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Bring it Back To Basics: Making a Splash as An Appreneur

Offering Value As an Appreneur

When it comes to app development, it is one of the most supersaturated markets that exist. This is because of its wide accessibility, and the massive audience pool from which to draw. As an appreneur or aspiring appreneur, it’s important to understand how it is that you or your application are providing value. Because app development is such a competitive market that utilizes technology, it goes to reason that it’s a field that sees an above-average amount of technological advances and evolutions.

However, new technology doesn’t always equate to high-quality applications to which users flock. Creating a truly valuable application that attracts a wide range of users takes a comprehensive approach to app development, which includes utilizing new technology, delivering value to users through optimized user experiences, and offering solutions or utility to the end-user.

The Picasso Effect

Picasso is famous for his abstract approach to art. The way that he depicts people and objects is completely surreal. However, Picasso didn’t start his journey creating brilliant works of abstract and surreal art. Rather, his first education in paints was as traditional and classical as it gets. Before he revamped the art world almost single-handedly, he first mastered the traditional fundamentals of the craft. In other words, he learned how to paint a perfect bowl of fruit, before flipping it on its side and making it something else entirely.

This evolution also occurs in application development. Oftentimes, new developers, programmers, and appreneurs want to jump headfirst off the high-dive and right into the deep end. In other words, appreneurs get so excited about the newest technology and newest features that they start sacrificing fundamentals in order to layer more and more features, without doing the due diligence to fully flush out those features.

This leads to a poorly designed application that feels unfocused and clunky. Worse yet, rushing through the integration process of a new sophisticated technology into your existing applications can lead to bug-ridden applications that are faulty, incomplete, or simply non-fucntional altogether.

This is why Picasso mastered classical painting before branching out and evolving into his legacy of abstract art. By fully understanding the concepts and fundamentals of the classical and traditional form; he was then able to evolve the field entirely.

Merging The Old with The New

In integrating these hot new technologies as they emerge, an appreneur needs to have a strong sense of vision. I’m not talking about your prescription glasses, rather, the term vision here indicates an ability to see vertical alignment and synchronization. It’s important, of course, to learn and be aware of the new technologies that hit the market place, but on the other hand, integrating them into your current and future projects is another endeavor completely.

The most successful applications find a hole in any of the existing niche-markets of the application development world. By providing a solution to an existing issue that end-users are experiencing, your application begins its journey with an advantage. Furthermore, by continuing to invest into the time that it takes to develop a comprehensive application, your end result is a more thoroughly thought through application that offers users a direct solution and immediate value.

Going beyond the value-proposition and the solutions that applications offer, the next level is both design and user experience based. It’sp important to note that the user experience is often regarded as the most important aspect of any application. Mainly due to the supersaturation of the application markets and the hyper competition that accompanies them.

A Look At The Newest Technology

When it comes to the new technology of applications, the choices range far and wide. One of the fastest growing technologies over the past decade is VR, or virtual reality. Some of the first iterations of VR came through gaming systems, like PS4, or Google Oculus. However, VR has a much deeper practicality than merely the video game market. Virtual reality technology has real life practicality in massive industries like healthcare, mental health, sporting, and even fashion.

By taking the time to learn the ins and outs of VR programming, your team will not only be able to build a quality VR system, but further, they’ll be able to construct a high-quality VR system that offers genuine practicality.

AR, or augmented reality, is next on the list. AR is a type of application that overlays additional imagery or visuals over physical locations. As you can imagine, this type of technology has a ton of potential. However, AR is still even a bit newer than VR, so many developers and programmers are still finding avenues through which to integrate and make use of AR in their application designs.

Finally, another technology that’s generating an incredible amount of buzz is facial recognition software. This software has quite swiftly become a popular feature. Think about the new Iphones and the ability to unlock your screen with a facial scan. On the flip side of this, however, is the dangers that facial recognition software poses to individual privacy. Many are weary that military and police institutions will leverage sophisticated facial recognition software inappropriately.

Value Versus Flash

When you boil it all down, successful applications have one thing in common: a strong and practical value proposition. This value proposition is then flushed out, developed, and used to inspire and create an MVP, or minimum viable product. The MVP leads to investments, funding, and partnership, which leads to a finished application, and finally your product launch.

Keeping that progression in mind, it’s rather clear that an application stuffed full of sophisticated technology is not guaranteed to be a success, nor even fully functional. It’s much more important in application development to focus on a fluid user experience, a strong value proposition, and aligned technology. By focusing on integrating only the modern technology that will benefit or elevate your specific value-propoisition, your application will stay much simpler and much more user-firendly.

Implementing User Feedback as An Appreneur

Once you’ve identified the value proposition and built the app, it’s time for an app launch. This is like cutting the big red ribbon on opening day, and it’s extremely exciting. Yet, the work is far from over. At this point in an applications life, your team needs to ensure that it remains relevant, updated, bug-free, and offers value to the user.

One of the most helpful strategies that appreneurs use is the user feedback in the app store. Paying attention to the app store reviews, and user feedback in general, brings your team better understanding of where they hit the nail on the head; and where their application could use some work.

A Brief Overview On What it Takes To Be an Appreneur

Noone said that being an apprenuer would be easy. And if they did, they lied. However, for the dedicated and committed appreneur, there are resources to help guide you. Do your due diligence, and conduct plenty of market research before jumping down the rabbit hole of your newest application, and consider the Picasso effect before attempting to tackle sophisticated application technologies like AR, VR, and Facial recognition.

