Published on May 17th, 2023
If it seems like every company has a mobile app, there’s a good reason. The mobile commerce industry is running full speed ahead as more consumers embrace apps in lieu of traditional websites.
Nonetheless, conventional sites still exist, and those without mobile accessibility features are falling behind. Given these trends, going mobile is a no-brainer for businesses looking to capture enough market share.
But creating an app for an established company or starting a tech revolution with something new is a ginormous task. Even optimizing existing websites for mobile takes careful planning and execution.
It’s a complex process with more than technical aspects to consider. Here are six things to take into account when going mobile.
1. Market Need
You might have a great app idea you’re sure you can convince others to get behind. You’re excited to take your project from concept to launch.
But before you get too fixated on an app’s end to end product design, take time to do your research. Is there a market need for your idea? And how will it compete against other apps?
If you’re developing a mobile solution based on existing customers’ needs, you may be piggybacking off of a common idea.
Say you’re a telecom company looking at launching an app so subscribers have another way to manage their accounts.
What features are most important to your customer base? Maybe it’s paying bills, changing plans, and researching coverage maps. Know what your market wants and how your app’s design can better meet those needs.
2. User Privacy
Mobile tech may facilitate conveniences society only once dreamed about. But on-the-go connectivity and software also raise security concerns.
When it comes to personal data, 54% of surveyed U.S. households worry about the vulnerability of smartphones.
Other devices connected to mobile apps represent additional worries. About 40% of survey participants expressed concern over mobile gadgets like smartwatches and fitness trackers.
While not every app collects user data, the majority do. If your design plans include gathering and using personal information, you’ll want to consider tight security measures like encryption.
Also, map out where you’ll store users’ data if it contains sensitive details such as bank account numbers. You may need to comply with consumer privacy regulations, implement privacy policies, and give users opt-out options.
3. Platform Compatibility
Development costs and market potential will factor into your app’s profitability. Although Android takes the lead with 71.8% global share compared to iOS’s 27.6%, think about your audience.
For some companies, developing an app for several platforms makes sense. Your customer base may contain large numbers of iOS and Android fans. However, creating the same app for more than one platform will take additional time and money.
Hybrid development technologies are simplifying this process, but you don’t want to invest in tools for the sake of it.
Evaluate your company’s long-term objectives and user preferences. Say your customers go against the grain.
They’re iOS devotees who show no signs of converting anytime soon. In this case, it would be better to allocate resources to native iOS development software.
4. Monetization Potential
Some apps are free to use, but companies make money by showing ads. Users can upgrade to the app’s paid version if they don’t want to see or hear ads.
Other businesses boost profits through in-app purchases and subscriptions. There are also apps for managing financial services, yet transactions still occur.
In your app development plans, outline its primary use in your market and opportunities for monetization. If you’re a bank, this may not apply in the same way.
Your app is essentially a replica of your website, with added features like mobile deposit. Your monetization comes from securing accounts, including loans. But if you’re creating a digital music app, a freemium model with ads and paid subscriptions may fit the bill.
5. Quality Assurance
User experience is everything. When people find mobile tech too complicated, they walk away. Therefore, your testing phase can be more crucial than your development stage.
You’ll want to work out more than just the technical bugs, such as unexpected crashes. Include your ideal user in beta testing to see whether your design and overall performance meet expectations.
Design teams are notorious for overlooking details they don’t perceive as potential frustrations. It may take two more seconds than average to load a menu feature — no big deal, right? Yet those additional seconds could cause users to grow agitated.
Likewise, simple style changes may mean the difference between high and low adoption rates. During testing, check everything from navigation flow and speed to appearance and functionality.
6. Internal Resources
Common sense says successful app development takes technical expertise. While modern tools make the process less complex, you’ll want to take stock of your in-house resources.
Do you have a team of developers with the right expertise? Or do you need outside help to carry out your ambitions?
Going full speed ahead without the necessary knowledge can result in a substandard product. It can also cause you to backtrack, thereby wasting time.
Shelving portions of the project can hurt employee morale and make the initial idea irrelevant. By the time you’re ready to pick up the pace again, a competitor may have gotten there first. Before you begin app development, assess your resources and augment them if needed.
It also never hurts to evaluate what apps and tools could improve your employees’ productivity. For example, the infamous Uber design system was developed specifically to decrease the number of apps Uber’s internal team has to switch back and forth between.
Successful App Design
The decision to create an app is a big one. Its implications range from technical to financial. What sounds like a great idea may not be feasible without market research and outside expertise to back it up.
However, your company can successfully go from concept to launch by considering all facets of the user experience. As long as you develop apps with your market in mind, your chances of meeting your goals will increase.
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