Things You Need to Know When Building a Mobile App
The perverse proliferation of mobile phones in our lives has caused the need for apps to surge significantly. This has led to new mobile apps joining the fray every single day. The mobile app market is witnessing fierce competition of software developers trying to the next viral app.
A few years ago, coming up with a brilliant idea was enough to help you create a killer app. However, with the competition being experienced today, mobile app developers need to do more to stand out. The modern mobile app landscape requires you to create a comprehensive plan, strategize and bring several pieces together.
Mobile is becoming not only the new digital hub, but also the bridge to the physical world. That’s why mobile will affect more than just your digital operations — it will transform your entire business.
– Thomas Husson
So, before you jump straight into the bandwagon of mobile app development, make sure you keep these six things in mind.
Conduct Extensive Research
Just like you conduct an R&D in critical business processes, you should also do extensive market research before building an app. Research helps you identify gaps and voids in the market and learn about customers and their expectations. Market research will help you do the following;
- Identify your competitors
- Know their strengths and weaknesses
- Determine the customer expectations and whether the available apps fulfill them or not
- Know what you can do to satisfy the customers in the market
In-depth market research helps you avoid pitfalls and mistakes made by your competitors and enables you to create robust strategies. If you want your mobile app to stand out, you need to identify what the thousands of mobile apps in the market are doing wrong. Identify the gap and take the necessary measures to suffice it.
Know the Type of App You want to Build
Before you embark on a mobile app development process, you must choose which type of app you want to create. Essentially, there are three types of apps: Native apps, web apps, and hybrid apps. The three apps differ in programing languages, distribution methods, multi-platform support, and access to the device’s APIs.
Native apps are built to operate in a single operating system and require access to the device’s functionality to operate. On the other hand, web apps are simple apps that perform simple actions without accessing a device’s functionalities. Hybrid apps fuse the best of both native and web apps, but their highlight is that they are built to operate on multiple operating systems simultaneously.
So, if you decide to build an app that simultaneously runs on Windows, iOS, and Android, you need to follow the hybrid development route. However, if you want an app that runs independently on IOS, Android, or Windows, you’ll need to go the native or web-based way.
Only when you decide the type of app you want to develop can you plan and allocate resources.
Set App Goals
You shouldn’t create a mobile app just because you have an idea. You must define what you want to achieve with the app. If you don’t have clearly defined goals at the onset of the development process, your mobile app is bound to fail. However, this doesn’t mean that you set unrealistic goals.
It would be best to have smart and measurable goals to be the foundation of the entire development process. Moreover, objectives also come in handy during the mobile app marketing stage. Therefore, before you map out an app development plan, ask yourself these questions;
- What need will my app help solve?
- Does my app have any unique selling points?
- What benefits will customers get when they use my app?
- What extra features will my app integrate?
Another integral element that you need to be conversant with is app hosting. Like websites, mobile apps need to be hosted to be available for use over the internet. Application hosting is often offered as Software as Service (SaaS) subscription. When building a mobile app, it’s crucial to identify the platform where you’ll host it at the onset of the software development process.
Many businesses rely on two prominent SaaS providers; AWS (Amazon Web Services) and GCP (Google Cloud Platform). Hosting your app helps reduce the costs since it will be running on someone else’s infrastructure. You don’t have to invest in building or maintaining the underlying infrastructure. You also enjoy seamless upgrades in functionality and scale, knowing that you can get additional resources if your app requirements surge.
App developers also need to ensure that they invest in cutting-edge design since users see it first when they open your mobile app. Contrary to popular belief, app design is about the interface’s appearance and how clients interact with the app. It integrates visuals (colors, photos, animations) and graphical elements (font, topography, animations).
Design failures can be catastrophic since they can make accomplishing a particular task with your mobile app slow and challenging. Since the design is what users will experience when they land on your app, you need to make sure that it is cutting-edge. One helpful trick is to test things out at every stage so that you adjust accordingly.
Depending on the type of mobile app you’re building, your budget can range from a few hundred dollars to millions of dollars. Therefore, once you decide the number of features, the design, the goals you want to achieve, and the strategies you’ll use to build an app, you’ll also need to come up with a budget. Having a budget will ensure that you don’t overspend or underspend.
You also need to think of how the app will generate money before delving into the development process. Do you want to earn from in-app purchases, private advertisement, sponsorships, affiliate advertising, or work on a subscription basis? You can also build a freemium app with an option to upgrade to the pro version. Don’t wait until the launch date to decide how you want your app to earn you cash. Think of how to monetize your mobile app before you start the development process.
Although there are several things that you should keep in mind when building a mobile app, we have covered the most crucial aspects. If you consider these factors, there’s no doubt that you’ll develop an app with cutting-edge and flawless performance. However, we need to mention that mobile app development is a technical process that requires solid strategies.