If your business wants to stay competitive, it’s going to need more than just a website—it’s also going to need a successful mobile app. Many companies are already moving towards a mobile-centric approach, due to Google’s recent policy of mobile-first indexing. However, enhancing your online presence with an app will put you above and beyond your competition. Think of successful digital marketing as a triangle, with your desktop site, mobile site, and mobile app each representing one of the vertices. You want a complete triangle if you want to remain effective.
Making a killer app is easier said than done though—so we’re going to give you some tips. Below are eight crucial elements your app needs to incorporate. Pay close attention, and make sure you hit them all during your development process.
Our Top Eight App Development Priorities
- Targeted to a Specific Audience: before you start making your app, you need to know why you’re making it. It can’t be as basic a reason as wanting a more complete online presence (although that’s obviously the endgame). Make sure your app has a specific purpose—is it meant to provide information about your brand, facilitate purchases, or entertain a particular audience? Once you have the answer to that question, you can create an app that solves a problem for users and becomes invaluable to them.
- Attention Grabbing: the next step is to make sure that potential users will actually notice your app once it launches. Pay attention to logo design and copy for the App or Play store pages that people will visit before they decide whether to download your app. You might also want to focus on making your app relatively light so that it doesn’t take up much space on each user’s device. Doing so will make them much more likely to give you a bit of the real estate on their home screen.
- Engaging: do you know how many apps are abandoned after only a single use? A whopping 24%, as of the most recent data. Furthermore, only 20% of users on average continue to use a given app after 90 days have passed. That means you have to make sure your app is continuously engaging. Look for a way to keep users coming back to it every day—like dieting app Lifesum, which sends users push notifications reminding them to input their calories and exercise on a daily basis.
- Cost-Effective: KISS is an acronym you’ll want to refer to over and over again when you’re app-building. That’s because the more bells and whistles your app has, the more it’s going to cost. Animations, videos, and the like will all drive up your costs, so consider creating an app that’s beautiful in its simplicity.
- User-Friendly: one of the most important elements of any successful mobile app is its ease of use. Your app shouldn’t require an instruction manual. In fact, using it should be fairly self-explanatory. Many app developers actually go for a linear user experience, where the user is guided through a series of prompts to use the app correctly. This prevents users from becoming confused, and makes them more likely to use the app again in the future.
- User-Tested: designing an app that you think will go over well with your audience is certainly useful, but it always helps to make sure before you launch. Testing your app with a service or in a focus group will allow you to catch glitches and make important design changes before you release it to the world.
- Up-to-Date: keeping your app updated is important if you want to make sure it stays secure and relevant. However, updating an app can be a lot of work, especially when you find yourself needing to rewrite large amounts of code to update your Software Development Kits. To save time, consider using a third-party SDK implementation tool that can plug in the code for you in a few simple clicks.
- Focused on Specific Features: simplicity isn’t just an excellent strategy for saving money. It’s also one of the best ways to make sure that people are not overwhelmed by having too much to do. Remember: your app doesn’t have to be all things to all users. It’s much more important to make sure that your app does one or two specific things very well.
App development is a competitive space, but it’s very possible to succeed by following just a few simple guidelines. Make sure you pay close attention to the elements of successful app development listed above, and use them to create a superior product.
Guest post courtesy of Nick Rojas