Recently, there has been a paradigm shift from the use of websites to the use of mobile applications. This has led to a ferocious competition in the mobile app market as different companies and individuals clamor to meet up with the technological revolution.
Mobile apps have grown to be a necessity to businesses, companies, individuals, etc as it generates more conversions for owners.
According to www.statistica.com, as of March 2017, 2.8 million apps and 2.2 million apps were available at Google Play Store and Apple Store respectively, with thousands being added daily.
With this statistics arises the problem of app visibility for a new mobile application breaking into the market. There's need for you as a new app developer to develop a methodical approach to mobile app development. This has a big role to play if your app is to survive the breakeven point in the market.
Never to worry, we've outlined ways to develop an app successfully.
Below are 10 steps to create a successful mobile application.
Before you start any mobile app venture, be it for gaming, e-commerce, etcetera, you have to ask yourself the question, "What needs are my solving?"
Understanding the need is the first thing an intending app owner should know. This keeps you in view of where you're heading to and what you're aiming to solve.
With an understanding of the problem, you go ahead to define the exact aspect of the identified problem your app will solve. This helps give objectivity to the purpose of your mobile app.
With identification and definition of the problem comes conception of creative ideas on features. These conceived features have to be directed towards solving the defined problem. The features of the app should be a reflection of the problem you're trying to solve.
After the stage of definition, you proceed to the next step.
Immediately following the problem identification is the market research. This is surprisingly the most important step in the process of developing a mobile app.
How can you carry out an effective market research?
Market research will go a long way to help you understand the market better for effective and optimal mobile app development. Make adjustments to your idea based on the information got from the market research. It's necessary to align your ideas with existing successful apps.
Every mobile app has a rationale behind its development. How will your app achieve its purpose? What's your strategy to achieve your aim of developing the app? If you plan to make money out of the app, Will people pay to download your app? Will you allow PPC or other advertising packages? If yes, will the advertising interfere with the user experience?
With the answer to these questions, you can develop a business model which will guide the app development process.
Make sure you have an accommodating budget for the app. There's great need to map out a budget for development and marketing of your app. It's also of great importance that you allocate a good percentage of the budget to contingencies. It's normal for the first version of your app to be imperfect, thus need to budget for the iterative refinement of your app.
The major things to consider during mobile app development budget include;
This is another significant step in the success of an app in the mobile market.
Many developers say they want a basic design and focus more on app development. This is a wrong step. Mobile app design doesn't only consider the app's look, it puts into consideration user's experience and appreciation of the app.
There's need for you to focus on the UI (User Interface) design and consider the standards of the platform the app is meant for. UI is being emphasized because of its critical relevance to an app's success. The UI is the most important element of the app.
While making the design, it's sacrosanct to focus on usability, user requirement, agile methodology, security, and back-end environment.
These languages help programmers design apps that will run across platforms, and this is done having the mobile devices and user's convenience in mind.
After designing your app, next step is the prototype development stage. This is taking your idea and turning it into an application with basic functions. The prototype presents an easy avenue to sell your idea to potential users. Prototyping is important in attracting investors, manufacturers and in acquiring licenses.
With innovations popping up every day in the IT world, many new ways of monitoring web and app statistics abound. Analytics is the mother of data science as it helps you track downloads; monitor the traffic to your app and the source of the traffic.
Mobile analytical tools go ahead to show the rate at which users leave your app (bounce rate) when they visit, and if they stay, how they behave while logged on and also informs you if they come back to your app.
With this information, you can modify your app to suit your audiences' preference.
Mobile analytics tools that help in this process abound. They include;
After integrating the selected analytical tool, your app is ready for the next step.
This stage of the app development process involves conducting tests to check the functionality of the app. Stern and continuous testing of the app is important to ensure the app functions as outlined in the blueprint.
These tests include;
This is essential as it enhances app store visibility and creates an avenue to get feedback from real-time users. You'll consider some preparatory steps before you carry out a beta testing;
At this stage, the app is ready and is released into the market. This point requires utmost tactfulness, as many apps exist in app stores.
It's challenging to break into the market and be noticed by the target audience.
To achieve this feat, you need to plan, schedule and control the movement of app releases, to test and the live environment. It's of great importance to manage the app's deployment alright so the app will enter the market at the right time, for the right audience while maintaining its integrity.
As nobody's perfect, so is no app perfect. After app deployment, need arises to listen to your users and find out what they enjoy and what they don't in the app. Take recommendations and criticisms of the app. This will help you plan your innovations perfectly.
One may ask, "How do I get this information?"
By Capturing the Metrics!
Accurate metrics are required for an accurate app innovation. As the number of mobile app users rises significantly, the need to collect accurate metrics rise simultaneously.
Most of the app intelligence that'll be gathered at this stage originates from the mobile analytics integrated into the app. Some metrics which should be monitored include;
These metrics captured make your guiding factors during the upgrading process. Innovations are added to the app with each upgrade, as innovative features determine to a high extent the longevity of your app.
App upgrading enhances app visibility, increases downloads and prevents stagnation of app. The app should be upgraded also to meet new guidelines offered by various platforms as the platforms innovate.
As an app developer, there is great need to follow innovations in the platform your app is running on. These innovations must reflect with each upgrade made on your app.
Conclusively, there is no stereotyped order of particular steps that lead to the success of a mobile app.
However, these steps outlined are some of the steps you should consider while developing an app. These steps will guide you develop an app that will survive in the long run.
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