There’s a reason we joke that there’s an app for everything. Apps put your brand front and center in front of the customer, facilitating on demand ordering of products and services. You can promote your brand through the app and build long term customer relationships that are almost impossible to have otherwise except through good social media outreach. Yet most apps are uninstalled shortly after being used, and most others sit rarely used, because of flaws or mistakes made in their creation. Here are seven crucial app development mistakes to avoid at all costs.
Assuming IT’s Definition of Working Is What Customers Expect
An app that operates based on IT’s criteria, like meeting the App Store’s legal requirements, resource usage or perfect installation rate, may not do what customers expect it to do. Yes, an app that errors on installation or fails to deliver an order is failing to meet expectations, but it is all the other customer requirements IT fails to consider that cause many apps to be abandoned.
Does the app do what they expect it to do from the customer’s perspective? The fact that it installs correctly and updates without error doesn’t mean it plays your podcasts without error when someone stops and starts it or loses their connection before coming back into range. Just because the app receives marketing messages from the company doesn’t mean the privacy settings or notification schedule work correctly.
Assuming Mobile Usage Is Like the PC Experience
The PC experience is so far from the mobile experience that Google penalizes websites that don’t run right on mobile devices in order to make them conform. It is essential not to make the mistake of assuming that testing an app on a personal computer takes the place of testing it on a mobile device, even if the code emulator on the PC replicates the mobile device’s OS. The way the app looks on a large computer screen may become unreadable on a mobile device or present menu options too small for someone to tap with a finger. Popup ads or notices may block out the options users want if they are working on a smartphone, something you may miss if testing on a PC or tablet.
Neglecting ASO When Planning SEO
ASO or application search optimization refers to optimizing the landing page for the app, the installation page and other places where people can find the software application. Your application’s installation page needs to be optimized for the app name, your company name, the brand name and any key terms likely to bring people to it. This is different to SEO for your general webpage content, though too many apply the same SEO for the company homepage to the webpage where the app is available.
Your application’s installation page must be tailored to indicate which operating system it works with, especially if it is available for both Android and Apple. It needs to reference the current version, so that people know whether they have the latest and greatest version or not. Ideally, the page description explains what the app is and why someone should install it, a message compounded by the page’s description. If you fail in the ASO, people may never find the app unless they stumble across it on your home page.
Not Having a Formal Update Process
In the rush to get an app out there, you may get a barely functional app out. Or you may test the app, but find the latest version of the operating system interferes with it. User requests for changes and evolving IT security requirements certainly require apps to be updated. In all of these cases and more, it is a disaster if you do not have a formal software change management process. This helps prevent scope creep that leads to untested functions making it into the app or time taken away from improving critical functions like security to make one last change that looks good.
Not Maintaining the Quality of the App
You need to invest as much effort into testing updated versions of your app as you did the original version. Equally important is making certain the app correctly updates without creating additional problems, or you’ll lose the devoted customers who installed the app in the first place. If you are beta testing a new feature, make certain the beta app is clearly labeled as such and is only available to those you know have volunteered for it. And, verify that the beta testers can update to the latest production of the app as well as production users, or you’ll lose your beta testers for the next time you need their help.
It Works Great Over There – We Can Use It Over Here
Code reuse can save developers significant time and money when it is a direct plug and play. However, code for someone else’s app is rarely plug and play, and it is too easy to forget the obligation to fix the flaws in their code or security gaps that are fixed in their latest version you otherwise import into your app. The only time you can reliably use old code is if you wrote it yourself for the earlier version of the app. If you don’t have prior code to rely on and lack expertise in creating a classification of app, use quality services like the iBuildApp Mobile App Development Company.
Failing to Understand the Purpose of the App
You have to understand the purpose of the app from a business perspective before you build it, so that you can build in the ways to market your business or service better through it. However, that isn’t enough.
You have to understand what the customer sees as the purpose of the app, and then deliver on that purpose. If customers use the app to order your product or service, you’ve already got their business – don’t spam them when they want to order your product. Don’t forget to tailor the business processes to justify users continuing to use the app. If customers install your app to simplify the ordering process, you have to ensure that app based orders are processed in the time customers expect and ideally given priority over those who don’t use the app.
If customers use the app to save money, such as receiving coupon codes as a reward for installing it, don’t start sending them marketing messages that fail to deliver some sort of discount or reward. If someone installs an app for entertainment, don’t throw up so many ads that it isn’t fun anymore.It is vital to keep these tips in mind to avoid making mistakes when building an app.
Founder Dinis Guarda
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