With consumers spending more time on their devices than ever before and apps expected to generate an eye-watering $935 billion in revenue per annum by 2023, there’s never been a better time to launch an application for your business. Whether you start on Android and work your way to iOS, build a hybrid app, or go the whole hog and launch on every platform at once, there are lots of things you’ll need to think about. Below, we’ve put together some common app development mistakes that you should avoid ahead of releasing your software.
Although it’s natural to want to ‘reinvent the wheel’ when developing an app for your business, the truth is that consistency is important. Consumers have access to more than two million apps on both the Apple App Store and Google Play Store, so if your design is inconsistent and the navigation is confusing, the chances are that users won’t stick around.
Remember: we only get one chance to make a good first impression, so make yours count! According to one report, almost 3 in every 10 apps will be deleted from users’ devices within a month, and 21% of apps are used only once during the first 6 months. It’s vital that you create a coherent, consistent user interface that conforms with modern design practices.
Launching your app on the down-low to collect feedback from friends, colleagues, and beta testers is a common strategy for small business owners. It allows you to iron out those initial kinks before you take your app to the market, but it has a major drawback: it limits your app’s reach and could work against you in the long run. Don’t underestimate the importance of marketing during the pre-launch stages, and building hype so that on day one of your app’s official launch, you can start attracting users, reviews, and climbing the App Store rankings.
That’s not to say that your app needs to be perfect on day one, or that you can’t test your app before it goes live. On iOS, you can use TestFlight for beta testing apps, and internal testing is available on Android, too. These tools are ideal, as they allow you to give a select number of users access to your app and allow them to submit feedback, crash reports, and squash bugs before your app goes live. It also means you can add a pre-order link to your app product page, using it to get users excited and create a community for your software.
It’s important that your app follows the same user interface behaviours as other apps on iOS and Android, so as not to put users off from using your software. For example, we all know that swiping right on an app will take us back to the last window, holding down on a feature or button will open additional options, and pulling down will refresh a news feed. Try to avoid forcing your users into new routines; if your app behaves unexpectedly, it may put your users off or cause them to disengage with your app. Though welcome screens and tutorials are a good idea, your app should just work with little to no explanation. TLDR: keep your UI simple.
Littering your new app with ads
App development can be expensive and as an entrepreneur with targets to hit, it’s natural to want to try to recoup some of your costs as soon as your app goes live. One of the most common ways of doing this is by introducing ads, but there are other more effective ways to monetise your content. There’s certainly no harm in advertisements if they’re incorporated in a responsible, user-friendly manner, but overloading your app with ads before users have even begun to download it will result in poor retention and perhaps negative user reviews.
There are a number of advertising options to consider. Banners are the most common and are often displayed at the bottom of app screens, whilst native ads are integrated into the UI, making them less intrusive. Interstitial ads, on the other hand, take up the whole screen for a limited amount of time, whilst video ads are often used at the start of video content. Offer walls allow you to promote other apps inside of your own, and rewarded video ads allow you to reward users who watch advertisements with credits or in-app currencies to spend on unlocks. Experiment with different options but use each sparingly; they’ll be more successful.
Holding off the release for months
Finally, holding off releasing your software for months and months is another common app development mistake you want to avoid. We get it: your new app is your baby and you want to get it just right, but you’ll only start learning what users actually want once version one goes live. No amount of beta testing or audience surveying can give you the raw data you’ll receive once your app is available to the general public. You can see how users interact with your functionality and make changes accordingly, optimising drop-off points and improving the overall experience.
As we’ve already touched upon, test your app ahead of launch and know when to flick the switch. The chances are that you won’t be 100% satisfied with your first build, but getting your product out into the world sooner rather than later will help you start building a successful product that makes a genuine impact, and ultimately generates an income.
Are you considering an app for your business? Reach out to the team at Zudu today on 01382 690080 for a free consultation and check back to the blog soon for more app dev tips.