The mobile app market, a breeding ground for creative ideas, is a perfect spot for an ambitious startup to rise to prominence. However, creating a successful product does not amount to great coding skills and a fresh vision – there are many subtle factors at play. So, to help you avoid the setbacks, here are some tips from a mobile app development company in Toronto to stay ahead of the competition.
Why Mobile Apps Are a Must for Business Success
Let’s face it: the modern business landscape is all about customer-centricity. It’s also hard to deny that mobile apps have enormous potential for exceeding customer expectations. Here’s an example: surveys show that 8 out of 10 customers will switch to a competing brand at the slightest setback in customer service. These setbacks are also quite costly to amend: negating a single bad experience can take up to 12 positive ones.
In this sense, there are some risk-reward dynamics at play here. Build a great engaging app for your business – and you’ll enjoy steady growth and a loyal customer base. Do it wrong – and see your audience dwindling. So, without further ado, here are nine tips on how to do it right.
Understand Your Audience
Remember that massive potential of mobile apps mentioned above? Well, there’s actually an unexpected dark side to it. Nowadays, there are so many ways to enhance customer experience through digital services that it can become misleading. It is not uncommon to see an excellent app that does nothing for the company despite being filled to the brim with clever UX elements.
The reason for this is the lack of direction: instead of offering the customers what they want, businesses try to overwhelm them with features. Not only is this approach counterproductive, it’s also quite expensive. The cost of creating a feature-rich app is high, and unless it generates some returns, these are essentially wasted resources. So, be sure to leverage your market research data to make the most of it.
Choose the Platform
Another aspect of the app development process that can make a sizeable dent in your budget without bringing any benefits. Today, 99% of the mobile app development market is dominated by Android and iOS, with the former responsible for nearly 72% of the share. Don’t rush to conclusions just yet though – deciding on your target platform takes more than that.
To begin with, the global statistics do not show you where your target audience is. What’s more, the development itself will differ significantly due to a range of factors:
- Security measures
- Programming languages and frameworks
- Existing software ecosystems
In this sense, choosing the right platform will not only save you time and money but can actually appeal to the values of your audience.
Mind the Competitors
The mobile apps market is dense with competitors. In fact, there’s probably already more than one app out there that is in direct competition with your vision. In such a saturated setting, is there even a chance to get big?
Well, while the abundance of competition is a problem, it is also an opportunity. For instance, going through negative feedback of competitors’ services, you can address the most common grievances before the release. In other words, saturation gives you the upper hand in understanding the needs of your audience and leveraging this knowledge to create a unique product.
Think About a Name
This one may look insignificant early on when the app is still at the conceptual stage. Well, here’s the deal: the name will matter once it’s time to release your app on the storefront, and the last thing you want is finding out yours is already taken. The name is what your application will be identified with, so reserve it as soon as you decide which one is the best for your purposes.
Keep it Consistent
The key to making a product enjoyable to use is to minimize uncertainty whenever possible. In the case of a mobile app, this usually means placing features where users will expect to find them and making sure they work in a predictable way.
A good place to start are Android developers design guidelines. Known mostly as Material Design, these guidelines cover several important aspects of development:
- Look and feel
Following this documentation may feel restrictive by depriving you of the latest mobile app development trends. In reality, however, it will make your app more accessible and broaden its reach.
Focus on Responsiveness
The cornucopia of devices available on the market is often credited for the stellar success of mobile apps in digital transformation. Nevertheless, it also poses a number of challenges. Most notably, it’s challenging to make your application perform equally well on tablets and phones with different screen sizes.
Fortunately, modern development environments provide the necessary tools to address this issue. Keeping the app responsive will also reduce maintenance costs and improve user experience at a scale, so keep it in sight during development.
Don’t Get in Users’ Way
Once you are through with the essentials, it’s time to decide how your project is expected to generate revenue. There are, of course, many intricacies in choosing the right balance between paid and free models that deserve a separate article. Still, the most crucial one is the following: don’t overdo it. Ads do not become any less annoying after the “I Agree” button is pressed, and users will bounce to competitors if they feel overwhelmed, so keep the distractions to a minimum.
Don’t Stop Improving
Let’s say you’ve made it to the release and enjoy a steady influx of new users every day. Feels like the time of a deserved rest? Well, not really. A typical app development cycle has at least five stages:
And, believe it or not, maintenance is where the real action begins. Without technical support and bug fixing, even the best mobile app startup ideas will not survive for long, so check whether your development team can deliver supporting services when the app is in action.
Listen to Your Audience
This one may look obvious, yet somehow it often ends up being neglected. Meanwhile, establishing reliable communication is important on several levels. First, it’s an invaluable source of information on your app’s performance. Second, letting the audience know that their voices are heard is key to creating a loyal and engaged customer base. Finally, it will help keep the project on the right track and serve as a reality check, so don’t shy away from encouraging feedback.
The benefits of mobile app development for business are undeniable. However, they only become available after much thought and planning is put into the creation process. You may choose to tackle it by partnering with a startup product development company or boldly venture into the unknown on your own. Either way, the tips above will help you make a dent in this incredible space brimming with possibilities.