Nearly everyone has a mobile device. Nearly everyone is hooked to the internet. Nearly every company you can think of either has a mobile app or is in the process of making it or wants to jump the mobile bandwagon. A mobile app is the highest priority item on nearly everyone’s to-do- list, for good reason. According to a recent report by Gartner, nearly 70% of internet banking users globally use an app instead of the bank’s website. Many companies like Amazon, eBay, Etsy, and many others drive higher numbers through their apps compared to their website.
If you’re a service or a product company that has not created an app for yourself, you’re missing out! Investing in a mobile app is nearly as important as investing in a brick and mortar store today. However, what companies need to understand is that building an app is near as complex or even more than constructing a building for your office. An app is an important piece of software that might make or break your brand.
Finding the right development team or the right development partner for this job is extremely important. Knowing what is to be done and what should be the correct order of things is equally important. We are listing a five-step guide that will ensure that you stay on top of things, whether you’re creating the app on your own or if you hire a third party for the job.
What do my users want?
This is the most important question that must be addressed before you start work on your app. What do your users think would be the most needed feature of your app? A user survey across demographics is a great way to analyze what your users want and ensure that your app meets those requirements. An experienced software development company will ensure that due diligence and time is spent ideating and understanding the user requirements of an app before starting to work on it. Remember – an idea on a whiteboard only needs a duster. A badly managed app needs time, money and effort.
Who will make my app?
Finding the right development partner is crucial for your app project. An app development company that is experienced and knows their business well will ensure that you spend your money where it matters the most. As companies gain experience, it shows in the products that they create. No matter where your development team is located, ensure that there are no communication gaps both within the team and between the team and the stakeholders. A team that communicates well gets the idea across. Getting the idea across gets work is done.
Keep the following points in mind while shortlisting a company:
Your quote should not be too over budget. Understand that a quote that is already over budget, will only inflate over time and might cause you to shelve your project prematurely. Also understand the fact that if a quote is too under budget, the company might not be able to pull it off and would be quoting a low price for a low-quality job. Due diligence is the one thing that cannot be ignored here. Do enough research about the partner you are about to shortlist and interact with their existing customers to get to know their experience with the company.
Timelines are extremely important. A project that stretches too long loses steam and then gets shelved. Your development partner must have a proven track record of completing projects in time and delivering them according to timeframes.
Although the size of the team at your development partner’s end might not matter too much to you at the outset, very small teams might find it difficult to deliver large projects in time or might not be able to design, test and deliver with the quality that you require.
An app development company is easy to find. What is difficult to find is an experienced development partner that understands your needs and acts as a part of your own company when it comes to developing your app for you. An experienced mobile app development company will ask a lot of questions before they give you answers. They will be to the point, detailed and always on time.
Transparency is an important factor that should not be ignored. A company that uses a tool to showcase to their customers how their project is progressing is always better than a company that just promises but fails to communicate at regular intervals. Clear communication and clarity regarding the scope of the project and its current status are extremely important.
What will my app look like?
The most important factor for any product is the user experience. Many companies falter on this extremely important facet while creating a product. It is important to know what your users what, how do they want to do it and what do they want it to look like. In short, the following are extremely important before you even think of starting to develop your app:
User story and workflows
Both user stories and workflows are extremely important aspects of an app that need to be discussed before the app is envisioned. As you understand how your app will showcase itself to the user and how will a problem be addressed, you will be able to visualize the app. Lo-fi wireframing is extremely popular and very important when it comes to visualizing the app before you start the actual design process.
Key features and differentiating factors
Key features and differentiating factors of an app can affect its design in a major way. To ensure that you have all the information you need in this regard, spend time to understand your users so that you do not miss a required functionality.
Interface design and styling
This phase of the app design is very important. the design team will start to create style guides and ensure that the app is in sync with your brand’s identity. Your product’s design must be seamless across the app and should not be jerky. Ensure that you get options to choose from and are not tied down to the only design you’re shown. Finalize the fonts, colors, themes and design elements before moving on.
One step a, b and censure that your wireframes have been approved by key stakeholders and are good to go, you can create high-fidelity comps and move to the next step, which ensures that your app is moving in the right direction design-wise.
Prototyping and user testing
Designs must be showcased to key stakeholders and control groups to ensure that your app looks and feels the way it should. Creating an early prototype is a good way to test the waters and ensure that you do not end up spending all your development time on an app that is rejected by users at the outset.
How will my app be made?
The part that you have been waiting for – development! An experienced software development company understands the nitty-gritty. They will ensure that they are on top of the game and that your app is stable from the ground up. Experienced development companies ensure that their development team members are involved at each step of the project.
On the design side of things, developers inform and advise designers about the latest requirements from operating platform the app will run on, or if there are specifics that the designers must focus on for each operating platform. As most mobile apps are launched on both Android and iOS, designers and developers must always be in sync so that design elements do not go haywire and do not confuse users.
On the development front, experienced developers create better application architectures, leading to products that are scalable, rock-solid and easy to maintain. Experienced development companies use tools that can significantly reduce development time when it comes to multi-platform development. Tools like Convertigo, Xamarin, Appcelerator and Monocross can significantly reduce development time by reusing code across architectures. As delivery time decreases, you save both money and release your app faster!
Will my app be reliable?
The reliability of an app is often a factor that is considered by many users before they accept or reject it. If the app is unstable, buggy or does not perform as promised, it can put users off and result in user churn. This can significantly damage the reputation of both your company and your product. Robust QA practices that are religiously followed result in robust apps that are favored by users as compared to buggy ones.
Experienced QA teams can easily find problems related to user experiences, compliance, workflows, end-user requirements, third-party integrations and much more. This ensures that you can fix problems before an app is rolled out to end-users rather than trying to fix it in a later version. A reliable mobile app development company will ensure that QA practices are in place so that product quality is not compromised at any stage of the development process.
As you must have understood through this handy guide, releasing an app is a time consuming yet rewarding process, if you find the right partner to develop it for you. Skimping a step or two in this guide might get you to the app store faster but will always hurt in the long run as app quality, design or architecture might be faulty, leading to loss of users and causing a loss in revenue and increased re-engineering costs.
Volumetree is an app development company that puts your users first. Every app that we create is of industry standards and follow up-to-date design and development guidelines to reduce the chances of rejection by users and application delivery platforms.
With an eye for detail at each step, we would rather spend time and create a fantastic user experience than save time and showcase just a passable product. We put our client’s users first, our clients second and then ourselves to ensure that we keep your best interests in mind. With years of experience in our hands and a large user base, we are adept at user experience design and development.
Our methodology is proven, time-tested and rock-solid. We intend to exceed user expectations at all fronts to ensure that our work represents true value for you. Please contact us to get a quote for your app today!