5 Common Mistakes New App Developers Make
Application development is a process that takes a lot of time and effort to complete. New app developers are bound to make mistakes, which, worst case scenario, could break a good, stable application. There are many pitfalls app developers need to avoid if they want to create a good application that will be used by users all over the world. And here are common mistakes in mobile development you should take note of and learn from.
1. Building an application for “everything”
Being a software developer, you may want to build an application that performs dozens of functions. You may want to build an one that’s a substite for other applications. It may sound like a good idea—have one application that is able to do everything you need—but the problem is that the more complex your program is, the higher the percentage of app errors you get, especially if you try to deploy all functions at once.
Try not to build a Swiss army knife-type application, especially if your app development experience is not that big. Keep your application simple, especially if you’re trying to build the minimum viable product or MVP. However, it does not mean that your app should have only one feature. You need to find the balance between the number of features your app will have with your programming experience. In other words, make sure your ideas correspond to your programming abilities.
2. Avoiding beta testing
Beta testing is an important stage and here you want to get as much information as you can from users of your application. The main thing you should understand is that you create an application for someone else and users of your software should not be confused by its user interface.
Let people try your application out and get as much feedback as you can. Feedback will guide you and tell you what users of your application expect from it. In addition, beta testing is a great way to test your application on different hardware and OS setups, which is key to understanding if your software works correctly.
It will help make your application versatile, so it will run flawlessly on any hardware or OS, which is crucial since users do not want to get a hardware-dependent application, as it introduces certain limits. An application may run great on iOS and work with bunch of errors on Android. One of the biggest mistakes you can make is avoiding beta testing.
3. Copying and repeating tired ideas
This is one of the main development mistakes in mobile app development. You application has to be something new, it has to be unique, it should grant advantages to the customers, etc.
It is a common sense, but the first question you need to answer is “What is your application doing? What makes it different from any other app that’s available?” You need to create something that would help users with their needs. It may sound easy, but it is hard to make every idea work as an application.
Before you start making your own app, you need to study the market. If you create an application for photography, then you should study what applications that work with camera are available to customers and what they are capable of. If you create the application that has the same functions, then people will not pay attention to your application at all. You need to add something unique. Researching is so important and you need to know the market you are going to target.
Another way to get people interested in your software is the commercial part. Professional suites cost a lot and releasing a reasonably priced application may be an option for you. Let us consider an example. 3D modeling packages are quite expensive and industry-leading packages, like 3Ds Max or Maya cost up to four thousand dollars. Such prices make these packages difficult to buy for a person with no budget. Then Blender was released. Blender is completely free, which was the main advantage of the package. Therefore, this application found its niche and its target audience. The project is still developing and users of this package are introduced to something new which, in turn, helps to develop the application even further.
Of course that’s just one example, of course, this may be not an option for you. In any case, you need to determine your target audience and understand their needs. Again, creators of Blender understood that people needed a more accessible 3D modeling package and they made it. That is an example of understanding the needs of your target audience.
4. Absence of marketing
One common mistake that new app developers make is the absence of good promotion. Promotion is a very important stage. If you do not tell people about your application, then nobody will know about it.
Therefore, you need a marketing strategy. Many niche blogs, where you can promote your software, are available. Again, you need to understand who the potential users of your application are. If you made an audio-editor, then people who work with audio are potential users of your applications.
The next step is to determine what websites they visit and where you can promote your software. Another great option is to give a free copy of your application to an editor of a popular blog.
Your website is, of course, an option to inform people about your software. Keep it up to date and post news regularly. However, the website will not attract many visitors in the beginning. Some time is necessary to make your application popular. Describing your application and focus on advantages. Try to inform your website visitors when your software can be useful. It is always good to tell people what functions you are going to add.
A good example of application promotion is customer stories. It demonstrates how users solve different problems and achieve certain goals with the help of your application. The best case is an article, when a well-known studio mentions your application.
5. Not releasing updates
Developers should consider their application as something that’s not perfect; as something that always requires improvements to make it better. It is hard to create a perfect application that will work flawlessly without any errors and have all functions that a user needs. But it is important to understand what users of your application expect from it (tip: a good channel to learn what they want is through forum).
You need to introduce new features and try fix all errors to provide users with the best experience possible, because mistakes lead to unnecessary results and time losses, which is always bad. Any version you release should make your application better—at least with that goal in mind. An application release is not the end—it is just the beginning. Then you have to support your application and continue developing it.
Application development is a challenge
Building something new is always challenging. Here are the main stages of application development which can help you to work out your strategy:
- Work out the general idea (what your application will do);
- Study the market;
- Determine your target audience;
- Define what will make your application different (a feature that other application do not have);
- Work out the general algorithm of your application;
- Test it on your own;
- Start the promotion campaign;
- Release app for beta testing;
- Study feedback;
- Fix bugs;
- Release the application;
- Study feedback (App testimonials will help);
- Introduce new features;
- Release update;
- Continue fixing and improving
Application development is a time-consuming process and you need to consider many technical (and non-technical) factors. Implementation of different functions is only a part of the application development process. As you have learned, the release of your application is not the end—you need to support your software and make it better day by day.
Related posts you might be interested in:
- 15 Tips on How to Improve as a Junior Developer
- What are common mistakes that young entrepreneurs need to be aware of?
- How to Make an App: From Vision to Product
Bradley Ward is a Marketing Manager at Lunapps with 4 years of experience in IT. Bradley tries to combine his technical skills and professional background to bring higher-level perspective into his work. Currently, he is sharing the company experience and vision on the hot topics from the app development world.