Building a quality app that users will want to download and use is a process that requires insight, planning, execution, and constant refining. A well-designed app is a great way to supplement your website and keep users engaged. Keep these 5 rules in mind before you set out to build your app.
Identify your Goals
It should go without saying, but so many companies set out to build an app and do not have a goal for the mobile experience. Simply saying you want an app as a supplement to your website is not a smart reason to invest money, time, and effort into building an app. Your website should already be optimized for mobile use, so an app with the same functions would be redundant. Your app should serve a unique purpose and utilize the unique features that are only available on mobile devices.
Know your Users
The app user experience in constantly changing, and it is good to understand exactly how your app will be used. Are users going to be checking your app frequently for short durations of time or will they be spending more time with your app open only a few times per day? Will they be walking while they’re trying to read information on your app or will they primarily be sitting still? The way your app will be used will influence your design and presentation. Since you only have so much real estate on a mobile device, you need to be able to maximize that space to deliver a clean and user friendly presentation that will be user-friendly.
Create an Intuitive User Experience
Users don’t want to have to search for things in apps. If your app has a steep learning curve, there is a good possibility that users will delete it before they explore all the app has to offer. Users should be able to navigate an app with ease, and it should feel natural to browse through menus, pages, and content. Your app should be something that you would want to use and find easy to navigate.
Develop a way to Measure Metrics
Once you are finished with the initial build phase of your app, you will want to measure how well your app is performing. Setting up a way to measure the metrics of your app will allow you to make adjustments to improve the user experience. The most important metrics to follow are:
- Users/Session Length-The best way to create deeper engagement is by understanding how many users you are getting on your app and how long they are staying.
- Time In App-While session length measures each session individually, Time in App will measure how long a user was in your app over a select timeframe.
- Retention-How many users return to your app? If your retention rate is low, then you need to figure out how to keep users around.
- Lifetime Value-How much is your app worth based on the value of each app user?
Create a Feedback Loop
Apps are created for the user, so why not allow the user to help you refine your app? Allow users to submit feedback, good or bad, to help you constantly improve your app. Make sure you have a system in place that allows you to field and categorize comments and suggestions so you don’t waste time sifting through similar responses.
Apps are constantly evolving and changing to meet user needs. Stay up to date with the trends of app development so you can stay ahead of your competition and keep your users satisfied.