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9 Things You’ll Only Get With Custom App Development

Custom app development seems challenging, but it’s the best way to create amazing applications. While templates promise an easy and quick turnaround for mobile app developers, these seldom deliver optimal results. Businesses and professional developers don’t want to release apps that look and feel second-rate. Instead, they prefer to release apps that improve their reputation and enhance user engagement. We provide several reasons why you should custom develop your next app below.

1. Completely Custom Look Unlike Any Free Templates

When developing an app, it’s often a good idea to consider the options available to you. Do you build it entirely from scratch by taking the custom app development road? Or do you use free templates that will radically reduce initial cost and time factors? The latter may seem more enticing, but it’s not the wisest choice if you want your app to stand out.

Ideally, you want your app to be a showcase for your unique brand. You want your User Interface (UI) & User Experience (UX) to comply with the Visual Brand Language (VBL) that defines your company. Free cookie-cutter templates won’t do your brand justice, as the colors, shapes, and typography won’t match with your VBL. Thus, you’ll ultimately cheapen your brand and cause users to either question your design choices or disengage altogether.

But if you choose the custom development option, then you can make your app shine. Your application will fit your company’s existing product range, which reassures existing customers and makes it appealing to new users. Moreover, the development team won’t need to modify and shoehorn the boilerplate code and free templates. That gets messy, quickly! Instead, they’ll build the app from scratch and enjoy the benefits of a cleaner and more maintainable project.

2. Extend Specific Business Functions

Another benefit of developing a custom mobile app is that it’s easy to add or extend functionality. In particular, you’ll want to extend specific business functions that facilitate more efficient customer interactions.

At first, you may decide to release a Minimal Viable Product (MVP) to test the waters. Then, once your app gains traction, you’ll want to add functionality that will bring users closer. These could include in-app purchases that allow users to buy products and services, a point system to build customer loyalty, and social media integration to allow users to share your company’s content in a fun way.

3. Give Users Something New

We can’t stress enough how important it’s to keep users engaged. Even after a successful launch, your app can quickly lose traction if users become bored. After all, they have tons of other cool and innovative apps to choose from in the App Store and Google Play.

Make sure to keep your app fresh with regular updates and by adding new features that excite users. Always listen to feedback since users often request features that will enhance their experience. However, only add new functionality that fits your custom mobile app and business goals. For example, some users may request the addition of Augmented Reality (AR) functionality. But this won’t work well with your e-commerce app and unnecessarily drive up development costs.

4. Increased Compatibility

Mobile devices and systems continuously evolve, which means that appreneurs should keep up with the latest developments. If we take a quick look at the global mobile operating system market, Android’s leading with a 72.48% market share while iOS comes second at 26.91%. This bit of information may entice you to support the Android platform for your upcoming custom mobile app.

But which Android OS should you support since there are so many versions?

According to AppBrain, Android 10 leads with a 34.2% market share, Android 9.0 (Pie) at 23.1%, and Android 8.0-8.1 (Oreo) at 17.1%. By supporting these versions, you’ll inevitably increase compatibility with the most current devices and systems. It’s also worthwhile updating your older apps to run well on recent generations of operating systems.

5. Improved Security Features

In recent years, a plethora of high profile hacking cases has made the news. And with the COVID pandemic and subsequent lockdowns, more people are working from home than ever before, which has only increased the rate of hacking attacks. Thus, businesses and individuals have become increasingly sensitive to these types of incursions.

There’s nothing worse for your reputation if hackers use your app as an attack vector to illegally access users’ mobile phones. That’s why the custom app development process should always encompass the most effective security features. Include two-factor authentication that users can enable, giving them extra protection and peace of mind.

6. The Latest Custom Mobile App Features

Take the time to simplify your UI & UX to make your app more accessible to a wider demographic. Furthermore, include customization features whereby users can easily change background images, colors, and fonts. Don’t forget to add a night mode to protect users that suffer from light sensitivity. And include an offline mode so they will continue using your app during Internet outages.

7. Make Changes When You Want

Your app won’t remain static. It’s a dynamic product that will undergo change during the development process and after its launch. However, templates and platforms often hinder these changes since they come with existing assets and code. Therefore, development teams have to waste valuable time modifying code and templates to suit their needs.

But this isn’t a problem with a custom solution that’s more cohesive. Developers know how every piece of their application operates and to implement changes without introducing new bugs or breaking it altogether.

8. Match Your App And Business Goals

Always consider your business goals when embarking on the development process. And ask yourself what you want to achieve with your upcoming app. Very likely, there’ll be an overlap between the direction of your app and your business goals. But you’ll only be able to achieve great results with a custom solution since it’s hard to find templates that will match your business goals down to a tee. Keep your vision focussed, and build your app in a way that makes it entirely your own.

