Recent technological upgrades have shaped how we do our daily activities. No matter how seemingly complicated or mundane a particular task is, you can be sure that there’s an app for it, especially now that we live in a time where almost everyone has a smartphone in hand. Then it’s no surprise that the app development industry experiences tremendous growth.
The competitive nature of the app development landscape have brought about some of the best, most efficient and most reliable apps to date. However, the said industry is also rife with stories of startups suddenly closing shop only months or even weeks after launching their app. These new companies may have committed some of the crucial mistakes that you’ll want to avoid when developing an app for your startup.
Here are six of the crucial mistakes you have to avoid in app development:
1. Not creating a solid backend foundation
You may have decided to create an app that makes buying concert tickets easier with just a few taps on one’s smartphone for instance. You’ve ensured that your app’s frontend looks hip enough to attract a mostly young and impressionable user base that loves going to shows and music festivals featuring their favorite artists.
But no matter how well-designed your app may be, building it would be all for nothing if you forget to take care of the part where it has to store and retrieve the login credentials as well as personal and contact info of its users from some server database in case they accidentally closed it. If your app doesn’t have any backend at all, you can expect them to boycott it and find one that won’t force them to retype their username, password, and buyer details.
The backend is the app’s foundation and mainframe. So when developing an app, focus on the backend as well since it’s where most of the action happens. There are a few programming languages that you can use for your backend, though the most common one is PHP. You’ll only need to set up a local server and a database within it as well as write a fair amount of code.
If you’d rather take care of your app’s frontend instead of having to learn how to encode scripts, you can hire PHP developers in need of work to take care of its backend. They can help you come up with a development lifecycle as well which you’ll need to accurately measure how long it would take for your app to get built, tested, and launched to the public.
You can recruit your PHP development team using a traditional job hunting site if you prefer to interact with them in person at an office setting or one that accepts listings for remote jobs if you want to spare them the long and horrendous commute that office-based workers experience every workday.
2. Developing an app for the wrong platform
Your app needs a platform to launch. Currently, there are only two major platforms that you need to consider when building your app, namely Android and iOS. Still, you shouldn’t instantly assume that your app would receive the same success in iOS as you may experience in Android and vice versa.
Before setting out to create an app, choose first whether to do so with Android or iOS users in mind. If you decided to build for Android, for example, stick with it until your app racks up a decent number of downloads and loyal users. Only after that can you start porting your app to iOS and tweaking bits of it to make it compatible for the said platform.
3. Adding too many unnecessary features
It can get tempting to put as many features as you can in your app. You might be thinking that you can always remove any one of them if users don’t see any need to use them. Overloading your app with features can cause it to slow down significantly and ruin the entire user experience. You’ll also suffer from wasted development hours and money that you could’ve spent making an entirely new app instead.
You should first map out which features to include in your app before developing it. Keep only those that can add value to its users. In the world of app development, less is more. The simpler the app is, the faster it will load.
4. Blatantly imitating a more well-known app
Imitation is the best form of flattery. But when you rip off a more popular app to the point that you’ve copied most – if not all – of its features and functionalities without changing them up, its developer might find out what you’ve done and file a patent infringement claim against you.
If possible, try to create an original app that you can proudly call your own. But if you want to make one patterned after Facebook, Spotify, or any other popular app, put a unique twist to it. Add some new features that the app which served as an inspiration for yours may not have included at all.
5. Not thoroughly testing your app for any errors
After you’ve finished developing your app, you should test every feature for possible errors and problems. Run at least a couple of cycles of testing to your newly built app first instead of immediately rolling it out in either Google Play or Apple App store for public consumption. Put yourself in the shoes of your app’s users when checking it for any errors.
Release a beta version of it to a limited number of users and potential early adopters as well so they can help you in testing the functionalities and components that you might have overlooked during your own testing stage.
6. Not considering app retention
Your newly built app may have garnered several downloads after putting it out for public consumption. However, you shouldn’t get complacent and expect that those who downloaded your app would use it on their smartphones.
A high number of downloads isn’t enough of an indicator that your app is successful. You’ll also have to achieve an equally high retention rate meaning that many users interact with your app and keep it for long instead of downloading, installing, and then deleting it minutes after trying to use it. You can track your app’s user retention rate by using any of the analytics tools put out by Google, Apple, or any of the various third-party vendors in existence right now.
With the app market expected to grow up to $189 billion by 2020, now is the right time to build one. But before you jump into the app development bandwagon, you’ll want to avoid making any of the crucial mistakes mentioned above that had sent some startups reeling from substantial profit loss and packing. Who knows, maybe your app could be the next talk of the town.