How to build a successful mobile app - 5 clever tips

Digital Marketing | 28 August 2015

While successful mobile apps may be all the new rage, they don’t show up out of thin air: such apps are the product of many hours of hard labor and even more seamless toil drawn from personal experience. Mobile apps have arrived in 2008, around the same time when Apple’s first iPhone became our inseparable companion and the App Store became THE new marketplace for all things app-related.  Here at Hi INTERACTIVE we have been learning and refining our many mobile skills; we’ve had to learn the hard way how to build a successful mobile app from scratch, with a little help from some valuable online masters and are well on our path to master this art. So we would like to share a few hard-boiled lessons with you:

1.  Know thy market

It may sound trivial, but one thing that you will soon find to be absolutely indispensable when delving into the universe of successful mobile apps is your own familiarity to smartphones. Keep in mind that you will be designing or coding for the future users of a mobile app; hence the importance of being a heavy smartphone user yourself. Part of your job will ultimately consist in identifying the needs and solving the problems inherent to each mobile app: that is the equation you will have to solve in order to build a successful mobile app.

2.  Open your designer’s eyes

Inspiration may come in many forms and shapes, but if you are a mobile designer headed to your next big successful mobile app, at least a big chunk of that successful is bound to come from visual sources. So open your eyes and be attentive everyday to the latest trends, developments and evolutions of the mobile app world. Again, don’t get stuck merely on the appearance of things, but take some time to meditate on all possible interactions users could have with your app. Also, consider several mobile design patterns (general repeatable solution to a commonly occurring problem in software design) which you could deploy to solve your particular problem at hand.

3.  Plan your successful mobile app ahead

Success is not something that just falls on someone’s lap, as an afterthought. To get your mobile app going even before it ever lands on the screen of a smartphone, planning is essential. Planning from scratch will allow you to define targets and set goals, based on your overall strategy and upcoming milestones. Ideally, you should start planning independently, before meeting your future mobile developer; if you manage to go to your development team with some clear ideas, then your team will, on its turn, move to defining the scope, features, benefits, resources, and the project schedule of your successful mobile app.

4.  Relevantly yours

We are surrounded by beautiful virtual worlds and ever more mesmerizing mobile apps; nevertheless, the line between a beautifully crafted app and a successful mobile app is in its relevance. After all, there is little point in creating an app if you are just trying to keep up with the Joneses; your competitors will keep getting the upper hand if you are unable to turn your mobile investment into a serious competitive advantage. Make your app relevant for the mobile users you are trying to get and you’ll have success on the palm of your hand: relevance, you should note, comes not just from delivering expected results but from exceeding expectations. So develop for an unforgettable mobile app.

5.  Deploy on multiple fronts

While military strategists might recommend the old divide and conquer approach, mobile developers know that there is no such thing as too many fronts to reach your end user. To put it differently, there is no reason to divest on your website just because you plan on developing a successful mobile app and vice-versa. If you feel confidant that you can deliver a true experience on both desktop and mobile, then why not? One thing to bear in mind, however, is that mobile has its own specificities: for one thing, there is one initial decision to make regarding iOS versus Android, or even Windows. Again, knowing who your audience is and what kind of mobile device it is more likely to use will be of great help.

Curious to know more about our own mobile app experiences? Let us be your mobile ambassadors: give us a call!