With over $400 billion and counting in revenues, app development is currently one of the hottest ventures to get into. But it can also be resource-intensive and highly competitive. How do you ensure that your platform can thrive or even beat your rivals?
You have two solutions. First, get mobile development services onboard. While you can design the app yourself (tools are abundant these days), an outsourcing team can do more. These include testing your platform for security, user experience (UX), and compatibility with modern devices.
The other is evaluating the app’s potential success with these five critical factors:
Can you build an app just because? The answer is yes. But wouldn’t it make any platform more meaningful when you give it purpose?
People build platforms for various reasons. Your why then determines the other factors to consider in app development. These include:
- Commercialization. Probably the most popular reason for creating the app is you want to make money out of it. And you have several paths to choose from:
- Freemium. This is where some features are available for a fee.
- Ads. If you want the app to be more accessible to users, you make it free. In exchange, you sell ad spots.
- Premium. It means users should pay to use the app. And before you say, “Wouldn’t it make the platform less competitive?” many are willing and able to purchase apps. The premium messaging market alone could grow by over 5% from 2016 to 2023.
- Personal Use. You are also free to build an app for personal use. Maybe you want to make tracking work hours easier or store family photos in a single repository? You can also build platforms to improve your coding or software development skills or start making a portfolio if you want to break into tech.
- Organizational. The app is to help your business streamline processes, communications, and customer service.
Now that you have a goal or purpose in mind, you then have to look into the resources you need and are available. These include:
- Budget. How much are you willing to spend on creating and marketing your platform? Also, how can you ensure the cost is within acceptable limits? Although you can always bootstrap, you cannot expect to launch a complex app within a year. You can take out a loan, look for an investor, or ask for seed funding from organizations and capital ventures.
- Time. How much time can you dedicate to building an app? How soon do you want it? Usually, it takes six months to a year to develop a well-designed platform from conceptualization to testing and launching.
- Team. A small core software development team commonly has five to six people. These already include the business analyst and the project manager. Outsourcing your group helps you scale your human resources fast.
- Tools. Do you have access to all the tools you need to create an app, such as frameworks and software development kits (SDKs)? Sometimes the platform seems ahead of its time, which means the tools you’re looking for do not exist yet or still have limited features.
3. User Experience and Interface (UX/UI)
Regardless of whether you are using the app for yourself, your organization, or your business, it should meet the criteria of a good user experience and user interface (UX/UI). Otherwise, you might get plenty of downloads but not a lot of users. Nobody may even want to use it!
For a good UX/UI balance, you need to look into the following:
- Wireframing. This is where you lay out the elements included in your app. It should give users an idea of what to expect regarding navigation.
- Usability testing. You can never really be sure about how others will use your platform until you let them try it for themselves. Usability testing also helps you identify any problems or issues with the app.
- Design. How visually appealing is your app? How easy and functional is it? Is it accessible to everyone, including those with limited physical abilities?
- Compatibility. You must also consider which devices your app works on. Do you want it to be mobile-only or would you like a web version as well? How about third-party or API integrations?
- Security. It should have security features, such as two-factor authentication and data encryption, to protect users’ information. Most of all, it should satisfy the three pillars of cybersecurity.
Creating an app requires careful planning and consideration. You must have a clear purpose, the right resources, and good UX/UI design to build a successful platform. With enough research, you can develop something that users will find helpful, easy to use, and secure.
And if you are feeling lost and overwhelmed, you can always rely on a good software development team to help you out.