App stores have dramatically changed the model for marketing software, writes Donald Baker for Software Quality Connection. He offers several tips for developers new to mobile development.
1. Start with a minimum viable product. Some of the best apps do very simple things. Release early and often because a minimum viable product allows you to assess demand while minimizing time coding. Also remember that it’s important to launch with a clean UI that you can build upon because a clumsy one can kill an app’s ratings. Finally, realize that users of free or cheap beta versions are often more tolerant of minor bugs, as long as they know they’ll get fixed.
2. Use several testing techniques. Before launching, test apps on actual devices, not just on virtual ones. Also make sure to get your app into the hands of low-tech friends and family and watch how well they navigate the UI.
3. Early feedback is important. Users may ask you to add features you didn’t plan to include. Don’t be afraid to let users steer the app in a new direction. Making them feel they have an active role in development leads to app improvements and satisfied customers.
4. Keep the updates rolling. Users expect constant updates and you’ll lose them to competitors if they sense a project is dead. If you make big changes, list them prominently where you’re marketing your app.
5. Promotion is a big part of success in app development. Don’t leave marketing to the app store. An integrated marketing plan is crucial to increase your app’s visibility.
6. Traditional learning can be helpful. By taking a few classes in development you’ll prevent knowledge gaps and find friends and business contacts in the field. Books and mentors are also good.
Read more at Software Quality Connection.