Mobile apps are today’s generation’s goldmine. Everyone wants to create their own app and make millions off of it. The process, however, isn’t as straightforward as one would hope. There are several technical and tactical challenges that may prevent one from getting their app idea off the ground. For aspiring app creators, here are six tech tips and tricks to help you build your envisioned app:
Visualize Your User Flow
This is a similar approach to how professionals design full-fledged websites. Visualize how a user would navigate the app, how many buttons they’ll need to click to reach a specific page or resource, and what the sequence of steps is to accomplish a particular objective. The main goal of user flow visualization is to gradually smooth out the overall user experience by removing unnecessary user actions. For instance, eCommerce giant, Amazon, designed its app so that it takes the minimum amount of steps to complete a purchase. Requiring even one extra step may result in users deciding not to go through with the transaction.
Modularize Your App Using Feature Flags
Feature flags, also known as feature toggles, pertain to your app’s ability to use or decommission an existing feature without requiring any changes be made to the app’s codebase. It’s essentially a mechanism that separates your feature deployments with new updates and gives you command over which features to toggle on/off without having to take the app offline to make the modifications on your codebase. Feature flags also allow your existing users to get those new feature updates without having to reinstall the entire app.
Choose the Right Tech Stack
When picking what tech stack to use, factor in your long-term maintenance needs and development objectives. Although there is the option to change programming and design platforms whenever desired, the process is usually time-consuming and expensive. Tech stacks usually consist of one of each of the following: a programming language, server, database, and UI framework. Aside from which tech stack best does the job, you should also base it on which one you are most comfortable using, has a decent sized library, is well-documented, and has a vast active community for technical support.
Build With Multiple Platforms in Mind
It’s best to learn how to create an app for android and iOS. You are effectively cutting your potential downloads in half by building an app just for a single platform. Users today like to switch to different mobile devices that use different operating systems. In addition to these two major OS, you also have Windows trailing behind with their own smartphone. You’ll want your codebase to be compatible and downloadable on any of these platforms.
Test On a Real Device With Real People
Before your app’s launch, test it out with real world participants. Working on your app for months means you know every line of code and every dependency being used. Unfortunately, this also creates a tendency to overlook bugs in your mobile app that you can’t see because you’re too close to the project. Have a complete outsider download, install, and use your app on their device. There are bound to be issues that you were not able to see. An outsider can lend a pair of fresh and unbiased eyes.
Design For Off-Line Functionality
In situations where there is no network to connect to, you’ll want your app to still deliver some semblance of functionality. Some features should remain accessible, such as checking the user’s profile page or account settings, accessing the FAQ page and any helpful resources, and changing documents and spreadsheets. Once a network connection is established, any changes made on the app should then be automatically updated. You can also enable users to download and save data on their device for later consumption without a network connection. Media streaming platforms, including Netflix and YouTube, allow this feature on their app.
The best apps don’t contain the most complex codebases that only geniuses can decipher nor are they the most ostentatious. The best mobile apps are useful and elegantly designed. Use the six tips aforementioned in this article to design an app that fits those two criteria.