Tag Archives: App Development

How to Build an App People (and the App Store) Will Actually Embrace

App Craft 101: How to Build an App People (and the App Store) Will Actually Embrace

Do you know what the scariest part of mobile app development is? Submitting your app to the Apple App Store. Apple is well known for the high standards it upholds for each of its products. And the App Store is no different.

30% of submissions are outright rejected from the App Store, usually due to reasons that could have been addressed during development and design. While Apple does supply specific guidelines to increase your chances of submission success, there are still numerous nuances that iPad and iPhone developers should be aware of.

Let’s examine three essential elements you need to ensure your app will pass the App Store’s evaluation process and become a hit with users.

Everlasting Value

Will your app still be useful in one year? How about five years from now? Too often, developers focus on producing cloned versions of existing apps, hoping to instantly cash in on their success. Instead, they should concentrate on creating long-term value through original app design and objective improvements for features currently in the space.

One of Apple’s most important clauses is to ‘Create Lasting Value.’ While seemingly obscure, it does raise some important points: Does your app have longevity? Does it improve upon the competition? These are important questions to answer; they’ll ultimately determine your success.

For the questions above, look no further than the App Store itself. It’s home to over a million apps. Chances are good that someone has put out a product similar to your idea. But that’s okay — as long as your unique implementation is better, you’ll ensure you have staying power.

Here’s how Apple’s developer blog explains it: “Before creating your app, take a look at the apps in your category on the App Store and consider how you can provide an even better user experience.” The secret isn’t to create an original solution to a problem, but rather, to create a better solution to a problem than the current offerings.

UI and UX That Users Actually Love to Use

This next point should come as no surprise. After all, if your app isn’t easy or intuitive to operate, who would want to actually utilize it? Apple has exceptionally high standards for UX and UI. It’s what allowed the company to stand out from competitors like Microsoft in the 80s, and it’s still one of their main differentiators today.

If you build and design an app that users love to use, then it’s safe to assume that the App Store evaluators and testers (who are also human) will love it as well. The trick is to find a sweet spot between simplicity and sophistication. Being too simple or too complex can both lead to your app getting rejected.

Strike a fine balance that keeps your app easy to use but provides enough valuable features that your users will enjoy. The best way to do this is to start simple and add features selectively based on market analysis, prototype testing, and constant feedback. Great mobile games are prime examples; while they can be complex and have depth, their UI never bombards users with too many options or actions at once.

Check out Apple’s official list of UI Design Do’s and Don’ts for more guidance. For now, here are a few rules of thumb that every iPhone app developer should abide by:

  1. Only apply labels to buttons if absolutely necessary.
  2. Limit available user actions to four on any particular screen or prompt.
  3. Forgo unnecessarily ornate graphics and decorations. Instead, separate screen elements on a grid with flat colors.
  4. Leverage mockup tools to create prototypes that you can test with actual people. Refine according to patterns in the feedback.

Develop Distinct Branding

As mentioned before, there are over a million apps in Apple’s App Store. So competition isn’t only fierce, it’s crowded. To stand out from the noise, your branding must be as unique as your value proposition. It’s no wonder that each of the top apps right now has their own distinct voice and style.

Never underestimate the importance of developing a strong branding identity. Stay consistent in your overall messaging by paying attention to details like color palette and interface copy. This goes for peripheral material like your social media presence as well. Each interaction with your audience should feel candid and in-character.

Generic messages that sound like they came from robots is the fastest way to lose users. On the other hand, hand-crafted, personalized branding shows potential users that you care. And in turn, they’ll start to care about what you’re doing.

Ready for App Store Success?

Apple’s app review process can seem stringent and mysterious. Sometimes, apps are rejected for a surface-level problem, like too many buttons on the settings screen. Other times, a rejection alludes to a deeper issue with the app that requires more time to address and improve.

Take this constructive criticism to heart. And always strive to adhere to the essential elements we’ve discussed. This will make your final product a stronger contender once it reaches the App Store and will eventually lead to people embracing your app idea.

For more information about app store optimization, visit Gummicube here. Contact Dogtown Media to learn how we can help with the mobile app development and design process.

