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HOW TO DEVELOP YOUR FIRST MOBILE APP?

Your first mobile app

Mobile applications are like a sort of golden rush: the media are full of articles about some team that developed an incredibly successful app, that may be the reason that trigger people start developing their own application. Sometimes they really succeed. And sometimes don´t. Unfortunately the second option is more frequent.

But when they succeed … it can be something like Pokemon GO!

Monday, just days after the game was released, Nintendo’s stock jumped 36 percent to the tune of $7.5 billion. It’s been downloaded over 15 million times in less than a week, and is already more popular in the U.S. than Twitter.

 

You realise that it is really scary how the success of some apps influences your personal life when your mom calls you and she asks: “How do I play the new Pokémon game?” (she started to use her first smart phone one month ago!). A true sign of an app phenomenon.

WHY ARE MOBILE APPS SO POPULAR?

The fact that mobile users are using 90% of their time on mobile devices only for applications is a huge reason why apps rule the mobile word. The main reason for that data is user experience! Mobile apps, compared to standard web pages, are adapted and customized for mobile devices. Scrolling through the app is easily, downloading new content is quick and visual design is much better than on normal web pages. The second reason why apps rule the word of mobile devices are various options that they offer. The mobile app can in fact easily access all the mobile device sensors and also other sources of information – to which a normal web site can not.

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Here is a short guide to get you started, but note it may not work for everyone. Take from it what suits your strategy best, or follow it to the hilt. The important part is to get started. The sooner the better!

1. MARKET RESEARCH

If you don´t know your competition yet, you have to do a research right now! Let me tell you, that you are lucky – the analysis of the mobile app market is much easier than for all the other industries. In the App Store and Google play, you can find tones of very useful information, but they are not the only place to search. You can also use App Annie, which offers you an inside view to the historical ranks and reviews of an app. It is probably no necessary to stress, that the mentioned apps are not the only ones for the market research analysis. There are a lot of other useful information on the web that can be crucial for your research.

2. CHOOSE THE PLATFORM

There are two operating systems that dominate the smart devices market: Apple’s iOS and Google’s Android. Gartner says that in the Q1 2016 these two platforms had an amazing 98.9 % market share! Android convincingly leading with 84.1 % against 14.8 % of Apple. Windows, Blackberry and others (together) are achieving only 1,1% of market share. So it is quite obvious on which two platforms you should start.

Some companies decide to start developing both platforms at the same time. That is usually not a very smart idea. Those are two completely different programming languages, which requires different groups of developers.

There is no doubt that the final version of the app will be a different app than the one you predicted at the begging. Why? In the development and testing phase, you will encounter problems and shortcomings, that will require searching for new solutions, adding new functions, changing existing functions, … All that changes will transform the final version of your app. In the case of development for both platforms all that work will double in volume (and in costs)!

The fact that Facebook, Microsoft and Google start offering their apps first only on one platform is no coincidence! The sooner your app will be on the market, the sooner you will get the needed feedback from the consumers.

http://www.gartner.com/newsroom/id/3323017

So the question is obvious: Android or iOS? It depends on your market strategy. With the Android platform development you will certainly be able to reach a greater market range. But with iOS development, on the other side, you will reach users that will pay 4x more that the Android users!

3. USER EXPERIENCE

User experience is the key to your apps success! Unfortunately, in the whole developing process, user experience is the less known concept! A nicely designed app does not mean a good user experience – and what is even more overlooked – it does not mean a simple and understandable use of the app. That is why it is crucial to attract qualified staff, who can help you in UX developing! You have to determine at least the next parameters: the whole user interface, color palette, typography and information structure of the app, …

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4. START PROGRAMMING

Programming is one of the crucial parts in developing a new app, that is why a lot of people thing it is needed to be done first. Wrong. Maybe you will be surprised, but there are a few tools that can help you test your app on consumers, before you even start coding! You can start with using Invision or Proto.io. My advice: do not use friends and family in testing the prototype. You may not get the most credible and impartial opinion.

5. USE ANALYTICS

Analytical tools represent a key support in determining the behaviour of users of your app. You should take care of your analytics before your app goes live on App Store or Google Play! General info such as number of existing / new users, most visited app content, …, are not enough for taking the right decisions – that is why you should determine what you will measure before starting programming. Let´s take registration process as an example. With analytics, you can find out if the process of registration is clear and user friendly for the end consumer. It takes just a small mistake in the registration process to dissuade the client to stop and leave your app! That is not what you want! So roll up your sleeves and start using analytics. Here are few free tools you can use for analytics – the most popular are: Google Analytics and Flurry.

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Once you’re ready to start, you must also know that building a mobile app is the easiest part. Getting customers is where the challenge lies.

If you are not sure if starting developing your own app is a good idea, you can CONTACT US ANY TIME. We might help you in building the new “Pokemon GO” app!

 

Špela Mermolja

Business Assistant

Enkronos d.o.o.

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