It is much cheaper to rethink an idea, than to rewrite 1000’s of lines of code because somewhere midway through a project, someone gets a bright idea. By ensuring the mobile app is following best practices and guidelines from Android and iOS developers, your app will feel natural and easy to use – not clunky, like a maze of bad design and code.
These are some of the questions you should ask your app developer about, before hiring any specific company or freelancer.
Native or Cross-platform
Following Developer Guidelines
Ensure good performance
It is vital to users that an application is not slow to load and feels nice and light. The ‘heavier’ the app feels, the less likely users are of spending time in the app, and at a certain point people will even uninstall apps that take too long to start up.
By making sure that whatever developer you have building your app knows how to write performance optimized code, you are laying the foundation for a successful app. Think about it this way; if you saw a nice looking storefront, but it took 10 minutes to get through the door, another 15 minutes to find what you were looking for, and then had to stand in line for 40 minutes, would you ever come back to that shop, even if their price and inventory was great?
If you have already developed an app, and it feels slow – chances are you can do something about it – and it doesn’t have to involve a totally new app, starting over from scratch. Rather it is possible today, to optimize an app for speed and performance, for a relatively low cost, often optimizing the speed by up to 200% and thus creating an overall better experience for all users.
Deciding how the app should be navigable is an important aspect of the planning process, and it is easy to downplay the importance of this issue. By having a navigation menu that is difficult to access, or is illogical in its setup, there’s a huge risk of turning away users because they either can’t find the information they need, or because the entire menu is functioning differently than the users expected.
Ask your app developers about how to best go about this, don’t be afraid to ask them for references, to show how they have handled this in the past, and most importantly, trust your own instincts over those of the developers.
Of course, they are the professionals, but you are the one with the idea and probably have the best concept of how the app should look and feel, so if you don’t agree with how the structure and navigation feels – say so and make a change happen.
Native or cross-platform development
This might sound technical, but really, it simply means that native apps, are applications designed for a specific brand of operating system, such as Android, iOS, or Windows Phone for instance. If you wish to have the very best features, the utmost best performance, you will most likely need a native app designed only for iPhones for an example. This ensures that all functionality between software and hardware works 100% according to how the manufacturer’s intended it to work.
By going the cross-platform route, the cost is often significantly lower, since you won’t have to pay for 1 iPhone app, and 1 Android app, but rather pay for 1 app that works on both systems. The problem with this is that by taking this shortcut, some edge-cases occur where certain lesser used features might not work correctly all the time, and the performance often takes a 5-10% hit compared to native apps. But unless you are building a giant app, this small percentage of speed loss is hardly noticeable, and compared to halving your cost on the entire project, cross-platform development is the route most businesses go these days.
Both Google and Apple have released extensive guidelines on how best to proceed with any type of app development, and if you are in the market for purchasing app development, you might want to do some light reading of these documents.
Alternatively, you can watch a few youtube videos on the topic, where they just summarize the most important aspects – trust me – you will be in a much better position to negotiate with your app development team once you know just a few technical words and terms.
Always make sure that any app agency you work with knows how to follow these guidelines, they are there for a reason.
The above points serve as a quick and dirty introduction to what you should know before spending money on mobile app development, but you are advised to do your own research if you want to achieve the very best result from the beginning. You might as well learn from other people’s mistakes, rather than your own – right?