Becoming a Successful Part of the App-Based World
In the mobile age, our online engagements are increasingly through apps. Developing a successful app means working with the right developer.
It’s been more than two years since mobile handsets took the lead as the most popular platform for getting online. That’s a fact that Google has recognised with its move towards mobile first indexing and that businesses across the globe have taken onboard, with the constant mantra of “make it mobile friendly” near the top of their SEO priorities list. That sounds fine until you really think about how we engage with cyberspace online.
From a desktop, if we want to visit our social media page, do some online banking or check out the sports scores, we hit Internet Explorer or Chrome and pull up the relevant page. On mobile, however, we simply click the appropriate app. In fact, research by eMarketer has found that smartphone users spend 90 percent of their mobile phone usage time on apps. With statistics like that, mobile app development is something that every business needs to think about. But even more than other aspects of technology, this is an area where you will be heavily reliant on external expertise. Here are some areas you need to think about that will help you find the developer that’s best for you and your business.
Every app is highly individual, even more so than with a website, so simple technical expertise is not enough. Look at the difference between those social media and banking apps that we mentioned earlier. An app is like your own little microcosm of the internet, so you need to know that the developer understands your market and your business. Any good developer will be prepared to share a portfolio of previous work, so look at this with a critical eye.
Keep it user-centric
The whole point of an app is to make life easier for your customers, visitors and users, and every step of its development has to have this goal in sight. It sounds obvious, but too many apps turn into vanity projects, either for the business, the developer or both. Using the latest tech and having an app that has clever and complex features is fine as long as they are delivering direct benefit to the user. If not, potential customers will just dismiss the app as too heavy and look for a simple, intuitive alternative that they can just start using – and that will probably mean going straight to your main competitor.
If yours is a relatively new business, you probably have ambitious growth plans over the next couple of years. These need to be in your mind as you develop the app, and also as you choose which developer to work with. The guy around the corner who works on his own and just set up in business might know his stuff and be able to offer a great price, but if your business takes off at the rate you expect it to, will you outgrow him? Think pragmatically, and look to build relationships that will grow with the business.