Some startups think that mobile app development is worth investing.
Build an app and launch it.
Make lots of money. Wow!
Hey, it is not that easy as you think.
Today, it has become important for every business to be available on different platforms. Establishing a powerful presence and connecting with potential customers is a vital business challenge.
The mobile app ecosystem is in no mood of shutting down. According to the Global Market Report – Revenue from app market will grow to $80.6 billion by 2020.
Mobile applications are one of the most reliable tools to bridge the gap between your business and customers. Well, most of the entrepreneurs have either launched a mobile app or are planning to upgrade the existing one.
Till December 2018, the Google Play Store had 2.1 million apps whereas Apple’s App Store had 2 million apps available for the users.
Wondering how to make your app to be the first choice for the user? Or do you want to know how to create an app?
Before we start, let’s have a look at the major challenges faced by startups:
- Market Research
- Restricted Budget
Let’s Discuss these Mobile App Development Challenges in Detail:
In the immensely overcrowded app market, what will make your app idea stand out from the rest?
Planning to build an app after being inspired by another popular app having the same features won’t do any good. Right from the very beginning, you have to be very sure about your idea, only then your app will be noticed.
Do you want to know how do you validate your idea so that it becomes attention seeker? How to incorporate the features in your mobile app so that it will match or exceed the expectation of the users?
Just continue reading this mobile app development guide!
2. Market Research:
Market search is essential before you move ahead with the development process. But it is one of the most difficult steps in the mobile app development roadmap.
During the market research, you should try to find out the answer to the following questions:
- Do you have an idea that who is most likely to download your app?
- Is there a market for your app?
- Will the app be easily accessible?
- What strategy will drive the target audience?
- Have you analyzed your product or service?
- Where will it be sold?
- Who is your target audience?
- Who are your biggest competitors?
Another major challenge faced by the business owners is looking for reliable resources i.e. mobile app developers. To make your application successful, you have to hire a developer with exceptional skills.
And it’s not an easy task to find out skilled developers easily. So, to ease the process of hiring skilled mobile app developers, here are a few questions:
- How to check their basics?
- Know how experienced they are?
- Do they have good communication skills?
- Are they creative enough?
- Which platform do they excel in?
- Can they recommend more features for the app?
In case you don’t want to increase the overhead costs by hiring local developers, offshore development would be a great idea!
4. Restricted Budget:
Start-ups usually have a limited budget but a good vision to deliver only the best. So, it becomes necessary to plan accordingly. Because mobile app development requires a lot of investment in the research, design, development, launch and marketing process.
So, it is one of the most difficult mobile app development challenges to develop a successful app. While budgeting your application, the following points can make a huge difference:
- Whether to pay hourly or fixed rates to the developer?
- Are you building a hybrid app?
- What will be the maintenance cost?
- Do you want to partner with another brand?
Therefore, make your decision wisely.
Steps to Follow during Mobile App Development Process:
As an entrepreneur, you have to take some hard decisions. Dedication, passion, crystal clear vision and winning strategies, everything will play an important role in your success.
So, without further ado, let’s discuss the roadmap for a successful mobile app that will also address the mobile app development challenges!
1. Validating your idea makes all the difference:
An idea pops up in your head and you want to implement it. Well, that’s a great thing to do.
But wait, there are similar apps available in the app store that was not too successful.
Now what? Your investment will not reap fruits for you. And to avoid such a situation, thorough market research is required. Make sure your idea has a direct marketing connection with your potential end users.
Try to find out the problems that nobody has solved. If you can’t think of such a problem, it’s better to look out for a solution with a room for improvement. Immerse into the problem and grasp it. Once done, start evaluating how to solve that problem using a mobile application.
It is very important to challenge your validity and viability.
You have to focus on what problem/issue your app will solve. Will it be beneficial for your audience?
- Use Google Trends: By using Google Trends, you will get to know the relative popularity of the searches of your product in the Google search engine. It is a great tool for market research that is worth considering.
- Google keyword planner: Based on the inputs, the Google Keyword Planner tool comes up with ideas and suggestions. By using this tool, you will get a list of important search phrases related to your product/service along with their average search volume.
