As app developers, we aim to be at the top in the exciting and competitive global app development market. Success in app development depends on what competitive edge we can offer to our customers. If you don’t have a competitive edge to offer compared to others in the industry, your app will likely be ignored in the app stores. So, how do you develop the app that is downloaded by users and recommended to their friends?
"Successful people do what unsuccessful people are not willing to do. Don't wish it were easier, wish you were better." - Jim Rohn, Serial Entrepreneur and Best Selling Author
It’s essential to start off on the right foot with top practices for app success. These may not sound intuitive or your logical next step but will definitely improve your app development process. Build your app’s competitive edge by following these best practices in app development for 2020.
1. Comprehensive Research
Research is the first thing to do when planning an app’s development. Effective research in itself is a best practice in application development. It involves exploring features and priorities from trivial to complex and not ignoring any aspect that could affect any areas of application development. Start by researching your audience, their preferences, demographics, age groups, etc. Your users are the highest priority so it’s crucial to make sure you appeal to them!
Similarly, performing competitive research on your competitors to find out their strengths and weaknesses is key. Additionally, it is important to ask key questions about your competitors such as what apps are they developing? Is your value proposition or offering any different or unique compared to theirs? Doing this will help guide your line of questioning throughout the research process. Also, try to identify the challenges faced by them, and be prepared to find a solution to these challenges for your own offering.
The data collected from the research should be used for planning application development. So, make sure that you gather as much relevant, accurate, and precise data as possible.
2. Minimum Viable Product
A successful application must have a core functionality and features that support it. Too often, features and functionality confuse the user and also make the app heavy. For example, the user doesn’t expect a banking app to have games.
As a result, the biggest challenge in app development is to decide the features and functionality to include. A unique offering, supported by connected and relevant features, is the ideal choice. Limiting the scope of the application also helps you focus on building a high-quality app with the targeted functionality that you’ve pre-determined through your research.
To start, make a list of features for the app, and categorize it into mandatory or desirable (A good pattern to follow is the MoSCoW method: Must-have, Should-have, Could-have, Won’t-have). Then develop and release a minimal viable product to test your app in the market. Developing an MVP is quick and cost-effective with many included benefits. The feedback on this MVP app should be collected from your users to evaluate what to include in updates and make better informed business decisions down the line so you we can continue releasing better versions of your app after live-testing the MVP.
3. Effective Use of Technology
Choosing the right technology to use in your product starts from the app planning stage itself. Depending on the targeted audience, you must first evaluate whether to develop the app for Android or iOS (or both). Accordingly, this decision allows you to choose the best framework and language for app development.
At this stage, depending on your requirements and budget, you must also decide if you want to use open-source solutions for app development or go for customized development, or a combination. For simpler apps, you can also go for low-code or no-code app development.
4. Interactive Prototypes
A crucial component to creating a great app comes from exceptional design. If you have
designed well, you’ve made a good start at setting your app up for success. Winning app design focuses on user experience and user interface. If the user finds your app convenient to use, you have won half the battle.
Navigation is also a crucial element of app design. If the navigation is not easy, the user cannot access what they want in the app which will inevitably end with them reducing their usage of the app and eventually uninstalling it.
The best way to ensure the success of your app design is to create an interactive prototype. This helps keep the client and developer on the same page before any app development begins. Also, this is useful for testing your design and rectifying the deficiencies ahead of time.
5. Intelligent Budgeting
The best way to manage your app development funding is to make a budget before development begins. This budget is based on many factors so you should list down the features and functionality required in your app. Apart from that, it helps if you also set a timeframe for development. If developing the application is urgent, it will cost more to develop.
This planning doesn’t end here. To be able to make a reasonable budget, it is also important to estimate how much you can price the application. This will depend on the audience and market demand as there is no point in developing an application with very high costs and no returns on investment.
With that said, it is crucial to be pragmatic while budgeting. For high-quality complex apps, you will need a reasonable budget; nothing comes for free!
6. Don’t Ignore Security
No matter how well-built your application is, if it is vulnerable to security breaches, it will fail.
The list of best practices in application development cannot be complete without a mention of security. There are various ways to make your application more secure. Depending on the technology that you are using, you can manage security during the development stage itself. You must also ensure that you use authorized APIs for app development.
Apart from that, you must also take appropriate steps to ensure data security. Data encryption is a basic yet crucial practice for data security of your application so it is important to make arrangements for the safe storage of data.
Regular updates are required in applications to deal with prospective security issues.
Developing an app is a very time-consuming process. Awareness of the best practices in application development helps you save time, money, and resources.
To improve successful adoption and engagement of your app, the quality of your application development is a necessity, not a choice. Following the best app development practices also ensures the quality that will give you a large number of loyal customers.
If you’re looking for best-in-class app development, get in touch with the Perpetual team. We’d love to help you build your vision.