How to create a successful app? In order to establish itself in the market, a mobile application must intelligently combine three aspects: the market, the user and the product itself. These factors are critical to developing an app that provides users with unique value, good performance and great usability.
1. Identify your audience
The first thing to do is figure out who will be using your mobile app. This will help you understand what that audience needs and the business potential of the idea. Furthermore, the identification of the target is useful on a communicative level, to understand how (which message) and where (in which channels) the application will be communicated. Then find data and statistics related to your idea, check trends, take a survey or build an MVP version of the mobile app, in order to collect as much feedback as possible from users.
2. Offer unique value
An app, to be effective, must be able to solve a specific problem, recognized by a group of people of potential users. Even the simplest form of entertainment, such as games, has a purpose, such as relieving boredom or being an outlet for stress. The application should bring an important benefit to the user, so that he is motivated to download and use it. The unique value can be related to a service, the speed of information transfer, the way the application works, its accessibility or its features.
3. Define the business model
App developers often choose to monetize their applications using advertising-based business models. Video ads are one of the most popular revenue streams, but there are many more that can be implemented. To choose the business model that best suits your needs, you can start with an analysis of what similar apps do; if it worked for them, chances are it will work on something similar as well. Not all mobile applications have to have the goal of generating revenue. Some, such as those for business use, could bring other benefits related to improving the service or optimizing business processes.
4. Define the scope of features
An abundance of features may seem like a good idea, but it risks overlooking the core that the app is built for. Therefore, establish what is the main feature of your mobile application, focus on this and try to highlight it as much as possible. Each additional option, in addition to incurring a cost, makes it more difficult for your users to understand the value you provide. Furthermore, users need the simplest possible solution to solve their “problem” and customizations could complicate the resolution.
5. Choose the right technology
The way a mobile application is built impacts how it works and, therefore, its success. It is important to choose the most suitable technology, to build an app as efficient as possible. You can choose between three options:
- Native apps for a specific operating system (Android, Apple or any other OS). In this case, the programming language is supported only by the operating systems of those platforms and, thanks to the possibility of exploiting the hardware and the features of the device, the user experience is maximized.
- Cross-platform native apps . These applications are programmed through a single code, interpreted and adapted to each operating system. Even if you lose some native benefits, this approach requires less budget while still allowing you to optimize your application for more device types.
- Hybrid app . The latter is compatible with all devices and operating systems, with lower costs and greater speed of implementation. At the expense, however, the advantages associated with native components and interaction models are lost.
6. Design a simple and intuitive UX/UI
Design is certainly one of the key factors for the success of an app. People want to use mobile applications with agile, comfortable and intuitive User Experience and User Interface. Satisfying these characteristics allows to arouse positive sensations in users. Ease of use and the creation of pleasant and effective interfaces are, in fact, fundamental elements that improve the user’s browsing experience. The more enjoyable they are using the application, the more likely they are to stay with it, use it again, and recommend it to new people.
7. Keep up the performance
If you want your mobile application to be successful, surely “good” is not enough. You have to offer an ever better service if you want users to use it. Individuals purge their devices of apps they no longer need, or that are no longer of interest to them, at least once a month. It is therefore essential to listen to your users and provide them with excellent performance, encouraging their continuous use.
8. Make sure the app is secure
An unsecured mobile application poses a real threat to the entire system. On our devices we store and work on critical data such as payments, bank information, access keys, medical, personal data, etc. Therefore, it is important to ensure at least standard security practices, such as proper encryption of sensitive personal data, secure handling of cryptographic keys and user session permissions (tokens), and implementation of secure communication standards.
9. Provide third-party integrations
Third-party services can enrich your app, increase user retention, improve their overall experience, and streamline processes. Furthermore, the implementation of integrations with other services and/or subjects can make your mobile application acquire greater credibility and offer a better user experience. In case people are already used to using a certain supplement, this will make the familiar experience and use even easier. However, care must be taken not to overdo the additions. Implementation always takes time; therefore, research and develop only those integrations that are able to truly provide greater value to users.
10. Plan a marketing strategy
An app will never be successful if it is not communicated correctly. In today’s world, where we are overloaded with content and information, it is increasingly difficult to attract users’ attention. To do this, it is necessary to identify the most suitable and correct marketing strategies and tools. The best mobile applications have been promoted for a long time before establishing themselves on the market, with activities even before their launch. Therefore, structure a marketing plan and divide it into 3 campaign phases: pre-launch, launch and post-launch. Each phase will have to include different activities based on the moment.
11. Make regular updates
If you’re building an app, you probably want it to stay in the marketplace. Don’t forget, therefore, to work on the application even after its release, introducing constant improvements. The maintenance and development of new features improve the user experience and make people perceive attention to their needs, increasing loyalty. One of the most important reasons why apps get uninstalled is the space they take up on your devices. Therefore keep under control the memory space occupied in users’ smartphones or tablets and intervene if the application becomes too heavy. Also remember that operating systems implement updates every year and it is essential that the mobile app remains consistent with the most recent changes, to keep it efficient.
12. Collect feedback and data
If you want to be sure that the updates you introduce to your app are relevant to users, analyze the data and collect feedback from users. From the applications it is possible to obtain a lot of information on the use and on the degree of satisfaction. Define clear KPIs to measure the success of your app, review them and, if they are not satisfactory, identify changes to make. Consider implementing a feedback form, where you ask users what they think, and a bug report form. In this way you can identify the problems encountered by users and solve them.
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