How Often Will Customers Run Your App?
You can hardly imagine a brand-new business without a mobile app developed specifically for it. According to recent statistical data, Android users have access to more than 2.8 million apps, while iOS can offer over 2.3 million apps available in the Apple App Store. Here is the point where all the problems start.
Though about 83% of business owners regard apps as an indivisible part of their company’s progress, more than 80% mobile apps are entirely abandoned right after the first use of them by clients. Moreover, the situation is becoming worse day by day.
The first issue most apps experience relates to poor UI/UX that can bore clients to death. That happens because the managers and decision makers have not properly researched what their customers need. On the other hand, the customers have access to thousands of apps that represent well-established companies, so they may not need it anymore.
Nevertheless, every company strives to enhance its presence on the market, so its managers rush to software developers for apps. They spend a lot of money. App development is not cheap, indeed. Survey results show that an average commercial app can cost from $25,000 to $1,000,000. If the mobile application is not popular, it is a huge waste of money. So, the decision to start such a project is not always considerate because most business people do not realize what questions to ask before building an app.
That is why, before making any decision and investing money into the useless app design, ask these 5 questions to your business analyst or client to determine how useful the app will be for this specific business.
Even if a potential customer has hundreds of apps available on their device, they utilize only some of them. They tend to remove those ones that are never used but occupy a lot of space. That is why the possible functionality of your would-be project can be one of the most important questions to ask a client before building an app. It is a responsibility of a software developer to find out how often the customer wants the app to be used by their clients. The use of it just several times per month will not provide a desired result.
That is why it is also important to know what can bring a user back to the app. Some business managers, however, do not think that such a question is relevant to their position. However, this opinion is wrong. Even if the development is meant for the company’s internal use, the manager needs to have an accurate plan of how it will be used.
Moreover, there should be a plan on how to bring the user back to the app after the first try. The research shows that most applications are entirely abandoned after the first use - the percentage is 80% for enterprise apps and 25% for consumer ones. The average number of uses is about 11 times all in all in 63% of consumers.
That is why there are two key aspects that can increase the number of uses - how well the application can solve the user’s pain and whether the software is delivered with clear and intuitive navigation. That is why the clean and straightforward design is an essential part of every development.
Will Some Unique Features Make Your App Stand Apart?
If you're a software developer, remember that your clients cannot often focus on the specific features that make a mobile app usable. They tend to correlate them with the common website operations. Though, these two types of applications are pretty different.
Most managers will come to you with a strong belief that it is enough to develop a client-app project, and their company will become immensely successful. This is a path of least resistance - they believe that if their customers can quickly log in to the website, they can do the same with the mobile app. This approach is also wrong. That is why you should include the unique features of the mobile application in your final questions before building a mobile app.
Emphasize that such features are very important for clients because they are on the go with their Android or iOS mobiles, so they are seeking higher usability, better performance, and more security. The new app should provide them with a compelling experience that is similar to native website applications. Such an approach is even more expensive and time-consuming.
Does the company really need a native app? It depends on the goals and ways of suggested use of it. Try to explain to your customer that a direct copy of their website will not work. The mobile app needs unique features and specific mobile-friendly design. That will provide users with a specific and smooth experience, and they will be eagerly returning to it.
Are Your Business Processes Automated Enough?
One of the good questions to ask about a mobile app your customer means to order from you refers to the level of the company’s business process automation. In other cases, the new addition to the automation system may become a big headache for consumers and introduce a lot of confusion amid the staff. Check how often they update all the information on the site, whether it is possible to make an order online from them and get it delivered in a while, and whether they answer all the phone calls immediately.
If your customer cannot answer all these questions positively, ask them to get back to their level of automation and decide together what specific features are needed to add more automation to all business processes.
The platform the app is built on is also very important. Most managers want a cross-platform application based on that developed for their website because they believe that they may add some automation features and enhance the overall performance on both apps simultaneously.
However, this task of transferring the native app to a mobile platform is not so easy because the design may differ a lot. The wayout can be building apps on different platforms used by the company. They will need separate apps, so their development will not be cost-effective.
Will Your App Support Offline Mode?
Some suburbs can have spotty, if any, Internet coverage, so users’ ability to utilize a mobile app in an offline mode is very important. The Internet availability of the target audiences is one of the most important things to consider for developing a mobile app. The issues may emerge if the end-users don’t have access to the company’s products and services when they are offline.
Explain to your customers that they cannot take the Internet connectivity of their users for granted. Even in a big city, there may be some blackouts and problems with the connection or its speed. The overall design of the would-be application has to take these issues into account.
If a user means to apply for some services and abruptly loses the connection, all the data will be lost, and they will have to start their order from the beginning. They will consider it inconvenient enough to go to another company whose connection is more stable even if the app is offline.
Do You Have Enough Market Coverage?
Most managers and business owners believe that a new mobile app can become an excellent promotional channel. However, the first thing to consider here is how the potential users will know about the existence of such an application.
There is another question here for further successful development of this project. It is about how to make users like the app and download it to their Android or iOS device. Creating uninformative titles and cliched descriptions will make the project boring, and the potential clients may never find out anything about its advantages. That is why all the features and options should be thoroughly planned and considered to make an app viable and let it enter the market. Special features for listing in Play Market or iTunes are necessary for the project.
That is why the developer needs to understand how the customer is going to market the application. App Store optimization, therefore, is also essential. Adding some specific features to the project layout and app design is a must. Public relations and extensive marketing campaigns can also help a lot. The visual layout of the application should add a lot to it.
Even if it is an internal app, it does not mean that it can lack the promotion. The company’s employees won’t be interested in using it if they don’t see the benefit. That is why internal marketing, the attractive interface, and the simplicity of use will play a crucial role.
Therefore, what are the final questions before the start of building an app? Most of them should relate to the layout, design, interface, and specific features that can help the application stand out from the crowd.
Nevertheless, the basic consideration is UX/UV features of the project and the actual needs of potential users. If the would-be app is not interesting for them, its development will be a mere waste of costs, time, and effort.