According to a recent survey by SD Times, 57.1% of companies surveyed said that they are currently building a mobile app. An additional 13.2% said that they will be developing one within the next six months. Clearly, mobile apps have reached a tipping point where if you’re not already on mobile devices or planning your mobile apps, it’s time you got serious about doing so.
With Apple advertising that the iTunes store currently has over 500,000 apps, however, just building any app is no longer good enough. You have competition, and your app needs to be the best in your particular niche. So, let’s take a look at what makes an app great.
1. Functionality. Your app must fulfill some need. Whether that’s entertainment, news, or utility, it’s important that you have your goals and mission clearly defined at the outset so that they can guide your planning and development process.
2. Design and Usability. You don’t have much time to make an impression on mobile users. Within the first minute of using your app, most users are already deciding whether they will let you continue to occupy precious storage space or whether they’re going to zap you.
3. Performance. Although we tolerate a bit more lag on mobile devices, users’ expectations are extremely high. Multiple factors contribute to latency on mobile devices–and some of them are out of your control. Knowing how to maximize performance as well as perceived performance is vital.
4. Know your market. Knowing who is likely to download and use your app is helpful not only for the design process, but also for the marketing process.
If you focus on these 4 areas of app development from the very start of your project, your chances of success and standing out in the crowd will be greatly improved. In my next newsletter, I’ll talk about the first of these four points, functionality, and how to decide what to leave in and what to leave out.