Creating a successful app
The world does not stand still and is rapidly changing, especially in regards to the sphere of mobile app development services. The development of a mobile application can provide a huge number of new business opportunities, depending on goals and functions. Attracting customers, expanding target audiences, increasing sales and loyalty to the brand - this is just a small sample of possible benefits that can come from a mobile product.
Everything that your company does online or in real life can also be presented on mobile devices which, in turn, allows for added mobility and improve the technical approach to the provision of services or the sale of goods. Today, all major brands have their own applications, which allow customers to spend less time on the purchase and simplifies the process of interaction with the company. Look at such giants as Starbucks, Amazon, Walmart and Booking.com - they all have their own applications, which, in addition to simplifying interaction with the client, also represents the company in the digital space.
5-10 years ago it was enough to make a simple website for your business but, today, large brands need to expand to a mobile application, which must meet many criteria as discussed below. But how do you make a successful app?
Steps to Success
Making a successful app does not happen with a set of ready-made templates, because there are a lot of factors that can influence different indicators. Faced with the problem of creating the first (or not) application, a customer may not be aware of the hidden surprises that wait for them, ahead - whether positive or negative. So, what do you need to think about before developing a new product:
1. Native or cross platform app
The application is created for a specific platform using the original development tools, and the final code is optimal for the selected operating system and/or device. What is important is that the program has the ability to interact with the device's hardware - to use geolocation, camera, microphone and to make graphics or 3D processing within the GPU. Another advantage is the ability to work with contacts and internal memory, which make it possible to personalize the application specifically for some tasks. Also, using this approach, it's possible to monitor the speed of the application at different stages and optimize the RAM consumption or the computing power of the CPU.
- Newest technologies
Both Google and Apple constantly improve their OSs and bring a number of new features forward regularly, which help mobile technologies to keep up with the times. Choosing a native application, you can always be sure that you're creating a modern product which, if necessary, can support all available hardware and software functions of the device. As an example, consider such functions in iOS as embedding Siri into your application or the ability to add push notifications, searching for the desired content in system partitions, applications and also HealthKit API, which allows implementing projects in the healthcare field. All these factors would not apply in a web or cross-platform application.
- Usability and design
Android and iOS have different approaches and design requirements, which should be taken into account in order to make the application more predictable, easy to use and to have a "natural feel" with greater personalization. Unlike the restrictions in interface design and animation or visual effects, creation for cross-platform projects, in the case of native development, is necessary to realize those opportunities that are provided by specific mobile operating systems.
- Quality Assurance
Quality control is a very important component of developing a project of any size that has an impact both on the quality of the app as a product and also on the credibility of the developer and brand as a whole. In addition to performance and application utilization, testing also includes control over usability and design. By creating a native application, the developer always focuses on adapting the application for different versions of the system and screen resolutions, in order to achieve maximum intuitivity and speed of response which allows applications to pass official stores’ validation.
Read also: Native vs Cross-Platform App
Main issues with cross-platform applications:
- Negative user experience
The main disadvantage of using (and developing) cross-platform applications can be referred to as the non-native feeling that a user may experience while interacting with the application. What does this mean exactly? Android users are accustomed to a certain arrangement of control elements in the application, including the logical management of the device and functions, while iOS users are accustomed to another. Therefore, when creating such applications, you should either try to find a golden mean, or make different versions of one "cross-platform" program for each system.
Cross-platform development can also bring forward issues for the developer. Some actions or interactions with the device or application may logical and understandable to users but, on different platforms, these functions can be implemented in a very specific way so, sometimes, developers have to solve such optimization tasks. In order to get things right and imperceptible to the end user, experienced developers are required - and we have them here, at Applikey Solutions.
2. Competitors, target audience and market analysis
To build a successful app for business it is strongly recommended that you research competitors and analyze the market, to start. Ideas for the promotion and development of your application can be overseen from different sources, so there is nothing to worry about if you come across information from your competitors, especially if it concerns the analysis of the market and the target audience in order to find an unoccupied niche.
