Developing an App? The Top 6 Mistakes to Avoid

Kyle Miller
"Innovation distinguishes between a leader and a follower."

It’s no wonder the mobile app industry is booming with over 2.7 billion smartphone users across the globe. The ubiquity of mobile devices has enabled companies to create products that meet their consumers where they are.

Creating mobile apps for smart devices means opening up the development process to opportunities that aren’t always available when designing a desktop application. Things like sensors, GPS, and cameras can be harnessed to develop powerful mobile applications that can solve real problems in a users’ life.

When it comes to Mobile App Development there are multiple factors to consider. Developing and managing an app can introduce a number of complexities causing projects to lose focus or valuable time. However, mistakes can be avoided if you know what to watch out for.

We’ve compiled a list of the 6 most common mistakes made in Mobile App Development projects and how to avoid them:

1. Not understanding the user’s need

Are you designing an app that answers your user’s need? Or simply looking for ways to reach new audiences? Ultimately you want to offer customers and users an app that adds value to their lives so they’ll want to use it. That’s why it’s imperative to find a use case for your audience.

Establish personas to get a better understanding of your user’s needs, what platforms they’re on, and what your app needs to include. This is a sure way to build an app that will keep them coming back for more.

2. Too many platforms

Currently, Android offers 2.1 million apps, while the Apple App Store has 1.8 million apps available. That’s a lot of competition. Identifying your user’s needs will also help you determine which platform your customer uses most and ultimately which platform you’ll be designing for.

Going after every platform is one of the biggest mistakes companies make. It’s better to focus your efforts on making a great app on one platform. Things like meeting the requirements for the various app stores, and addressing different bugs can waste valuable efforts and money. Waging the pros and cons of each platform will help you narrow the best platform for your project.

3. A Counterintuitive App

Don’t undervalue the user experience. It’s important that your mobile user interface is lean and intuitive. Having clunky user interface will turn users away instantly. Consider usability at every stage of the process and you’ll be sure to build a quality app.

The onboarding process should be easy for new users. Make sure you’re only highlighting key and important functionality.

This is why custom app development is so important. If you’re creating an app that is designed to precisely address user needs you can be precise about what functions are important to your user. Only highlight key important functionality.

If your app lacks functionality users will abandon the app without hesitation.

4. Retention isn’t the main focus

Downloads are important but retention rates can make or break the success of your mobile app. The industry standard for retention is to track the percentage of an app’s users who return to the app within three months of their first session.

Making sure your app solves a real problem for your user will capture their interest. Including elements of personalization and offering incentivization are great ways to keep users engaged. As users find your app useful to their lives word spreads so do the downloads.

5. Making everything and anything ‘mobile’

It’s important to ask yourself if App you’re about to develop is actually adding value to your company. Make sure the app is a right solution to the problem you’re trying to solve.

It’s imperative that you don’t try to just retool a desktop app into a mobile app. You should consider that different platforms have different form factors that affect every part of your Mobile App Development project.

When you design a digital product your user needs to be at the core of the design. That’s not different when building a mobile app. Make sure the tactics you’re adopting make sense for your app. For example notifications can serve as useful reminders if it makes sense with the app you’re developing. Make sure you’re including features that make sense to your app. Is it vital for your app to include this tactic? Does it add value for your user or frustrate them?

6. Assuming assumptions

Test your product correctly before shipping. Testing things in beta will give you the human insights you need to connect with your user.

Iterate! No matter if it’s a minimum viable product or fully functional and polished mobile application, iterations are crucial. Monitoring analytics, user behavior, and feedback can help you optimize with each iteration. You’ll be able to correct errors but also evolve your app and keep your user engagement.

Competition is steep so your app needs to offer something new or better to the market that will capture consumers’ attention. Smartphones have changed the shape of software development. Make sure you’re paying attention to the industry as it shifts and evolves.

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