The first two articles in this series focused on the rapid growth and common pitfalls of mobile app development, as well as the top mistakes mobile app developers make. This third and final article in the series puts a more positive spin on the topic by laying out a set of best practices to follow when creating a mobile app, inclusive also of the other categories covered in this article:
- Keep the navigation easy. It is only human nature to think that by making something more complex, it will have a wider appeal to the customer, because you are showing off what you can do. But this is not true. Mobile app users want something that is easy to navigate and get to where they want in seconds. If the navigation is complex, they will likely discard your mobile app in search of something else. In fact, 60% of mobile app users say that they will get rid of the app if it does not load in three seconds or less. (Source 1)
- Choose the right technology to create the app. You need to select the right programming language to create the mobile app in the most efficient way possible. Here is a sampling of languages that are heavily used to create mobile apps:
- The Thumb Rule. This is a critical area in the UI/UX process. This simply means that the mobile app should be easily accessed and used by the customer using a thumb only. Think about it when you use your smartphone next time: You are using your thumb to navigate through everything. The mobile app should be made so that it is both thumb scrolling and thumb interactive friendly.
- Keep up the testing. As noted earlier in this series, the testing process should be repeated over and over again to make sure you have a secure product and that your end user will be happy when new releases come out. However, there are other testing procedures that you may want to consider, such as:
- Localization testing
- UI/UX testing
- Memory leak testing
- Platform and device testing.
- Break it down into smaller tasks. Although creating a mobile app is a fun process, it can also be quite complex, depending on the needs and requirements of your client. Therefore, use the principles of Project Management and break down actions into smaller chunks that are much more digestible and consumable. You should never take the approach of creating a mobile app by chopping down a tree all at once. Rather, you need to cut each branch at a time, and from there, go to the root.
- Follow the guidelines from the beginning of the process. As described earlier, the two main venues for uploading your mobile apps are Google and Apple. Therefore, you will want to review their app development requirements and guidelines before you embark upon the development process.
- The Google Requirements doc can be seen here: https://developer.android.com/guide
- The Apple Requirements doc can be seen here: https://developer.apple.com/programs/
- Stay engaged with the metrics. Once you have developed your first mobile app for the masses, you will want to keep a keen eye on these specific metrics:
- The level of User Engagement
- The rate of Adoption
- The overall rate of Customer Retention
- The rate of Customer Retention in your target markets.
By keeping track of these metrics, you will have a better idea of the functionalities and tools you need to put into future releases of the app.
This article has examined the trends in mobile apps and their development, where the development process goes wrong, and a list of best practices to follow. Technically speaking, mobile app development does not really take too long – but if you want to market your brand and get new prospects and customers, this process can take ten times longer. But in the end, the effort will be well worth it.
Ravi is a Cybersecurity Consultant and Business Development Specialist. He also does Cybersecurity Consulting through his private practice, RaviDas.Tech, Inc. He is also studying for his CompTIA Security+ Certification.