When a chef takes on a cooking project, they've got a clear picture how the dish is going to look, smell and taste when it's done. They understand beforehand the ingredients needed and when and how they're prepared. Master chefs—and the teams that assist them--apply this “big picture” concept in order to please and attract customers. Not-so-great chefs ignore it at their own peril.
App development for mobile devices calls for the same focus on the end result. Skipping a critical step in development (and here's a hint: they're all critical) can make the difference between a great app and one that never gets downloaded. Below, we'll outline the fundamentals of app development, with an overview of the detailed thought and creation process used by successful developers.
First and foremost is the app concept. What, exactly, do you want your app to do for your customers? Have you researched similar apps already on the market? What will your app do for customers that existing ones don't? Make no mistake; all facets of app creation should be focused on the people who'll be using your app. If they aren't happy with it, well—they are the big picture here.
Next up is the technical side of the application. What devices are you targeting? What are your space and bandwidth limitations? If your customer chooses Option A in your app, what happens? Or Option B? If the customer taps the wrong button, is it easy for them to take a step back to where they want to be? Make it hard for them to use, and you'll lose them to a competing app. Your tech should be as simple and user-friendly as possible.
Hand-in-hand with the technical side of app development is the creative facet. Depending on the app you're developing, your artwork and text should inform, instruct and entertain your end users in a simple and clear manner. Confuse them and they're gone.
Once your initial app package is ready to go, test, test, and test some more. Get together a team of testers to run through your app on every device for which it's been designed. Does the app run smoothly, without interfering with the overall function of the device? Is navigating the app simple and clear? Are there any glitches or prompts that lead nowhere? Rest assured your customers will be looking for easy-to-use features—and will be turned off if they aren't there.
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