Guest Post by Derek Goodman, Inbizability
If you want your business to connect with customers directly no matter where they are, you can’t beat a mobile app. However, there are common app development mistakes businesses make that can stop apps from making an impact. Here’s a look at some of the most common app development mistakes you should avoid, brought to you by OneClickAdvisor.com.
Confusing User Pathways
As a user, there’s nothing worse than opening an app you’re excited about only to discover the app makes no sense. The path from opening the app to using it should be as clear and simple as possible. However, many apps hide functions deep in menus or combine user interface features in desperately confusing ways.
This can be an especially common issue for small businesses that go with DIY app builders rather than hiring a dedicated developer. Hiring an app tester can help prevent this issue. An agent or freelancer can perform professional mobile app testing to ensure that everything is functional and easy to understand.
Annoying or Intrusive Features
Another problem many apps face is being annoying or intrusive. Pop-up windows in apps, for example, distract from the main function users are trying to access. Animation can serve as a strong graphic design purpose, but if these animations take too long, they can also disrupt the user experience. Finally, any app permissions, such as location tracking, should be wholly justified in the app to avoid sparking privacy concerns.
Product testing can alert you to these issues as well, but you can mitigate this in the planning stage if it’s on your mind. Think critically about animations, pop-ups, and app permissions. Make sure that, when these are included in your app, they serve a clear function and purpose.
No True Value
Your business’s app should provide obvious value to your customers. Without this foundational step, you’re going to have serious trouble convincing anyone to download. Remember, people take their storage space seriously – your app has to justify its place on users’ phones.
There are several simple ways to make sure your app provides real value for your customers. For example, you should try to survey your audience continuously throughout app development. Also, use customer feedback to get a sense of which aspects of your app connect with customers. Adapt to this information in order to up the value your app brings to the table.
Poor Customer Service
On the topic of feedback, app store reviews often leave business owners seriously stressed out. You can now reply to these public reviews, but stay professional. It’s hard not to feel defensive of the application you worked so hard to create, but remember to keep your cool, even when the reply is caustic or downright wrong. You’re representing your business, so approach these with a customer service/public relations mindset.
Only respond to reviews when you have something productive to say. For example, if the user pointed out a bug you’ve fixed or suggested a feature you’ve implemented, responses are a great way to thank them for the information and let them know about the change. These kinds of replies can regain unsatisfied users; additionally, they impress potential users who are checking the reviews when considering your app.
Insufficient Update Cycle
Finally, some business owners make the mistake of thinking that, once they’ve made their app, they’re all done. In reality, app development is an ongoing, continuous process. You should be updating your app at least once a month, but as frequently as once a week. These minor updates should fix bugs, simplify user paths, and add small features that improve the user experience. Larger updates should happen sparingly — be sure they’re good enough to justify themselves since users notoriously hate change.
This ongoing commitment can be intimidating, but remember — it gives you the chance to regularly ensure your app is the best it can be. We hope this article has given you the info you need to confidently move forward with your app development plans. Good luck creating an app that lets your business live right in your customers’ pockets.
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Build a great app by avoiding simple but common app development mistakes.