Mobile Development

Best Practices in Mobile App Development

Marlena Walburg
Marlena Walburg

The whole world went mobile. This is an unstoppable process. No matter if you want to stay relevant as a brand or just facilitate your company’s everyday work, developing a mobile app may seem essential. Creating it successfully, even though it requires meeting certain numerous factors, is now getting easier. The availability of technological solutions, significant progress, and specialists make it possible to fulfil the dream of your application.

Mobile App Overview

The average person indeed uses about 3-4 applications a day, but this does not change the fact that they are now necessary for normal functioning. But first, they have to be created. Currently, more than 2.7 million of them are available. For your application to mean something, it must be well-developed and designed.

Are you looking for effective advice to ensure the quality of your application? You’ve come to the right place. With several years of experience, we have selected which mobile app development best practices will help you deliver a valuable product.

Best Practices in Mobile App Development

Research

Each decent project should start with research in several areas. Without it, your application will not be successful, because it may turn out that it will simply not be needed by anyone. If you already have a certain vision of this application, be sure to define your target audience. You need to find out what their needs are and the potential problems you intend to solve by providing them with your product. Focus on their behaviours and requirements and try to figure out how to make their lives easier and deliver value.

In addition to potential users, you should also examine your competition. Seeing what functions, enhancements and other distinguishing features have apps similar to yours will help guide your app development. Also pay attention to branding, communication with users and marketing. Try to understand their message. Of course, it is not about copying the existing platform but taking inspiration and good practices from the best.

Choose a development method

The issue of choosing the right technological approach is a bit more complicated and strongly depends on the features and functions of a given application. The developers who will create the system will certainly help you in this area, but it is worth having some familiarity with the available methodologies and what they enable. Knowing what functions your application should have, it is easier to exclude options that will not allow their implementation due to their capabilities. It will also help you decide whether to develop a native, hybrid or web mobile application. Each of them has its advantages and disadvantages and based on them and the knowledge of specialists, you will choose a suitable solution.

Why is it so important? Because it helps to save time, money and energy of employees. For example, you would choose the native methodology without hesitation and during the development phase, you would realize that applications can only be created for one platform at a time. Suddenly you have to go over budget and invest money in building a system for another platform separately. Of course, this is just an example, the native solution also has a lot of pros, but think carefully before you decide on something specific.

App development platform

Although the current trend is to create for both Android and iOS, this is not the only right choice. It all depends on the target group of the application, its purpose, and the chosen methodology. When selecting a native path you decide, at least initially, to build a system for one platform, so in this case, it is necessary to specify it. So, re-analyze the data collected about the users and the features of the application and determine it based on that. Often, at the very beginning of imagining the system you plan to create, you already know what devices the users will use.

Another good solution, for those who don’t want to sacrifice other platforms, is cross-platform development. This approach does not require the development of separate applications for Android and iOS but offers the possibility of creating one version of it with a single codebase. This is definitely a trending approach, which is not surprising. Giants such as Facebook or Google, offering their frameworks, React Native and Flutter, are the best examples of their fruitful use. Take a look at our comparison of the two and see if any of these technologies would be right for you.

Create documentation

For a better workflow and quality sake, remember about documentation. It should cover all elements of the system. Thanks to this description of what and how exactly was done, it will be easier to understand the operation and logic of systems, particularly complex ones. It also ensures that nothing of the project information is missed or forgotten. For developers joining the team at a later stage, this is an amazing knowledge base, necessary for their proper implementation into the project. Not to mention the situation when changes in the system will have to be made years after deployment and launch of the app. Documentation is also essential for testing and quality assurance purposes in both development and maintenance phases.

Agile methodology

As a company working in the Agile methodology, we praise it very much. Agile significantly improves the development of mobile applications in numerous aspects. Since it is a process that requires cooperation on many tasks at the same time, the use of such a tool helps to systematize workflow. The backbone of this approach is to divide the work in the project into smaller modules – sprints, during which specific goals or milestones are delivered. Sprints reduce the risk of delays by meticulous planning and estimation. The Agile model is also based on close cooperation with stakeholders at every stage. It provides clients with full visibility and transparency in the application development process. Thanks to this, the team can receive feedback on an ongoing basis and react by introducing the necessary changes. This guarantees loyalty to the client’s vision and expectations.

Ensure your app is secure

If you want to gain a group of dedicated users of your application, it is not without significance how you treat the issue of security. Take it seriously and at every stage of application development, think about implementing the appropriate steps. For sure you want users to know that their information and data are safe and that the application is stable and efficient. Therefore, you need to take suitable security measures. Good practices dedicated to the users are to offer them 2FA (Two-Factor Authentication) and require strong, complex passwords. In addition to protecting users’ data, take care of code quality and consider implementing an additional layer of encryption. Make sure your developers have the wide application security knowledge and can properly construct an architecture to prevent malicious behaviours.

Simplify the User Interface (UI)

Less is more, which is a good app design practise, should be an overriding principle. Focus on the main purpose of the application and base the design on it. This is to be in the foreground. Do not overload the interface with unnecessary elements, because navigating the application will be unintuitive and difficult. It doesn’t mean that the system will look poor, and it is a job for designers to create an attractive look and feel of it. UI goes hand in hand with UX and must be adapted to the needs of users, too. Also, take a look at some tips from Google that help reduce possible clutter and simplify the design of the application:

  • Minimize the number of widgets and remove unused ones to shorten the initial load time;
  • Adjust your app for different screen sizes and optimize for the display on smaller screens;
  • Make your app accessible for all users, including persons with disabilities;
  • Include a modest number of pages, fragments, and dialogues.

Think about a business model

There are two ways in which you can earn profits from releasing an application: by creating an application for internal use in your own company, the value will come from optimizing your internal processes, saving you money, increasing efficiency, and improving your workflow. Such a product you can offer to other businesses and have additional profit from it. You can also generate income directly from the application and in this case, you should consider how you want to monetize it. The most popular way is advertising. By placing ads in the application, you can offer it for free. By also releasing the paid premium version, you can disable them. The subscription option does not have to be limited to that only. When developing a strategy, you can include special plans, in which, depending on their type, users will have access to more functions or updates.

Mistakes made in the mobile app development

A complicated user interface

User interfaces that are too complex and overloaded, distract from the main purpose and features of the app. Clutter in the system is not conducive to pleasant use and may generate problems with navigation, and thus discourage users who will eventually give up and uninstall the application.

Apps that require a large development team

Careless planning of work on the system results in shortages among employees? Unfortunately, this is a common mistake. Sometimes it results from the desire to develop the application internally despite a small team. Nevertheless, in this instance, it may be helpful to recruit external developers. We also have staff augmentation option, praised by customers’ option, in our services, not only as an emergency exit in the above-mentioned situation.

Not Paying Attention to Testing

Testing was skipped and all bugs were revealed to the users after the app was released? That’s a classic! Many companies do not realize how important in the development of mobile applications is testing. Do not make this mistake, or you will risk a complete failure and discourage a large group of users.

Developing an app for too many platforms

Doing thorough research on what platforms to develop the application is necessary. In order not only to please your users but also to save time and energy, you need to carefully consider which devices your users use. Mindless building a system for every possible operating system results in a lot of money spent without sense and no users.

Summary

There is probably not only one, the best recipe for a successful app, but certainly, you can follow our good practices to be as close as possible to achieve it. Always have in mind that you need to focus on your users and deliver value to them. Hire trustful, experienced specialists to make this journey easier and be sure that you will get the greatest result.

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