App Development Lessons Learned From Different Decades
App Development Lessons Learned From Different Decades
Mobile app development has now come of age, and it passed through several twists and turned in more than a decade. What app developers used to consider as must-have now avoids being outdated, and what designers used to consider as sophisticated and cool now considers them repulsive.
Despite these wide-ranging changes and trends, some principles and learning remained constant for the app developers in all these years. What are these things that app developers learned from their decade long experience? Let’s have a look at them.
Know a user requirement and address it
Over the years, mobile apps principally emerged as tools for solving practical problems in life. This is why any app project needs to identify a specific need that it can address or fulfil. The solution can be anything from a productive tool to a business tool to a simple solution for booking tickets.
While several apps across every niche represent every solution to practical life problems, your app cannot be unique. But one answer can be offered through different means, so app user experience can also be different. Besides targeting a problem with a specific solution, you also need to identify the ways you can solve a problem.
Stay away from reusing or recycling.
For a new app project, recycling or reusing another app can be an easy way out or a time and resource-saving solution. Such repurposing of an existing app, however lucrative it seems, cannot allow you to create unique value propositions for the user audience. Such repurposed apps, instead of solving problems, actually make more issues for the developers.
New app design planted on an old app can be very clumsy and have a negative impact on the app user experience. Moreover, to make sure that the app comes as a unique solution, you add some additional features. When you add new features to a clone app, the overall performance and user experience can negatively impact. Lastly, despite adding new features, you can make your app get rid of the “clone” tag.
This is why building a mobile app from scratch with an organic concept, and freshly chosen features is always the best option instead of cloning an existing app. Remember, every app has its audience, and so your app must target an audience with a fresh new product.
Testing should be emphasised.
There is a limit to pursue perfection for an app product, and a successful app is only shaped over time, with value additions coming every once in a while. On the other hand, you always need to be extra observant on doing away with all the errors and fault lines of an app. The testing should get the highest emphasis throughout the development and post-development phase.
Testing should be done at every stage of development. Whether you roll out a new app feature or incorporate support for the target devices and OS platforms, all these must pass through rigorous testing. As the slightest performance fallout can be disastrous to the app reputation, you should not leave any leaf unturned for app testing.
Make sure design is user-specific
One of the most important things learned from the development experience of hundreds of successful projects is that the design must be thoroughly user-centric and optimised for superior user experience. If we believe statistics, the vast majority of apps are just deleted within the first three months of installation. Among various reasons contributing to this failure, non-user-optimised design is one of the leading ones.
After all these years, the importance of putting the users first for design considerations is somewhat established as a must-follow principle. The design should ensure optimum user-centricity, ensuring optimum ease of use, flexibility, freedom of choice and robust user controls.
Modern app design should utilise the scope of personalisation to make users feel at ease. The UX design should allow them to choose their menu options to select the custom notification settings to provide them more control with personalised options.
Ensure optimum scalability
For startup and small business apps that engage a small team of developers and designers, maintaining scalability while keeping the long term growth scenario in mind can be challenging. In the past, many successful app projects suffered from performance slowdown or app crashes or non-responsive features because they were developed without keeping the scalable and evolving needs in mind. You can always start an app project small with a few parts and leave options open for further value additions, but it is advisable not to compromise on performance when your app receives higher traffic volume.
Another consideration related to scalability is how you accommodate new engineers and developers within the Git workflow? You also need to consider how developers across the locations will keep communicating and how you will hire developers for the team? How can different team members work on one codebase without engaging in conflicting differences? These scalability considerations for your app development team are essential to maintain the IT resources for the project.
Remember, non-scalable information architecture and non-scalable workflow management, in the long run, can prove to be detrimental for an app project. However small a team you start with, you need to prioritise these considerations from the very beginning.
These lessons learned from the success stories and failures of app projects in the past decade are priceless. Taking this learning seriously, you can build a better app product with sustainable and steady growth.