The prevalence of mobile devices since their early days has led to vastly increasing numbers of apps in the stores. According to the stats the Android Play Store offers a choice of roughly 3.5 million apps and the Apple App Store provides 2.2 million apps. Growing user expectations when it comes to apps and the fact that the two most popular stores regularly remove low-quality apps, have made developing apps increasingly difficult. The motto for app developers now is to go from good to great. This blog post will help you do exactly that. Here we provide a checklist covering the main technology areas so you can kick-ass with your app quality.
1. Target Audience First. Always.
When thinking of designing or developing a new app, always think about your target audience first. Who is your app intended for? Start by asking yourself the following questions:
- What problem does my app solve?
- Who’s my app helping?
- Who would want to use my app?
- How would a person use my app?
Once you’ve answered them all and you’ve figured out the demographics of your potential users, the next step is to build user personas. Essentially, personas are fictitious user profiles to visualize your potential customers. As a rule of thumb, I would say create at least 5 personas before starting to work on your app. For great persona templates and more info on this subject check out Neil Patel’s post.
2. Visual Experience & UX Design
Keeping it simple is key. Make sure that your app wows users with its intuitive powers rather than with an overload of fancy graphics. At the very best users don’t need any guidelines as to how to navigate through your app. Continuous User Acceptance Testing is essential to find out where instructions are necessary for the understanding of your app.
Pro Tip: Use Gleap’s brand-new features to let your users rate their app experience or send feature requests on what they would like to see next. It is no longer enough to have a great app up and running, but creating relationships with your users is key.
Also, be sure to get the accessibility of your app right. Touch targets should be at least 48dp in size for elements such as buttons to be user friendly. And keep the color contrast in mind. The color contrast ratio you should be aiming for when it comes to content and its background is 3.0:1 for larger and 4.5:1 for smaller text snippets.
Something that goes hand in hand with the user experience is responsiveness. When developing mobile apps, you can never know which kind of devices your application will be used on. Therefore, responsiveness should always be a top priority. Especially because the first impression is critical for user retention, and users are very unlikely to come back to your app if the app doesn’t work properly on their phone. Another thing to consider when it comes to responsive design is that your app should support both landscape and portrait orientation. This also entails that the features provided by both orientations are largely the same.
Pro Tip: For hassle-free mobile app development we would strongly recommend using cross-platform solutions such as React Native or Flutter.
4. Performance & Stability
As mentioned before, users always come first, and their expectations towards apps are constantly growing. It seems like the present of technology lies in our hands, indeed. One of the most important things for users is to get a smooth experience with your app. As a general rule of thumb your app should launch in under two seconds. If your app’s launch time is above that benchmark, here are a couple of tips on how to improve your app performance. Generally, if you turn the following screws your performance should improve: reduce your app’s memory use (e.g. by handling images properly), reduce your app’s launch time (e.g. by loading essential items first), and make use of splash screens to engage users.
For further information also check out the iOS and Android guidelines.
5. Privacy & Security
With apps becoming ever more popular and after the Facebook fiasco, users have become more sensitive to privacy and security issues – and they have every right to do so. Already publishing your app into the Google or the Apple Store provides a certain level of trust. Your app should follow the guidelines of these stores and handle all personal data safely with the appropriate level of permission.
6. Testing, testing, testing
I don’t think I am delivering any news when I say that when it comes to app quality testing is the most important thing. Make sure that you test for all the factors mentioned above. And above all, be sure to test continuously throughout your development cycle. Check out Kevin’s blog post for types of bugs to keep in mind while testing. And don’t forget to use Gleap when it comes to testing. You’ll be testing at the speed of light.