For more information on successful appreneurship, or anything app development related, keep browsing NS804. NS804 is the application developer of the everyday appreneur.

Why You Need A Digital Marketing Plan To Promote Your App

Digital marketing is one of the most effective ways to promote your app in a crowded market. And it starts with a carefully drawn-up plan that contains all the strategies to help you reach your audience. Below, we provide a few handy tips to help you build your brand the right way.

1. Have A Digital Marketing Plan From Day 1

Months of hard work creating your app should eventually lead to returns that justify its development. But how certain are you that this will happen? If you’ve developed your app without a marketing strategy, then your chances of success are murky. After all, the app stores have a plethora of quality apps in almost every genre and niche imaginable.

But if you’ve drafted a digital marketing plan at the start of the development cycle, you’ll likely release an app that gains traction with its target audience. The marketing plan will help you attract, convince, and convert customers. Furthermore, it will contain all the strategies to attract these customers and how you’ll segment your marketing campaigns.

2. A Digital Marketer Will Identify The Best Ways To Reach Your Target Audience

If you’re an appreneur that wants to build your brand, you’ll need to work with the right people. Ideally, you’ll either have a digital marketer on your team or work with a company that offers marketing services. The marketer will draft a document that outlines your marketing plan in detail and contain the following:

  • List all relevant business goals
  • Detail the strategies to achieve these goals
  • Digital channels to use to reach your audience
  • A comprehensive plan of the development cycle
  • Budget considerations
  • Milestones and roadmap

Furthermore, the marketer will conduct a SWOT analysis of your company relative to its competitors and the overall market. This process will help identify the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats that your company faces.

3. Don’t Neglect App Store Optimization (ASO)

Your digital marketer may have suggested that you produce YouTube videos and do content marketing to reach your audience. However, this doesn’t mean that you should neglect app store optimization (ASO). Why this is so important is because the app stores are where your audience is.

For the best results, compile an app store optimization checklist, utilize app store SEO tools, focus on top keywords, and study your competitors. And don’t forget to design an engaging icon, use stunning screenshots, showcase your app with videos, pick a catchy app name, and encourage user reviews.

4. Build Your Brand On All Relevant Platforms

It’s always a good idea to push your app to as many platforms as possible. While the mobile app market is large and lucrative, don’t focus on Android and iOS exclusively. Try and build your brand on all platforms where your app can potentially find an audience.

The web offers budding appreneurs new opportunities, especially with the growing popularity of progressive web apps (PWAs). Furthermore, Apple’s M1 and Microsoft’s SQ2 processors are gradually transforming the desktop space and creating demand for apps that take advantage of these ARM-based systems.

5. Digital Marketing Can Also Benefit Your MVP

Conducting market research is usually the first step before commencing with a minimum viable product (MVP). You’ll want to identify the pain points that users experience and provide them with a solution that solves these. Thus, a digital marketing plan covers these pain points in detail so that the MVP developers can comprehend them. Contact us today to learn how NS804 can help your development and marketing endeavors for a successful app launch.

App Store Optimization Checklist: 10 Things To Do For Success

Having an App Store Optimization checklist in place should be a top priority for every appreneur. The App Store, and even Google Play, require that developers closely follow their guidelines. When developers fail to do this, their apps will inevitably languish in store rank. Furthermore, this checklist breaks down all actionable steps we can take to ensure our app’s success.

1. Why Do You Need An App Store Optimization Checklist?

It’s easy to get caught up in the development process and forget about App Store optimization. And App Store optimization is itself an involved process that many appreneurs prefer to put off, to their detriment. However, keeping an App Store optimization checklist handy gives appreneurs and marketing staff a bird’s eye view of the entire process. By breaking things down into 10 simple steps, we replace unnecessary guesswork with a winning strategy.

2. What Are The Best App Store SEO Tools?

For favorable results, always use the best app marketing tools available. And when you’re targeting the App Store, then there are three excellent tools that you should consider using. We’re listing these below with a brief description of what makes them so great:

App Annie – An App Store Optimization (ASO) tool, offering marketers a wide range of data at their fingertips. It’s worth investing in the premium plan since it features detailed user behavior, demographics, download estimations, and retention. If you’re unsure about App Annie’s effectiveness, you can always start with their free plan to test the waters.

Gummicube – A comprehensive tool that covers the entire marketing funnel, from searches to conversion. It features powerful A/B testing tools and live user feedback groups to test your store assets on the App Store and Google Play. Do keep in mind that this is a paid tool with no free plan.

StoreMaven – StoreMaven makes ASO as painless as possible by offering accurate and quick metrics. Their built-in StoreIQ algorithm gives precise data points from a smaller sample pool than alternative methods. Furthermore, you’ll have access to a design studio for effectively designing all your store pages. They offer a 30-day trial before you’re required to switch over to one of their paid products.

3. Focus On Top Keywords

Nothing’s worse than releasing your app on the App Store, only for it to languish in obscurity. And this can happen if you don’t implement the top keywords. Start researching for high-ranking keywords by using the App Store’s search bar. For example, if you’re developing a music app, enter the word ‘music’ in the search bar. The store’s search algorithm will offer several suggestions, such as ‘music maker,’ ‘music editor,’ ‘music downloaders,’ and many others.

These suggestions are exactly what users are searching for in high volumes, making good keyword ideas that you should explore further. Also, consider using TheTool for searching and optimizing keywords and tracking the visibility of your store page.

