App development tips
The app industry is one of the highest growth technology industries in the world at the moment. In 2017 there were an estimated 268 billion app downloads with revenues of over $77 million.
Most apps tend to be free, making their money from in-app purchases and in-app advertising and developing an app isn’t the complex process that it once was. Anyone can develop their own app now with the right software and a bit of ambition.
But before you jump right in and start to design your new app, make sure you complete our ultimate checklist first.
- Define your app
If you have an idea that’s great, but you need to make it coherent and marketable. Start by writing down a description of your app, what it’s about, how it is going to improve people’s lives or make them want to download it.
You need to pose all of these questions to yourself before you even think about developing an app. What makes it unique? What makes it a success? By asking yourself these questions you will be able to iron out any flaws before you start developing an app that can’t be changed.
- Conduct market research
Okay so imagine you’ve developed a simple app that allows users to map their closest cash machine. It’s not particularly a revolutionary idea but it is one that could be useful to people and popular.
First you’ll need to find out how many other developers are offering the same service and then download them and try them out. See what works well, what doesn’t work so well and go through the customer reviews.
Check out how popular these apps are as well, finding out how many times they have been downloaded. If you find that they aren’t particularly popular from your research, think about creating a different app.
If you find a common theme amongst the customer complaints, make sure that your app doesn’t have the same issues. Then you can guarantee customers will be happy and use that in your marketing approach.
- Identify investors
If you are looking to make your app a staple across the country, you’re going to need a few stakeholders to help you with the capital investment that you will need. Identify companies or investors that will be interested in your app.
Also look for stakeholders that will be keen to advertise to your app’s key demographic. Once you have identified your potential stakeholders, you can use tip #1 to help you successfully pitch it to them.
- Choose your development method
If you are confident in your abilities to develop an app yourself, brilliant! You can develop the app yourself at minimal cost, other than your own personal labour. However if you don’t feel capable of designing your own app, you’ll need to source external help.
You can use sites such as Freelancer to find developers who can help you build your app at a good price. However the quality of candidate may not be as high as you would hope, so if you want to create a super sleek and high quality app, look at hiring the services of a professional developer firm.
- Outline your monetisation strategy
As mentioned above, there are several ways that you can monetise an app. In order to see quick returns you may want to think about charging for your app. If you do this make sure you check out the price of similar apps and develop your pricing strategy accordingly.
Just be prepared for lower download figures though as consumers are more likely to download free apps rather than paid ones. Going for the free download option will increase the amount of people using your app, and then you can use other methods of monetisation.
Advertising is the most popular and you can add in advertisements to your app in a number of ways. The most lucrative will be through approaching interested parties independently and offering them exclusivity.
Once you have advertising embedded into your app you can also offer customers an ‘ad-free’ version of the app for a small cost. In-app purchases can then also be added to your app, and if it is good enough and helpful to the customer, then you can expect a high number of customers to be prepared to pay for in-app benefits.
- Pick a good idea and define it.
- Look at your competitors. What makes you different? How can you be better than them?
- Use your defined plan and strategy to identify investors with capital.
- Choose your development team wisely, find the balance between cost effectiveness and end-product quality.
- Pick a method of monetisation that will balance downloads with profits.