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Key Considerations when Developing a Mobile App

The mobile app market has seen huge growth in the last decade. Research predicts that 185 billion iOS (iPhone) and Android apps will have been downloaded by the end of 2014. People of all demographics use smartphones or tablets every day. Marketers have realised that to sell or promote online, they must improve their mobile presence.

Many companies nowadays are turning to the mobile app to lift their mobile presence. An app acts as a direct conduit to your customer/client base via the branded icon on the screen. Apps can enable functionalities of all kinds including: social media; online shopping; loyalty programs. Users are encouraged to remain engaged on a regular basis.

It is this engagement that allows business to build incredibly powerful relationships with their customer base. Given the growth trends sited above, over the next few years the mobile landscape is likely to continue to grow exponentially.

While it is easy to get caught up in all the app hype, it is important to affirm that your app project has a place within your business and marketing plans.

Considerations:

Before embarking on an app project there are critical elements that need to be taken into consideration. Firstly, what features should your app have.

App Features:

The following are just a few examples of features that can be built into an app:

  • Shopping Cart
  • iOS or Google Maps (Nearest outlets & directions)
  • Push Notification (Customer alerts; sales/specials etc.)
  • Social Media Links (Facebook/Twitter)
  • Food Ordering Facility
  • Loyalty Reward Facility
  • Augmented Reality
  • Indoor Location Technology IndoorAtlas
  • Video Link (YouTube)
  • QR Code Reader

There is a plethora of features that can be built into a mobile app. The key to producing the best result is to be aware of the possibilities, whilst having realistic goals. Keep the app simple and suitable to your needs and goals. Core features need to be nailed down early in the piece and one should endeavour to stay on track throughout the project. New features can be added with subsequent upgrades.

Target Market:

Demographic information can be used as a tool when addressing how best to connect with your target market. As discussed in the previous blog, "Your App Development Choice, iPhone or Android?" the demographics of your audience will be a major consideration when development takes place. The choice of platform is therefore crucial to the app's success. Another important consideration when addressing your target market, is the design and UI (User Interface)

App Design:

Design is one of the most critical ingredients to the success of an app. People review many apps and it is the app with the most eye-catching design that will attract their attention. They say that functional is beautiful, and this is a maxim that clearly also pertains to app design. App designers have to work within the confines of small screens, and it is for this reason that the function of an app should be their primary source of inspiration.

Design rules of thumb:

  • #1 Rule: Follow the Design Guidelines for iOS and Android for more UI and design info.
  • Strong app icon. The icon has to attract attention and portray the app's purpose/use, all at a glance. Time and thought needs to be devoted to this important element.
  • Keep it simple. No extraneous design elements to confuse the punters. The design needs to make functional sense.
  • Follow your brand guidelines. When developing an app it should be an extension of your business, be consistent
  • Text, symbols and photographs must be clear and easy to view. There isn’t a lot of mobile screen space, so take full advantage of what is there.
  • Illustrations within an app can be a good way to build a relationship with your audience. Search for a app designer with both strong illustrative and graphic skills.

App Promotion:

Whether your business sells or promotes online, it is of paramount importance to keep customers informed and interested in your app. When the Kelly Co Group developed their Pickle Club App, it reached the number one spot in the App Store in its category, within days of its release. Their Android version was produced a short time later, due to customer requests. These results would not have been seen without a dedicated social media campaign prior to launch.

The following is a list of key promotional considerations/strategies/activities that will improve your chances of app success:

  • Use relevant keywords to describe your app at the App Store or Google Play
  • Encourage customers/users to review your app. Higher rated apps attract users.
  • App price - A free app is more likely to be downloaded, however it may not be as highly valued. This may depend on your customer demographic.
  • Submit app to directories & review websites.
  • Create a YouTube Video of your app where applicable.
  • Advertise your app on your website home page and with blog articles.
  • Use screen shots that attract downloads.

If you would like some advice regarding an app project contact Aerion Technologies today.