Have you ever wondered how much time we spend on our mobile applications each day? Well, as per recent statistics, on an average, a US consumer uses mobile apps for 2 hours 57 minutes daily. This isn’t astounding considering the fact that we use mobile apps for every single task right from booking a ride, shopping online and messaging a friend to browsing the web, checking social feeds and even transferring money.
In other words, mobile application development is burgeoning-Businesses that have taken a note of this trend are building state-of-the-art applications to connect with their user base. Whether you are building an app on your own or availing the services of one of the top mobile app development companies in USA, here are a few things you need to consider:
1. Do Some Ground Research
In order to develop an application that strikes a chord with your audience, you must conduct an exhaustive research on the current and expected market trends, consumer demands and preferences. An in-depth analysis of the market will provide you with insights on what kind of apps are getting popular among smartphone users.
A useful exercise would be to go through customer reviews for popular applications; reviews will help you gauge the interests, preferences and pain areas of your audience. You can also study your competitor strategy to assess what kind of functionalities and features they are offering. This research will offer you a robust base on work on.
2. Identify your Target Audience
Your user base will decide the success or failure of your application. Hence, identifying the right set of audience is imperative. You need to be clear with respect to the location, age group, gender, income level, profession, occupation and interests of your target group(s).
Any mobile application (including yours) is meant to solve a problem, so your audience identification can’t be a mere guesswork. You need to conduct surveys, browse through online forums and deploy tools to understand your market. You can create personas to visualize the needs of different sets of audience. A thorough research will help you understand the features that should be included in your application.
3. Select the Right Platform
The most popular platforms for mobile app development include android, iOS and Windows. The recommended way is to start with one platform and move to others when you have gained adequate experience.
Your target audience, app features and pricing strategy are of prime consideration while choosing a platform out of android, iOS and Windows. Once this is clear, you can proceed to build a native or hybrid application.
Both native and hybrid apps have their pros and cons. While native apps have higher upfront costs, they are faster, more responsive and allow access to full features of the selected OS. Native apps, therefore, enable a highly personalized user experience.
Hybrid apps, on the other hand, can be created using a single code base and are, therefore, much more cost-effective than a native solution. However, hybrid apps are slower and lack the customization that is possible with a native application. Plus, they are more susceptible to bugs.
Your choice for native or hybrid application should primarily depend on the following factors:
- The quality of user experience you want to deliver
- The complexity of features you want in your app
- Time frame set for application development
4. Consider the Design Aspect
All top mobile app development companies in USA focus on creating designs that are straightforward and intuitive. Poor user-interface can turn off users and make them uninstall your application. You need to keep the following aspects in mind while designing the application:
No Unnecessary Elements: Try not to keep any unnecessary elements in the application. With reduced distractions, users can easily find what they are looking for.
Seamless Flow of Information: One thing should naturally flow into the other. Users should feel as though they are interacting with a human.
Minimum Input Fields: Creating more than one user input or making the user switch between different input modes can frustrate the user causing him to abandon the application.
Limited Use of Notifications: While it’s important to notify the user of new offers or changes, using notifications excessively may cause the user to uninstall the application.
5. Decide the Technical Features
Another significant aspect are the technical features you seek to include in your application. Your application can offer a simple version for basic users and an advanced version equipped with complex functionalities for high-end users.
With new advancements in smartphones, it is possible to integrate the features of your device in your application. Functions such as direct calling or SMS can be easily integrated with your app allowing users to call or text someone directly without having to type their number. Similarly, GPS capabilities integrated in the application can detect user presence and offer him options depending on his location. While these features enhance user experience, they can make your application complex and difficult to load. So, it’s vital to decide which features to integrate and which ones to leave.
6. Allocate Budget and Time Frame for Project
Budgetary constraints can impede the development of your application. Hence, it’s essential to estimate the total budget of development and allocate it properly during all stages of development. You will be required to spend a considerable amount on developing, maintaining and marketing the mobile application. The complexity of your app also dictates the cost of your project.
Another aspect that you need to consider is the timeframe for development. To ensure you finish the project on time, it’s vital that you set deadlines for each stage of development and keep a track of whether these deadlines are being adhered to or not.
7. Consider Maintenance and Security
Regardless of whether you build the app on your own or hire one of the top mobile app development companies in USA, you need to set aside a certain sum for application maintenance. You will have to keep the app up-to-date, remove bugs as they appear, create new content from time to time, track user analytics to understand how the app is performing and notify users about new offers or changes.
A crucial aspect that many app developers tend to neglect is security. Mobile apps need to have measures in place to collect, manage and secure the data from the very beginning of the development process.
8. Identify Monetization Potential of the App
A mobile application can play many roles for your organization. It can create revenue directly for your company, boost your brand presence or indirectly help you in some stages of your sales funnel. If you intend to make money directly from the application, you will need to consider different monetization models:
Freemium (Free + Premium) apps: These apps are free to download and use. However, advanced features are accessible only through a purchase.
Premium apps: These are the apps that the user needs to purchase from the app store in order to use them. Such apps entail a robust marketing strategy.
Paywalls: This is a kind of freemium model that focuses on content. Users can access a part of the content for free but require subscription to access the full content. This model generates a steady stream of revenue as the subscriptions usually auto-renew.
In-app Purchases: The model where you sell physical or virtual products within the app. An appropriate purchase model for those working in the e-commerce vertical.
In-app Advertising: The app is free to download and use but contains ads to help you earn revenue. This model doesn’t involve any cost barrier for the user.
Sponsorship: A relatively new monetization model where you can partner with specific brands after acquiring a solid user base. Here, the users can redeem awards and incentives by participating in some activity or completing some in-app action.
Wrapping it Up
The aforementioned factors are crucial to developing an application that helps your brand connect with your user base successfully. When done right, a mobile application can help you reinforce brand presence, convert loyal customers to brand evangelists and augment profit margins. As one of the top mobile app development companies in USA, Cyfuture boasts of an enviable track-record of delivering web and mobile applications par excellence. For more information, connect with our technical experts today.