What Does it Take to Make a Good Mobile App?
February 21 2017, 9:15 am
by Wes Sovis
Mobile Application Development
The proliferation of mobile applications immediately after the introduction of the iPhone and the App Store, has changed how people use technology forever. Suddenly, people were able to do more on their phones - shop, pay for parking, catch up with news, and play games without ever having to use a mobile browser, let alone open up their laptops. For productivity and entertainment, mobile applications on the App Store and Google Play Store have become the main reason anyone owns a smartphone.
While there’s certainly a large quantity of applications on the market, there is a large degree of disparity among apps. So, when we start designing and building mobile applications for our clients, we keep several important things in mind in order to create the highest quality of application possible.
If you can’t navigate an application, it’s hard to say it adds any value to the user. The best mobile applications are inherently intuitive, meaning users shouldn’t need any prompting to take action on the application. Simply put; if you have to explain how to use your application, chances are the navigation isn’t good enough.
The days of clunky, plain applications have long since passed. Mobile applications need to be aesthetically pleasing and inviting to users. Now, aesthetics are objective, sure. But there’s a huge difference between a clean, sharp design and an application that looks like it was designed at the same time as the original Oregon Trail video game.
Before we start any project, we ask our clients to tell us what the application is supposed to do in just one sentence. For example, “Our application is meant to be the main medium of communication between management and employees for our business.” The details can be worked out, but a clearly defined function for the application needs to be defined at the off.
Once the application is finished, it needs to work flawlessly. Bugs, glitches, and applications that crash frequently will simply not be used. It’s crucial to test applications thoroughly before pushing any updates to production. When it comes to Android applications, testing on a variety of hardware devices is critical to ensure the application works on the various hardware configurations, namely varying screen sizes and CPU capabilities.
It’s a wonderful feeling when an application is finally “finished” and pushed to the App Store and the Play Store. But in reality, a good application is never really finished. Updates, revisions, and additional features to improve user experience and functionality are imperative to increasing the value of the application to users. This process is best handled by scheduling version revisions over a period of time. This allows for improvements to be developed, tested, and pushed to production in a calculated fashion and minimizes the likelihood of bugs being pushed to production after being missed during the testing phase.
If you’d like to learn more about mobile application development or discuss where to start on creating a mobile application of your own, be sure to get in touch. We’d love to find out how we can help you take your mobile application from the drawing board to someone’s home screen.
Swell Development is a web development company based in Grand Rapids, MI. With over 40 years of combined web development experience, we're your reputable development partner. For more on mobile applications, web applications, and the web development industry in general, be sure to follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Google+ or LinkedIn.