It’s totally a different world for mobile app development in 2015. According to the survey, the need for quick iteration and more contextually relevant interaction with the customer will grow (and has grown) exponentially. With regard to API design, A well-defined API ecosystem is required for a front-end (mobile or otherwise) experience to be malleable enough to adapt to constantly changing customer demands.
Without that flexibility, “firms are compelled to maintain separate back-end architectures for each front-end channel, which is simply not scalable.” This, coupled with the ongoing challenges developers have with device fragmentation, can make the development process of new apps beyond difficult.
In the wake of these realizations, below are three mistakes that mobile app developers cannot afford to make.
Incomplete Market Research
One of the major mistakes committed in mobile app development doesn’t have to do with development. Market research, conducted properly, gives a clear idea of the both the customer and the environment in which the mobile app is deployed.
In this ocean of application, how does a company develop an app that will attain its target?
- Personas: Ask questions relating to the use of the application and how it will be deployed. After understanding the target audience, develop personas (through market research) that represent your target and adapt the interface to suit their requirements.
- Design: Simplicity is the key. Users don’t have time to learn and understand a complicated app, so design the app around the target user. Understand their mobile habits and develop an app that leads them to the defined conversion.
- Establish the Conversion: Conversions is the motive behind mobile app development. Each conversion is defined differently by any one project, with some being a simple click-through and others being defined as a purchase. Market research will help you establish how you want the application to influence the buying decision. Use this information and develop to convert.
- Competitors: It is impractical to research every known competitor in the application market. Hence, research the competitors that have identical apps and work through their interface. Look ways to improve upon their processes and apply that understanding to development.
Not Enough Experience
Many mobile app developers/business owners will read this point and hop over it. After all, mobile app development platforms have progressed enough over the years for anyone to be able to learn and execute on mobile app development, especially mobile app developers. While it is common in self-assessment to stack the deck, the cost of assuming skill and experience can not only be costly, but destructive.
Experience in direct development is not abundant. Project management and team experience is required. Understanding the constraints of a project/team takes professional maturity. Over-promising and incorrect timelines can contribute to project stalls and development bottlenecks. In each team, a hierarchy (based on professional experience) is required. Communication, above all, is the most important facet in the development process. With communication, a team can learn to operate within their skill/experience constraints and aim for simplicity while allowing for complexity. Ignoring this issue will be costly and even worse, could derail the project.
Absence Of Process
Throughout this article, there have been mentions of the process for mobile app development. Market research and broad/specific expertise feed into the process but do not complete it. Of the many problems faced in mobile app development, process is the ultimate solution. Below are some tips for developing a good process:
- Create a Road Map: This is an outline that shows the development process at each stage. Assign a timeline to the project and create milestones central to mobile app deployment. Having a map shows you where you are headed, where you came from, and how to reach destination or desired outcome. It is a visual representation of a conceptual idea. Invest time at this stage, and don’t be afraid to change it as needed.
- Skill Assessment: Gauge the skills of your team and assign tasks accordingly. Push your team in each area and challenge them to improvise their current skill set.
- Encourage Communication: This point cannot be stressed enough. Good communication is the difference between a successful process and a failed process.
- Simple first, complicated second: Develop with “simple” in mind and “complicated” in tow. Look back on the app as it’s being developed and look for ways to add features that do not hinder the conversion process.
In 2015, there are no second chances in mobile app development. By eliminating these three key mistakes, the app development process has a greater chance of success. In the end, try to hire professionals. Successful business apps should not bank on “trying” to develop a pivotal app without the right people, process, and expertise.