App development is tricky to navigate and not a journey taken lightly by businesses or entrepreneurs. When done right, creating an app has been shown to increase customer engagement and satisfaction, so it’s natural to want to drive your business in this direction.
Employing a robust and reliable development team to build your business app will mean you’re less likely to fail, but choosing the right one is essential. The skills and experience they bring to the table could be the difference between your customers’ favorite app and their worst nightmare.
Mistakes are almost a rite of passage in any project, but not all of them have to lead to project failure, especially if you can learn from the mistakes of others. Whether you’re a business owner, a developer, or someone with a great app idea, we’ve compiled a list showing 5 of the most common app development mistakes and how to avoid them.
You’ve got your great app idea, polled your customer base, and they’ve agreed with you that it would benefit them. So, you jump in and start building it, but you’re putting it out to so many platforms that you’ve been unable to offer a good app user experience (UX) or structure. Your app represents your brand and your company, so it needs to be a good and viable product, offering help or services to your customers.
iOS and Android have very different build platforms and store requirements, so a build made with iOS in mind will certainly not be suitable for an android device. Complications arise with Android development, as the devices running this operating system are not standardized, while the Apple App Store has many hoops to jump through to publish. Speaking to developers with experience in these stores will help your process.
A poorly designed app with obvious flaws will stand out to your customers, and ironically, your customer reach is greater if you try to do it all at once! Focus on perfecting the application on one platform, giving it your full attention, and ensuring a quality product for your customers before opening it out to other platforms.
It’s hard to know which platform to start with, but polling your customer base and viewing current device usage statistics (like this from Statista) showing the current market share can help give you an idea.
Communication between developers, product teams, and customers is notoriously difficult. Translating those tricky techy terms into something a test user or end user can understand can be like trying to read a foreign language without a reference dictionary!
It’s also easy for miscommunications in the other direction. Unclear and poorly constructed project briefs with no clear definitions or project progress reviews can lead to unnecessary work and backtracks, all leading to a late product release.
Opening a clear communication channel between the team developing the app and the team in charge of delivering the app will ensure your app build process has no misunderstandings and a clear project brief. Achieve this with regular progress updates and interface reviews with a system to capture test user feedback.
Use collaboration tools and project management software to keep everyone involved up to date with the status of the app build.
It can be easy to get over-excited and dive straight into creating the app without taking the steps necessary to prepare for the project. Taking shortcuts or rushing into the actual build could mean starting from scratch in a few months’ time.
Answer the critical questions before you start building, or hire a dedicated app company to help you do it right. What platform will you use to develop your app? If you hire a company, what are their customers saying about them? Can they help you in the way you need?
These aren’t questions you can answer now while reading this article, but ones that should be answered and planned out in a similar way to writing a business plan. Failing to account for this is why so many strong app ideas end up at the bottom of a wastepaper basket.
Companies like The App Labb can help complete your due diligence and research, ensuring your app is ready to be built with robust and secure code.
Most companies building a company app will set aside some budget to make the app, then once it’s released, slash it as much as possible, leaving it to die a sad and insecure death.
A bit dramatic? Ok, but the sentiment is there!
An app needs to be funded throughout its life (not just in the initial build stages) and be supported accurately. It’s easy to underestimate how expensive it will be if it’s your first, but don’t worry; there are lots of tools out there to help you.
Suppose you’re not sure even where to start. In that case, your budget should include: Development and Quality Assurance, Business Analytics, Project Management, User Experience/User Interface (UX/UI), and, arguably the most essential, unexpected costs.
Many apps that reach development are quashed because they haven’t accounted for some of the unexpected costs.
Have you heard of the M.V.P? No, it’s not Most Valuable Player; good guess, though.
The Minimum Viable Product (M.V.P) is the lowest-featured, practical and working application you can provide to your customers. This product state is where you need to start!
Trying to squeeze every feature into your app before even releasing it may mean you’ll never get your app out there. While we could argue that cramming loads of app features into one release could overwhelm your customer, it’s a lot simpler than that: Mo’ features, mo’ problems.
The more features you have, the more potential for software bugs and performance issues. Ask yourself if your customer really needs that social media integration, or will it just add bulk to your app?
This minimalist practice can bring your app to the top of its game.
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