By Ashish Toshniwal, CEO of Y Media Labs
Apps remain the hottest trend in technology, with over one million available on each major platform and app downloads topping the 50 billion mark on both the App Store and Google Play. The competition is fierce, but if you can create an app that compels consumers to download it, use it, and tell their friends about it, the opportunities are virtually limitless.
Do you have an idea for a great mobile app? Are you wondering how you should begin developing it? These basic tips can help you lead a successful app development process:
1. Focus on a few features.
When attempting to bring your app concept to life, it’s often tempting to load it up with bells and whistles, adding a feature here and a function there. However, you would be wise to resist the temptation.
Remember, people have short attention spans, particularly when using mobile phones or tablets, where there are endless opportunities to get distracted. I recommend focusing on a few key features and making them as good as they can possibly be. Then, as your user base grows, you can add new features and scale as per demand.
Yelp is a good example: It’s a popular app with features such as Reviews, Monocle, and What’s Nearby amongst others. However, its popularity is attributed to its initial ability to offer users a quick and easy way to find good restaurants in any given location Yelp built its reputation on doing this one thing really well and added additional features based on user demand.
2. Make sure you deliver a great user experience.
In the end, apps that embrace natural human behavior are the ones that create an impact – and ultimately disrupt the market. The ideal “UX” should align with your app’s primary user base and anticipate their needs, motivations, and engagement before evaluating the technological component.
Therefore, to produce a successful app, you need to start with the user experience and work backwards to the technology.
3. Build in robust analytics.
When you set out to build an app, you’re essentially testing a hypothesis. However, you also need to evaluate your original hypothesis.
Implementing analytics let’s you track app performance and identify what features are being used, and which are being neglected. Such data gives you valuable insights into the users’ app adoption, and allows you to iterate features based off your findings.
Apps often become popular for reasons that do not fully align with the developer’s hypothesis, and features that weren’t originally expected to be the most popular drive the most downloads. With analytics in place, you can identify trends and pivot quickly to further enhance the user experience and drive more downloads.
We’ve gone down the road of building mobile apps many times. These three simple guidelines can create massive value for your app while simultaneously delivering outstanding mobile experiences to the users.
Ashish Toshniwal is the CEO at Y Media Labs. He is driven by product innovation, cutting edge technology, and redefining the user interface paradigm. Toshniwal has helped create high impact apps, which have touched the lives of more than 100M users like PayPal, EMC, Shutterfly amongst others. He has grown the company to close to 100 people in less than 4 years. Before Y Media Labs, he worked at Like.com, which was acquired by Google and Shopping.com, which was acquired by eBay.