from using it. Equally important, there is an expectation among users of what looks good or normal. Keep your designs streamlined to what users have grown accustomed to and update them to stay current with the trends of each platform.
Test and Evaluate
Once you’ve created your app, you’re not quite finished. There will be bugs, and you should be constantly checking and testing your app to make sure that it is running smoothly. It’s important to test on all different platforms and carriers. Testing should be done with many devices, such as different tablets or smartphones with all their varied screen sizes, to make sure you cover all your bases. Because technology is always evolving, you should be constantly thinking about how to update your app as well. Just because it works well, doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t always be thinking ahead about the look and feel of the app, and making sure you update it enough so that it never looks dated, and always feels relevant to the user.
Promotion is Key
Just because you’ve built a killer app doesn’t mean that anyone will automatically know it exists. Before you even look for developers, you should incorporate marketing into your budget. If you’re not familiar with marketing an app, consider hiring someone who knows about this process. If you don’t spend the money on marketing and promoting your app, then you’ve essentially wasted all the money you spent building and designing it.
You don’t have to be technologically savvy, or an excellent marketer, to build and promote an app; however, if you aren’t those things, you should spend the time and money with people who can help with those aspects. Building an app can be a lot of fun and a great revenue source, but without proper planning it can be more of a headache than it’s worth. Make sure to hire the right people, and budget your money correctly, to make the most out developing your next app.