4. Master App Marketing By Checking Out The Competition

There’s no shortage of App Store SEO tools that offer additional features useful to marketers looking for an edge. MobileAction provides a wide range of tools, ranging from ASO to keyword discovery, which allows you to spy on competitor keywords. Moreover, it’s possible to conduct an app competitor analysis, giving you a clear picture of your rivals’ performance.

5. Make Your Icon Simple And Engaging

Your app’s icon is the first thing users will notice when browsing through the App Store. A bland, busy, or unprofessional design will put users off, and they won’t bother installing your app. Instead, make sure that your icon’s design is clean and engaging with a focus on simplicity. Draw inspiration from popular apps, such as Discord, Flipboard, and TikTok, which showcase good design. If you don’t have the necessary skills, then hire a designer to make your icon, as it’s worth the investment for such a critical visual element.

6. Capture Incredible Screenshots

When users discover your store page, the first thing that they look for is screenshots of your app. That’s why it’s vital to capture visually stunning screenshots that will wow your audience. If your app’s user interface (UI) already looks great, it should be relatively easy to take snapshots that look appealing. But if your app isn’t much of a looker, you should still capture crisp and high-resolution screenshots that depict what your app is about.

7. Show Your App In Action

Accompanying your screenshots, you should have at least one video showcasing your app. Show your users how smooth and responsive your app’s user interface is while highlighting its key features. And given that many users have low attention spans keep the duration of your video at under two minutes. Ultimately, your video should be short and concise while avoiding any fluff that will lessen its impact.

8. Pick The Perfect App Name

Believe it or not, your app’s name plays a significant role in whether it succeeds. Come up with a catchy, distinctive, and memorable name that best represents your app. Ensure that your title isn’t longer than 30 characters to keep in line with Apple’s regulations. Furthermore, use App Store SEO tools to research keywords that you can implement in your app’s name. App names that incorporate top keywords tend to rank higher in the App Store.

9. Consistently Update Your App Description

Every time you update your app, you have a golden opportunity to change your app description. And so you should! Your app description should always be clear, concise, and informative. Take the time to craft the first sentence so that it’s impactful and avoid unnecessary buzzwords and keywords. And, we do want to stress that you should be regularly updating your app. After all, you want your app to run well on the latest devices, enhance its security, and continue your marketing endeavors.

10. Add Local Keywords If Applicable

If you’re targeting foreign markets, you’re probably investing in translation services to localize your app. But consider researching and adding local keywords for every region that you’re targeting. It’s a big world out there, and users prefer to conduct searches in their home language. So, put yourself in the shoes of a foreign user and how they’d go about searching for your app.

11. Understand Your Audience

One of the most important aspects of app marketing is understanding your audience. If you don’t know who you’re targeting, then your app won’t succeed. However, it’s relatively easy to ascertain if your app’s appealing to a specific audience through beta testing, focus groups, and outreach initiatives.

You may even run low budget ad campaigns to see how users of a certain age, gender, demographics, and location respond. The better you understand your audience, the better you can set up your store page.

12. Encourage Reviews

Ensure that you’re providing users with a fantastic app experience. And, if you’re working with an experienced developer, such as NS804, then you’ll be able to deliver an app that will impress them. But that’s not enough, as you’ll need to encourage users to review your app so that it ranks higher in the App Store. Prompt them, through your app, to leave a review and rating on your store page. And utilize App Store Connect to respond directly to any feedback and questions your users may have.

In Conclusion

An App Store optimization checklist is a necessity since it keeps app marketers on track. Working down this list of 10 things to do will radically enhance your App Store page and help you acquire new users organically. Contact NS804 today to learn how our App Store Optimization (ASO) services can make your app stand out.

COVID Shows Every Restaurant Needs A Mobile App

The Time Has Come: Every Restaurant Needs A Mobile App

COVID-19 changed a lot. Importantly, however, it also illuminated a lot. In other words, COVID-19 uncovered some truths. One of those truths is that restaurants need their own mobile app. While many industries struggled through the COVID-19 lockdowns, restaurants have been hit especially hard. With limitations on sit-down meals many restaurants aren’t even allowing sit-down customers. On the flip side of that, the mobile app industry is one of the very few that have thrived through the duration of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Keep in mind that it’s far from over for the restaurant industry. A small hiccup in supply chains, and limitations on sit-down customers are merely roadblocks. While the restaurant and service industries might be in a small period of downturn, there’s always a path forward for the innovative, the brave, and the inventive. The restaurant industry is not dying. Rather, it’s shifting. Restaurants are now catering to curb-side-pick-up orders and delivery orders like they have never had to before. However, the environment dictates, to a certain degree, our operations, and the times have called for stronger remote service; even from restaurants. The way to provide this is through a custom app.

Developing A Mobile App For Your Restaurant

As a restaurant there are plenty of options outside of developing your own mobile app. For instance there are services like Ubereats and GrubHub. However, these 3rd party services cut into your profits from delivery and pick-up orders. Not only that, but with their umbrella-service business model, customers can become frustrated as they attempt to get updates about their order. The problems only get worse if something with the order is wrong. On top of that, with these services you don’t have dedicated drivers; meaning food can show up late and cold – reflecting poorly on your restaurant.

Those are just some of the reasons looking into developing your own mobile app for your restaurant is a wise business move. However, that doesn’t even begin to cover the major benefits that developing an app for your restaurant provides. Profit was mentioned briefly in the context that 3rd party delivery services cut into your profits from curb-side and delivery-services. The boost in profit is influenced by more than this factor alone though. By developing your own mobile app for the restaurant you’ve now created a tool to service all of your loyal customers directly.

