Before looking at the steps to take for building a mobile app for long-term success. Here are some regular concerns had by our clients;
Technology is changing all the time
Voice recognition, Intelligent Personal Assistants (IPA), virtual reality, augmented reality. Having all the latest technology in your app may seem like the best idea. But, sometimes developing a stripped down version first is more effective. By creating a *MVP (minimum viable product) you can see what works and build on it later.
*A minimum viable product (MVP) is a development technique in which a new product or website is developed with sufficient features to satisfy early adopters. The final, complete set of features is only designed and developed after considering feedback from the product’s initial users.
Change in the market
New devices and capabilities are coming to the market all the time. It is important to think what is the oldest device you are willing to support? the best way to do this is by researching your target audience and see what they are using.
OS updates, Android Nougat (released May 2017), and iOS 11 due in September, it’s it important to understand what versions your app can work on.
See our App Store Optimisation article to increase your app visibility for free! It is important to ensure after all your hard work, people can find your mobile app. This will allow you to get as many downloads as possible.
Start by solving a real problem
It is important when developing your mobile app strategy to think of an idea that is unique, useful or just really fun! You want to be very clear from the start what you want your app to do. Find a gap in the market and do your research.
According to Apple below is a list of their 10 most downloaded apps as of December 2016 for inspiration:
- Pokémon GO
- Google Maps
- Spotify Music
Think about scalable design
Scalability by definition is the capability of a system, network, or process to handle a growing amount of work. A scalable design is a great idea for all your mobile apps but can be difficult to prepare for (as we can not predict future screen sizes.) You want to develop with the right flexibility in mind for future product changes/features. It is also important to keep the current usability simple and not lose the quality of the display.
If a MVP only has few features, but there are well planned with future releases in mind it makes it easier to add new features later in the app cycle. Navigation is a good example of a feature that benefits from scalable design. eBay, for example, uses a side menu allowing them to add to their menu without large-scale redesigns.
It is important to have a clear idea of how you want your app to work from the early stages and from that you can work to make the app as clean and simple as possible for the user. Apart from being functional, your app should have a clean, easy-to-use interface to enhance the user experience.
Market research- gather and analyse user feedback
Doing your research is a great way to make sure your product has longevity. Going to market with an MVP allows you to launch/test a product that is functional enough to carry out a clear need. The feedback from this should then show if your app will be successful, or if there are some areas you may have overlooked. You can then amend following your findings and develop that research to aid you in adding features for the next release. You can then analyse this data in any way that may help you in future such as; What was your users’ main likes/dislikes of the app? are they many users asking for the same features in a future update? Dedicating someone to be focused on monitoring and responding to user feedback is important to show that you are engaged with users, and the value customer service has to your product.
Release and update often
People may lose initial interest in your app if you do not move with technology, or fail to make/add changes in the design or features for long periods of time. It is important to keep everyone engaged by introducing new and improved features as often as possible – you do not want your customers to move to a competitor’s app! A good example of this is Snapchat – they are always adding new filters, and have recently integrated with Uber where the user can unlock their filter for the length of the Uber ride.
Another key is using your data from your MVP to make updates quickly and often, this shows you are responsive to your customer and keeps your app updated. With every new release, you learn more and more about your users’ needs, and your app will continue getting better over time. This evolution is most important to keep your customer happy!
Ultimately, lots of research, a clear initial design, thinking about your users’ needs, and frequent updates are key to a longstanding and successful app.
Get in touch ? with us here at TouchSoft to see how we could work together to design and develop a bespoke, reliable, and easy-to-use mobile application.