I hear you have a great idea for an app but are worried about where to start? How do you take your awesome idea and make some serious money from it?
As at March 2017, the App Store had 2.2M apps available, while Google Play lists 2.8M apps. These number are certainly high but don’t be scared off.
The team at 152HQ have been app developers for over 15 years now and we have learnt a thing or two along the way, which we are more then happy to share with you.
So, how can you ensure your app is not a failure? We have found that the success of your app really comes down to the following key points.
- How to stand out from the crowd.
Most importantly – know your target audience. Try to partner with a company or end user, to not only ensure the app is user friendly but to also determine the market need. Who knows, if you play your cards right they may even help you fund the project.
Spend time developing your MVP (minimal viable product). Make sure it includes security features such as encryption or user access levels.
Many clients believe that their apps should be miniature versions of their websites. This is simply not true. Apps should complement your website by being designed to help the end user preform a task faster and easier than if they were to access your website.
- Funding your app
Have you received a quote for your app development and are now looking at applying for a second mortgage to pay for it? While app development is not necessarily cheap (often quotes are between $2,000 and $200,000 dependent upon scope and coding requirements,) there are ways to keep these costs down.
First stop is to review your design brief. We all know that rework due to design changes means delays and cost implications. (And personally, there is nothing worse as a front-end developer (App coder) than being held up by the back end (database/web) designer because the customer has changed their mind on how or what data they wish to collect.)
Not only can poorly designed apps cause launch delays and additional costs, but they can also be penalised by the App Store and Google Play.
It all comes back to up front planning.
We love to receive your ideas for screen layouts and button functions on folded up A4 paper or pizza boxes. It helps everyone to understand exactly what you are trying to achieve.
Remember that while technology is constantly evolving, you need to stay true to your design, its functionality and who your audience is. Their experience is everything when it comes to great app design.
- Device compatibility
It is anticipated that 5 billion people worldwide will have access to a smartphone by 2019, so consideration needs to be given as to what platform you release your app on.
Sales of Apples iPhones to date for 2018 have only captured 15.6% of the market, while devices that utilise Android technology control 85.9% of the market.
You should also consider if you will be using or relying on another entities API’s or plugs in. (These maybe subject to annual subscriptions fees, hosted by overseas entities, or designed by un-reputable companies.) Will your app require on going maintenance or upgrades? What support is offered, should something go wrong?
Remember that your app should enhance your customer’s experience. To be successful it needs to be user friendly, simple and effective. Keep in mind the reason you are making the app. Who will be using it and amend your styling to suit. If your target audience is not too tech savvy, make sure you limit the number of actions required to operate the app. Perhaps even increase the size or number of buttons.
As app developers we have access to the latest in technology to ensure your app is intuitive, dynamic, responsive and interactive. This is all achieved within the coding. But please feel free to let your developer know if there is a particular function you would like to include within your app.
- Mobile App Marketing
You will need to have a game plan about how, who and where you will be marketing your app. Your app is now scrambling for market visibility, along with the other 5M apps. It is recommended that you spend 10% of your App’s budget on development and 90% on marketing.
Your marketing should incorporate digital format, targeting smart phone users.
Another aspect of app marketing is to think about your pricing structure. Will your app be sold via subscription, download and pay module (remembering that App Store and Google Play do deduct fees from the purchase price.) Will your app be offered free to complement your web interface?
- Performance Testing
There is nothing worse for an app user to go through the motions of downloading an app only to find it is riddled with bugs, times out and crashes or just does not suit their need.
Unfortunately, there is no easy fix to this dilemma. Only testing, testing and more testing will solve this problem.
An easy way to do all this testing, (and ensure testing is conducted with a fresh set of eyes) is to enlist help from your friends and family. Even better if you have partnered with a client or end user and can use them for free testing.
Dependant upon the size of your project, testing may need to be done at certain hold points within the project, enabling a number of soft releases to market. These soft releases allow for amendments to be undertaken and new releases to be uploaded over time.
Remember that you are testing not just for bugs and crashes, but to gain insight into the customers experience.
If you have any questions or would like help navigating the world of App development, please contact the team at 152HQ. www.152hq.com