What to consider when developing a custom app?

Apps for smartphones aren’t as new as they were a few years ago – they’re indispensable now. The company is already used to having dozens (sometimes hundreds) of applications installed on the mobile phones we use on a daily basis. It is not easy to imagine a future without these tools that are so useful in our daily lives.

That is why more and more entrepreneurs want to develop a customized application. Whether it’s to bring your business into the age of technology and direct information or to engage your customers.

That’s why we’ve created this checklist, so that you can assess whether you’re taking all the necessary points into account before you start developing your application:

1. Understanding the difference between an application and a website

The first step in developing a custom application is to understand what the application is and when it is useful. An application is perfect if your customer has a more routine relationship with your brand, once a week or even once a month.

If it’s more sporadic, your customer may wonder what the real value is of installing your application on his phone.

It is also a good idea to create an application if the interaction is not limited to information consumption.

For example, your customer can communicate with each other – sending photos, texting, finding out something or being reminded of something. If you have messages that can be sent to your customers (and that are useful to them), the application is usually excellent for improving this communication channel.

2. Good target group card

It would be useful if you were clear about who will use the application. This vision will guide the whole process from the beginning.

For example, people sitting in front of a computer all day might not see the benefit of developing a mobile application, because it is more convenient to use the site in an extra tab. However, for people on the move, the application can enable hundreds of purchases that would not have taken place without this new channel.

3. Understanding existing application platforms

We now have a clear definition of mobile market share. As of May 2019, approximately 76% of mobile devices in India were using Android, according to StatCounter. Approximately 24% use iOS (Apple’s operating system used on iPhones and iPads), and other platforms account for no more than 1%.

In other words, the relevant platforms for creating an application are currently Android and iOS. And you may even decide to focus development on just one of these platforms, depending on your target audience.

4. Leer de verschillende manieren om een applicatie te bouwen

At the beginning of the mobile era, the only way to build an application in your own country was to use the language and tools of the platform. The contract had to be completely rethought for a second platform, which would create more jobs.

Own applications require more investment, but are the best in terms of performance, quality and interface integrated into the smartphone system.

Then came the possibility to create web applications that are native shell applications, but everything else is identical to a website. So the shell is different for each platform, but the rest of the application is reused.

Web applications have a number of performance issues, and the visual identity is somewhat generic (since it has to serve both Android and iOS with the same presentation). However, it is the one that requires the least investment.

Finally, hybrid applications have emerged. They use more advanced technologies to create applications for Android and iOS platforms with a single tool. Hybrid applications are cheaper, have good performance and can be integrated in the configuration of the smartphone. In this case, the investments are a balance between native and web applications.

5. Determining what should be presented in the application

When it comes to getting your hands dirty, you need to define the essential functions of your custom application. So you need to have a clear picture of what the application entails and how it should work.

This is where it pays to install similar applications and understand what you like and don’t like. So scribble, ask your friends and colleagues what they think, and so on. The more mature the idea, the greater the chance that your application will be selected!

6. Find a dedicated development team.

As long as you, the contractor, can do the measurements yourself. There is a lot of information online, and the first five steps are all strategic decisions. In the future you will need more technical knowledge to really develop.

Building an application is an incredible journey, and (I say this with suspicion) I highly recommend studying the programming. We even wrote a message about the source code. However, it takes a few years of training and a few more years of practice to have professional applications.

In addition, a complete application requires different knowledge, design, user experience (UX), server development and expertise on Android and iOS platforms, even if it is a hybrid application. Not to mention post-development management and monitoring.

So, if you are considering developing an application for your business, it is advisable to find a team that is trained and dedicated to your success.

Professionals therefore need a few weeks to a few months rather than a few years to sign up. Loeffa specialises in this type of project and has a complete process for achieving the best results.

You can (and should!) learn programming while on holiday, months after your IT team has finished working on your custom application.

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