Five Tips For Developers Before Releasing a Mobile App on Any Platform

As technology evolves, we are finding ourselves in a world where anyone, at any age, can become a “creator” almost instantly. Not everyone is developing apps, but even a blog, Twitter or Facebook provides people with a stage on which they can voice their opinions and thoughts to a public audience. All in all, we can all agree that this is a good thing.

One of the somewhat negative results of this new era is the difficulty in discovery. It is more challenging to find great content because, again, everyone is sharing content. It is difficult to discover interesting people on the web because, well, everyone is on the web. This “problem” is magnified when we are talking about the most competitive space in modern technology. Mobile.

The app stores on the various platforms are absolutely exploding and so many people are either thinking about or actually releasing apps into the wild. Not all those apps are necessary or even worthy of making the cut, but again, Apple aside, it is an open field and anyone can play.

What this means for the consumer is that it is going to be a lot more difficult to find the relevant apps for you, no matter how good the search mechanism in the store claims to be.

What this means for the developer is something a whole lot worse. Good luck getting enough downloads needed to effectively monetize your app. No matter how you choose to generate revenue, you are going to need users and for that, your app has to be discoverable.

“OK, so what is the magic solution to stand out in the App Store, Google Play or any of the other stores in which you download apps? Well, the good news is the principles are all the same. The bad news is, there is no magic, but there are some tips you can follow. Here are five:

5 Money is Important, Yes, but Not Just Yet…

Yes, I know, some of you are thinking, “what’s an app good for if I can’t build a business out of it?” Well, I have good news and bad news. The bad news is, people do NOT pay for apps. Yes, I am generalizing because the statistics allow me to. Close to 90% of mobile downloads are free. So, you need to be creative here. The good news is, if and when you offer a great mobile experience in your app, there are endless ways to monetize your users. Mobile advertising using rich media or hyper local targeting, in app purchases, search and the list goes on. But before that, build up your audience by releasing an awesome app. Good luck!

4 You Released the App? Now Get to Work!

Yes, conceptualizing, designing, developing and launching an app is the easy part. Communicating with your users, updating the app to fix bugs, releasing new features, and keeping users interested? That is the difficult part. You need to know that from the get-go!

3 Think to Yourself “would I Use This App and if So, How Often?”

If the answer is no, you would not use the app, then you might want to keep your day job. More importantly, you need to build your app with the knowledge that most people use apps once and never go back. You need to keep bringing people back to your app! How? By providing ongoing value to the user.

2 Design and Product Are No Longer Two Concepts:

The design of your app is as important to its success as its features. No, scratch that, it is way more important. Maybe in the era of Windows Mobile, you were able to get away with apps that hurt people’s eyes, but in today’s era of Path, Flipboard and amazing looking weather apps, design is absolutely key. Make it a looker!

1 Focus. No, I Mean, Really Focus!

Take any app on any platform that you view as a success! Notice a pattern? They all do one, maximum two things, and they do them excellently. Whatever your app is, whether it is a social app, a game, a utility, whatever—make sure you focus and keep it simple. People do not like to be confused and if you confuse users in the first ten seconds of opening your app, that will also be the last ten seconds they spend in your app. No second chances.

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