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The Biggest Risks in Mobile Application Development

In the modern enterprise, mobile apps have surpassed luxury and have now assumed the position of necessity. With a range of specialized uses, mobile applications have become synonymous with seamless communication and business operations.

With that being said, with the technology comes it’s share of significant risk. For those businesses with extensive IT departments, building a mobile app may seem easy. On the other end of the spectrum, small businesses may not have the resources needed for such a smooth development process. Stemming from a myriad of factors, including sometimes being poorly prepared, smaller organizations can sometimes be blindsided by the challenges inherent in application development. In addition to being annoying, these pitfalls can be incredibly costly. To give you a bit of a heads-up, I’ve compiled a list of some of the risks you might face during your development process. Check it out!

Pitfall 1: Building an App Your End-Users Don’t Want

What good is an app that nobody uses? Keep in mind, this is different than building an app to address a need that users didn’t know they had; this is building an application that is downright rejected (and presumably sent to island of misfit apps). So how does this happen? Well, it all comes down to perspective. While your intentions might be good in building an app for your employees, you need to look at the app from the user’s perspective. During the early stages of develop and throughout the project, seek in put from employees about how the app can better address their needs. This will result in a better application, and more receptive users.

Pitfall 2: Adding Too Many Features

Consider this as mobile app Feng Shui. Even while the size difference between phones and tablets is diminishing, developers are still working within the limits of 3 inch screens. Given those size restrictions, you need to be economical with your features. Often times in app development, developers forget the cardinal commandment; “Keep it Simple, Stupid”, resulting in an overload of features that overwhelm and confuse the end-user. To make sure that you don’t fall in the pitfall, consider offering a test design to a few users to see if they can easily navigate the application without your assistance.

Pitfall 3: Believing Your App is “Perfect”

You’re not perfect. You’re app’s not perfect. Act like it. The worst thing you can do as you wrap up your development process is falling for the myth that you’re app has attained perfection. To combat any issues that you may face, you should always leave room for improvement and growth. Over the first couple of days/weeks/months, you’re bound to hear an earful from users about why you’re app is terrible and why it’s great. Leave your pride at home for the day, and listen to the them; trust me. They’re the ones using the app, not you, so it might makes sense that they’d know a bit more about how the UI/UX could be improved.

Pitfall 4: Not Having a Full Vision for Your App

I call this the peer pressure scenario. It means that you shouldn’t feel obligated to invest in a mobile application when you don’t necessarily need one. While other businesses may be adopting the technology, keep in mind that they have their own business needs and you shouldn’t measure your own organization against them. An incomplete vision for your application will always result in a confusing mess of a final product, and the end user will pick up on that. The entire process of mobile application is both costly and time intensive, taking the time to fully realize your vision is an invaluable exercise.

Doug Atkinson

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