Imagine you’re a young, dedicated developer who dreams of launching a hit app. (If you’re reading this article, that probably isn’t too much of a stretch!) You have enthusiasm. You have coding skills. You might even have a great team. You give your all to your project, only to watch it crash and burn in the store.
The truth is that launching an app is about more than writing code. It’s about solving problems. It’s easy to go into the process with big ideas and end up making costly mistakes that eat at your potential and your patience.
Luckily, we’ve compiled some useful tips that can help you avoid common pitfalls and get your app off the ground successfully.
DO have a unique idea.
Your app needs to be useful to people. It needs to provide a service (even if that service is just having fun!) For young developers, a simple and addicting game is a solid foundation for a project.
The app market is swamped with a huge variety of apps and games. Your app needs to stand out. Come up with an idea that meets a need that people have. Think about what things you could use in your life. For example, if you’re a runner who’s training for a marathon, maybe you need a simple and convenient fitness tracker to gauge your progress.
DON’T skip the planning.
You might be tempted to just dive into your app and start working day and night. You get kudos for enthusiasm. Before you throw yourself into the work, though, think through your whole concept. Make a draft of your app on paper first. This lets you see if it works without code, if it’s easy to use, and if you like the design.
Make a list of all the features and details that you want in your app and that will make it unique. To make this easier, divide the features into groups like: Must Have, Could Have, and Don’t Need But Want. Get the overall picture of the essential aspects of your app before you start coding.
DO devote time to research and launch prep.
It’s easy to get so busy on the development side of your project that you ignore some other crucial aspects. A big mistake that developers often make is ignoring their competition and skimping on market research. You need to do your homework on the system you want to enter.
- Researching your competitors and similar apps
- Analyzing your users and what they want
- Identifying the conditions for submitting apps to stores
At this stage, you can start doing prep-work that will help attract users in the future and save time when launch day rolls around. Make a mockup of your app—that is, a model that shows the app as your users will see it. There’s no special trick to making a mockup: Just design it!
A final optional aspect of preparations is the landing page. You don’t need anything fancy here: a brief description of your app with an eye-catching design will do. Users can easily find your page online and read everything they need to know about your app.
At this point, you should be ready to build your app! With the outline, sketch, mockup and analysis done, you can start developing your app. For most developers, this is the easy part after all the planning.
Now imagine on one bright, sunny day, you upload your app to the store. Things start picking up. You’ve gotten your first downloads, users, and ratings. You’re starting to feel like a real success… but it’s too early to celebrate just yet. Keep your momentum up by following these additional tips for the post-launch phase.
DO respond to feedback.
User feedback is critical. You are making your app for people, so you need to listen to them. Your users are trying to reach you, and they’re giving you a wealth of advice that you can use to improve your product. Maybe they saw your app in the store, but thought the page was boring. Maybe they are having trouble understanding if your app is free or not. Maybe they are confused by some aspect of the app.
Remember, critical or negative comments aren’t always a bad thing—they can be helpful in showing you where you need to do extra work. Listen and make improvements! Of course, don’t forget to respond to positive feedback, too :)
DON’T let your app stagnate.
The most successful apps are ones that continually add new features and update after launch. Retain users and spark interest by implementing regular updates, and try to make using your app as easy as possible. This ties in with user feedback—always try to maximize your value for your users.
DO track your data.
Metrics, performance, trends, bugs—there’s a lot to keep track of when releasing an app. You need to stay on top of all this information and avoid getting snowed under.
Systemize your approach to data and use the patterns you see to help plan the future of your app. Data can help you spot weaknesses to fix or identify areas to expand into. Maybe you’re doing better than expected with a certain demographic category, and can take advantage of that.
DON’T forget about your marketing budget
Armed with data, you want to expand and start reaching new audiences. That means marketing, funding, and budgets. Make sure you investigate all of the opportunities out there.
You don’t need to tie yourself to traditional investors. Your app is your baby, and investors are going to want a piece of it. Usually, they want shares, control over business processes, or very high commissions. They don’t care about your vision, and often have other projects to worry about.
Consider alternative sources of funding to boost marketing. One such option is GamesBoost42, a fintech startup for funding mobile games and apps which sees itself as your business partner, not an investor. You don’t want to lose control of your business, and GameBoost42 understands that.
As long as you have a stable UA model, scale your mobile app/game to the market, and keep the paperwork transparent, GamesBoost42 can help fund your marketing. Having access to money sooner helps you grow your project faster, and they guarantee transfer of funds in 3 days. No wait necessary!
Over 30 companies have already collaborated with GamesBoost42 and increased their profits. It’s as easy as visiting their website and submitting an application. If you’re approved, you’ll see money in your ad account right away.
Hopefully, you’ve learned something from these tips that you can apply to your own project. Best of luck in the wild world of app development!