Don’t let development myths delay your app launch. Turn a blind eye to these three app development myths.
Is resolving that last case bug delaying your app launch? Is your app idea so brilliant you don’t plan to market it? Are you jamming your app full of features to stand out? If so, you are making a big mistake. There are plenty of myths surround app development, and this article tears three of them apart.
Myth #1: Bugfree Code is the Gold Standard
Bugfree code is not a realistic goal for your app product. Users have some degree of tolerance for bugs, but zero tolerance for app crashes. Users subconsciously weigh the value of the app against the annoyance of the bug to determine whether or not they will give up on the app. If your app provides enough value and the bug is minor, the user will stick it out.
When testing your app product, ensure that you have eliminated all crashes. Crashes are inexcusable. When it comes to bugs, determine how common the test user case is and set priority for resolution. To use JIRA prioritization language, determine if the problem is a blocker, critical, major, minor, or trivial.
A product will likely go to market with some minor and trivial bugs unresolved. This is ok if these are edge case scenarios and your testing has been lengthy and thorough against your submission candidate.
Be realistic about your testing expectations or your mobile app will never go live. Bugfree or not, bad app store reviews happen. Thorough or not, app users may find bugs you didn’t. Think of your app product as being in a constant state of evolution and begin iterating a next release as soon as the app goes live.
This mindset helps takes the pressure off of a single release. If you have no intention of updating your app, you are approaching this all wrong.
Myth #2: If You Build It, They Will Come…and Return
Dear app developers, Your app isn’t so good that it defies marketing. Love, Apple iTunes App Store and Google Play.
There are 1.4 million apps in the Google Play store, according to App Brain and 1.3 million in the Apple App store, according to Statista. About 60 apps are featured in iTunes daily, and only the top 150 by category can be browsed. All others are found through manually keyed search. Even on a good day, app discovery feels like mission impossible.
If you build an app, no matter how brilliant, it requires the support of a marketing plan. A multi-channel marketing plan should drive awareness and downloads initially and re-engagement later on. To market your app, consider free social media self-promotion as well as paid install ads on Google, Facebook, and Twitter. Leverage other channels you may have to reach your audience, like email marketing and SMS.
To re-engage users, continue the conversation with them about the app in all channels, especially around updates. App updates are an opportunity to highlight new features and user-driven improvements.
Your message’s tone should sound something like this: “We heard you. Here’s what’s new!” Also re-engage users by pulling app-specific levers like push notifications or sending beacon-enable messages, if you have a local, physical footprint.
Myth #3: Complexity is Key
Complexity should never be a user experience goal: user experience should be intuitive, not complicated. Complexity may refer instead to an app feature set or functionality. In this regard, an app should become more complex over time.
Too many companies late to the app game rush to catch up with the competition. If a company entering the app market doesn’t want to launch an app until it is competitive with Target or Gilt, the company is setting an unrealistic goal and hurting themselves in the long run. The Target and Gilt apps have been iterating for 4 years.
It is more important to get an app in the app store quickly than spend a year developing a super app. If you lack a huge budget or development resources, companies like AppMakr can help you release a simple app fast.
Determine the critical features your app needs to provide value to the end consumer. Build and release that app, budget to iterate frequently and fast, and do so based on usage analytics and usability testing.
You will catch up to the competition if you iterate quickly to meet user demands based on reviews, usage data, and usability testing. The value of gathering user data sooner outweighs the value of releasing a complex version 1.0.
Don’t let app myths hold up your app development. Go live and iterate!
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