This is beneficial not only to the restaurant, but for the customers as well. The custom app also provides your marketing team with a whole new platform they can leverage in marketing opportunities to encourage customer downloads. Additionally, this is great for struggling restaurants used to serving a full-house every weekend night. As we all work to maintain our own safety and the safety of others; it’s the simple truth that it is safer for some people to stay inside as much as possible. Developing a custom mobile app for your restaurant allows you to service this community without putting them at risk.

Even More Benefits

Improving the customer experience is the main focal point of nearly every business operating. The customer experience has become one of the vital elements to running a successful business, and therefore it makes sense that companies are emphasizing it so strongly. Developing a custom mobile app for your restaurant provides your company a platform capable of elevating your customer experience.

There is a myriad of ways that an app is capable of boosting your customer experience. For example, communication. Communication is integral to developing any relationship – especially the one with your customer. Having a mobile app specific for your restaurant provides you and your customers a direct channel to communicate. Beyond that, using a mobile app specific for your company means having a dedicated fleet of delivery drivers as well; ensuring that food arrives timely and piping hot. While it may sound expensive, the costs related to mobile app development are actually relatively low. The costs are far outgained by profits reaped in the first months after developing a custom mobile app.

Centralizing Management Through a Mobile App

There are other ways to make use of a mobile app in the restaurant industry as well. In addition to boosting profits, a mobile app can help you centralize your management of the restaurant. This includes making it easier to manage a limited amount of reservations and cancellations. Not only that, but it provides easier and more convenient ordering options for all of your customers.

Not only that, but you can even use a mobile app to launch a loyalty program for the customers who can’t get enough of your scrumptious food. All-in-all, developing an app for your restaurant makes you a more competitive restaurant amongst your peers. In a market place as fierce as it is today, any advantage helps.

A Recap on Restaurant Apps

There is a whole myriad of reasons to develop a custom mobile app as a restaurant. Rather than just listing your menu on a 3rd party service company like Ubereats or GrubHub, take control of your customer base by investing in a custom mobile app dedicated to your restaurant alone.

Eliminating 3rd party service-fees that eat into your profits, and replacing an undedicated fleet of drivers with a fleet that specifically services your restaurant will immediately boost profits. As well as the customer experience. On top of that, developing a custom mobile app makes ordering much more convenient for your customers. It also helps you manage pick-up, and delivery orders. All while making it easier to manage reservations.

Finally, beyond an increase in profits, and an uptick in the customer experience, developing a custom app is a strategic move for the future. As 2020 and the COVID-19 virus have shown us, the shift to a virtual age is already underway. Developing a mobile app for your restaurant doesn’t only help today. But it helps prepare you for success in the future as well. Providing a centralized place for your customers to reach you. To order from you, to cash in their loyalty points, and to even leave reviews.

There is really no reason to wait on developing an app for your restaurant. As more and more orders become curbside pickup and delivery, customers are looking for ways to support local restaurants while staying safe and staying inside.

Some Final Thoughts

Developing a mobile app for your restaurant helps centralize your activities, communicate with customers, and operate in a more virtual-world. It will give your customers a place to order and communicate with you, while also acting as a management tool for you and your staff. It’s a process, however, developing a mobile app that’s going to be just right for your restaurant, and your customers. For more information on development services, or how to build a mobile app, visit NS804 today.

NS804 is dedicated to delivering top-shelf knowledge and information on app development, mobile app development and trends in app design. Making mobile app development services more accessible to the everyday inventor with a great idea. Visit NS804 today to take the first step on the path toward developing your first app and turning your idea into a reality.

I Want To Build An App

I Want To Build An App – Where To Start and the Process

Now is the time to take chances. With the world where it is, so many unemployed, and so much rapid change, there is also a lot of opportunity. Opportunity for new products, new services, and of course, new mobile applications. The mobile app market is one of the few markets that have faired well during the ongoing pandemic. With so many people staying at home, and so much limited contact with one another, mobile app downloads boomed. Across all genres and markets. From mobile app games, to business and communication applications. The market as a whole saw a significant growth. This is great news for budding developers, and first-time app designers, as the market is flush and full of opportunity. However, much like the gold rush, the competition is intense. To build an app today doesn’t take much time – but being unique and valuable enough is tricky.

As mentioned above, the mobile app market is flourishing. However, this means it’s also more saturated than ever before. This translates to a slightly harder path to being a successful application, only because the competition is so fierce. Therefore, making the details of your idea the most important aspect.

In mobile app development, there are a lot of steps to take, even for the simplest of applications. Making the process as easy as possible on the developer means coming to your pitch meeting prepared and armed with tools.

What To Prepare For Your Presentation

The road to mobile app development is a long one, but it all starts with the precious idea. That’s one of the beautiful things that mobile applications and art share; while almost anyone can learn the technique or the style, it’s truly the muse of inspiration that provides a path to unique remembrance or success.

To get the right eyes on your budding mobile app monalisa, you want to approach the developer with a series of information already laid out so you’re able to answer questions they might have.

One of the first things you need to know is what problem your application is solving, or what value it’s providing to the user. This is essentially your value proposition, and can encompass your differentiation statement as well – which is the aspect that makes your mobile app different from others.

Understanding your value proposition will inform what the MVP (minimum viable product) of your application will look like. Having a process plan for the development of the MVP is a great place to begin. To build that plan, it’s wise to divide the development process of your application into various stages. This will also be a good document to present to the developer as it will help them see the various pieces to the puzzle.

