9 App Development Tips To Make A Successful App

With massive growth in app development, your app needs to stand out. Use these app development tips to create and build more successful apps.

With massive growth in app development, your app needs to stand out. Use these app development tips to create and build more successful apps.

There’s no denying that smartphones rule the world. According to Statista, the number of smartphone users worldwide today surpasses three billion and is expected to grow by several hundred million in the next few years. Why is the universe of smartphones expanding so swiftly? The answer is simple - Apps.

SmartInsights indicates that users spend a whopping 90 percent of their time on mobile applications. From managing work tasks to handling finances to booking a cab to ordering food to chatting with friends and family, apps offer everything from entertainment to necessity on one handheld device.

The app industry’s growth is further attributed to the increased adoption of smart tablets, smartwatches, and intelligent car infotainment systems. There are over 1.3 billion tablet users worldwide, a number that has doubled over the past six years.

While statistics may support building an app, there is a flip side to this dreamy fairytale of success. The competition in the app industry is brutal. As of June 2020, there are over 2.5 million apps in the Google Play store and 1.8 million in the App Store.

For a chance in such a competitive marketplace, here are 9 app development tips to make your app successful:

1. Understand Your Target Audience

To develop a successful app, you first need to understand your target audience. Study the demographic data like gender, age, location, buying habits, and motivations. Doing this preliminary study will also help you gauge the potential of your app idea.

Users are bound to use an app that motivates them or captures their interest. Do a deep dive into what motivates users and catches their attention so that they like the app, and eventually fall in love with it. Furthermore, start by searching for relevant statistics and insights about the app market and from similar app ideas implemented before.

For instance, did you know a 2019 statistic indicated that more than 50 percent of smartphone users in the U.S. download zero new mobile apps per month?

Or that the top 3 mobile apps millennials can’t live without are Amazon, Gmail, and Facebook? While this is a statistic from 2017, it is essential to learn about future trends like these to understand your audience’s behaviors.

Reach out to people on forums and social media, do a survey or conduct a poll, or build an MVP of your mobile app and collect feedback. While having a broader target audience group increases app usage probability, it’s easier to market innovation towards a narrower audience.

2. Determine the Value You Offer

Once you’ve understood who your audience is and what drives them to use an app, it is essential to determine your app’s value. Your application should offer high value by bringing an indispensable benefit for users’, so they are interested in downloading it and being motivated enough to use it.

For instance, Whatsapp has given the world a fast and convenient way to chat with people and share multimedia files in a jiffy. A game like Fruit Ninja or Candy Crush provides users with an entertaining outlet to alleviate stress and boredom. A great app has to be either fun to use or one that solves a dire problem. You need to determine which category your app falls in.

Most successful apps solve more than one problem while fulfilling business objectives and offering, smart innovative solutions. Therefore, it is crucial to determine what unique value your app will bring to the table. Study the other apps in the business by looking for what functionality they lack and checking for pain points identified by users of those apps.

Try and look for ways where your app will stand out from the others. A smart thing to do is to integrate the latest untapped technologies like Augmented Reality or Artificial Intelligence. After all, the world appreciates cleverly implemented innovation.

3. Define and Plan the Scope of the App

Whether your app development project is for Android, iOS, or a web app, it is crucial to your app development process to determine the scope of features. While you may wish to include a suite of smart functionalities and features, it is wise to start by defining your vision for the app and what you wish to achieve with it. Determine what problem your app is intending to solve and stick to that one goal.

Social media sharing, an integrated chat function, push notifications, payment gateway, are all good-to-have features that may be included at a later stage. Overly complicating the app development process will hamper user experience and increase costs.

Build an MVP (Minimum Valuable Product) with an app developer to collect feedback and understand your target audience’s pulse.

With an MVP, you can get a fairly good idea about how well your app is designed and how it functions. Based on your users’ feedback, you can decide which features to include and which to skip. Always remember what users genuinely need is a simple solution to their problem. If your app addresses that one problem efficiently, then your app will be a success.

4. Choose the Right Platform

Identifying the right platform should be an essential part of your app development process. Choosing a particular platform like Android or iOS is also heavily dependent on your target users and their device types.

Another aspect to note is that the aesthetics and appearance of your application work differently on different platforms. Also, the costs of app development vary based on which platform you choose. When it comes to choosing the right platform for app development, you have three broad options:

Native Apps for Mobile

Native apps for a specific mobile platform include either iOS or Android. Each platform uses a different coding language. iOS apps primarily use Swift and Objective-C, whereas Android apps use Java and C++. A native app can harness the full potential of a device’s hardware to offer better user experience and app reliability.

Cross-Platform Apps

Cross-platform apps work like native mobile apps; the only advantage is that they work on Android and iOS platforms. Tools like React Native, Flutter, Xamarin, Adobe PhoneGap are standard tools used to develop cross-platform native apps. Cross-platform apps make for a cost-effective approach, especially if you wish to build a well-designed, well-engineered app for more than one type of platform or device.

Hybrid Platform Apps

A hybrid app is a cost-friendly and highly effective app development approach. This is because hybrid apps are compatible with all device types and operating systems. The most significant upside to building hybrid apps is that you don’t need to write different codes for each platform. However, you miss out on the advantages that native apps bring to the table in terms of usability and design.

