The Dos and Don’ts of the Mobile App Development Process
If you’re developing an app, you need to do it right. We take a look at the dos and don’ts of the mobile app development process.
When the Apple App Store hit 2 million apps in 2018, it became clear that the future of every business was going to revolve around apps. Whether the business was the app, used an app, or had its products and services ordered via the app, app development is important to business. If you’re looking to build one, you need to learn the dos and don’ts of the mobile app development process.
Here are just a few things to remember when you’re developing your latest app.
Do: Some Market Research
When you’re looking to develop a new app, you need to start by looking at what’s already out there. If you don’t know what other people have done, both successfully and unsuccessfully, you risk reinventing the wheel. If you end up remaking something that someone more successful has already made, you’ll end up looking like an off-brand version.
Start by narrowing down exactly the type of app that you’re trying to make. Run a few searches online to find apps doing what you’re trying to do. Don’t be discouraged if you see a bunch of people doing it, as this is what research is for.
You want to find a way to stick out from the rest of the pack. Look at what they’re doing right and look at what they’re doing wrong. You know what your customers want and what other products don’t offer so make sure you focus on that.
Consider how much you’re going to have to spend to promote your product as well. It won’t fall into the laps of users on its own. You’ll have to work to get the word out.
Don’t: Rush To Release
When you’re getting engaged in the app development process, it’s tempting to want to set a goal for when you’ll release your product. While your marketing team and C-level staff are going to want you to give them a date when they can expect the product to hit the streets.
Development comes in phases. There is the planning process, followed by wireframing, development, and testing. While testing is naturally at the end of the development process, it’s often the most rushed.
When you release a product too soon, you risk compromising your whole project. If it goes out, gets hacked, or crashes endlessly, you’re going to have trouble getting people excited about your app. You need to develop an app that is robust, powerful, and reliable.
If you rush to release your product, you’ll give your users something that’s less than they would expect from you and should still be in development. While beta testing some of your most enthusiastic customers can teach you a lot, a rushed wide release is going to disappoint you.
Do: Have an MVP
When you’re trying to release a great product to your audience, you can’t hand them a Swiss army knife. The problem with a Swiss army knife is that it’s trying to do too many things and can’t do most of them very well at all. While it comes in handy, it doesn’t end up in your kitchen drawer with the rest of your tools.
You need to know when to skimp on the bells and whistles for your product. While you want to release something that wows your audience, you also need to release something that works every time. When you push the button, it needs to do the thing, or else it’s going to seem useless to your audience.
Your minimum viable product, or MVP, is the product that meets the minimum level of requirements for release. These requirements pertain to its security level, it’s functionality, and how reliable it is. If it’s meant to do three things and can only do two of them with 100% reliability, either you need to dump the third thing or wait to release the product.
Your minimum viable product doesn’t need to be your final release. It can be the product that you give away for free. You can save the bells and whistles for the paid version of the app that you’re working on.
Don’t: Skimp on Security
With the average security breach now costing businesses nearly $4 million per instance, it’s vital that you pay attention to how secure your app is. There’s no business plan in the world with a $4 million gap in it that could go either way. One data breach could tank your entire operation.
A security breach is going to damage your reputation, cause your users to lose faith in you, and even lead to lawsuits. If you’re in the medical field, you could be accused of HIPAA violations and lose your license. This could cost you money and cost you customers for years.
Do: Invite Users Into the Feedback Cycle
Whether you’re sending out a beta version or ready for final release, you should always invite your users into your feedback cycle. It’s important to hear from the people who use your product and who have a vested interest in the products succeeding. They’ll know where to poke the edges of the app and to look for points of failure.
By inviting users into the feedback cycle, you’re also telling your audience that you value their input. When they feel listened to, you get the chance to turn them into lifelong dedicated users and devotees of your products and services. This could pay off for decades.
Make sure you offer ample support from release to eternity.
The Mobile App Development Process Takes Time
If you’re in the middle of the mobile app development process, you might feel a lot of pressure to speed things up. However, the whole thing is going to take your time and the more you slow things down, the more likely you’ll be able to create a stable app that makes an impact.
If you’re looking for a robust development language, check out our guide to NodeJS for an example.