By 2020 (next year), mobile apps are expected to generate about 188.9 billion dollars.
It’s no wonder that countless companies are beginning to find their way into the mobile market.
Aside from providing businesses with a new way to engage and retain customers, app development can give software experts a fantastic opportunity to make a name for themselves.
Design something that solves customer problems and provides entertainment or information, and your app could earn you thousands.
So, how do you make sure that you produce an application that’s going to make the right impact in today’s competitive marketplace?
The road to success begins with knowing the most common pitfalls facing modern app developers.
Pitfall #1: Not Identifying a Need
You wouldn’t launch a business without doing market research and making sure that people want your products or services. Similarly, it’s important not to create an app until you know that there’s a market for it.
- Auditing your competitors: Find out what other companies can’t offer that you can.
- Conducting surveys: Send questionnaires to members of your target market to validate your idea.
- Listening to social media: Find out what people are talking about in your niche and ask yourself if you can create an app that serves their needs.
By checking to see if people genuinely want your app before you bring it into the market, you can improve your chances of a successful future.
Pitfall #2: Building a Poor UI
The user interface is one of the most essential components of any app. An effective, eye-catching, and reliable UI attracts users and keeps them coming back to your app for years to come.
On the other hand, get this aspect of your tool wrong, and you’ll struggle to build the right reputation in your industry.
There are many different approaches that you can take to coding and creating your app. You might use an App flowchart to keep your development on track, or constantly check your loading times to ensure that your app runs quickly for your customers.
Whatever you do, don’t underestimate the power of a quick, reliable mobile experience.
Pitfall #3: Including Too Many Features
When you’re competing with thousands of other app developers, it’s tempting to add as many features to your tools as possible. Unfortunately, add too much to your tool, and you risk both weighing down your app, and scaring off users in search of something simple.
The easiest way to combat this mistake is to create a roadmap for your app from day one. Decide what kind of problems you want to solve for your user, and which features they’ll need most.
Eliminate anything your audience might not need. You can always add new capabilities later if your customers request them.
For instance, a restaurant with a food delivery app might provide features like:
- A shopping cart
- An interactive menu
- Secure payment options
- Help and support
- Order tracking
Pitfall #4: Creating an App for too many platforms
Another common mistake that app developers make is assuming that their tool needs to work on every possible OS. While multiple platforms will improve your chances of reaching a wider audience, it also puts much more work on your plate.
Instead of rushing into too much too fast, choose a single platform based on what you know about your target audience. Focusing your attention on a single OS will give you the time and energy to figure out what works for your users, and make changes based on user feedback before you start investing in other channels.
Pitfall #5: Designing an App that’s Too Heavy
Today’s consumers love downloading new tools and services on their smartphones. However, they don’t want to delete a handful of their favorite games just so that they have enough space for one new app.
If your app takes up too much space or uses too much battery, then it’s going to scare off your customers.
As you’re working, give yourself a limit for how big your app can become. If you start to approach that limit, ask yourself what you can get rid of to keep your tool lightweight.
For instance, can you minimize resource use from libraries, crunch your PNG and JPEG files down with compression tools, or eliminate unnecessary code?
The lighter your app is, the more people will be able to use it.
Pitfall #6: Not Doing Enough Testing
There are more than 1,000 apps released into the digital world every day. That means that it’s very difficult to create a tool that stands out. If you happen to capture the attention of your target audience, and they discover that your app doesn’t work as it should, you could ruin all future potential you might have in the app development space.
With that in mind, it’s crucial to make sure that you test your application carefully, and check that it works properly on all of the platforms you plan on releasing it with. Remember, a good first impression will make or break the future of your venture.
If you can get a third-party testing team involved, that’s even better. An outside opinion is often far more focused and objective.
Pitfall #7: Ignoring your Reviews
Your job as an app developer isn’t done when you release your new service to the world. If people are writing reviews about your tool, then they’re either thrilled with what you’ve produced, or they’re frustrated about something.
Either way, reviews give you an insight into what you should be focused on in future iterations of your app. If something isn’t working as well as your customers hoped, you can introduce a patch quickly, and regain the respect of your followers. If someone needs a new feature, you can start planning on a release with your next update.
Taking your reviews seriously will help you to attract and retain users in the long-term.
Developing a Successful Mobile App
Creating a successful new app takes a lot of time and dedication.
Most of the time, copying and pasting ideas from other software and tools won’t make you a fortune, or do anything for the future of your business. However, if you take your time to create an app that’s valuable, unique, and engaging, then you could achieve something incredible.
Make sure that you don’t miss your chance at the growing app marketplace by avoiding the mistakes above.
Heather Redding is a content manager for rent, hailing from Aurora. She loves to geek out writing about wearables, IoT and other hot tech trends. When she finds the time to detach from her keyboard, she enjoys her Kindle library and a hot coffee. Reach out to her on Twitter.