3. Target audience
To make a great app you need as much information as possible about the target audience, in order to turn them into potential customers in the future. In this case, competitors who already have the audience might be your allies. What you need to know: the geographical location, age, sex, education and the approximate amount that customers are willing to pay for the application in your chosen category. Here’s why:
- The most obvious advantage is the demographic data. Knowing which countries and age groups are targeted by your competitors will make it easier for you to search for a free niche for your application;
- Age indicators affect the content and its delivery.
- The target audience is directly connected with the choice of the monetization strategy because, knowing how much your future customers are willing to pay, you can choose the optimal strategy to get income; and
Monetization is an important point if you are considering your application as an additional source of income. If not, then you should start thinking that way - and make sure you do so before and put a strategy into place before the app gets off the ground. What factors influence the monetization model: In order to understand which model to use, it is necessary to perform a market analysis to identify the major players and compare their methods of making profits. Understanding the method and prices of competitors will help to determine the desired strategy and payback of the future product more accurately. It is also necessary to take into account other factors, including the identification of popular applications from the selected category to find out whether they are paid or not - leaving you with the decision to create a free application that stands out among others, for example.
Today, many people talk about the minimally viable product (MVP) with a cut-down function, forgetting about the needs of users and the feasibility of development as a whole. MVP is not just a version of a product with a minimum function (most of which are basic and do not convey the business logic of a future application, unfortunately), but the least resource-consuming, both in terms of time and funds. Which helps confirm the feasibility of development or of the idea, as a whole. Is it so useful to make a minimally viable product as it is commonly believed? Of course, but, in order to achieve the maximum result, it is necessary to remember that the main goals of the MVP are:
- Most importantly - the fastest delivery of a minimum product that will help to solve at least one problem for its users.
- Save money and time for development, which can greatly help small startups; and
- The rapid retrieval of information, stemming from the above testing and research, required to make a decision;
- To test product hypotheses, analyze the market and customers with minimum costs.
Typical problems to solve when creating a successful app
Businesses might not know the specific needs of their customers and do not seek to study them in the long run. The client-oriented strategy, in general, is aimed at solving problems and anticipating needs of clients in a special tool that would help optimize business processes or improve performance. In other words, it's worth thinking about how to help the client before trying to solve your personal problems. This leads to the analysis of a client’s various actions in the network, understanding why a person launches your application, at which stage the need for a product or service was formed, and what actions they will take next.
Businesses are not always aware of the need to be represented on the network. Many companies do not have any communication on the network and they interact with their customers either offline or through personal email correspondence, which is archaic these days. The user who has experienced the problem is looking for an immediate solution but may reconsider waiting a week for an answer, turning to a competing service provider if they do not receive assistance in a timely manner, which negatively affects the company's recognition and image. A bigger problem is the brand's poor representation in the network and social media, which also undermines the brand's credibility and does not contribute to the audience's loyalty. It is much easier to communicate with customers on the network, when there are special communities aimed at receiving feedback from users, analyzing and correcting errors, and surveys about future versions of the application.
Conducting a large digital transformation can be costly if you want to make your app successful, but even a partial transformation is aimed at achieving business objectives to provide a higher level of services, not only for development but also for marketing.
Application development is not an easy task. It requires many aspects and analysis of many factors before the time of direct development, but this is the golden key that opens the door to building a sustainable online business on all platforms. You can make a lot of predictions about the payback or popularity of the application, but you still have to come up with your own unique idea that will be aimed at solving your client's problems.
On the other hand, the task of any business is to minimize risks and also reduce the cost (or increase the speed) of processes that are difficult or expensive for your own personnel or developers to do. The analysis of the market, the search for target audiences and the selection of a monetization strategy requires a lot of effort and a large number of completed projects. Therefore, in the case of developing a custom solution, the best way to minimize risks and maximize security will be the cooperation with an experienced partner, like us. Don't forget to check out applikeysolutions.com to review the services that we provide and tips on how to create a successful app.