9. Professional App Developers

It’s easy finding freelancers on various job boards and freelancing platforms to develop your app. But is that a good idea? Well, if you’re working on a hobby project and just want to test the waters, hiring a competent freelancer could be feasible. But if you’re developing an app for your business and expect professional results, then you’ll need to work with an agency.

Freelancers will often play up their list of credentials to attain work. And while some freelancers do good work, they seldom stick around to offer support after the project ends. This leads to problems, especially when you need to fix bugs after you’ve launched your app. You’ll find that the freelancer has moved on to the next project and isn’t available for fixing bugs.

Agencies, on the other hand, are far more accountable to their clients. They have a reputation to uphold and must comply with various laws and regulatory bodies to stay in business. Any reputable agency won’t leave clients high and dry if they experience issues with a finished app upon or after release. They’ll offer their advice, expertise, and support during and after development. And if you’re seeking mobile app development in Virginia, then don’t hesitate to contact NS804 to assist you with your custom app development endeavors.

How to Plan a Mobile App Budget

Creating a budget for your mobile app is important because it helps you and your business stay on track. Not every app developer can evaluate each aspect of the app, especially the cost involved. This post gives you a brief overview of how you can prepare a proper budget for your app.

How to Identify the Purpose of the App?

One of the best places to plan the budget is to first identify the main purpose of your app. Let’s analyze some of the more obvious ones.

  1. You want to help your customers place an order at your store/website with an app. A good example of this would be Amazon, Wal-Mart, and Etsy.
  2. You have identified a unique money-making opportunity and you need an app to cash in on it. Examples include Uber, Airbnb, and Doordash.
  3. You want your clients to easily engage your customer service team members via an app. Examples include the McDonald’s App.

If you need a rough estimate on the development costs, talk to a professional app developer. You can also use our online calculator to get an idea about the costs.

How to Choose the Right Platform for App Development?

As a general rule, the more platforms you develop your app for, the costlier it will get. You can save costs by targeting the most relevant platforms for your target audience. For instance, there’s no use building an app on Android if your customers primarily use iOS. Moreover, it’s more complicated to develop on Android due to the level of optimization needed for each device.

If you’re running out of ideas, survey your customers to identify the devices they commonly use. It is also worth your while to check in with your competitors to see their target platforms.

Which is Better: In-House Development or Outsourcing?

The answer to this dilemma depends on your goals and specific circumstances. Outsourcing and in-house app development have their own pros and cons. For the most part, you should choose them based on your own unique requirements. In-house development makes it easier to closely coordinate with your team and give them instructions. Additionally, you can directly instruct your team about new features in real time.

It is worth noting that in-house development involves software licenses, salaries, employee benefits, and more. Your next best option is to hire an app development team on a project-by-project basis. This is an economical move since you won’t have to deal with salaries anymore, and finding appropriate software is no longer your hassle.

Of course, you won’t be able to closely coordinate every step of the development process and this is where project questionnaires come in. They let you quickly fill your new team in on project briefs. In fact, experienced app development teams like the one at NS804 will work closely with you to build your app. It helps to think of us as an extension of your in-house team.

How Costly Are the App’s Features?

It’s time to identify which features have to stay and which need to go. Run a comprehensive market survey of your potential customers along with their needs and pain points. You should have a list of features that are must-haves and nice-to-haves. For starters, most apps should cover the basics such as integration with third-party platforms, social networks, and in-app purchases.

Create an MVP to Cut Costs and Estimate Future Profits

If you’re working on a shoestring budget, consider building a minimum viable product (MVP) instead. There is no need to go into in-depth animation and complex UI/UX design. For now, it is important to get the app off the ground to gauge demand for it. Don’t sacrifice user experience! You’ll also get an idea about your projected profit and estimated income.

Building an app is an on-going process that requires a lot of time, energy, and effort. There’s usually no cookie-cutter approach to app building and no cut-and-paste template to work with. You’ll also need to set aside some budget for maintenance and regular updates.

If you’ve decided to build an app, then get in touch with the professionals at NS804.

 

How to Build an App That People Want (in 8 simple steps)

It’s official: most online users have an attention span of fewer than 8 seconds; that’s less than that of a goldfish. People want a solution to their problem and they want it now, like an impatient child at the toy store. It’s why Uber, Doordash, and Airbnb are so ridiculously successful because it takes mere seconds to make a booking and get stuff done!

All three apps reduce otherwise long and drawn out processes into a relatively straightforward booking; whether it’s a long commute, food cravings, or renting a place to crash for the night. The biggest indicator of success for any idea is instant gratification; because who has the time to wait?

