Mobile devices are the main way that people view websites now, recently overtaking desktop computers or laptops. That means it’s important that your company creates a website that is mobile friendly, but you can go one step further if you build your own dedicated app. There are a lot of benefits to building your own app because it can create a better experience for your customers and it’s a good way to improve brand recognition because they see your logo every time they open your phone.
Keep in mind, however, that a badly designed app can do more harm than good because customers will find it frustrating to use and end up giving it bad reviews, which has a big negative impact on your company. If you’re thinking about building your very own app, follow these tips to help you get it right.
What Is It For?
This is the first thing you need to consider because you might not need to build an app after all. If you make an app for the sake of it and it doesn’t offer any value, customers will just be slightly annoyed that they wasted time and space on their phone downloading it. If your app is going to be exactly the same as your website, there’s not much point in making it in the first place. You’d be better off putting that money into optimizing your website for mobile devices and leave it at that. If you’re building an app, it should offer features that customers can’t get anywhere else, then they’ll have a good reason to download it and use it often. If you’re selling products online, for example, you can offer a streamlined payment service, personalised recommendations and offers sent direct to them. If you’re operating a brick and mortar store, you could consider putting a loyalty card feature on the app. If you give customers a reason to use your app daily, it’s the perfect way to deliver advertising.
Is It Safe?
If you are selling products through the app, it’s vital that you think about security because they’ll be trusting you with their credit card details. Having a dedicated account with a password is the very least you should be doing but you could take it a step further. Consider using identity and document verification software that uses facial recognition. It makes it a lot more secure and it’s far easier for customers to log in by taking a photo of themselves than it is to type in their password every time. You also need to increase cybersecurity on your end so you don’t risk losing their personal information.
Outsourcing Or In-House Development?
Once you’ve decided to build an app, worked out what it’s actually for and taken measures to make it safe, it’s time to start building it which brings us to your next question; are you going to outsource, or hire an in-house IT team to do it for you? There are benefits and drawbacks to both. If you outsource, it’ll probably be cheaper but you won’t have constant contact with the team so you have a little less control over the process. It also means that the people building the app won’t be members of the company and won’t have a solid understanding of your overall goals as a business which should feature in the design process to some extent. You’ll explain this to the team if you outsource but it’s not quite the same. However, if you hire your own dedicated team or get your existing IT team to do it, it’ll be more expensive and it takes away from their day to day tasks.
Have You Tested It?
The testing phase is the most important part of developing an app because so far, it’s only been used by people at the company that have had a hand in designing it. That means you’ll know how to navigate it and you won’t necessarily spot problem areas that might trip up your customers. The whole point of developing this app in the first place is to make things easier for your customers so you need to check that you’ve actually done that. When you’re testing, identify all of the different demographics in your customer base and make sure that you test the app with all of them. If the app is easy to use for younger people but the older generation has trouble working it, you’ve alienated half of the target audience for your app.
Building a great app is the perfect way to make life easier for your customers and target advertising at them, just follow these tips to make sure you get the most out of it.