Marc Fischer HeadshotMarc Fischer is the CEO and co-founder of Dogtown Media, a mobile technology studio based in Venice, California and Montevideo, Uruguay. His company has been recognized as one of the Top Mobile App Developers globally (Clutch Research) and ranked #271 on the INC 500 list of Fastest Growing Companies in America. Marc has over a decade of experience designing, developing, and launching digital products for VC funded startups and Fortune 500's; including Red Bull, Google, CitiBank, and the United Nations.

What Happens After an App is Developed

The custom software development process is complex and challenging. After developing an app, you might feel like you’re done, but not quite yet. There are several steps between finalizing the source code and launching your app in the App Store. These tasks will be completed by the software development company so you can rest assured that they will be completed appropriately.

Quality Assurance

Before moving past the development phase, an application should undergo a quality assurance process. Quality assurance ensures that the application is bug-free and ready for your users. The QA team should check for ease of use, proper workflow support, compliance with external industry requirements, end-user acceptance, and integration with external systems. Once everything has passed QA, your mobile app is one step closer to the App Store!

A variety of test can be conducted to ensure that your mobile app is functioning correctly. This includes usability tests, functional testing, and performance testing. These tests ensure that features work as described in the requirements and that they are user-friendly and intuitive.

Load Testing

This step is essential to providing a great user experience. Imagine if every time a large group of people accessed your app, it crashed. It’s frustrating for your users and it might be their first impression of your app.

Load testing consists of putting simulated demand on your application. It is performed to determine a system’s behavior under both normal and anticipated peak load conditions. It helps identify the maximum operating capacity of an application.

Product Website

You don’t need an elaborate website, but at least a splash page that explains the functionality and purpose of your app. This is a requirement if you want your mobile app to be showcased in the Apple App Store. 

3rd Party Security Audit

With the increased threat of security breaches and compromised accounts, maintaining your users’ information private is extremely important. Users will trust you to keep their information safe, and not doing so will harm your reputation.

Production Checklist

Before going live, you should create a production checklist to make sure everything is setup correctly. The specific items will depend heavily on the nature of your app, but some things to consider are:

  • Setting third party services like notifications to production mode.
  • Enabling real payments.
  • Switching from a test database to the production instance.
  • Turning on scaling and load balancing.

Marketing

It’s time to identify the biggest challenges and opportunities for your mobile app. The most challenging aspect of developing an app is driving app adoption. It’s tough to get new users to download and use your app. Many apps in the app store are never even discovered or used.

Creating a go-to market strategy for your app is extremely important. Simply launching your app won’t attract hundreds or thousands of users. You need to make people aware that you’ve got a solution to their problem. You can work with a digital product agency that has experience in developing mobile apps as well as marketing, or you can hire a marketing consultant to help you create this plan.

Getting into the App Store

In order to get your newly designed and developed application into the App Store, you need to submit your app for review. You need to make sure your app is properly configured for release. You’ll need to submit several forms, marketing material, and screenshots and write a description.

Apple manually reviews all apps that are submitted, and it is possible for them to request that you make changes to your app to better comply with their regulations. When submitting your app for review you’ll want to update your product page. A few items to consider are your app’s name, icon, description, screenshots, app previews, and keywords. This white paper discusses how to make the most out of your product page on the App Store.

Software Updates

It’s naive to think that the mobile app development process ends when the app is placed in the App Store. Think about your favorite mobile apps – they’re always making software updates to make performance improvements, introduce new features, and eliminate any bugs.

The mobile app software development process is challenging and can be overwhelming. Although it takes a lot of time and effort, the process is very rewarding. It consists of a lot of steps, each one providing value to the process. It may be tempting to cut corners, but you should never skip a step. If you are considering developing a mobile or web app, Seamgen is an experienced software development company that creates cutting-edge applications. They are willing to learn about your next project and help you get the ball rolling.

Author – Bio

Jonathan Besquin

authorimagejonathanJonathan Besquin is a Marketing Manager at Seamgen, an industry-leading custom software development company. His dedication to content creation has yielded fruitful results for the company. He enjoys sharing his strong knowledge base with the rest of the tech community and wants to help you succeed. Being an avid adventurer, he likes to get outdoors and travel around the world.

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