Making a mobile app is simple, making good mobile app is harder, making mobile app a product is a real challenge. What does PRODUCT mean? The main peculiarity of PRODUCT is its continuous development and support, as well as recurring usage.
Feedbacks on your app mean that some users are interested in your app more than just simple install and forget. These users are likely to become your app fans if they see some changes they propose to you.
Some mobile app developers tend to consider negative feedbacks as personal failure. It is not really so. If negatives feedbacks to your app do not connected to app performance which is actually the developer’s drawback, such comments are just giving you another point of view how this app could look or behave like, and here it is up to you to decide whether you how much similar users’ recommendations are and what steps need to be taken (or do they need to be taken? – think of you budget and revenue) to satisfy this part of the app users audience.
For mobile apps the primary source of feedbacks is application stores where your apps are downloaded from. But if you really want to make your app a product, why not giving your users more communication channels. Make this simple and easy, like let them send feedbacks right from the app or introduce Facebook like button with comments to your FB app page, or ask them to fill in a small questionnaire once a month.
Receiving feedbacks from app users does not automatically mean that you should be guided by these users. Do not follow blindly their recommendations and feedbacks, because the users just may show you the trend and advise you to revise your app strategy, but you should never fully trust their opinions as their decisions can be influenced by many external factors, like bad mood, family or work problems or whatsoever. Thus, here your main objective is to be maximally neutral to find the salt out of the whole bulk of users’ thoughts and comments.
Oftentimes after app launch, app developers just let the app go and live its own life, checking from time to time the number of downloads or maybe tracking the revenue they get from paid downloads or from in-app ads. Making your app a product means you know more about your app users.
Do not ignore analytics. Modern analytical tools enables you to track many more parameters than just number of downloads and geography of the app users. These tools will help you to get instant statistics about user experience, telling you for instance:
- how the newer version of the app influence your DAU and MAU;
- how the average time spent by users in the application changed;
- how faults and ANRs influence users activity and app usage;
- how your marketing activities change the curve of app downloads, etc.
3. Think usability not functionality.
This advice is extremely popular with those apps which have a number of niche competitors already came to the market. Of course the functionality must be sufficient, but the user experience is more important, especially when your app does not make a market revolution. So, what should you focus on when thinking about app usability?
- Nested pages. The structure of your app must be simple. One of the concepts of contemporary mobile devices time saving through near-hand access to computing capabilities that earlier could be accessed via PC. Therefore, try to make the number of nested pages in your app as few as you can. When accepting the design of your just put off taking this decision for a couple of days. When coming back, revise the app design and think again whether you can reduce the number of nested pages.
- Clicks. Just as with pages the number of clicks severely influence user experience. Thus 3-5 clicks for average flow, and 2-3 clicks to killer-flow is our advice.
- Content. Obviously, for the majority of apps content is the competitive edge. However sometimes app developers indulge themselves in overloading app with content that lowers app performance, which is worth than less content with better app performance.
If your app gain success with one language, why not trying to explore new markets and localize your app. If you app does not require logic change and complete redesign it will need at least to be translated. Ask your users, there might be some app Advocates who know the target language and who can do basic translation gratis. Of course you can use automatic translation tools like Google Translator, but nowadays it leaves much to be desired.
Try to put yourself into your users’ shoes when developing new app features. This vivid but still efficient advice will help you to save time and money if you would start developing a bunch of comprehensive, cool but unnecessary for the app user functionality. Think how often app users will be sending push notifications or use overwhelming number of integrations with social media.
And last but not least, think of your app as a simple and clear-cut idea that is extremely visible to app users below the multiple layers of design, functionality and content. So the main challenge for the app developer is to seamlessly plant the idea, resilient, highly contagious, into users minds, that would explain to them the benefit of your app.
Making mobile app is that simple…