The amount of time people spend on their mobile phones has increased over the years, and so has the number of people using mobile devices.
It’s safe to say that mobile has almost completely taken over the desktop. With the number of users crossing over to mobile, it has become essential to create apps that can provide a seamless and engaging mobile experience.
For a business, there are plenty of ways in which an app can be helpful. Some of these include:
- Improving sales and revenue generation.
- Building a community and increasing engagement by providing the audience with resources.
- Improving employee communication with internal business apps.
- Improving mobile marketing strategy and increasing brand awareness.
Even though there are many positives to it, creating an app can be tedious and intimidating. It can also be costly, risky, and can take a lot of time.
But if you create the app well enough, it will be worth everything in the end. To create a smart mobile app that beats the competition, here are some tips.
Define the app objectives
The first step before you even start creating a mobile app is defining your reasons and clearly stating the app’s objectives.
If you don’t have clarity about small details like this, it will affect your planning and app building. In the end, you are not likely to get what you want.
There are two things that you must try to satisfy with your app. First, the ideal goal of users, and second, the purpose of your business.
To determine these, you have to ask yourself specific questions:
- Which parts of your business do you need to improve?
- How can an app help solve the problem?
- What are the possible results that you might get?
Some other areas of your business that you also have to consider are your budget, timeline, market research, and so on.
State the functions and features of the app
After stating the purpose and objectives of your app clearly, your next step would be to define the scope of your mobile app. At this point, you start to determine what the app will look like and the features that it will have.
You need to be creative and make a list of necessary functionality and features to achieve your desired results.
Some features that you may include in your app are:
- eCommerce integrations
- Social sharing
- Push notifications
- Contact form
Write down all the valuable features and let this guide you through your app development process.
Research app competition
Although you already are sure of what you are building and what you need in your app, you might want to look at some of your most successful competitors. Consider what they are doing with their apps and how it is helping them reach similar goals.
Be sure not to look at just your local competition. Research some of the bigger companies in the same industry that reach out to a similar audience in your country or other parts of the world. With this, you can get inspired and get new ideas you can use in the market.
Some of the things that you have to consider are app layout, features, and functionalities. Look out for other things that stand out or things that you might be missing.
Plan the UX and user journey of the mobile app
The success of mobile apps depends a lot on the User Experience of the app. You have to make sure that your app’s functions align with the users’ desires and expectations. You must plan your User Experience in advance.
If you don’t plan the app’s user experience, you will not have an idea of how complex the app is. You also will not realize how much time you need to invest in developing the app. In the end, you won’t have something tangible to present during user testing.
Make sure that the users have a low UX resistance with the app. The primary goal here is to ensure that they find the solution in the most efficient and intuitive way possible.
If you don’t take the time to plan the UX before you start to build correctly, your users will likely experience difficulty with their use of the app. Then you would need to spend more resources and time to fix things.
The significant difference between a successful app and an unsuccessful one is the user experience. Poor user experience can stem from making some avoidable mistakes when building the app. Some of the mistakes to avoid for good user experience are:
Not understanding the needs of the user
The very foundation for building a good app is understanding what users need. Having an understanding of your audience is crucial. You have to consider the users’ pain points, how your app is better than your competition, and the interface.
Adding too many features
If it's your first time developing a mobile app, you might be tempted to add a lot of features you think are cool.
But this actually relates to a poor user experience most of the time. These features can overwhelm users and make them ditch your app.
Creating poor and confusing navigation
No matter how good the onboarding experience is, if users cannot find what they want easily, then your app is less useful.
Your app should have clear navigation that makes it easy for even first time users to do what they want. There are different types of navigation, so you have to choose what you think is the most intuitive for your app.
Other mistakes that you can make that lead to poor user experience are:
- Neglecting the experience of first-time users.
- Overcrowding the user interface
- Using jargon and terminology that users don’t understand.
Launch the app
The last step to creating a mobile app is to launch the app. Following the launch, you should be open to user feedback and improve the app with regular updates based on user experience.
It takes a lot of time, effort, and resources to create a mobile app. So if you want to create one that outsmarts the competition, you have to do more. It takes a lot of effort, and we’ve highlighted some of the key things you should do in this article.
Whatever it takes, make sure to put the user experience first. Focus on satisfying them and solving their problems with the app, and you are already halfway there.