The world today seems to run on apps. If it is something that people can interact with, then it’s likely that there is an app available for it. Well designed apps are eye-catching and make you want to use them, whilst poorly designed ones are just frustrating and don’t do what we want them to. While some basics such as usability, functionality and layout help the user experience, one of the most complained about issues with apps are the features, be it lack of expected ones or bad use of those which are there.
Once you have your basic idea, the layout, and colour scheme right, you need to start thinking about what the customer actually wants, because if you don’t meet their needs, a competitor might, and as a result you could lose significant business. There are a few features which are nice to have and some which are must-haves, but many will make your app really stand out.
Must have mobile app features include:
Many people have short attention spans and if you make you app difficult to navigate then they will lose interest fast. If your customer cannot access their information quickly and easily, they will become frustrated and do it another way – possibly by using a competitor’s app. Clear, uncluttered screens with obvious leads to the next step in the app process and no ambiguity improve the customer experience and will encourage them to continue to use it.
Fast loading screens are vital. No one likes waiting, particularly when all they have to look at is a screen-loading symbol and this frustration soon gives way to boredom resulting in a decision to seek something better. Speed means an appropriate set of graphics and not fetching large tables and databases. Keep it simple and keep it quick.
3. Good image resolution
While you have to balance app speed against functionality and resolution, you have to ensure that what you have on screen is sufficiently detailed to make the user experience worthwhile. We are well past the times of blocky graphics and today’s users expect to have hi-definition and 16 million colours. Anything less will limit your app sales.
There are three main mobile operating systems – iOS, Android, and Windows – and in order to achieve the best out of your app, it needs to be available on all of these. Android apps are easy to upload to the PlayStore, but iOS needs to be tried and tested by Apple before they are allowed on the App Store. The coding doesn’t necessarily need to be different but you may be dealing with different screen sizes and resolutions so make sure to test on both systems before uploading.
Internet security is becoming an ever-increasing issue and the same applies for your app. With many applications storing personal and sensitive information or credit and debit card details, security is an absolute must.
Hackers may attempt to:
- Place malware into apps and onto devices where it can access data and steal screen lock passcodes
- Intercept sensitive information traveling over the network
- Steal customer data for identity theft or fraud.
- Get hold of private business assets
All of those potential issues mean that your app security must be watertight, rather than something that you tack on as an afterthought.
6. Search options
It sounds simple but many apps miss this important feature considering this is something that many users make use of. The ability to search either the app or the internet is important and while it’s not going to work so much for game-based apps, it’s essential for the business and social variety.
7. Bright and bold colour schemes
Fundamentals such as eye-grabbing colour schemes are going to pull your customers in. Pay attention to complementary colours from the colour wheel and you will end up with an app that looks stylish and professional at the same time.
8. Push notifications
Easier to send than emails and less likely to end up in a spam folder, push notifications can be text, graphic, or a combination of both to send your users content that they may be interested in. Relevant and personalised push messaging is much better than unsolicited messages since they are aimed solely at the particular user and likely to be of interest to them.
9. User feedback
While you would want to make the perfect app first time round, there are always going to be other ways to make it better and suit the user more. The best way to understand that is to ask the user themselves. Feedback is a perfect way to get your customers to tell you what they want and to filter that feedback into what’s a must-have addition or deletion, what’s possible to do with a bit of work, and what to ignore. By putting a feedback button on the app, you enable the client to tell you what they think would make it better.
Once you have your feedback, you can sort out how to make your app more relevant to your customers, and send out updates periodically. This means that you not only end up with a better product, but can respond to security issues as they arise. Updates keep your app fresh and give the user more of what they want.
However, having all of these features in your app is likely to push development costs up significantly, so it is necessary to understand what those costs could be before committing anything to code. You can do this by using a mobile calculator, which examines the proposed features and elements, and accurately derive a likely cost for the development of your app. Once you have that, you will understand more about your investment and be able to fix a sales price or apply in-app advertising that will not only fund it but pay back your investment too.
About the Author
Katrin is the Marketing Manager at AnvilEight. AnvilEight is a company of professionals with industry experience that provides software development services. The company creates web and mobile applications for both businesses and individuals. Their mission is to provide high quality technology services locally, nationally and internationally while making it easy to work inside the company and with the company from outside.