Building the next great mobile application can be an extremely profitable way to make money and boost your business - if you know what you’re doing.
Mobile use statistics show that today more than three billion people worldwide use a smartphone. The vast majority of these smartphone users spend about 90 percent of their mobile time on apps.
While effective mobile app development may seem like a mystery, the secret to achieving it is usually right there in front of you.
Mobile app developers use different tools and techniques to make the process of development easier on the developers and better for the customers. However, to achieve those two essential goals, pro mobile developers focus on UX design to its fullest potential.
And there lies the secret to effective mobile app development: UX design is far more significant than almost any other factor on marketability of the app in the open market.
An app that is designed with the customer in mind will always outsell and be downloaded more times than a similar app with a clunky UI and slow response times.
Make UX Design Your Primary Focus
When you load an app on your phone, what are the very first things you notice? Do you notice the colors? The time it takes to load? The language on the welcoming screen?
More importantly, what do you not consider? Are the technical specifications something you typically fixate on? Which kind of database does the app use? Think about it from your customer’s perspective: what is most likely going to encourage engagement?
While technical specifications are important, the visceral emotional experience when using an app is vital and should be the main focus for developers.
That means you need to not only ensure overall great functionality, but also the best mobile app UX possible to elicit positive emotional responses from users.
1. Leverage the agile philosophy
Agile development strategies have worked so well that they’ve been adapted or integrated into just about every modern software project management philosophy out there.
The agile method proposes that an effective software development team is only able to do good work if the project is done iteratively, through a series of cycles, whereby software is incrementally improved, upgraded, and tested.
2. Open up communication channels
Constant feedback is mandatory for effective mobile development and can be made simple by being in constant communication with one another. This limits the need for unnecessary meetings and wasteful work stoppages.
Instead, keeping communication open will keep the developers invested and will give the app the best chance of finding true identity.
Effective mobile app developers also reach out to their customer bases directly to find out what they want and what they think should be improved.
3. Ask users for input
Developers who focus on the experience of the customer are making the right decision when it comes to the business of development.
Going out and asking your target audience for their input directly will give your developers a clearer understanding of what the product should do and what it should look like.
Users and fans will be more than willing to test out alphas and betas of products and give very honest feedback that will help your team overall.
In that way, effective mobile app teams are able to avoid spending time building an app that nobody asked for and that nobody wants.
4. Stay on top of the market and trends
Market research is always central in effective development, because tastes and technologies change over time. Through engaging with the target users, community, and researching the market, developers can stay on the right track and ahead of the pack.
The app itself is only as valuable as people perceive it to be, and by researching the market, giving the product a clear identity, and tailoring the app to the needs of the audience, effective mobile developers can make applications that are received and sell well on the market.
Things like the response times and logic of the forms are of the utmost importance to the customer and focusing on them will directly lead to conversions. Internally, effective development teams are also likely to follow a management principle of some sort or another.
Most effective teams currently utilize agile principles when developing because it focuses on productive development via communication and cooperation. The agile principles profess the benefits of iterative developments which leads to more refined products and better testing.
Effective mobile developers understand that a well researched and up-to-date development cycle leads to confident development and less confusion. Leveraging the agile principles, for example, also means opening up communication channels across the entire development teams and management staff to keep everyone involved and informed.
Moreover, doing thorough research, staying open minded, and challenging the status quo with inovative solutions is key to great mobile development. Development environments must thus be dynamic and agile to stay competitive. Those companies that remain rigid fall behind and usually fail.
Making better mobile apps is about engaging more fully with the customer and discovering the most effective ways to work. More than that it’s about ensuring a great UX ultimately.
App developers who feel stuck or in a rut should not shy away from asking for help, ideas, and or feedback from their community (whether that’s friends, a mentor, coworkers on LinkedIn, fellow developers on Stack Exchange, or the people you plan to sell to – your customers). Even hiring a few experienced freelance developers can be a great help.
All that work and consultation should be geared towards fine-tuning your design ideas and the entire development process, from UI design to aspects of branding, usability and function with a view to create apps that provide rich, meaningful and relevant experiences to users.