According to Statisca, in 2019, there’s a total of 2.1 million apps available worldwide for Android users. The number for iOS devices is a staggering 1.8 million! The mobile app development space is still growing and it’s unstoppable! If you too, have the amazing idea for your app ready, you might be wondering about how to make yours stand out from the pre-existing 3.9 millions!
Speaking rationally, if you’re going to compete, your users need more than smart color palettes and cool animation – they need to experience that “it” factor while using your app. To ensure the growth and success of your app in an extremely demanding and competitive scenario, you need to be very sure of the approach you’re going to follow, right from the beginning, to the end, and then after.
Wondering how? Here, we’ll walk you through 13 steps that you cannot neglect if you wish to create an app that’s actually successful.
1. A Thorough Ground Reality Check of the Market.
Before giving a green flag to marshal your money, minds, and matter on developing your dream app, get a ground reality check done. In other words, scan the marketplace to make sure there is no similar app in the market. Why? Because developing a clone app will not yield to you the desired returns.
Despite the drawbacks of launching a clone app, most of the developers unknowingly launch it, because they haven’t scanned the market, seriously! The result: The app, they worked on day and night, is already up and running in the app stores.
2. Identify the User base, Platform, and Revenue Model.
Target audience: Even before developing an app, it’s essential to have a clear-cut knowledge of the target audience. Having a clear-cut idea about the audience will help you design an app in keeping with their requirements, which, in turn, will increase the success ratio of the app.
Platforms and devices: The choice of mobile platforms and devices should be made based on your goals: whether you want a broader market share for your app or premium customers. For a more extensive market share, you should target Android app development, and for high paying customers, iOS is the safest bet.
Revenue model: The app market is booming. So, to generate revenue, the app developer needs to select a relevant model in keeping with the app. It could be paid applications, in-app freemiums, advertisements, subscriptions, and so forth.
Any of these revenue models could be employed to generate revenue. Also, the developer is supposed to add features and functionalities over a period that attract users and inspire them to spend money on different aspects of the application.
3. Narrow Down the Approach – Native, Web or Hybrid.
You need to narrow down your approach because every approach comes with its price tag and skill requirements.
Native: Native apps help deliver the best user experience, but it should be in keeping with the time and skill required. These apps are platform-specific and call for specialized expertise. Additionally, these apps are costlier and take time to develop as they are known to deliver the highest user experience amongst all the approaches.
Hybrid: Hybrid app development combines pre-built native containers along with web codes to provide users the best of both worlds.
4. Identify a Minimal Viable Solution Model.
It’s advised not to launch a feature-rich app at one go. Instead, release an MVP model first and then start from there. Simply put, release a basic app with essential functions. You could also take advantage of the upgrades that most devices offer. This helps you to enter the market without wasting too much time on the development process, which then could be refined as needed.
The best part: you can periodically add new features, which in turn will ensure that your company stays on top-of-mind of the customers.
5. Finalize Design.
If anything, the success of an app largely depends on the app design. An app developer should primarily focus on the UI design and multi-touch gestures for touch-enabled devices, plus, adhere to the platform design standards.
Currently, the focus is on the UI design of the app as it plays a vital role in the success of an app.
6. Test your App at Different Stages.
a. Alpha Test on a Bunch of Devices. : To increase the success quotient of your app, get your in-house testing team to interact with your app for 3-7 days. Figure out which functionalities work best, which buttons are redundant, which animations are better suited and so forth. In short, you should “Micro Test” your app. The testing is done with regards to your icon, price, description, etc. Micro-testing in 3 steps:
- Launch an A/B Landing Page for your app
- Send Traffic to Test Your Pages
- Analyze Your Results
b. Bring Beta Testers on Board. Once alpha testing is over, rope in the beta testers, this will help you to receive feedback directly from your target customers. This is an essential step as it helps cuts down the product risk. However, you need first to identify the beta testers to ensure the success of your app.
How to Gear Up for Beta Launch.
Identify the target audience – Identifying the target audience will enable you to find the right testers for your app.
Remove bugs – Even before getting beta testers on board, you need to identify devices that could eliminate device-specific bugs. Also, alpha testing can come handy as it helps developers to eliminate maximum bugs.
Identify goals – Identifying goals keeping beta testers’ requirements in mind will automatically reduce product launch risk. It offers an opportunity to understand the target audience and their needs better.
7. Touch Design. Because mobile applications are almost exclusively used while in a person’s hand, it’s extremely important for you to design your mobile app around ergonomics and touch. The button layout should be located where a human thumb can easily reach it, visual cues should be used to show that an object has been touched or is untouchable, and the usage of gestures should be maximized so as to add a lot of usability to your app.
8. Make it Customizable.
To make your apps appealing to users, it’s imperative to make it as customizable and as flexible as possible. Meaning, you should allow users to customize the app color, fonts, and also the privacy settings of your app. Two important things to consider while making it customizable:
- Customization choices should be good but shouldn’t overwhelm the users to the point that they forget the primary use of the app.
- Include choices such as changing of the skin, color, and so forth.
Also, set up a custom dashboard, which will help users remove the additional features and keep only those that are required.
9. Ensure Social Media Integration. : To make your app lovable and self-sustaining, integrate social media sites to your app. The benefits: The app users can easily suggest/share their accomplishments with their family and friends. For example, Instagram, a photo and video-sharing app not only allows its users to log in through their Facebook account but also gives them the freedom to share their Instagram-filtered images on other social networks such as Tumblr, Flickr, Foursquare, Twitter and Facebook.
10. Plan to Analyze. Finally, you need to determine the success of the processes undertaken for your app. Admittedly, success could be hard to decide- given the series of features, devices, platforms, and technologies that are in use.
Some of the mobile analytics tools which could help in this process include:
- Google Analytics
These tools will help you answer questions like :
- Will the current features and functionalities draw more leads and conversions?
- Are the in-app advertisements good enough for customer adoption and retention?
- Are the required steps being undertaken for brand recognition and loyalty?
- How many people do we want using our app?
- How can we integrate our app with other social media programs?
- How will we integrate with our existing analytics tools?
11. Upgrade with New features: After analyzing the app on the parameters as mentioned above, the next step should be to upgrade the app with the necessary improvements and innovative features. A mobile app without adaptations will lose customers in the longer run. Updating your app, in keeping with the new guidelines, offered by various platforms, won’t let your app to become complacent.
12. Marketing strategy. What’s the purpose of developing and launching a mobile application if the users don’t know it exists in the first place? To ensure that your target audience is aware of your upcoming application, it’s important to begin app marketing at least 2-3 weeks before the launch. That way, you can generate that much-needed buzz which will get your mobile application the overwhelming response necessary for a successful launch.
13. Analytics: Mobile app developers often make the mistake of under-utilizing the power of analytics; some of them are not aware that the implementation of mobile analytics can come in handy whenever there’s a need for well-informed decisions during projects. Using the data gathered from mobile analytics, you can enhance user engagement, retain users, and strengthen the overall user experience.
There you go! 13 steps to taken into account while developing an app. Employing these steps will ensure the success of your app in the longer run. However, there could be different approaches to the app development process and launch. In other words, your take might be different from mine.
So, what’s your approach towards the app development process? Let us know in the comments section.