App development has become an increasingly important part of helping businesses stay connected to their customers. Luckily, building a simple app isn’t that difficult. Before you get started, think about how you can use these five app development tips to help your product succeed.
Keep Your Interface Simple and Smart
Designing an app isn’t like creating software for a desktop or laptop computer. Mobile devices have smaller screens that demand simple navigation. If you try to include too much on the screen, users get confused. A complicated interface could also make it difficult for users to touch buttons. That will make your app fairly useless.
You don’t want to go too simple with the interface, though. Make sure each element has its own unique appearance so users know what they’re pressing. Contrast plays a large role in this. Find a background that complements your icons without blurring their edges.
Make Icons Easy to Touch in All Environments
Now that people stay connected at all times with mobile Internet and are on reliable 4G LTE networks, developers need to think about the wide range of places where users may want to access their apps. Small icons, buttons, and fonts might work perfectly well for a person sitting at a desk. That could change quickly when that person gets on a crowded commuter train.
Make icons, fonts, and buttons as large as possible without crowding smartphone screens. The easier someone can use your app in all types of environments, the more likely they are to rely on it daily for longer periods of time. If they feel frustrated, they may abandon it for options that they can use more easily.
Spend Time Developing a Unique Aesthetic
Whether you’re developing a game, exercise, GPS, or productivity app, you face a lot of competition. A simple interface will help attract more users, but you also need to distinguish your app from those made by other developers.
Developing a unique aesthetic helps your app stand out. When given the option between otherwise equal apps, most people will choose the more visually attractive option.
A unique aesthetic can also help improve brand recognition. This might not mean much if you’re building your first app, but it will make a big difference once you start releasing more. Ideally, you can create an aesthetic that people will recognize across several apps. That way, they will recognize your other apps as soon as they see your style.
Make a Unique App for Each Operating System
In Q3 2014, Android commanded over 84 percent of the market while Apple had 11.7 percent and Windows Phone had just under three percent. Some app developers may look at those numbers and think they should conserve effort by focusing on Android. That’s a mistake. You need to build a unique app for each operating system to reach as many users and make as much money as possible.
Despite Android’s dominance, iPhone users spend more money. People who buy Android devices are often looking to save money. They want great smartphones, but they do not want to spend a lot of money on an Apple product. Those who don’t mind spending more money on iPhones are more likely to also spend more when downloading apps.
If you ignore one segment of the market, you stand to lose your market share and competitive advantage.
Test Your App on Several Devices
Screen size and resolution plays an important role in how people use apps. Just a few years ago, developers could get away with testing their apps on a handful of devices. Today, there are considerably more options. The options will only continue to grow as companies release new devices while some users hang on to older models.
Test your app on as many devices as possible to make sure users have a positive experience. If you don’t, you could unintentionally ostracize a whole segment of your audience.
Using these tips could help you develop a useless app that more people want to download. You can also use your own experiences to help you design better apps. What features have given you a positive or negative experience when you use apps developed by other people?