2. Thorough Market Research is the Key:
After validating your idea, it is time to research the market thoroughly. Start-ups are usually a team of 2-15 people so they don’t have a team that specializes in market research in detail.
Your market research should cover:
- App objective
- Target customers
- Unique features of the app
- Competitors analysis
- Investment in the app
- App marketing
- Maintenance of the app
Ryan Paugh (Co-founder of the Young Entrepreneur Council) mention in his article and he says “The best thing you can do is share your ideas with people. A lot of entrepreneurs avoid this because they are worried that others will steal their ideas. … Most people could never execute correctly on a good idea that you had.
Ask: Would you buy this? If you get good feedback and truly believe in your heart that your idea has legs, start now.”
A thorough understanding of the customer’s pain should be your initial step. Understanding your customer requirements will take you miles ahead of your competitors.
In case you don’t have a team who is aware of your target industry then consider getting a free consultation from an offshore development team, having experience working with your industry.
3. Focus on the Wireframe of your Mobile App:
Now, when you know that your app will be evoking the interest of the audience, it is recommended to wireframe the mobile app. If you are someone who doesn’t understand what the term wireframe means, we are here to explain it to you.
A wireframe is a structural blueprint of a project that contains diagrams depicting the objects on the screen and the features. Wireframing is the most important step that you can’t afford to miss out, no matter what.
In simple words, it is like a sketch drawn by an architect before constructing a house or a building. Here are some benefits to wireframe your application:
- You get a clear idea of how your app will look and work.
- You will know how different features will look on the screen.
- It will help you understand the navigation flow of your application.
- You can confirm if your app is solving the challenge your users are facing.
Wireframing further involves two steps:
Step 1: Mobile App Design
If you are planning to create an amazing product, the design should never be an afterthought.
When the wireframe is ready, now is the time to start designing the app. Here, all the market research will come into use. You know your customer’s expectations and requirements so it would be easy to finalize the design of your application.
Steve Jobs has rightly said,” Design is not just what it looks like, it is what it feels like.”
The audience always gets attracted towards beautiful things so make sure the app is beautifully designed. The user interface & experience are the crucial factors that make a mobile app a huge success.
The design stage should include:
- Workflow: Here the data, interface, functionality, platform and technology architecture of the app should be specified in detail.
- Style Guide: This should be all about consistency, standard, and usability. The guide should have details of the app inclusive of the uniqueness.
- Mockups: They define the flow of the app. Adobe Photoshop and Sketch are common tools that help create high-fidelity mockups.
- Prototype: While mockups demonstrate the mobile app display, the prototype gives you a glimpse into the working of the app. While mockups are dummies, prototypes are the demo versions.
Step 2: Mobile App Development
After design comes the coding part of the app. If you think that you don’t have enough skills to handle this step, outsource mobile app development.
Recommended Read: How to Outsource Mobile App Development Effectively?
The development process involves code development, the configuration for the back-end, API and front end.
- Backend Development: The server-side objects are configured and tested to support the desired mobile app functionality.
- Application Programming Interface: API connects the app, backend server/database and app with the OS components.
- Frontend Development: This is what is visible to the users so it has to be interactive. When the app works without data connectivity, it requires APIs to download and store data locally.
For mobile app development, you can either develop native apps or choose a cross-platform approach. The decision depends entirely on your budget.
If you want a free consultation on which platform to choose, you can contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org
Here is the process that is followed during the development phase:
- In the alpha phase, the core functionality isn’t tested.
- In the beta phase, the app goes through testing and bug fixing.
- After fixing the bugs, it moves to the release phase.
Recommended Read: What is the Perfect Mobile Application Development Process?
4. Resolving Bugs via Application Testing:
During this process, the testing team will check for usability, compatibility, security, and performance.
The checklist includes:
- Usability testing
- Compatibility testing
- Interface testing
- Service testing
- Low-level resource testing
- Performance testing
- Operational testing
- Security testing
Thoroughly understand the issues in the app and let the team resolve them. A single bug is capable of ruining your app.
5. Keeping the Monetisation strategy in Place:
Established businesses focus on great user experience than monetization but being a startup, you don’t have the same perk.
