5 New Year’s Resolutions for Mobile App Developers in 2014
2013 marked the year of mobile app proliferation. It is uncommon to find someone, of any age, who hasn’t experienced using a mobile app. The mobile marketplace itself has shown maturity in design, functionality, advertisements, customer communication, and crafting a sustainable business.
With the improvements to mobile apps over the year, mobile app developers and companies are faced with a more difficult challenge than any before – customer expectations. The average person using mobile apps has considerable experience with a large range of apps and expect the best.
To have a successful app in 2014, here are 5 resolutions that shouldn’t be broken.
1. Customer Communication
Customer support, customer service, and a great customer experience is more important than ever for every mobile app, no matter what vertical you’re in. Having a direct communication channel between you and your customers can be the difference between a successful app and one that fails.
Every app would rather receive feedback directly from customers instead of receiving it in the app store accompanied by a negative review. Being able to listen and respond to customers is the foundation of exceptional support and service. Taking an unhappy customer and solving their problem can easily turn a negative experience into a positive one. Be sure to listen to your customers in-app in 2014 and you will be rewarded.
2. Improved Performance
Even with the large number of apps that are available, only 40% of them actually get used and a large portion of these are plagued by performance issues. Apps that crash, freeze, or are just plain slow are often immediately deleted. Consumers don’t care to deal with a low performance application, especially when there is bound to be an alternative app (or five) they can use. App performance needs to be constantly tracked and monitored.
Here are a couple of things to remember when measuring (and testing) your app’s performance:
- Track performance on multiple devices and operating systems
- Track performance on different networks: wifi, 3g, 4g, and LTE
Create apps that perform well on any network, the majority of devices, and the most recent operating systems. Apps that don’t perform well rarely get revisited. Even after performance issues get fixed, it is unlikely a customer will choose to download the app again. Test and measure throughout every step of the development cycle.
3. Intelligent Advertising
Advertising provides revenue for many mobile apps and often serves as an app discovery tool as well. However, people don’t open an app to see an advertisement and too ads can ruin the experience and cause low retention rates. Even a single poorly placed ad can cause someone to close the app, lose interest in completing a purchase, or discourage someone from using the app again.
Be intelligent when and where you advertise inside your apps. Make an effort to incorporate your ads as seamlessly as possible. Don’t settle for using ad networks that have low quality advertisements that degrade the overall design of your app.
4. Design Updates
Design has become one of the most important aspects for a successful mobile app. Both iOS 7 and KitKat are focused on design and apps need to start reflecting this. In Apple’s case, all apps must be compliant with iOS 7 by February 1st.
To get started on improving your app design, take a look at these resources:
- iOS 7 Design Cheat Sheet
- Designing Apps for Android
- Android Holo Colors
- Apple’s Designing for iOS 7
- Android’s KitKat Design Overview
Security is a real issue for everybody using mobile apps. In a recent report from HP, 97% of apps contained a privacy issue, 86% lacked basic security defenses, and 75% fail to properly encrypt personal data. As the general population starts to rely more heavily on using mobile apps, security is of the utmost importance.
The newer operating systems give consumers more control than ever over their privacy settings, but many don’t understand the implications and security concerns surrounding mobile apps. As an app developer it is incredibly important to develop apps that are secure from the ground up. You may not be reliable for any breaches in security, but you have an obligation to protect customer information to the best of your ability.
New Year’s Resolutions for 2014
Mobile app developers hold the future of how we interact with technology, connect with companies, and organize our lives. Follow these 5 New Year’s resolutions that mobile app developers should not break, and you’ll be off to a great start.