So, you want to design a mobile app? Join the club.
Android and Apple users have access to more than two million applications at their fingertips for download.
The Apple Store debuted with a humble 800 apps in July 2008, and availability has continued to increase exponentially year by year. As of September 2016, users have downloaded a whopping 140 billion apps just from that store alone.
The question is not should you design an app, but rather: How can you design an app well that will stand out to your target market?
Consider these six tips for successful mobile app development.
1. Validate your idea.
No one wants to launch an app that will just sit in the store unsold. Before you go through the trouble of development, look into statistics on what apps are selling.
Gaming apps top the charts, with business and education applications coming in second and third. Your app should either improve on something already on the market, or fill a new and unique niche.
2. Understand your target users.
After you validate the purpose of your app, the most important thing to do before you launch into development phase is to understand your user base.
What will their motivations be for downloading the app? Be specific here, don’t try to broaden your scope too far in just one application.
3. Ensure intuitive & simple use.
Before launching, have friends and family, especially those who are not particularly tech-savvy, test the app for usability. Instructions for use should be clear and intuitive, never overly technical.
Draw up a sketch to get visual representation of your ideas. Use an online tool such as Balsamiq to develop a prototype.
4. Complement design & operating system.
User experience is different on different operating systems, often more than you’d expect.
If you’re creating an app for Google Play, tailor your design specifically to the Android OS.
5. Cover all platforms.
Users access apps across multiple devices and platforms each day. It is important for your app to be compatible in various formats from mobile, to tablet, to desktop. Consider providing an offline experience as well.
6. Conduct careful testing.
Testing from an outside source can be key in working out any kinks you might have missed. Platforms like Tune can power these tests.
Follow these steps to create an app that will not only fit demand, but also excite your target users and launch smoothly.