These days, the plight of mobile app developers is challenging. On one hand, mobile application development is a space full of opportunities with an array of new devices and technologies redefining the ways entrepreneurs do business and interact with customers. On the other hand, this landscape spikes up new development questions such as:
- What devices and operating systems to target?
- How to create simple yet useful mobile apps?
- How to ensure the security of your mobile app and its data within?
With a constant rise in demand for mobile app development and expectations to deliver the apps faster than ever, developers are under constant pressure. They sense an immediate need to embrace evolving technologies and create innovative solutions to rise above the competition. But as the technological and development scenarios evolve, the only way to ensure the usefulness and success of your app is to rely on the following mobile app development best practices. Let’s take a look:
#1 – Target Audience:
Before you start developing your app, it is important to understand the audience you want to target. Start with analyzing the market demand, user behavior, and usage patterns. Identify the problems you want to address through your app. Ensure you comprehend the user requirements enough to plan your mobile app development lifecycle. List down your business goals as well as user goals. Thereafter, strategize your development process to generate revenue keeping user requirements and app user interface (UI) in mind.
#2 – App Design Methodology:
Another crucial aspect of app development is to determine the app design methodology. Especially, when it comes to building a cross-platform mobile UI. Generally, a cross-platform environment involves multiple efforts performed simultaneously. This makes it essential to use common project management, testing, and reporting tools, even when the development frameworks, toolkits, and technologies vary.
#3 – Development Skills:
Tools and frameworks used during app development may vary from project to project. The choice of development platforms is based on user and app requirements. To employ right resources for your project, you must ensure that your development team possesses proper technical breadth and depth. Breadth in terms of app use cases and areas being targeted and depth in terms of specific technologies and platforms being used.
#4 – User Interface:
An interface is what attracts users and keeps them engaged with your app for several hours. You must consider the most suitable architecture for your app project. A layered application is the best method wherein the functionality and overall app look and feels remains consistent across devices and OSes with modular elements plugged underneath. Make sure you retain identical app logic and business rules in the modular elements. Moreover, writing and leveraging reusable app components speeds up your mobile app development process.
#5 – Security:
In the recent years, the exponential increase in security threats and attacks have made mobile devices and platforms more vulnerable. Users upload and download data through wireless networks, and in potentially insecure environments. These mobile devices are small and likely to be misplaced. In addition to this, there are several other scenarios that call for an immediate attention to security.
As a thumb rule, never consider security as an afterthought. Think about the inbuilt security capabilities of the mobile platforms, development tools as well as network connections you use when creating your app. ensure they enable stringent security practices such as encryption to safeguard sensitive data. Take into account the tools that allow remote access and deletion of the data from a device, data storage platforms that enable an automatic backup mechanism for users to store data in the cloud, and APIs or third-party services that you integrate within your development environment. A single loophole in your security can be a backdoor for the hackers to steal and exploit your data.
#6 – Testing & User Experience:
When strategizing the development phases, there are two factors that are often overlooked: testing the app with real users and app users’ increased dependence on mobile apps over desktop or web apps. Besides testing the app for usability, engineers must also verify for minimum battery consumption. Apps must be tested for multiple mobile systems, browsers, devices and carrier connections to ensure seamless online and offline usage along with consistent app performance.
The prime objective of app testing is user experience (UX) which helps to maximize app’s acceptance and usage. Alongside limited time span for developing a meaningful app and restricted screen fragmentations, developers must leverage most impactful text and graphics to grab user attention and trigger an action.
Optimizing your development cycles and efforts by identifying the right mix of platforms, frameworks and resources can yield you a better return on investment. Following the above-mentioned app development practices will ensure consistency in your application’s look-and-feel, performance, reusability of code components, and program updates.