Tips for Mobile Application Development
Mobile applications are the latest and the greatest fad of our times. They have single handedly changed the way we do business. Enterprises are now looking to offer a whole new world of exciting things to their customers through mobile applications. Whether it's gaming, travel info, business utility, or online shopping experience, mobile apps seem to be cut out for almost everything. They have given rise to new business models and opened up previously inaccessible revenue channels.
But this is the rosy picture. The truth is that not all mobile applications turn out to be runaway hits. In fact, many of them fade away in oblivion without even leaving as much as a scratch on market landscape.
So then what makes a mobile app click in the market? Who is responsible to make sure that it turns out to be a success? We would say the onus of mobile app success lies on two heads - the company owning the app and the company developing the app.
So how can you as a developer contribute to the success of a mobile app? Let's see.
Understand the App Audience
Before you actually start developing an application, try to understand its targeted market segment. Different segments have different stimuli for a positive action. For some segments it can be visuals, for some navigation, and for some the ease of understanding the app. So your development efforts have to be tailored according to the app's audience class. Dishing out generic looking mobile apps will only reduce the chances of success.
Focus on Experience
Once you have a clear idea about the app audience, next focus your attention on user experience. We have seen cases in the past where a mobile app is user friendly but it still lacks sufficient audience. The reason here is that the app fails to deliver an experience. A user has to be excited enough about an app to keep coming back to it. So what can really deliver an experience? It can be many things. It can be a unique concept, different presentation style, exciting results with minimum user efforts, etc. Study your app's target audience and you shall have your answer. Remember, you as a developer are not expected to build something perfect or spectacular. You are expected to build something that can deliver.
Do Not Compromise on Security
This is something that we keep telling our mobile app developers at Radix - no matter what, never compromise on security. A mobile app with security breach only points to loose development standards. So identify your underlying security vulnerabilities and get them patched up. Take appropriate measures and ensure that these security threats are cordoned off and sorted out. When you are working on the security aspect make sure that you address it on three levels - workflow, data, and functionality. A security breakdown at either of these levels can jeopardize your mobile app performance.
Do Not Bloat the App
Now this is a syndrome, may we say, common with all app developers. But in case of mobile app developers it becomes that much more critical. Developers often tend to get carried away with new exciting features and try to stuff them in the app at hand. Result - an app that is overstuffed with features that are not even necessary. Why bloat an application with features that do not really fit into the scheme of things? Your client is not interested in seeing your prowess over different features. He already knows that you are good enough. That is why he hired you! So develop features that the application really needs and not what you can.
Develop for App Users & Owners - Both!
This is any mobile app developer's biggest dilemma. Should he align his development efforts to the application owner's objectives or the app users' expectations? It's a tricky proposition. This is where your experience will count. You need to strike balance between these two. Your client may have tunnel vision focusing only on business aspects of the app. And your app users will only be concerned with app experience irrespective of its business implications and OS limitations. So mediate between the two and develop an application acceptable to both. If required, educate the client about the negative impact some of his demands may have on the app's user adoption. But at the same time do not override your client's wishes in a bid to deliver on the user experience front.
Be Thorough with Testing
And last but not the least be extremely thorough with your application testing. Check your application for any operational bugs and rectify them. Make sure that your coding works properly. Also make sure that your mobile app does not carry any broken code and redundant code. Insist for stringent and meticulous testing procedures and policies to be established in your organization. Form the habit of documenting your test results. These documented test results can later be used in research and development of mobile OS.
But most of all, try to be a partner to your client when developing mobile application for him. Shoulder his responsibility of making the app successful by playing your part perfectly. Work as if you have a stake in the application and do not shy away from going the extra mile if required.