Have a great idea for an app? That’s a great place to start! But there is a lot more to software development than just having a good idea. There are a few steps of careful planning required to help mitigate risk and ease the process of development for your business. Check out Part 2 on how you can successfully develop a mobile app as told by our App Development team.
If you are at all confused or unsure where to start with your mobile application idea, then this is the article series for you! It can be a huge step for your business to adopt software and an even bigger step when your business IS software. Whether you’re an established business or an entrepreneur, it’s important to have a game plan in place to mitigate potential risks and issues in the future. Here is the continuation of the series App Success 101: How To Successfully Develop A Mobile App.
While this step may not be entirely relevant to you, it’s important to define the specifics of your code. You should know how your app will be coded, what languages will be used, what platforms/devices your app will be usable on, and most importantly… who owns the code being developed. You as the client should own everything being developed. You pay for a product, you receive it in its entirety. Sadly some developers don’t always agree with this methodology so make sure you have an understanding of who owns what with your project.
I cannot stress this enough… make sure your app is thoroughly tested. A good App Developer should have thoroughly ironed out most bugs, and anything you catch in an alpha or beta test should be minor bugs or changes you want to make to the application. The difference between a change and a bug, is a bug is a feature that does not behave as it properly should. A change is something that deviates from the agreed-upon design documents/agreements. Developers will thoroughly test their own work, have a QA team to run through the app from a typical user’s perspective and make sure any other necessary testing procedures are followed and outlined in the agreement between you and your dev. On your end, you could also begin assembling a test group made out of family, friends, employees, contractors, or anyone you feel would serve as an advantage to be a part of your test group. If your app is designed for mass distribution, then the average user should be able to use it. If your app has a target audience in mind, then make sure anyone in your testing group is a part of that audience so you can gauge reactions and make any changes suggested by your group accordingly. Testing is often overlooked by established companies but it’s incredibly important that time is budgeted for doing testing diligence otherwise you may run the risk of unexpected issues when you use the app for the first time yourself.
Now that you’ve done your diligence, planned ahead, and tested thoroughly, you’re ready to push to the app stores! This is an exciting time for you and your application but there is still work to do. A good App Developer will be able to advise and assist in the app store optimization process to ensure a relevant app that ranks well for different search terms. This due diligence is will go a long way in your app seeing a higher ROI and hopefully downloads to follow!
All too often, people assume that the process of app development ends at launching to the app store. Truthfully, the battle is only half done, you need to consider how people will hear about your app and download it in app store’s with millions of apps in them. To boost your app, gain downloads, and boost app store optimization, you need to set aside some budget for marketing purposes to spread the word on your app. Some people may hire specific marketing agencies for this, while others may choose to do it themselves. While we see the merit of both depending on experience and time, we always recommend having a budget aside dedicated to spreading the word on your application.
The last point to consider in the development process is application maintenance and updates. While your app may be perfect today, app stores are always changing standards and implementing new practices that require an update to your application. Fail to do these updates, and the app store may remove your app entirely. The best way to keep on top of this is to stay in good relation with your developer after the project has been completed. If you were satisfied with your development experience, it may be worthwhile having your developer on board to monitor the app to implement any changes/updates. This could likely take the shape of hiring your developer to be on your app on a more permanent basis, or, in the case of an agency, it may be worthwhile to enter into a contract with your developer for regular maintenance and updates as you need them. This will ensure your team is always on call and responds quickly to any changes, updates, or emergencies your app requires at any time. If you have a high user base, you don’t want to jeopardize the user experience for saving a few bucks or it may hurt your business overall.
Hopefully, this roadmap of development has provided a bit more clarity on the planning, process, and development stages that are hit during the creation of your application. If you’re interested in discussing further, visit the Contact section of our website. Our development team would love to chat about how we can assist you and your business with mobile applications and custom software. At Vog we build more than apps, we build businesses.