What Goes Into a Popular App: Tips for Developing Successful Mobile Phone Applications

 Mobile Smartphone's are growing at a tremendous rate due to lower and sometimes free Smartphone's cost. 61% of all Adults in US own a Smartphone, and depending on your app demographics that number can be much higher. Businesses, start-ups and enterprise world has recognized the full-potential of the mobility market and have rolled out or rolling out strategic solutions to clients.

 Most important aspect of developing a mobile app or mobile optimized website is to do proper research before any coding begins. It's important to identify exactly who your ideal clients are and what they are looking for. Different clients have different expectations and different technology skill level. Design, workflow and behavior of the mobile app is completely different between different age range, customer goals and industry. Write down your purpose for creating this app, what exactly are you trying to achieve or solve.

 Once you have identified your ideal client and have research different solutions on the internet for their shortcomings and highlights then can you move onto identifying what features you app should have. Most of the features follow Pareto's 80/20 rule as it would state that 80% of people will use 20% of features in your app. You need to identify those 20% of features that will make your app different from the rest and perfect them. Your core feature set should be as flawless as could be.

 Feature criteria and your apps mobile brand awareness should perfectly tie in with your marketing plan. Importance of this predominantly depends on your distribution channel and type of app. In the case when this is important and certain features would be used as a cornerstone of your marketing effort then it's important to spend additional time in that area to ensure that your app will compliment your marketing efforts and that those critical features are thoroughly though out.

 With laser precision focus on the end-user and your apps value to the user can you build a successful iPhone, iPad, Android or other Smartphone app. At this point it's important to write out multiple use cases and workflows for your app. You need to think like your end user and simulate their workflow and ideal behavior from start to end. Input from colleagues, friends and professionals can be of an immense help as you might be making certain in-correct assumptions or missing certain things.

 Sketching out your iPhone or Android mobile app either on paper, online or using a prototype sketch app is very important. Mockups help your visualize and refine your thoughts. Interface experience is critical and in most cases should be simple, self-evident and of course useful. Most people go through quite a few mockup revisions to end up with something that they like. Constructive feedback and brainstorming sessions will help your app be the best that it can be.

  • Can you simplify and improve the UI?
  • Can you provide more value to your customers?
  • Is your app simple to understand and navigate?
  • What if there is a loss of internet, or how resource use might affect your app?
  • How will your app be secure and scalable? Are there any regulations that you need to comply with?
  • What can you do with your app to want to make customer go back and use it.
  • Did you solve or provide a solution to the original purpose of the app?
  • How does your workflow tie in with the mockups, what do you need to change or update?

 We are advocates for Agile methodology as a type of project management model. With Agile type of development you will start to see your mobile app come to life in a few short weeks. This allows you to manage risk better and constantly provide input and modification as to how you can improve your app. Improvements and suggestions are welcomed and expected. Development time will less if during mockup and design phases most of the issues are resolved and though out. However it's acknowledged that during a real prototype that you can use and play with there might be certain changes that could be done.

 Actual development and coding will be a separate articles with its own set of tips and nuances.

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