In this day and age, everyone focuses on infiltrating their target audience as deep as they can. Our society is increasingly reliant on smartphones and digital technology, and we’re used to switching seamlessly between mobile devices and widescreen interfaces.
In fact, consumers downloaded 178 billion apps in 2017 alone, a figure that’s set to reach 258 billion by 2022. On top of that, 42% of consumers use a shopping or communication app to stay up-to-date with companies and the orders they’ve made while shopping online. The demand is clearly there, and yet many companies are failing to meet it.
But building a mobile app isn’t easy. It’s time-consuming and often expensive, and too many people make the mistake of diving straight in instead of considering their strategies and understanding how the app relates back to their business goals.
Your app should also be specifically designed to add value to your target audience, and this should be reflected in the way it looks, feels and functions, as well as in the content that’s included there. It’s not as simple as just hiring any company or using a do-it-yourself tool to create a generic mobile application.
With that in mind, today we’re sharing all of the tips you need to make your mobile app the best it can possibly be. Are you ready? Let’s get started.
The right way to make a mobile app
1. Choose needed features
When someone asks “how do you create a mobile app?”, we usually start by creating a shortlist of the different features that will be required. This all comes back to the target audience – after all, you need to know who you’re trying to reach before you can figure out the best way to help them. There’s no such thing as a default set of features because every application is different.
It can help to get started by identifying which features on your existing website are the most popular. Make sure that you look specifically at what mobile visitors are doing because context can make a big difference. For example, the way that you use a banking site on your desktop computer is likely to be drastically different from how you use it when you’re on the go.
2. Sketch your ideas (wireframes)
Arguably this is the most important step when we speak about the creation of mobile application development for business. Wireframes are used to give designers and developers a rough idea of what the app is going to look like, and they can also be shared with content teams so that they know what kind of content will need to be created.
If you work on the wireframes early, it will help to identify any potential problems that might occur later on down the line. They can also be refined at this early stage so that every stakeholder is on board before the final design is created, saving both time and resources. Only rookie developers try to create a mobile application without first finalizing the wireframes.
3. Competitive research
Competitor research is always a good idea, which is why it’s used across the board when it comes to the business world. Why? Research and development teams will be able to keep their fingers on the pulse of the market, sales teams will better understand what makes people purchase, and business owners will easily plan for the future. It can even allow you to set benchmarks and to track metrics to compare your own performance to that of your competitors.
When it comes to building a mobile app, you’d be a fool not to download your competitors’ apps and to get to know how they work. That way, you can find out what you like and what you don’t like, and you can use it to guide the development of your own app. While you’re at it, take time to read reviews and to check ratings to get a feel for what real users think.
4. Choose needed mobile app platform
One of the most common questions we get asked by people who are learning how to make mobile apps is, “Which is the most user-friendly platform” Some of the most common platforms include React.Native, Xamarin, Ionic, Swift, but there are plenty of other options on the market. Each platform has different pros and cons, and so it falls to you or your developers to carry out a little research to determine which platform makes the most sense to you.
Of course, you can carry out this research yourself, but if you’re still in doubt, then it’s a good idea to hire a mobile app development team so that they can make the decision for you. If they’re good at what they do, they’ll already be familiar with the most popular options on the market. Moreover, after analysis of your business goals and needed features, they’ll recommend you a full technical stack, thereby increase value to your end users.
5. Hire design and development team
The best way to create a mobile app is to hire an app developer because they’ll have all of the expertise needed to make an app easy to use. They’ll be able to help you to select the most relevant platform to create an app, and they’ll also be able to provide guidance throughout the process. Just make sure that they take the time to understand both your company and the audience that you’re trying to reach.
When you can’t build your app in-house, the next best option is to hire a mobile app designer or to find an IT partner that you can rely on. There are plenty of great reasons to outsource and very few reasons not to, as long as you establish effective communication as a matter of course from the outset. And if you’re still stuck with app design and development, feel free to get in touch with Zfort Group. We’ll be more than happy to help!
6. Release your app
Once your app is ready, you can start to think about releasing it. Be sure to test the app as thoroughly as possible before it goes live and to implement any feedback that you receive ahead of the general launch. With that said, you don’t need to launch with every feature, and in fact, it’s a good idea to hold back so that there’s room to further develop your app and to launch a version 2.0.
When it comes to distribution, it’s a good idea to launch your app on as many different marketplaces as possible, although this will also be determined by the platform that you chose and the operating system(s) that it’s available on. Greater distribution allows you to reach as many customers as possible, but pay particular attention to the big players like the Apple Store and Google Play.
7. Promote it
The majority of US consumers download zero apps per month, while a quarter of people only use an app once after first downloading it. This means that unless you give people a good reason to download your app, even if you back it with heavy promotion, you'll tear your hair out looking at its low adoption rate.
App promoting follows the same general principles as a business promoting or any entertainment product such as a book or a movie. Many marketers think of their app as marketing material, and while that’s technically true, it won’t just sell itself. You need to promote it through everything from social media marketing to content marketing and email marketing if you want people to know that it’s there.
App development has been a hot topic in recent years, and it’s easy to see why. In fact, it seems strange to think that it’s been just over ten years since Apple first launched its app store. Brands have been trying to find ways to stand out in the crowded marketplace ever since.
Simply building and releasing an app isn’t enough. If you want users to flock to it and for people to actually use it, you’ll need to make sure that it’s adding value to them. Value comes in many forms, whether you’re providing entertainment or whether you’re allowing people to track purchases and to see when they’re going to be delivered. Building an app is the easy part. Building an app that people actually want to use is a lot more difficult.
Still need help wrapping your head around mobile app development? Don’t suffer in silence. Here at Zfort Group, we build apps, so you don’t have to. We start by getting to know you and your customers and walk you through the process to make the app the best it can possibly be. So if you’re on the market for a new mobile app and you’re not sure where to turn, get in touch with us to find out more. We’ll be happy to help!