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2 Mobile App Development Myths Keeping You From Success

Laura MacPherson June 7, 2018

Many companies—both small businesses and large organizations—that could benefit from building an app are tripped up by common myths. These misconceptions continue to circulate despite the fact that they are far from the truth. If your team has been putting an app project on the back burner or if you’re in the middle of a project that seems to be going nowhere, see if either of these app development myths are what’s keeping you from success.

Myth #1: Building a Mobile App is Expensive and Time-Consuming

While creating a mobile app isn’t cheap, the process is a lot more affordable than it used to be. We still recommend building native apps rather than cross-platform since cross-platform apps tend to be glitchy and provide a poor user experience. But there are tools to help us speed up development that just weren’t available in the past.

An even greater factor that speeds up development is having a lean process. Using a proven, step-by-step plan that everyone on the team understands and follows will drastically reduce wasted time and resources.

Another way to reduce both cost and development time is to build a minimum viable product (MVP) version of the app to ensure that you’re only adding features that users actually want. Adding all the bells and whistles before you’ve done user testing means that you may end up building features that don’t resonate. Building only what you need to will save significant resources.

Myth #2: Mobile App Development Consists Primarily of Writing Code

If you jump straight into development after you’ve concepted your idea, your route to success will be long and circuitous. Long before a line of code is written, you’ll want to do some strategic thinking.

Maximize Your Investment

Figure out how to get the biggest bang for your buck. Think broadly. Could this app streamline your business processes? How could it help your sales team? Could it help your customer service department? In what ways could you use it to gain more exposure to the right audience? How could it help you sell more products or services? Could it make the purchasing process easier for customers? Brainstorm ideas to explore the possibilities. Of course not all your ideas will make it into the final version of the app, and you’ll certainly want to focus on building out only the essential features in the beta version. But knowing where you’re headed eventually will help you optimize development through each phase.

Make Sure It Benefits the User in a Measurable Way

There are thousands of apps that developers spent hours and hours of time creating that are now gathering dust. One of the primary reasons apps fail is that they don’t actually make users lives better in any significant way. Do your research to make sure enough people have the need that your app fills and that your app (as you’re currently conceiving it) will fit into their daily routines in a natural, easy way. Even if your app fulfills a need, no one will keep it on the phone it if it’s inconvenient to use.

The best way to find out this information is to actually talk to potential users. Ask them questions about their daily routines, what frustrates them, and what they desire. You can also search social media groups and online forums to find out what people are talking about related to the need your app fills. Once you have a clear picture of who your potential users are, when they would use your app, where they would use your app, and what they’d be doing simultaneously while using your app, you should consider how easy your app would be to use in each of these scenarios.

Consider the Competitive Landscape

If you’re building an app to market, you’ll want to see what other apps already exist similar to what you’re envisioning. While your idea certainly doesn’t need to be completely unique, you do need to bring something of value that people can’t easily get elsewhere.

Whether you’re postponing a valuable project because you think it will take too much time and money to create, or whether lack of research and planning has resulted in a project that seems to be stuck, blast past these two myths and take action.

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