Modern App Development done right

Touchscreen smartphone with cloud of colorful application icons isolated on white background

Research shows that mobile users are spending 86% of their mobile time on mobile apps.

Not only are they using apps to access daily information, but their engagement with brands is likewise migrating to apps, with 68% of mobile users engaging with brands via apps.

Hence why more and more companies within Jamaica and the Caribbean have been making investments in app development. Kudos for this!!

However there are right and ill-advised ways to going about this;

1. Understand who your target market is – is it the tech savvy power user, is it the moderate can figure there way around or the non-technologically savvy user. Knowing this will shape the User Experience put into developing your app.

2. Don’t go big early – I know we are all perfectionist and want to ensure all the bells and whistles are in our app. I advise you release a basic, crisp but functional app as a foundation, then take advantage of the efficient upgrade paths most devices offer to provide regular updates. This enables you to enter the market more quickly and refine as needed. Plus, periodically giving your users access to new developments ensures your organization stays top-of-mind. Please read The Lean Startup
Book by Eric Ries.

3. Know your market and competitors – New ideas are dime a dozen so spend some time looking at the competitors and what they have to offer and add your own flavour because I guarantee there are tons of persons out there that have similar tastes as you and will latch on to your app, these are your early adopters.. very loyal to the end ask any Blackberry user!! haha

4. Technology Native vs Hybrid – This is dependent on the functionality you plan to offer within your app. Are you providing deep hardware integration that requires high performance and security, then you’ll probably develop a native application.
Or are you providing data driven app that just does the basic Create, Read, Update Delete (CRUD) operations then a hybrid app would probably suffice.

Both native and hybrid are ways to fulfill the different needs and preferences of users and developers, and none of them can be thought as a perfect solution. They have their strengths and weaknesses and it is up to you to decide which of them fits you better and which one you will use in your application.

5. Technology Android vs IOS – This is dependent on you user market and your target audience. Here in the Jamaican market Android has a higher penetration than that of IOs devices however sad to say IOs owners are more inclined to spend on apps than Android based on the variation in the business models of the devices.
Ultimately you will want to support all devices but start Lean focus on one ecosystem first and perfect it.

6. Analyze your users – You need to know what issues users are having. Where they are dropping off your apps. What options they click more. What they click first. THis will drive your app design and constant renewal. Users love to see apps change to better suit them. Shows that you are paying attention and committed to their business.

7. User Testing – I cant stress this point enough find a circle of unbiased users let they test your app before launch give you feedback as you go along. This could save you heartaches when no one is using your app when its launched and you spent a lot of $$$ and time. If you are concerned about it being leaked. Let them sign an NDA which is a legally binding document.

There are tons of other things to consider but those are the top 7 for me. In this series on app development I’m going to be downloading various apps related to the Caribbean or Caribbean business and giving feedback on ways they could improve.

Feel free to send me a note if you want me to check out your app. Happy Coding!!!

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Hola! Im a software developer/business analyst by day and a product strategist by night. Have a passion for helping persons actualizing their ideas whether through software or research. The main vision I have for contributing to this blog is to shed some light on how we can bring software in the Caribbean to the modern century which focuses on the user and how to make their usage seamless, logical yet secure. Enjoy..

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