Mobile application development is a rapidly expanding market, and is a great way for companies to create accessible versions of their web and desktop apps. More and more companies are creating enterprise and commercial mobile apps, and working with application development agencies and freelance software developers. But it’s important to realize that this is not a straightforward path, and it’s easy to make mobile application development mistakes if you haven’t planned properly. For both big and small projects, it’s important to take the time and research potential developers, development strategies, budget expectations, and more.
Whether it’s your first time building a mobile app or you’re an experienced project manager, this list of 9 mobile application development mistakes to avoid might help you learn something new.
Including Too Many Features
This is one of the most prominent issues across the entire software development industry. Organizations want to include everything they possibly can in an application, because they don’t want their customers to miss out on any potential information, products, or services. But this goes against the reason people use mobile applications in the first place. Mobile apps should be streamlined and easy to use. If there are too many features, the app is slow to load, or it comes across as generally overwhelming, no one will want to use your application, even if they have to.
Not Thinking of Your Audience
Whether it’s an app that will go on the market, or an enterprise application to be used internally, it’s very important to keep in mind what your audience needs. This can, in turn, help you deal with the first make we mentioned. If you’re developing a feature that directly meets a specific need, then of course it should make it into the final build. If it’s something that doesn’t really provide value to your users and is chewing up valuable time and resources, don’t include it in your application. People are using your app for a reason, and if it doesn’t help them complete their tasks, they’re going to be dissatisfied.
Bad UI/UX Design
One of the greatest benefits of mobile application development is that you can take advantage of mobile-native features like touch screens, motion control, location-services, microphone, camera, and more. But none of that matters if it’s difficult to use within your application. User interface and user experience is one of the most important features of any application. Even if it looks perfect, your application isn’t valuable if users hate using it.
Picking Developers Without Doing Research
This can be a disastrous and costly mistake to make. If you’re leaving the responsibility of developing your application in someone else’s hand, you need to be very careful about who that is. There are so many different types of developers all over the world, and each one brings unique experiences and skills to the table. From individual freelancers to large application development agencies, take your time and do your research before you arbitrarily pick the cheapest option. Get to know them, understand their work habits and values, and be absolutely sure that they’re going to create a product that you’ll love.
Testing is at the core of all high-quality applications. Without testing, applications would be filled with bugs and incredibly difficult to use. More likely than not, they wouldn’t work in the first place. Even if you hire the most advanced developers on the planet, you need to set aside a considerable chunk of time to test your software. The app market is highly competitive, and everyone wants their app to stand out. No one wants their app to stand out because it’s filled with bugs and no one likes to use it.
Developing for Too Many Platforms
Now, you could think that making your app available on as many platforms as possible is a good idea. That way, more people have a chance to use it, and you gain more traffic and attention. It’s tempting, but it’s not the best idea. Simply developing one app for a single platform is already time and resource-consuming enough. Developing for more platforms means hiring more developers, increasing the dev cycle, and managing updates and bug patches for multiple platforms. If you really want to develop on multiple platforms, take the time and focus on one, and then expand to others in the future.
Compliments feel good, but it’s important to pay attention to constructive criticism and negative feedback. If someone takes the time to reach out to you and give you a detailed explanation of something they didn’t like for your app, it means they care and want it improved. You’re never going to please everyone, but it’s important to consider the potential value of all the feedback that you receive. Remind yourself of what people enjoy and what works well for them, and consider how you can improve your other features.
Underestimating Resources Needed for Development
App development is never a straightforward path. At some point there’s going to be an unexpected issue, your team needs to test something more thoroughly, a feature isn’t as useful as you thought, etc. App development is a constant state of iteration, making sure that your code is doing exactly what you want it to do. This costs time, effort, and money. Even for the most passionate developers, this is still a job. Before starting your development process, establish a clear budget and timeline for your project. What can you afford? What can’t you afford? Be honest with yourself and your developers.
No Post-Launch Plans
The work isn’t over once your app is out in the real world. Regardless of all the rigorous testing you did, some random user will undoubtedly run into a bug at some point. You should anticipate the need for future updates and bug patches, as well as potential new features. If there was something you didn’t get to in your dev cycle, perhaps it can be released in a future app version update.
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