Finally, flowcharts on app-functions, visual mock-ups, and user stories are all great additional materials to include in your developer presentation.

A Final Thought

To build a mobile app takes a lot of work, and as the saying goes, the devil is in the details. It’s integral to differentiate your application from others on the market.

For more information on how to build an app or how to select a mobile app developer, visit NS804 today.

The Ultimate Guide To Creating an MVP for Your Startup

The Ultimate MVP Guide

Put up or shut up. Put your money where your mouth is. Actions speak louder than words. These phrases have earned their place in history by speaking to a commonality in all of us: the desire for cold hard evidence. Because seeing is believing, right? Therefore, these little quips and phrases point towards the importance of business tools like prototypes, product proof-of-concept, or an MVP.

Prototypes, a proof-of-concept, and an MVP are all tools companies use in a variety of ways. Two of the main functions of these tools include investor recruitment and target market feedback. Plus, developing these tools and making use of them will lead to further insights that will help inform the rest of the product development lifecycle.

Understanding MVPs

No, we aren’t talking about Patrick Mahomes possibly leading the Chiefs to a second straight superbowl, for the first time in the history of the NFL. No, in mobile app development, an MVP stands for the minimum viable product. In other words, this is the bare-bones product that your developers build as a sort of shell-demonstration. This demonstrates the core functionality of the application. However, the MVP is still very much a predecessor to the application’s full-blown vision.

Although, that doesn’t always stop the MVP from being utilized. See there’s a whole niche market of app-development where the bells and whistles are just that: bells and whistles. The end-user isn’t so much interested in the seamless UX or the brilliant design; but rather the solution that the application provides. This is often the case when it comes to business-oriented-applications, or industry-specific applications.

In these environments, the end-user may be an early-adopter or a professional simply looking for a solution to their problem, if your MVP contains that solution – the extra functions and features that get added might just be icing on the cake.

While an MVP may sound very similar to a prototype, and they are in many ways, there are a few key differences between the two. The biggest and most obvious difference between an MVP and a prototype is the form it takes. An MVP is always going to be a lightweight version of the application.

A prototype, on the other hand, can come in a whole variety of shapes, sizes, and forms. The most basic prototypes, in fact, are simple sketches. The form your prototype takes will largely depend on a variety of factors. Aspects like your industry-expertise, technical ability, and access to resources.

The Development

While it may seem like one of the first steps in mobile app development, there’s actually quite a bit of work to be done before your firm can tackle the MVP. The very first step in mobile app development is identifying a problem and a potential solution. This is by far the most critical question that needs to be answered at the onset of a mobile app development project.

Without a firm-wide understanding of the problem that’s being addressed and the solution that’s being developed, a whole onslaught of issues will arise. These issues range from miscommunication, to inefficient processes, and misaligned development activities. In other words, one developer might be working on a user-interface that is completely incompatible with the overall solution that’s being developed. Therefore, time, energy, and resources were all wasted, which could have been avoided entirely with stronger communication channels.

Once your firm has identified the problem they’d like to solve, and how they’d like to solve it; then they can advance to the next step of the development process. The next phase in mobile app development, or MVP development is determining the core-features that need to be built into the application. The core features that are selected largely influence both the MVP and the design of the finished application.

This is important to note. The MVP, as mentioned above, is a tool your mobile app firm develops for a wide variety of reasons. Two of the main reasons for MVP development is end-user and target-market feedback, as well as investor recruitment. These are two of the most crucial phases in the entire mobile app development lifecycle.

Feedback and Investor Recruitment

As the age-old-adage goes, “money makes the world go round.” And as sad as that is to acknowledge at times, the practical utility of liquid assets is undeniable. Developing an MVP takes time, money, labor, and resources. Once your firm develops the MVP, however, there’s plenty of opportunity for your team to leverage the MVP into additional investments.

On top of leveraging an MVP into additional funding for your firm, or the specific project; an MVP also gives your company a way to conduct market focus-groups. This allows you to garner real end-user feedback on the solution provided and the overall direction of the application. These insights can be used to further inform your team on the features and trends most impactful to the target market, and how to finish the development process.

When garnering user-feedback or running focus-groups, there are a few important things to keep in mind. Keeping these elements in mind can help your team maximize the value that these activities in the development process yield. For example, when running a focus group with an MVP, your team should consider including a basic version of the UX. This will help the focus-group. It helps them understand the flow of the application, how the app presents information to the user, and more.

Running focus groups and testing the MVP in a variety of demographics is a best-practice by all considerations. This practice is important because it will help you and your team avoid common pitfalls in app development. One of the most common traps that mobile app developers often fall into is known as the ‘assumption trap’. This is the ‘trap’ that mobile app developers fall into when they believe they already know what the end-consumer wants.

Avoiding The Trap

Conducting a series of focus groups across a variety of demographics, therefore, is extremely valuable and provides incredible insight into consumer behavior, and consumer wants.

The end-consumer, especially today, has more power than ever before. Between the era of information and technology providing more widespread access to information, and the emergence of a very competitive marketplace, the consumer truly is king. Therefore, taking the time to understand the issues that are most significant to your target-market will benefit you greatly. Let the consumers and customers tell you what they want, then deliver. Otherwise, you may very well be putting the cart before the horse.

Final Thoughts on MVP Development

The mobile app market is booming. Ever since earlier this year when the pandemic was first beginning to rage and the first set of lockdown orders were issued, mobile app usership has boomed. Between March and April of this year, millions of first-time app users were downloading applications, log-times were skyrocketing, and the shift toward the digital age was officially underway.