5. Determine the Tools and Technologies to be Used

Once you identify the right platform for your app, you must determine the technologies and tools needed to build your app. Depending on your choice of platform, there are various app development tools to choose from.

Native Mobile App Development Tools

  • Xcode and AppCode enable developers to create native applications for Apple devices. AppCode uses a variety of programming languages like Objective-C, Swift, and C/C++, while also supporting web technologies such as JavaScript, HTML, XML, CSS, and more.

  • Google’s Android Studio is a unified Android app development platform that offers a suite of features that makes app development relatively easy for developers.

Open Source Cross-Platform App Development Tools

  • Adobe PhoneGap is a robust open-source, cross-platform app development tool that uses web development languages like HTML, CSS, and JavaScript instead of mobile programming languages.

  • React Native is a Java-Script based cross-platform tool that is a favorite among many developers.

  • Xamarin is another widely used open-source app development tool to develop apps for iOS, macOS, Android, and Windows.

Hybrid App Development Tools

  • Onsen UI is an open-source hybrid mobile development framework with a wide range of well-optimized features that can be used to create apps for a variety of device types.

  • Ionic is a hybrid cross-platform tool most developers use to build beautiful apps. Only the CSS portions of Ionic’s framework can power native apps for iOS, Android, and web. Pair Ionic with AngularJS, and you have a whole different beast.

NativeScript is an open-source hybrid platform that enables developers to create native iOS and Android apps with AngularJS, JavaScript, and TypeScript.

6. Design an Intuitive UI/UX

Design plays a critical role in determining the success of your app. The user interface (UI) of your app impacts the user experience (UX) of your app, which is why it is essential first to design a logical wireframe and chart a user map.

The idea should be to build a mobile app with a simple yet intuitive design interface. This is because people prefer using apps with engaging UI that doesn’t box them in a complicated maze. From the registration page to the core functionality, all the pages apps’ of the designed to ensure the user’s convenience.

For instance, if you offer eCommerce options, make it easy for users to checkout, access their wishlist, contact customer support, read reviews, leave feedback, and compare products. If your app is designed thoughtfully, while offering considerable value, users will use your app frequently and even recommend it to others.

Here are five essential tips to keep in mind when designing your app:

  • Use standard fonts and sizes.
  • Use high-quality images.
  • Use brand colors and include whitespace.
  • Essential buttons and options should be easily accessible.
  • Don't go overboard with Animation.

7. Hire the Right App Development Team

A talented, highly-capable team of developers is what you need to build a high-quality app that works efficiently and appeals to people. The decision to hire a single developer or a team of developers depends on your app’s complexity.

If you are looking to build an app that requires constant updates and monitoring or frequent addition of new features, then hiring a permanent team on the payroll is the way to go. However, you can also turn to full-stack consultancies or app development companies or talent outsourcing platforms to hire app development experts to meet your specific requirements.

Most talent matching platforms like Toptal offer highly capable and experienced developers who can tackle almost any complexity that your project might bring up. Ensure that your development team is well-experienced and provides a full spectrum of skills and services. Your team needs to communicate with each other and with your person of liaison so that they understand the tasks at hand.

8. Focus on Project Management and App Quality Standards

For your app to be a success, ensure that every member of your app development team has a clear understanding of its features and how it is supposed to work.

Assign a project manager to liaison with the developers and ensure that all goals are met on time. Involve developers in the creative process to get their take about how specific ideas can be implemented. Developers are motivated to find creative ways to apply their craft.

Don’t forget to test your app and resolve all the bugs. After all, your app’s user experience heavily depends on how the app functions and the level of user experience it offers. Check your app across a range of physical devices with different hardware parameters and OS versions. You can also use virtual simulators for mobile devices.

Testing your app is critical to the app development process. Every function and feature should work seamlessly without any glitches. There are several universal testing tools for mobile applications on Android, iOS, and other platforms such as Windows and Blackberry that you can use to test your app’s functionality.

9. Make Sure Your App is Safe

An important aspect of app development that is often overlooked is app security. An unprotected mobile application poses serious threats to users’ devices and their personal information. Security concerns are more severe for Android devices, given that it is an open system making it a highly vulnerable platform. In comparison, iOS is a closed system with a higher level of security, making it a more secure platform.

A banking app, for instance, will probably need even more safeguards than a basic to-do list. 

Have your developers include enough security measures to ensure that the app is safe and doesn’t pose a threat to the users’ system. From masking passwords to limiting interactions between the app and the system, it’s imperative to thoroughly research the several security methods that can help reduce threats and maximize app safety. 

Building a successful app is a complex yet fun process. Start by understanding who your app will cater to and what problem it intends to solve. Invest time and effort thoroughly to define the scope of features and determine which platforms your app will be available on. After this preliminary study, it is essential to identify the tools which you will need to build your app and what the design will look like.

While hiring an in-house team of developers is a good option, turning to app development companies or talent matching services makes for a smart decision. Based on your budget and specific requirements, the decision to hire the perfect team of developers needs to be taken. Furthermore, it’s wise to assign a project manager who will act as a bridge between the development team and stakeholders.

Another critical step involves testing the app and ensuring that the app is secure. Your app should work across a range of device types without lagging or crashing. App security should also be a top priority since users store their critical personal information on their devices. Personal data of users’ should not be at risk of a breach through your app.

Lastly, it’s important to determine the cost of building your app. You should consider using an app development calculator to determine the cost involved in developing your app.