What determines a business’s success? Does it lie in the numbers, popularity, or customer feedback? Reaching these smaller goals takes you one step ahead of the competition, but what if there’s a way to combine all of them into one project?
Designing a mobile app opens numerous opportunities for your business, especially with the booming mobile usage among consumers. According to Forbes, consumers spent 1.6 trillion hours on business apps in the first half of 2020, which equates to about a two-fold increase from the previous year.
Any business can embark on a mobile app development journey. However, it requires a great deal of commitment, resource allocation, planning, design, and implementation to call an app a success. Regardless of your niche and product offerings, follow these mobile app development practices to ensure a smooth process from planning to deployment:
- Prioritize a mobile-friendly interface
First things first—you’re creating a mobile app for consumers. Therefore, your application should be compatible and easy to use on different units and brands of cell phones, tablets, laptop computers, smartwatches, e-readers, and gaming consoles. In fact, LinkedIn recorded poor loading speed and complicated UI as two of the top reasons a mobile user uninstalls an application.
Generally, businesses focus on intuitive UX, responsive design, and carefully selected visual elements, but did you know you can also integrate audio in app design? Designing apps for audio devices will set your business apart from others as it can provide a unique and more valuable experience to your users.
- Define your development approach
A development approach guides the entire app creation process. Making the wrong choice can cost you a lot of money. The right development approach for your mobile app relies on a multitude of factors—with your specific needs, production cost, and development time being the most important.
You can follow one of five development approaches for your project:
- Native App Development: To create a native app, use a specific programming language offered by the operating system (OS) providers. If you want to make an app for Android and iOS, you’ll need to develop your app separately for these OS.
- Cross-Platform App Development: This simply means your app can run on different platforms—iOS, Android, and Web apps. A cross-platform app is best for uniformity, budget control, and high demographic coverage.
- Hybrid App Development: The term hybrid is often confused with cross-platform. In this approach, the application core is programmed with standard tools but deployed within a native shell, allowing the use of hardware components.
- Rapid Mobile App Development (RMAD): The RMAD is best utilized when releasing an app on all platforms. It only requires low-code or code-free development, a small investment ratio to ROI, and fits various project types if you pursue more in the future.
- Progressive Web Apps (PWAs): Lastly, a PWA isn’t necessarily a fully realized mobile app. It’s more of a web application with a flexible mobile interface. The beauty of PWAs shows when they respond independently to user actions.
If it’s your first time developing a mobile app, you should consider hiring a company like Intent with a proven track record of delivering well-received digital products.
- Conduct necessary tests before deployment
A running application doesn’t guarantee consistent, reliable performance. Your mobile app creation journey wouldn’t be complete without intensive testing and quality assurance. Although this step may put an extra burden on your team, you wouldn’t want your users to find the issues and bugs in your app before you do. Essentially, this step will help you identify any miscalculations committed during the design process.
An app’s testing phase should always consist of the following tests:
- UI mobile testing
- Functional mobiles testing
- Compatibility mobile testing
- Usability mobile testing
- Performance mobile testing
- Recoverability mobile testing
- Mobile data and battery testing
- Security mobile testing
- Resource usage and installation testing
- Network connectivity and career testing
- Single and multi-touch testing
- Time zone and localization testing
For easier testing, you can use dedicated testing tools that include the tests mentioned above while providing real-time feedback. Some companies rely on an automation framework to get the job done faster without compromising reliability and accuracy.
- Make your app simple and clutter-free
What’s the best way to win a user over with limited time? The first steps of interacting with your mobile app will define the user’s experience. Therefore, make sure to make the download and registration as simple and easy as possible. 21% of users only open an app once, and a complex onboarding process may only encourage them to uninstall your application on their first day of use.
With this in mind, here are some tips for designing a simple and clutter-free mobile application:
- Limit only one primary action for every screen
- Make the functional elements feel native to the user
- Put a simple navigation element
- Make the control buttons easy to reach, tap, or swipe
- Make effective use of white space
- Choose straightforward typography that represents your brand
A mobile app development journey entails both successes and challenges. Since mobile app creation is categorized as a long-term project, significant resources are allocated to its completion. Hence, ensure that you’re equipped with the right mindset, tools, and techniques so you can make the most of your investment.