THE FIVE BEST PRACTICES FOR BUILDING A MOBILE APP
Speaking as iX.co’s Chief Platform Officer, I take great interest in the practice of mobile app development. The approach to designing and building an app can vary, as well as the quality and end user experience.
In today’s fast evolving technological landscape, many companies may find it challenging to develop a mobile app that engages customers and drives revenue.
The secret is the often overlooked concept of customer-centricity. It’s easy for the development team to focus on coding and technology, but what drives your customer’s behaviors and buying habits should be considered at every phase.
We’ve created this six-part series on best practices for building the optimal mobile app. In this first post, we’ll break down the essential steps you should take when considering building a mobile app. We will cover each step in-depth over the course of this sequence.
- Designing your product experience effectively
- Choosing the most appropriate technology available
- Developing your technical and analytical plans
- Identifying your marketing approach
- Iterate and optimize
Design Product Experience
Your mobile app should not just be a replica of your web experience — it should be designed to enhance a customer’s experience with your brand and offer new content appropriate for the medium. It’s essential to put your users’ needs at the forefront of your app’s design. Identifying user archetypes and user journeys and validating them with real users will accomplish this. I would challenge you to get feedback — test your ideas and identify pitfalls in user experience early using prototyping tools. It is particularly important to ensure you are not overloading the user with too many tasks. This is called minimizing cognitive load.
Choose the Most Appropriate Technology Available
While there are multiple ways to create mobile apps, many choose to build native mobile apps. To go native, you’ll need two separate teams — one focused on the design and build for iOS, and one for Android.
Cross-mobile development tools continue to gain popularity and for a good reason. There are trade-offs, but the benefits usually include smaller development teams and faster launch and iteration cycles.
Develop Your Tech and Analytical Plan
Once you’ve designed and validated how users will interact with the app, it’s crucial to plan how you will analyze audience engagement as well as app performance. The most innovative content won’t matter if your app doesn’t work well. You should plan, test for and monitor launch time, crashes, UI response time, app analytics and app store reviews to name a few.
Identify the Marketing Approach
There are two critical tasks you should undertake before going to market. The first task is testing the app with your BETA testing team to obtain critical third-party insights on metrics like your app’s usability. Secondly, you should consider how to best market your app when it launches. As we should all know by now, video is king, and it will be critical to have a video to promote your app in the App Store for launch.
Develop & Optimize
Not too long ago, software updates could take up to a year to release. Today, some popular mobile apps are updated daily. Constant analysis, review, and development will continue to be the lifeblood of your mobile app. The key here is ensuring you identify your BETA testers early, launch your MLP (Minimum Loveable Product) quickly, learn from that feedback and iterate.
Remember not to forget about backend development and always consider response size and caching at every level. For example, caching and optimization of the size of your videos and images will significantly improve user experience. The key here again is planning.