This thought has been brewing in my mind for a while. Reason is that lately there are more and more businesses that have decided that they should deliver on mobile as well. That’s cool. I completely support that and urge others to think about this. The better you will cater to your customers, the more returning business you’ll have.
Problem: Mobile apps are clumsy, ugly and instead of doing few things really well, they do everything & badly. There are just a few out there, which do what they are supposed to do and do it well & easy.
Solution: Build your app step by step. Start with one feature & add others on top of that. Of course, this won’t work for those daredevils who want everything & right now and this will cost you more than app that is done at once. In my opinion, benefits of developing app in stages, outweigh monetary losses in long term and are worth the wait. And it’s cheaper to get it right with the first time than to build an app and then rebuild it from scratch.
Reason 1: Focus
It is clear that a lot of businesses (especially those who can afford to develop mobile apps) offer their customers more than a few services. Main reason why most apps are clumsy and difficult to use is that, when a company decides that they want to support their customers on mobile, they try to copy the desktop (web) version of their services & just try to squeeze everything in at once. This is a mistake. Mobile is taking over the world, but desktop computers aren’t leaving just yet. There are things that are easier to do on desktop computer than on mobile. And it’s completely ok. And your customers feel the same way.
Instead, just think what your customer needs most when he’s on the go. Find your killer feature and start from there. Start with clear understanding that it’s better if your app is great at at least one thing than bad at 15 things.
Reason 2: Feedback
Nail every feature of your app. Start with the one that is most needed; perfect it and then move on to the next one. And while you develop the new features for the next update- create fixes for known bugs, improve user experience for existing features and rethink what is the next most important thing. Feedback from bloggers, social media users and field experts will help you understand what you have done right and what needs more tweaking. How do you do this? Simply, release the first version of the app (which might look naked) and what the response is.
Reason 3: Research the feature
There are a lot of apps out there that do every imaginable thing. When you have found the feature you are about to focus on, download every app that has something similar in it. And on top of it, download Foursquare (location & gamification example), Path (design example), Twitter, Facebook, Instagram (example of nailing one feature & really fast design), Waze (crowdsourcing example) and other popular apps which could have some relevant features to understand what are the best ways to deliver and present various kinds of information.Also these apps are some of the best examples on ways to enable sharing and exploring data within mobile interface.