So if your app can satiate the growing demand for instant gratification, then you have a market. But not all mobile apps become instant sensations. Users adore some apps and despise others. So, how can you build an app that people will want to use? In this post, we’ll unravel the thought process that goes into designing and building an app from the ground-up.

How to Build an App that People Want?

Step 1: Come Up with an Idea

Every good app must start with an idea. The app doesn’t have to be clever or reinvent the wheel. As long as it builds and improves upon an existing solution, it will resonate well with the target audience. Bonus points if it leverages instant gratification and speeds up an existing process.

Use a pen and paper to draw up a rough sketch of your app and what it should look like. Next, prepare a list of features for the app and divide them into ‘must-have’ and ‘nice-to-have’ categories. The ‘must-have’ features are essential for your app. The ‘nice-to-have’ features serve as a plus point, but they are not crucial to the overall user experience.

Step 2: Create an MVP

Once you have determined which features to include in your app, you can create a Minimum Viable Product (MVP). The MVP essentially focuses on the problem-solving features and the overall functionality of your app. All other items can be stripped or let out of the MVP to gain market exposure and gauge user demand. The MVP is the most basic concept of your app and lets you collect feedback early on. This will save you time when planning your next move.

Step 3:Design a Functional Prototype

It is good practice to make mockups or functional prototypes of your app to test with users on their phones. Simply put, a mockup contains the user interface, layout, and navigational flow of the app. It does not contain UI elements or complex color schemes. It merely gives you an idea of what the final app should look like without creating any distractions.

At NS804, we always use prototyping to help clients gain an idea about user journeys and to deliver a preview of what a final product may look like. No matter the scope of your project, having a functional visual reference makes life a lot easier. We often use Adobe Xd, Invision, and Balsamiq to create high-fidelity prototypes that look and work exactly how you envisioned.

Step 4: Get into Graphic Design

Once your project kicks off, it’s time to give more serious consideration to UX and UI. Both of these are often confused together in terms of app design. Simply put, UI stands for ‘user interface’. It is the graphical layout of your application and consists of the buttons users will tap to get from point A to point B, the text, images, text entry fields, sliders, and everything else the user may interact with.

This includes transitions, animations, layouts, and every tiny interaction on the app. This is mostly the job of UI designers who decide what the app is going to look like. They brainstorm ideas for the color scheme and button shapes, line width, and font size used.

In other words, UI is all about aesthetics.

UX stands for ‘user experience’. It defines how users interact with the app and all its assets. Is it a smooth and intuitive experience or clunky and cluttered? UX designers make sure that people efficiently accomplish the tasks they want to achieve without struggling. Success really comes down to how intricately woven the UX is with the UI – in other words, how easy or difficult it is for users to interact with the UI elements that the designers have created.

Improving UI and UX means going out of your comfort zone and investing time and money into graphic design. Your app should have high-quality graphics, crisp visual details, image assets, and even motion design- if needed. If you’re not very comfortable with graphic design, consider hiring an expert or using a graphics template.

Step 5: Hire an App Developer

Now that you have laid the groundwork for the app, it’s time to start building it. You can build iOS apps with Xcode to code in Swift or Objective C. You build Android apps with Android Studio. Consider using cloud-based servers like KumulosFirebase to store data. Alternatively, you can seek a development company that has the right team to help you bring your ideas to life.

Step 6: App Analytics

Use Kumulos app analytics to measure your app’s performance. App analytics improves ROI in every aspect of performance because they allow you to create personalized, customer-centric apps. How users engage with menus, the time they spend on your app, the services that they like best, etc will help you optimize your app to drive up user engagement. There are many free and paid analytical tools that let you measure different user metrics such as the total number of downloads, app usage, bounce rates, etc.

Step 7: Conduct Market Research for the Perfect Launch

Like all products, your app will need a detailed analysis of your target audience. You’ll need to learn about their spending pattern and preferences. Even the most extraordinary of all apps will be of no use without if it doesn’t have an audience. Here’s what you need to ask yourself:

  • Who are my competitors?
  • Are there any alternative apps for potential customers to use?
  • What should I charge for the app?

Once you have the right information, you can optimize your app around your users’ pain points.

Step 8: Launch the App, Get Feedback, and Update

Prepare a suitable title for the app and submit it to the App Store and Play Store for review. Once Apple and Google approve your app, you go live. Now, your potential customers are ready to download and install it.

However, this isn’t the end of your app’s journey. You will still need to promote the app on social media and through PPC campaigns. Also, take user feedback into consideration and update the app accordingly. The best way to obtain feedback is by conducting surveys and interviews.

Building an app is an on-going journey and you will run into your fair share of ups and downs. The important thing is to stay on top of the latest trends and optimize your app based on user preferences.

Get in touch with the app development pros at NS804 to learn more!