In such a crowded market, it’s important to stand out, deliver on consumer wants, and offer new and unique solutions. Developing an MVP will help you and your firm do all of this and more. From investor-recruitment, to real-time consumer feedback, developing an MVP is a necessity.

For more information on MVPs, or anything related to mobile app development, visit NS804 today, and get in touch with an expert mobile app developer ready to turn your idea into a reality.

Can You Get Professional Results With App Design Templates?

Making apps is a costly endeavor, causing developers to seek ways to make their production processes more efficient. And given the increased competition, it seems challenging to stick to the planned mobile app budget. After all, users desire more features and slicker design, whereas innovative competitors push the envelope even further. While it’s tempting to cut corners to stay on budget, this move would be detrimental to the success of your app.

Keep in mind that there’s no need to reskin existing apps or source low-quality assets to bring costs down. Users have become seasoned in spotting asset flips, reskinned apps, and generic GUI icons sourced from the web. Fortunately, there are ways to make impressive-looking apps without resorting to these questionable methods. A custom app developed by an experienced developer, such as NS804, will provide the best results.

An alternative way to make your app look professional is by utilizing app design templates, which we’ll discuss in more detail below.

1. Why You May Want To Use App Design Templates

Every developer wants to reduce their time to market (TTM) significantly. That’s why many teams use existing frameworks instead of building everything from scratch. Furthermore, most experienced developers are capable of crafting unique apps instead of cookie-cutter apps using these frameworks. Since they no longer have to worry about boilerplate code, they can now focus on creating compelling apps that excite users.

However, you can go beyond frameworks to reduce cost and time to develop your upcoming app. After bouncing some app design ideas with the relevant team members, it’s time to consider using customizable or pre-made templates for your project.

We recommend that you stay away from cheap templates, as they’ll make your app look dated, low-effort, or unpolished. Many talented designers work on custom templates and ensure that they meet the criteria set out by platform holders such as Apple and Google. Do keep in mind that a North American designer may set you back between $ 45-250 per hour depending on experience and project complexity.

Your project’s requirements will largely determine whether you’ll opt for a custom solution or templates. But if you don’t want to skimp on quality, then nothing holds up to a custom-designed app.

2. Are Custom-Made Apps Really That Different?

Well, that depends if these custom-made apps have enough unique elements to make them stand out. And since the attention span of users is less than 8 seconds, developers should get their ideas across quickly. Furthermore, most successful apps always strive to provide users the instant gratification that they crave. But to make these types of apps, it’s vital to understand the entire process.

It all begins with a rock-solid idea that has been conceived after planning your app on paper. Team members should be encouraged to share their app design ideas, which should include ‘must-have’ and ‘nice-to-have’ features. Then, you should create a Minimum Viable Product (MVP) that’s a stripped-down version of the final product. Moreover, you can create a prototype that lacks all the bells and whistles but showcases basic functionality.

Once you have a functioning app up and running, you’ll want to focus on its visual elements. The work you put into your User Interface (UI) and User Experience (UX) will go a long way in differentiating your app. If you’re fortunate enough to have talented designers on your team, then they can create stunning icons, menus, and screens. Also, they can alter existing templates and recompose them so that they seem custom-made.

If you don’t have designers on hand or aren’t confident in making a compelling app, then we recommend hiring an experienced developer. NS804 can help to make all your ideas come to life while also assisting in other key areas. Don’t forget to do market research before launching. By knowing what users want, you can add those unique features that differentiate your app from the competition.

Lastly, you should always study user feedback and make changes, whenever necessary, to keep them engaged. Several good ways to gain user insight is through interviews and surveys. Then, update your app regularly and ensure that you’re delivering the changes and features that they want.

3. The Right Template Is Already Professional

App builders have become commonplace in recent years. They make it easy to build apps for small businesses and other organizations using drag-and-drop wizards and templates. However, they’re not always the ideal solution, especially in light of Apple’s 2017 ban on low-quality templates. Ensure that all your cool app design ideas don’t go to waste by meeting the requirements set forth by the platform holders.

Apart from not being spammy, your app’s built-in features and UX design should serve specific businesses or needs. If you’ve sourced high-quality templates that scale perfectly to different screen sizes, then you’re on the right track. But it’s also necessary to consider the use cases of various templates as well. For example, it’s never a good idea to use a template meant for restaurant apps when you’re making a fitness studio app.

Users and platform holders prefer a clean and uncluttered look for the current generation of apps. Not only does this enhance usability, but it’s also more aesthetically pleasing. The good news is that it’s reasonably easy to find pre-made templates that comply with this minimalist design language. Moreover, it’s possible for any experienced designer to alter these templates to better fit your app and UX design.

4. Use Templates To Get App Design Ideas

Coming up with the latest great idea for your upcoming app may seem difficult. Fortunately, there are several handy tools to help you draw up and visualize your app in record time. Microsoft’s Web and Mobile Wireframe Templates make it possible to design your next app with a few mouse clicks. These templates are generic so that it’s easy to implement changes without much guesswork.

A few of the starter templates include Company Wireframe Diagram, E-Commerce Wireframe Diagram, List Wireframe Diagram, Media Wireframe Diagram, User Profile Wireframe Diagram, Wireframe – Mobile App, and Wireframe – Website. These will help you get started quickly, as they cover the most common use cases for mobile and web apps.

One of the tool’s most useful features is its ability to display templates on different web browsers and devices. Without a doubt, this allows you and your team to conceive app ideas while having a clear picture of what they’ll look like on the target platform. Even if you can’t come up with ideas at first, manipulating these templates will help you get your creative juices flowing.

