Most consumers use their mobile devices to discover and order products and services. Developing an app is a priority for companies of all sizes, but it is not easy to stand out in app stores. What do you need to make sure your product will be popular with the target audience, and how to make the development process go faster?
Why You Need an Android App
Despite the appeal of Apple devices, Android is still well ahead of iOS. In June 2021, almost 73% of all mobile users had this OS. High-quality Android app development is in great demand around the world, and no business can afford to deny its potential.
A mobile app is just as important as a website. By digitizing your services, you empower your customers. They can access your products and services on the go, wherever they are. Every business wants to get the best app as soon as possible. Discover five top tips in our guide.
1. Embrace MVP
The Minimal Viable Product (MVP) is the “bare essentials” version of your app which lets you test it and collect feedback from the target audience. However, “minimum” does not mean half-baked. It only refers to the range of features.
Before investing in a fully-featured product, you need to make sure your team is on the right track. As an MVP addresses the key needs of the users, it is developed relatively quickly. If the feedback is positive, you have confidence in the end result. If it is negative, you have a chance to fix the imperfections before releasing the full version.
2. Base Your Visual Designs on Wireframes
For app developers, wireframes are blueprints, a rough representation of the idea they need to bring to life. Wireframes help them devise the information architecture. Design always comes first, and these outlines give the creative process a structure.
The design does not only determine the look and feel of your app. It defines the liquidity factor. If you start developing your app from the back end, the result may look like a cake made of haphazard ingredients. Based on the wireframes, the team develops estimates for visual design that direct all subsequent work.
3. Stick to Native Designs If Possible
Cross-platform development has its merits, but native designs generally provide a superior user experience. First, they can access the full functionality of the device. If developed properly, such apps are also less likely to run with glitches or errors.
On the downside, a native app limits your reach to users of one operating system. If your app was originally developed for Android, but you want it to run on iOS, you will have to develop the second app from scratch. The code is not reusable. Developing two native apps is more expensive and time-consuming than opting for a hybrid solution.
The choice of OS can make or break any app. If you want to impress your users with flawless UX and beautiful animations, opt for the native model. If you just want to enter the market with a viable MVP and engage as many users as possible, go hybrid. All essential features, such as menus, navigation, and tab bars, should be simple. Focus on fast interaction, ease of use, and appearance that is consistent with your branding.
4. Adopt Agile and Two-week Sprints
The Agile methodology is generally superior to Waterfall, particularly for large projects. If you need to release updates every 6 weeks, choose Agile for 2-weeks sprints and learn to play with it. It allows you to push updates frequently while keeping an eye on user feedback and expectations.
The building blocks of Agile development are user stories. They describe how a customer employs the app from their perspective. Stories focus on specific functionality, such as purchasing a product, transferring money, etc. For developers, every story translates into the work required to deliver or perfect a specific feature.
Two-four weeks are enough to cover everything. The shortest duration lets you get faster feedback and identify more opportunities to improve. On the other hand, longer sprints make it easier to deliver a potentially shippable increment. Decide what makes sense for your team.
Determine the areas of improvement for each sprint and do what is best for the members. Do not overburden them with too much user feedback. Decide what enhancements to include based on speed and capacity.
5. Plan Design Reviews Before Sprint Planning
Each sprint should be preceded by a design walkthrough. Discuss what you need to achieve and follow it up with a demo and review of the results. Effective sprint planning is always based on burning through your customer’s user stories.
After each iteration, you should have a product that can be potentially shipped, even if it is not fully finished. This means that all the work required for the currently implemented features has been completed, and the product is valuable enough for the customer.
Before launching the next sprint, you need all team members to be on the same page and the product owner to clarify any queries. Arrange a meeting in the middle of the sprint to refine the backlog. Make sure there is sufficient backlog for one subsequent sprint at the very least.
Finally, remember that reviews are not retrospectives, and they do not have to be formal. They allow you to demonstrate the hard work of your team. Let the members gather around a desk for informal demos and describe the work they have done. This is a time for asking questions, trying new features, and providing feedback.
To Sum Up
Businesses in need of a mobile app should embrace the concept of the Minimal Viable Product and start their design process from wireframes. Native designs are more expensive but generally better for projects focused on functionality and the quality of UI. Following the Agile methodology and holding regular design reviews are effective ways to accelerate mobile app development.