Mobile is the new digital benchmark and trendsetter for brands across the board. Businesses of all sizes are considering incorporating a mobile app into their strategy. Himanshu Sareen, CEO of Icreon Tech, a global IT consultancy, notes that before diving into a mobile development project, business owners and entrepreneurs should ask these five questions:
To outsource or not? While in-house development or outsourcing are both viable options, there are strategic advantages to both options, depending on the project goals. In-house app development provides greater control and direction over a project and having a team working in proximity with increases collaboration. However, typically, in-house teams are more expensive than an outsourced equivalent.
Businesses that outsource benefit from saving money, having less overhead and are able to retain management focus. At the same time, outsourcing means less control over project. Popular software’s like Skype and website such as Fab.com were outsourced in early days.
Which device to develop for? Global tablet ownership will reach 905 million by 2017. Device fragmentation is a major challenge. One can analyze existing traffic to a company website to assess the audience in terms of device preference. If the majority of shoppers come from Android, you can build your first mobile app on Android. The important thing to remember is, you will need both the smartphone and tablet version of the app.
What should the app do? Once the development process and platform has been identified, the team can work on contemplating the functionality. One should try to answer the questions such as – who is the real customer for this app. Weather the app is for mobile shopping or expense report, centralized focus is the key. Is the app supposed to interact similar to a website? Another approach could be simplicity. Amazon’s mobile app is streamlined for “Buy It Now” transactions rather than reading review, selling used products or customer service. Similar approach should be employed for internal business apps. Rather than one app to handle document authorization, expense reporting and sick leave requests, it is better to have isolated apps which can be integrated if need be. It is important to know what most mobile users want to accomplish. Based on their transactions, your mobile app can be focused on those top actions.
Can existing infrastructure handle increased traffic? Integration with backend system and pre-existing infrastructure. If a brand is building mobile ecommerce app, melding with ecommerce system is crucial. Look at your current capacity and can it handle additional work load.
Will design be a priority? Decision about platform, device type, development language and functionality should be set in stone. One of the most important aspects of creating a value generating mobile app rests with end-user experience and aesthetic design. An average smartphone user downloads around 25 apps and there is a tough competition, your app must stand out in all regards.
Design is central to apps popularity and effectiveness. The lone differentiator between two similar apps is the visual design and user experience. Other aspects such as apps’ performance, data consumption and storage size are crucial too.
Overall, a methodical approach towards conception, setting objectives and actual production and development can keep the mystery of churning out of making the right app for your audience.
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