Final Thoughts

App design templates can help reduce the cost and time it takes to produce apps. But these must be professionally made templates that will look good on various devices and display sizes. Furthermore, they must comply with the requirements set out by platform holders to avoid bans. With our many years of experience in app development, NS804 can help you achieve professional results for your next mobile app.

Mobile App Usage During COVID-19: Mobile Apps Seeing a Surge in User Base

COVID-19 And The Surge In Mobile App Usage

In March of 2020 the world began a period of rapid change. The COVID-19 pandemic swept over the globe, and society all over the world felt its impact. Not only that, but shortly after the onset of the pandemic, domestic turmoil erupted as well. With COVID-19 running rampant through cities and states all over the country, things shut down quickly. Additionally, unemployment rates began to skyrocket as businesses shut their doors to customers. Others still would transition to a fully-remote work environment. With businesses shut down, and the majority of people stuck inside, mobile app usage saw a massive surge.

The huge surge in work-from-home positions was just one of the significant shifts that the pandemic began. As companies realized it was no longer safe for employees to come into the office, those same businesses had to make adjustments to stay afloat in our new society. In order to keep operations running, many businesses got creative and found ways to serve their customers remotely.

Mobile App Usage Stats

In fact, in the second quarter of 2020 business app usage saw a massive increase of 220% compared to quarter four of 2019 in the United States. India, however, saw an even greater increase of 450% over the same time period. The significant increase in businesses app usage points toward a general trend in the way that businesses will be operating for the foreseeable future.

Businesses aren’t the only ones to see a huge increase in mobile app usage, however. In the last three months, July, August, and September, mobile app users spent 180 million hours on apps. The huge surge in mobile app usage is universal. In other words, it isn’t just businesses, or customers in a certain demographic that are spending more time on mobile apps.

Rather, it seems that the entirety of the mobile app market is experiencing one of the greatest volume-increases in history. Certainly, while some trends are just that, a trending phase or fad, the increase in the mobile app market seems like it’s going to be more sustainable than other phases.

This is because of two main reasons. The first is that the affects of the COVID-19 pandemic are going to stretch far into the future. The second is simply the versatility of the market. From enterprise level apps that businesses use to conduct operations, to educational apps that are powering remote learning, and of course, even the silly mobile-app games that provide people with a sense of community in these dismal times.

Capitalize On The Surge

While the onset of the mobile-app surge has already come and gone, the massive uptick in mobile app usage is here to stay. Now is a better time than ever to start taking your ideas for a mobile app from concept to reality.

NS804 is the mobile app developer of the ever day person. As such, we’re dedicated to making mobile app development services more accessible than ever before. Visit NS804 today and get in touch with the mobile app developer of tomorrow.

“After” COVID-19 – Preparing My Company for The Next Pandemic

Learning From COVID-19

2020, if nothing else, has been a year full of change and lessons. Additionally, 2020 brought about a ton pof changes. Changes that businesses and consumers had to adapt to. Shortly after the onset of the pandemic many companies closed their doors. Other businesses still reduced their capacity significantly. However, the largest trend to emerge from 2020 is the move toward a remote working environment. Some organizations were ahead of the curve with their pandemic prep.

Companies need to prepare for the rest of the pandemic. Not only that, organizations also need to look ahead toward the next pandemic. Taking from the lessons learned from COVID-19.

Looking Beyond The COVID-19 Pandemic

The COVID-19 pandemic is far from over. Companies are still trying to recover from broken supply chains amongst other things. Not only that, but the global market is under an incredible amount of stress. Simultaneously, companies are still coping and managing social distancing practices. Ultimately, that limits the amount of business they can serve at any given time.

However, it’s never too late to prepare for the next storm.

Many companies have had to find new ways to operate. In many instances this has included shifting toward a remote-working environment. Working remotely has become the norm of 2020. As such, companies need to prioritize the various aspects that make it possible for businesses to function remotely.

One of the ways to do this is to equip employees with the proper software and hardware. This allows employees to run modern software and applications. Another vital element is communication. Robust communication channels empower staff members.

Without proper internal communication deadlines are missed, projects fall off track, and collaboration collapses. The result is subpar performance, and a culture that allows for miscommunications regularly.

Other Solutions

Beyond shifting to a virtual environment and a remote-working world, companies have continued to be creative in finding new solutions. In a time where companies are facing many unique and specific challenges, custom applications have started to emerge as source of many solutions.

Now more than ever before, companies are turning to AI and custom enterprise applications in order to collect and manage data on a larger scale. Not only will data related activities happen on a larger scale, but they will also occur in a more efficient manner. Bringing your business into the modern world means adjusting to the new playing field.

Understanding that the COVID-19 pandemic is far from over, and that another pandemic could very well hit us down the road, now is the time to start preparing for an entirely digital experience.

Going Totally Digital For The Next Pandemic

The customer experience of tomorrow is completely digital. With more businesses transitioning into remote working environments, and turning to custom mobile apps, and AI based solutions for data management and collection, the economy is recognizing the reality of this pandemic, and the next one.

NS804 is the mobile app developer of the everyday person, and is dedicated to making mobile app development services more accessible than ever before. Visit NS804 today to get in touch with a mobile app developer and start turning your idea into reality.

