If you’ve managed to turn an idea into a profitable, functioning business, then you may have considered stimulating its brand identity a little more with a mobile app. Apps have become an extremely powerful and popular marketing tool in recent years, and a central element to a lot of start-ups that have entered the market in recent years. While there’s a lot of potential in apps, it’s unfortunately common for business owners to make a range of development mistakes. Here are a few common ones you need to avoid…
Failing to Think About Platforms
As soon as you’re certain you’re going to be developing an app, you need to think about the platform it’s going to be designed for. The main options here are iOS, Windows and Android, and each have their own pros and cons. While anyone heading an app development project will have to confront this question, many business owners fail to thoroughly pick apart each option they have available. Some developers choose to base their choice of platform on stereotypes. It’s fairly common to hear about business owners developing their app for iOS simply because they think monetisation will be easier to ensure on the Apple app store. This may be true in some instances, but there’s much more to consider when you’re chewing over different platforms. When you’re feeling drawn towards one specific platform, make sure you’re weighing all the pros and cons, and considering every possible alternative.
Thinking of App Experience and Web Experience as the Same Thing
Mobile apps are fundamentally different to websites, and you need to bear this in mind when you’re making every little decision in your business app development. Apps are different in size, functionality and scope, and need to be treated as such. This is so important that if Apple disapproves of the way your app is designed, they might reject it, and refuse to publish it on the App store. Some CEOs assume that if their app doesn’t do all the same things as their website, then they’re somehow less valuable. Ask a cross-section of experienced app developers, and they’ll tell you nothing can be further from the truth. The fundamental thing that make apps valuable is their difference from websites. They can be accessed from anywhere, their built-for-touchscreen interfaces are much more intuitive, and they’re more customisable. Good mobile apps won’t fall back on pre-established designs and functionalities, and will instead use the hardware available to create a new, user-friendly experience. Of course, with the UX of responsive web design better than ever, it takes a little more to actually justify investing in a business app. Before you jump right into the process, take some time to pin down what it is that will make your planned app unique, and bring these elements to life with a piece of brilliantly designed software!
Being your Own Beta Tester
When setting out plans for developing your app in-house, you’ve probably touched on the subject of beta testing already. If you or any of your higher ups have asked “why pay for testing when you can do it yourself?” then you may be walking right into one of the biggest pitfalls of business app development. There’s a reason why outside beta testers are so popular. These people will offer a valuable second perspective that will help you identify and iron out any glaring issues in your app. Obviously, it’s important to make sure your app is totally bug-free by the time it hits the market, but this isn’t the only reason why you should run your app through a beta testing phase. It will also allow you to harvest great ideas on how to make the app more user-friendly. Your in-app purchases may not be communicated as clearly as they could be, or the constant ad pop-ups might make the experience of using your app somewhat jarring and irritating. Because you’re the one in charge of developing the app, and you’re so familiar with the more complex, technical aspects of it, it’s going to be pretty easy for you to overlook these kinds of errors. These days, there are a range of tools, such as Google’s Universal Analytics, which will show you exactly how beta testers are using your app as it stands. The more testers you have using your app outside the office, the more prepared you’ll be to actually publish the app in confidence.
As you move ahead with developing your app, make sure you and the relevant project managers are avoiding these issues like the plague!