What You Need to Know About Building a Business App
Despite a marked increase in the number of new apps on Google Play and Apple's App Store, launching a native app requires considerable planning if it is to deliver your brand experience to potential customers.
Businesses are realizing the importance and benefit of native mobile apps for bringing brands and the experience they deliver to customers. A successful app launch requires more than technical development but considerable thought, planning and consideration of any long-term maintenance requirements.
Understand the Users
Thorough market research is a must before any app development project or even the initial decision to launch an app. Above all, launching an effective app for your busines requires a thorough understanding of your target user.
You can start by identifying your competitors, their mobile app strategy, and the strengths and weaknesses of those apps. While you may not want to develop a similar – or even the same – app as your competitors, you can still learn from their failures and avoid making the same mistakes.
Next, you need to research the target users. Who are they? What are their interests? Why do they use your product? More importantly, what values or benefits do they get from using your products? The more you know about your users, the better you will be at designing the app.
Planning is the most important part of an app development project. Everything about the app needs to be planned before it is developed. You cannot have a successful app if you don’t plan its features, its user journey, the kind of user experience that you want to deliver, and the design of the app itself.
The app needs to be planned for the target users; this is why doing thorough research is important. It may be tempting to include a lot of features in the app, but you may end up with a cluttered app that users don’t like if those features are not what they expect.
You also need to plan for other parts of the development project. Design and development are the most challenging ones, but you cannot neglect phases such as testing or deployment. Failure to plan for these phases could result in the project failing before you can launch the app.
Not All Features
As mentioned before, not all features need to be in the app. In fact, what you don’t include is as important as what you do include. When you know what users actually want, it is much easier to identify the right features to add, and how they need to be structured in the app.
This is a matter of delivering a pleasant experience. The rest of the app depends highly on the main features you introduce to the mix. Elements such as the menu, icons, the main page of the app, and even the onboarding wizard are affected by the primary features you introduce in the app.
The main features also define the app’s unique selling proposition or USP. At the end of the day, you have to ask whether the app will be valuable enough for its users, and the way to uncover the answer to that question is by understanding the app’s USP.
Don’t Forget to Test
Testing is often a bottleneck in a development project. After all, you want the app to reach its users as quickly as possible, right? Well, that may be true, but it shouldn’t be the reason to skip testing or take it lightly. Delivering features that don’t work or an app with plenty of bugs and errors is unacceptable.
Testing doesn’t have to be a bottleneck, as long as you can integrate the process seamlessly with the rest of the development project. This is where tools like test management and automation come in handy. You also have big names like Global App Testing to support you.
Global App Testing provides resources to do functional testing, QA for the app, and even do test automation. You have managed services too, which means you can conduct this type of functional testing without having to direct resources towards it.
Design for the User
Last but not least, always make sure that the app is designed for users, not for the management team of the business. It is easy to get carried away with brand elements and design languages that don’t always translate well. Make sure your users can use the app easily, and you are all set.
With these things in mind, starting your own app development project will be easy. You can avoid some of the biggest mistakes, overcome the challenges, and complete the project with an app that pleases users.