Understanding The Application Lifecycle

Application Lifecycle Management

There is a beginning to everything. In fact, nothing comes into existence out of nothingness. The universe, for instance, as we understand, came to be through a massive eruption of energy known to science as the big-bang. While the creation of an application may not begin with a universal eruption, its conception is thrilling all the same. Whether this is your first-ever application, or your thousandth, understanding application lifecycle management will boost your workflow and elevate your efficiency from the start.

There are three main aspects of application lifecycle management (ALM). Those three aspects are:

  • Governance
  • Development and Deployment
  • Maintenance

These are the different phases of an application from start to finish. The first two phases are definite, while the last is ongoing. In other words, once the app is live – there will always be ongoing maintenance activities to perform.

Having a strong grasp of application lifecycle management builds innate value into the business. This value emerges in the workflow, processes, and procedures all associated with application development. By understanding the application lifecycle, developers implement best-practices and industry standards into their design process, therefore boosting efficiency, and resulting in higher quality applications.

Governance

Governance is the very first phase that begins the journey of an application. As soon as the app is conceptualized, the governance phase has begun. Governance, in this context, isn’t referring to the laws and rules of a nation. In a similar sense, however, governance in the context of app development refers to defining core aspects of the application.

The elements that need to be defined in the governance phase of the application lifecycle management include a spectrum from function, to logic, and framework. In other words, this is the phase in which designers are able to verbally identify the various pathways, functions, and workflows.

Having an idea of how the application is going to flow and function is crucial to entering the next phase of ALM. A good way to think about the governance phase of the application lifecycle is to imagine it as a blueprint. The blueprint informs the construction crew on how to actually raise the structure, the dimensions of the individual pieces, and how they all fit together.

In the same vein, the governance phase of the application lifecycle should result in an easy-to-follow development roadmap.

Development & Deployment in the Application Lifecycle

This is the phase following governance. Development and deployment are actually two halves to the whole. Development is the first piece in this phase. The development phase is where the application is actually built.

Additionally, there is a third aspect to development and deployment that impacts both phases: consumer and market testing. Testing is a not a formal phase of the application lifecycle management however, it is nonetheless critical to delivering applications that are of value and that consumers desire.

Delving Into Development

There are many aspects of the development phase. As such, this is arguably the most crucial phase in ALM. Since the development phase is equivalent to the actual construction phase in real estate development. In other words, developers are laying the foundation for the app. A strong foundation provides the platform for a well-designed and successful app.

Developers have more on their plate than mere function however. App development teams task themselves with the visual design and work-flow of the application in addition to the functionality and usability. Once developers reach a certain level of baseline functionality, the application starts to enter the next half of this phase: testing and deployment.

Testing

The first round of development yields an MVP: minimum viable product. Firms and developers use MVP’s as samples of the end-product in order to gain additional consumer insight. Companies use this insight to make important decisions on how to finish the development phase.

In market-testing, consumers are asked about multiple aspects of the app. These aspects range from the aesthetic and color-scheme, to the actual function and usability of the app.

After the focus groups and market-testing, the MVP returns to the developers with loads of notes, comments, and real consumer input. Developers use this invaluable insight in order to finish the build of the application and deliver a functional app that solves real consumer issues.

While it’s unwise to spend too long on any single phase of the application lifecycle, testing is certainly not an area to start cutting corners. Using focus groups and market-testing delivers immense value to the final development of the application. As such, these activities should actually be supplemented, if anything, in order to test the MVP on multiple demographics.

Deployment

At this point, the application, its function and workflow, and its usability have been defined. The core build is tested, and the final development, influenced by consumer input andmarketing test-groups, is complete. Finally, the sweet fruit of the labor is in reach, and the application lifecycle nears its final stage.

The deployment of an application upon its completion is certainly not the most laborious of the phases, however it is very fickle. Firms need to start developing their deployment strategy in the early steps of the governance phase. This is because the governance phase will help dictate and define the proper channels of deployment to utilize.

The testing phases will also contribute to developing the deployment strategy, as it will offer real insight into where consumers want to find the application, and how they will use it. Speaking to the core values of your main target-demographics, and ensuring that they have easy access to your application are crucial to releasing a successful application that draws consumers inward.

Ongoing Maintenance

Ongoing application maintenance is crucial to user-retention and future user-acquisition. The application marketplace is already supersaturated with options for the consumer. As such, user-acquisition and user-retention are already hyper-competitive areas. User retention is especially important because it forms the regular user-base for the application.

Since a robust regular user-base is one of the most valuable commodities in the application market, maintaining this user-base is critical to longevity. This is, in part, due to how fickle user-ship is in the application market. Users are prone to jump to a competitor with a strongeruser-experience after a single negative interaction with an application.

This type of rapid turn-over puts a strong emphasis on user-loyalty. Beyond that, if applications are left unmaintained and unattended to, their functionality will deteriorate, their security protocols will begin to weaken, and users will swiftly abandon ship.

The Benefits of Application Lifecycle Management

The application lifecycle begins with ideation and governance, moves through development, testing and deployment, and ends with on-going maintenance. Developing applications by putting them through these different phases occurs naturally. However, identifying the phases and understanding how they relate to one another allows companies to build stronger and more efficient workflows.

Firms cancustomize the workflow to fit their specific needs, while still adhering to best-practices and industry-recognized standards. Following through on the phases and their associated actions ensures that released applications are thoroughly vetted, and ready for mass use.

Look no further than NS804 for help developing and supplementing your firm’s ALM practices. NS804 is the mobile app developer of the everyday person. As such, NS804 commits to making mobile app development services more accessible than ever before. For anything related to mobile app development, visitNS804 today.