- Choose the Freemium App Model: Initially, it is better to go for the freemium app model as this is an easy invite for the users to download the app. The user response will decide whether to move to the premium version or not.
- In-app purchases: This amazing strategy has the ability to turn your app into another sales channel. You must have seen the ads in the app to get paid for clicks. This is great especially if you have an e-commerce store.
- Subscription: This one is similar to the freemium model but the subscription model offers paid content. The subscription will be the best choice when the app is content driven or the app implies many downloads or higher retention rate.
What About the Mobile App Development Budget?
The experts say that there is no one size that fits for all the application to finalize the budget. Every app has its own features, utilities, solutions, and revenue-generating capabilities.
However, here are the tips to ensure that your budget is well-knit:
- Articulating the Purpose: The app market has grown leaps and bounds & the last year’s revenue reached $110 billion approximately. The apps ability to captivate the users makes a huge impact on the budget. So, it is important to define the scope of app development in a better manner.
- Selecting the Functionality and Integration: The features and integration constitute the material of the app. Make sure that you carefully craft the list of features and functionalities to bring your idea to life. It will also help you to outline the budget for your app development.
- Deciding the Platform: The proportion of the user base directly affects the platform you choose. And there are cost implications on the type of platform you are using. So, pay close attention while choosing the platform.
Recommended Read: How to Finalize Mobile App Development Cost?
6. Deployment and App Launch:
You are almost there!
Now, your app is ready for submission. Choose a specific day for the launch. Your main motive should be that your app reaches in the hands of as many users as possible.
As soon as the app goes into the hands of the customer, feedback starts to pour in. And the next step is to upgrade our app based on those feedbacks.
7. Focus on App marketing:
The success of the app depends on 20% on development and 80% on the marketing strategies. Yes, that’s true.
Once you are done with the app launch, put on the thinking hats and create a perfect marketing strategy. Build up a strategy to drive app discovery, boost organic install and user engagement. Make the plan to-the-point and realistic. No need to invest extravagantly in the marketing budget.
You will surely have a tough time drawing the attention of the customers regardless of the responsive design, rich features and incredible user interface in the app. If you seriously want to create a buzz in the marketplace, make your app free for the users.
Once it is popular, you can experiment with in-app purchases while rewarding vouchers, discounts and other offers that will promote your brand in a better way.
Klicktock’s Matt Hall, the developer behind Crossy Road, suggests that you study not just the successful apps, but the horrible ones, too. Ask yourself what the app did wrong and make sure you don’t duplicate that same mistake.
These ways will help you give skyrocket results:
- Social media marketing
- Paid Ads
- Email marketing
- SMS marketing
- App Store Optimization
Note: Besides developing a mobile app, if you want to convert your business into a brand you may be thinking to digitalize your small business.
Recommended Read: Effective Ways For Mobile App Marketing To Improve Your Brand Awareness!
Do’s & Don’ts!
Make sure your mobile app has the basic qualities to prevail in the global marketplace. Here are few Do’s and Don’t you should follow and avoid pitfalls.
- Ease of Access: Your mobile application should be easy to navigate and download. Bad user experience is likely to cost you a lot.
- Remember the Flow Map: You should have a well-drafted flow map to make sure there is a logical and reasonable navigational structure.
- One Platform at a Time: Many startup companies fall victim by building the app across multiple platforms. So, it is recommended to choose a single platform only.
- Avoid Too Many Features: If there are too many features, the users will get confused. Also, the app may become buggy thereby degrading user experience.
- Never Build a Clone App: You may feel copying a successful app is a good idea but you are making a huge mistake. Introducing something unique will always attract customers so it is better to follow a genuine approach not copy paste something that exists in the market.
- Don’t Release the App too Quickly: The launch time of your app may break or make the success of your app. Bug-free app with fewer features is better than a full-fledged app with erratic functionality. There is never a good reason to rush for the release.
Mobile app development is not a one-time event as there is always room for improvement. So, connect with a reliable app development company for help!
The Word for the Wise:
Don’t cling to the misconception that you will get the perfect version of the app in the first go. The successful apps that we see today have gone through a number of improvisations and have evolved as per customer’s feedback.