By Dianna Labrien
So you want to build an app. It’s a smart move to do this year as the mobile traffic is now surpassing desktop traffic in USA, Japan and 8 other countries according to Google. Another number in favor – 42 percent of all mobile sales generated by the top 500 merchants in the U.S. were made via apps.
The time to launch a mobile app for your business couldn’t be any better. Considering that you already have the idea, the budget and the team, all you are left to do is to craft the ultimate road map for your app development.
Here are the top 3 mistakes to avoid when figuring out all the aspects of this process.
1. Failing to Identify The Best Platform
Basically, you have a choice of three – iOS, Android and Windows Phone. Considering that a lot of businesses often fail to comprehensively weight each option available, the choice is overwhelming.
A lot of developers vouch for iOS as iPhone apps generate 85 percent more revenue than Android apps. However, keep in mind the fact that while iOS apps are massively popular in US, it is Android that dominates at the global scale.
When choosing the right platform for your app, ask yourself the following questions:
- What is my monetization strategy?
- Do I plan to offer a paid/freemium/free with in-app purchases option?
- Who is my target audience?
- Where do they come from and which devices they use? The data could be easily obtained via your Google Analytics if you already have a business you are creating an app for.
While building an app for multiple platforms may seem like the right strategy to take, think of the rising costs and doubling efforts for marketing. Additionally, if you launch an app on both platforms at once, and afterwards discover functionality or design bugs, making timely fixes will make the development costs add up drastically.
2. Thinking of Mobile UX as a Downsized Web Experience
A mobile app is profoundly different from a website. It’s different in functionality, in scope and in size.
Here are the three core principles of efficient mobile app development and UX.
Easy learning curve: users should intuitively understand how to interact with your app and what functionality it has. The sign-up process should be super quick and straightforward.
Streamlined workflow: Use the Pareto principle for information architecture: 80 percent of app users never use more than 20 percent of the app’s features. Pinpoint the most important features your app offers and hide the less popular ones if your app is already online. When it comes to organizing information, apply the same principle. Offer your users a highly customizable experience that offers them quick access to the 20% of information they want to see most.
Bottom line: don’t copy your desktop design and functionality into your app. Instead, offer a better, refined version of the same experience.
3. Failing to Create a Marketing Strategy
Your app will not sell itself. No matter how awesome, unique and well designed it is, you still need to work on your marketing and user-acquisition strategy. Remember, you are competing with thousands of other publishers for limited user attention.
Here are the core steps to increase your app visibility:
Identify your target audience. Who is your ideal user? What are their problems and how your app solves them? Where do they hang out? What’s your unique features that set you apart from the competitors?
Get press coverage. Scout the web for writers and publications. Jot down those names and organize it all in a spreadsheet. To save time, you can outsource that. Next, create a punchy pitch letter – describe your app briefly, add screenshots and attach your press kit. Analyze the results.
Create and publish a demo video. Mobile users spend 40 minutes on YouTube on average per session. Convert those watchers into users by creating a funny, creative video about your app. Instead of a standard corporate demo, think of something more down to the ground – a humorous short video illustrating the core feature of your app, a prankster video with your app, etc. Consider collaborating with an influencer for an additional boost.
Apply for awards. Participating and winning an app award is the best free way to land massive exposure through press, reviews and social media. Although the chances highly depend on your app idea and the pitch, this option is worth the effort. Some popular awards include: Best App Ever Awards, AppCircus competition, Apple Design Awards and Appsters Awards.