The app market is one that’s still growing and still bringing with it plenty of opportunities. Even the layperson is starting to understand that their phone offers them a lot more than the ability to communicate and to use the web. There are still plenty of niches to be targeted, but a good app always follows a few golden rules of design.
If you’re building an app for the general market, there’s a good chance that you already have an idea of what it’s supposed to do. If your idea is strong enough, if it hits its niche well enough, it doesn’t always need a ton of bells and whistles on it. You need to find the balance between simplicity and value. One of the best pieces of advice for any piece of software is to focus on doing one thing and doing it better than the rest. Make sure your design choices are always focused on achieving the main goal of the app, not distracting from it with a lot of secondary additions.
Deciding your primary, or first, platform needs to be done early as well. The better you prepare the release of the app for its first platform, the more likely you are to take that platform’s specifics into account. Android phones work differently from Apple phones, and their users have different habits in using their phones as well. Don’t let a plan for an app get too far without considering the platform you’re on. Don’t try and lift an app wholesale from one platform to the other, either. Get into detail about how and why you’re using each platform you develop for.
A lot of apps have connection features that allow users to get access to a lot of content, from pictures and videos to up-to-date information, across a network. If your app does that, you need to make sure you have the infrastructure to fit its needs. Finding your needs by using autoscaling in the cloud means your options are flexible and you can find just how much storage space is necessary to fully support your app. But you should consider creating an offline experience through the app as well. If an app can still offer some basic functionality even when not in reach of a network, you can make it doubly useful.
When developing for the web or for mobile devices, there’s one rule that should come above all else. Make it stupid-simple is a mix-up of a famous term, one that makes more and more sense on the tech market than any other. You need to test the device with the most novice of candidates amongst your target market. Developers have a tendency to think in jargon and in complicated maps. If those habits translate to your app design, it will scare away a lot of potential users.
Your app needs to be able to work without a hitch and without confusing the user. It needs to fit the platform, as well as the average consumer. Hopefully, the tips above will help you keep your design on the right tracks, so a great app idea isn’t ruined by only a couple poor choices.
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