App development is a complex field. It is, however, a highly profitable and absolutely vast industry. Before diving headfirst into the development of an app, professionals need to do some careful planning and make some careful considerations. Here are some of the most important things to consider before and during your mobile application development.
Security threats are myriad in the hyper-networked online world of the 2020s. Ransomware, phishing, data theft, and many more malicious acts or programs can all be leveraged against the developers and users of apps. It is therefore very important to make security a top priority when developing any kind of app. The integrity of your product and the trust of your audience is at stake.
App developers need to carefully consider:
- Source code encryption. Mobile malware is often spread using duplicate apps developed by stealing source codes. Encrypt your source codes so that this cannot happen.
- Data encryption. The private data belonging to customers may be collected by your app. If it is not encrypted, then it is liable to be leaked, which can seriously damage consumer trust in your application.
- Minimizing data storage. The less sensitive data your app collects and stores, the better.
- Platform Limitations. Not all operating systems and mobile hardware are equally as safe. You need to research the specific limitations of the hardware and software you are developing your application for.
User Experience is absolutely fundamental to good app development. Mobile hardware presents a unique challenge to developers wanting to create a good experience for users. Small screens, an absence of physical buttons, and continually evolving operating systems somewhat force a developer’s hand. Simplicity and navigability are the key elements that define mobile UX. Users need to be able to access the functionality of an application in the most direct and convenient way. Avoiding clutter and labyrinthine menus is necessary. Large touch targets help users navigate without getting frustrated. Accessible design features like text to voice and scalability help people of all abilities use your application.
SEO And ASO
Search Engine Optimization – otherwise known as SEO – includes a series of practices designed to tailor content so that it ranks highly on search engines. SEO is most well known for being conducted in order to ingratiate websites with the algorithms controlling page ranking used by Google. Fewer people are aware that a niche within SEO is focused exclusively on making apps easier to find in various app stores. This is known as App Store Optimization and is a very important consideration for app developers that want to find success.
Although App Store Optimization is primarily geared towards increasing the number of downloads an application receives, it is also useful for achieving the following supplementary aims:
- Increasing audience engagement
- Garnering positive app and product reviews
- Increasing Brand Exposure
Optimizing your app involves the creation of great content, the provision of backlinks, and the inclusion of keywords. App store search algorithms also take user experience and economy of size into account when ranking pages. As app stores become more intelligent, App Store Optimization will have to evolve in parallel.
There are around 8,900,000 applications available to mobile phone users – and that number is constantly growing. This makes for an immensely crowded market and an absolutely brutal pace of competition. App developers should conduct careful research on their nearest competitors before setting their development and marketing goals. Every new app should offer something unique to users. This does not necessarily mean that it has to completely break the mound or reinvent the wheel. A good User Experience can, for instance, be a unique selling point even if an app offers similar features to competitors.
Your Target Audience
Knowing your target audience is absolutely crucial if you want to develop a successful app. Knowing your target audience can influence the way you design your User Experience, the way you tailor your Search Engine Optimization, and just about every other part of your app development journey.
Getting to know your audience is not a simple affair. Deep market research is necessary before you even start to consider the requirements for your application. Think about these factors:
- What problem is your app solving, and who might encounter this problem?
- How, why, and when would a person use your app?
Once you have answered these questions, it is time to seek out test audiences and analyze market data. Once you have honed in on your audiences, you should create user personas. User personas are essentially profiles that lay out the desires and personality types of your ideal audience members. They allow you to match features with personality types so that you can determine exactly what your app needs to provide. Focus groups, surveys, and other ‘in person’ methods can also be used to develop quantitative and qualitative data to inform your understanding of target audiences.
The most successful applications are designed from the ground up with an audience in mind. They are able to adapt to the changing needs and tastes of their target audience – no audience stays the same forever.
Consider Revenue Tariffs
Depending on your reasons for developing an application, you might want to reconsider when you do the mathematics and understand the costs. Apple, for instance, takes a 30 percent cut of all revenue gathered from apps. Businesses earning less than 1,000,000 dollars will, in theory, only have to pay 15 percent in the future. You need to be able to factor this expenditure in when considering the potential benefits of an app. Apple and Android have both come under fire for taking large cuts of app derived profits. On the other hand, the telecommunications giants have hit back at developers that have tried to bypass their tariffs by allowing consumers to make direct purchases.
Ultimately, your app should earn your organization money – not drain your resources. Before you begin development, you need to consider whether you will make consumers pay for your application. Although this is popular with specialist app developers, it will not fly with consumers looking to download problem-solving applications in markets crowded with free-to-use examples. In recent years, a new model has gained prominence: applications are free to download, but consumers can choose to purchase extra functionality. This allows developers to generate profits without erecting the hurdle of initial payment. Some apps are not suitable for this model. Healthcare applications, for instance, become useless to consumers if they need to pay for extra functionality.
Advertising revenue represents a relatively significant percentage of the total financial income generated by applications. Advertising revenue is particularly important if an app is completely free to use. Developers should pay careful attention to how advertising affects User Experience. Too many advertisements can get in the way of an application’s functionality and essentially render it useless. You also need to pay careful attention to the kind of ads you allow to be shown on your app. If, for instance, you are developing an app aimed at children, you will need to prevent adult entertainment or gambling advertisements from being attached to your brand name as this can affect how you are perceived and ruin your reputation.