Creating an app is not easy, unless you’re already an expert app development professional. Thankfully, by sticking with these app development best practices, you have a guide for what to prioritize and how to successfully build a mobile application. These are just the basics but they form the bones of almost any and every app that has made an impact on Android and iPhone platforms.
Below are eleven app development best practices and guidelines to follow:
1. Research and Analysis
Before you put your finger to the keyboard in getting started on mobile app development, research. Know the audience you’ll be selling your app to and understand their needs, preferences, and behaviour. What value does your app offer to them? Is there an app with identical or similar features? Research your audience, your competitors, and how much time, effort, and money it’ll take to arrive at the app you want.
2. Native, Hybrid, or Web-Based
Choose your development method. Native has advanced UI interaction, access to all native APIs, and app store distribution. Hybrid is similar except it utilizes web developer skills alternative to advanced UI interaction. Web-based allows for instant updates and unrestricted distribution. Depending on the type of app, any of these may be the right answer for you. For example, a gaming app is probably best native. If you don’t want to be restricted to any one app store, evidently web-based apps are ideal.
3. iOS or Android
Assuming you choose a native app, you’ll have to decide between iOS or Android. Different audiences are on each, and there are pros and cons to both. Although you may wish to have your app available on both, it’s a lot easier to build for one at a time.
4. Test Throughout
The whole development process should include testing performance and app function. Testing on an ongoing basis will ensure problems are identified and fixed as they come up. It’ll save troubleshooting time in the future. Consider using beta testers to get direct feedback, and to identify bugs, crashes, and errors you want to handle before you release it to the public.
We would be remiss discussing app development best practices if we didn’t talk security. Smartphone apps carry a lot of data and sensitive info. Especially if you’re collecting payment information or credit card information, it’s your responsibility to protect the user’s data.
Above all else, prioritize security. A breach in security can be extremely damaging to your brand. Use precautious, encryption methods, and other strategies like two-factor authentication to prioritize security.
6. Strong Core
Apps should have a strong core. List the features most important, to be used in core coding. Postpone other features and functions until the core is coded and ready. These can be added later in development, even as plugins if need be. By focusing on your core, you establish the essentials and non-essentials which may help optimize and lighten your app.
7. User-Oriented Visuals
While there are some handy low code development tools and platforms for beginners, app development can get very technical on an advanced level. However, that doesn’t mean you don’t want to ignore a creative, intuitive visual presentation.
Understand how your design works and why needs to appear in design to accomplish what you hope the app to be. If you are a developer and you’re working with a designer, bring them into the development process and get their input on its visual appearance.
8. User Experience
Beyond the visuals, the app should work best for the user. You don’t want to disappoint a user, especially if they’ve spent their money in your app. Users are likely tapping into your app for convenience, speed, and experience.
By knowing what you want the user experience to be, every coding decision you take can trace back to the user. Your app interface should be fast, intuitive, and easy to use. Keep these three things in mind.
9. App Store Development Guidelines
Use the guidelines of your operating system to build from. There are best practices given for both the Apple App Store as well as the Google Play Store. When you write your code, understand what’s expected.
Even with the platform you’re not using, you may one day want to get your application onto it. Know the app development best practices for both types. Follow them to ensure your app isn’t rejected for something minimal which could have been resolved early on.
10. Accessibility Features
People with disabilities who want to use your app shouldn’t be excluded. In development, incorporate accessibility features to make things easy for people. Voice assist, captions, and options to enlarge text are all welcome inclusions in an app.
11. Plan for Updates
Just because you are working towards a launch doesn’t mean post-launch your job is done. Applications require ongoing improvement and maintenance. There are sure to be problems you’ve never expected come up. Unfortunately, maintenance isn’t cheap.
Make sure your budget is in place and that it’s easy for you to update your app according to user needs. Alternatively, you may choose to incorporate more features into your app at a later date. Regardless, have a strategy in place to ensure your app remains up to date.