You’re here because you’re aware of the breakthrough idea sprouting in you and the best way to turn it into a reality is a mobile application. While there is no single secret to success, we always have mistakes to learn from and so I bring you the often committed mobile app development mistakes, app developers must avoid at all costs. To your ease, I’ve categorized the listicle into three sections: UI mistakes I General Mistakes I Solutions. While the former covers mistakes that should be avoided in an overall process, the latter commits its attention to User Interface: primarily design.
Part One: Is Your UI a hot Mess of Bad Design?
1. Too Much of Anything is Dangerous, Especially when it Comes to Fonts:
Many developers are misguided by the misconception that fancy fonts improve the UI of an app. In Fact, it has the opposite effect on the design as it makes the design look messy. Keep it simple and coherent with system fonts - San Francisco, for example, is a system font for iOS and Roboto works well for Android. A very important aspect of fonts, that developers tend to forget is that “a font is a software, that needs licensing.” Using a font without licensing can cost you up to $2,000!
2. Less is More when it's on Display:
With smartphones and tablets getting a bigger screen; it’s tempting to developers to display all their features on the main screen, but instead of informing the user, this gamut of information becomes confusing, making it hard for users to understand and use the app. Humans are visual beings, we take clues from visuals; the same theory can be applied to Web Apps. The visual elements present in the actions of an app should be consistent, which makes it easier for the user to relate to the App.
3. Android and Apple are not the same:
Android and Apple are different platforms that need different designs: The worst mistake developers can make is to apply the same design to iOS that you used for Android. Contrary to what developers think should be obvious, two different design for different OS should be a part of your design strategy.
4. Pay Attention to How You draw Attention:
Again! Remember that humans are visual yet simple beings. How you sell your vision is What the App is seen as. Pay close to attention to how you highlight the information on your app. Highlights being colors, fonts, size, and location to draw attention to the most important information. Use these highlights to draw attention to your priorities such as what service can be ideal and non-ideal situations to the people and design it accordingly.
Part Two: Mistakes that stop it from being the Next viral thing.
1. Bias to one Platform:
iOS may have a monopoly in U.S. but there’s a whole world out there for your app to conquer. Android with its global audience serves as a stronger platform if you’re targeting market outside U.S. However, it's important to remember that the two platforms though parallel are still different, so do pay a close attention to the design in terms of its visual style.
2.Being the Beta Tester of Your own App:
A mistake many developers often commit and eventually regret is being the beta testers for your own App. Ignoring that valuable outsider perspective prevents you from seeing all those hidden issues- UI glitches, bugs and even high-level flaws that can ruin your App. In case you’re wondering who is the best judge of your App? Try using app-analytics tools such as Flurry and Google’s Universal Analytics to find out how testers navigate your App.
3.Rushing to the Monetization Model of the App:
How to make money off the App is undoubtedly one of the most daunting questions faced by developers. The options are many- subscription model, freemium approach or in-app advertising? Thanks to app analysts like AppAnnie and AppTrace, you can find the best approach complimenting your App. These sites organize top apps by categories and popularity, offering you valuable insights on how to monetize your App.
4.Undermining the Importance of Advertising:
Sorry to burst your happy bubble, but regardless of how amazing your App maybe, the app won’t sell itself unless people hear about it. Defining your target audience is unarguably one of the foremost steps of a developmental process. While this information is a key reference while designing your App, showcasing your App at the right moment and in the right places goes a long way in advertising your App. Apple, for example, is always bringing new features such as “App of the Day” that offers greater visibility to the featured Apps on the App Store. Mobile App experts such as MobileAppDaily serve as a credible source for such updates and identifying latest mobile app trends.
5.Undermining the Importance of a Co-Founder:
While looking back into the history of the most successful apps, I found a commonality- all these apps had co-founders. After diving deeper into the matter, I realized these arrangements were not just destined but designed. While one founder was a hacker, the other a marketer. Such complementary associations helped the founders to brainstorm ideas, utilize connections, making the app wholesome.
Part three: Solutions to these Mobile App Development Mistakes
Some may call them as mobile app development risks, while other crucial considerations, elements such as touch feature, speed, agile development, connectivity issues and platform choices must be viewed carefully in the development process of an App. While there’s no single approach that determines the success of an App, there are, however, commonalities that can be found in all successful Apps.
1.Solves a Problem:
Before you start with the A,B,Cs of an App, ask yourself these questions: What problem is it built out of? What solution does it provide to the problem that users are willing to pay for it and not the rival Apps. Is it just offer an alternative to the rival services or simply one of two extra features. How useful is it for you to the first customer? These questions help you validate the idea and in the process, remember people are lazy, if you want them to switch from X to Y, one or two updated features won’t make the cut. The app needs a complete new identity that stands out in the customer’s eye. One way to do that is:
2.Fresh and Engaging Content:
Give your users fresh and interesting content to look forward to, each time they visit your App. This content can include contests, quizzes, downloadable offers, polls, social integration and more. Speaking of integration, make sure that the third party advertisements that serve as a revenue source for you are relevant to the content of your App.
3.Branch out to Social Media and the Web:
Reading my previous point, you must be wondering how often should you post new content? While, it is great if you can update your content daily, hourly and even by-the-minute, its difficult to adopt a rhythm. A great solution to this can be tying the app to a traditional vehicle like radio or television.
4.Some Advice From the Wise Ones:
Kim Heldman, senior IT director for the state of Colorado, provides a structured methodology for the app development processes, the most popular of which includes waterfall, agile and scrum.
5.Every App is different and so is its strategy:
While different mobile Apps have a different purpose, their services can be loosely categorized into need-based apps, efficiency-based- tasks management apps and entertainment based apps. Each category needs a different strategy, so as to make sure that your idea is well validated. UI design has more than one wireframe, the app is well tested “by the experts other than you” and that includes a well- prepared pitch when the app is submitted to the Google App Store or iTune App Store.