Posts

Is Your App High Risk To Warrant A Minimum Viable Product (MVP)?

Deciding on whether to develop a minimum viable product or a full-fledged app can be difficult. As an appreneur, you’ll need to take a hard look at your project and determine whether an MVP is worthwhile. Below, we provide a few handy tips to help you make the right decision.

1. Determine Whether A Minimum Viable Product Is Right For You

In many cases, it’s usually smart to develop a minimum viable product instead of a full-fledged app. And this is often the way to go if you’re a startup that needs to stick to a budget and mitigate risk. However, it’s also likely that an MVP may not be right for you in specific cases.

If you’re developing something simple, such as a to-do list or note-taking app, then consider if an MVP is the sensible choice. After all, an app with such limited functionality and scope already fits within the confines of an MVP. But there’s a difference; an MVP can be scaled into a larger project at a later stage after testing the market.

2. Are Your App Ideas Truly High Risk?

You could position your startup as an innovator and trailblazer that makes unique apps. And if you’re indeed creating new and unique apps, then it’s likely that your risk is higher too. In that case, you’ll want to develop an MVP to test your app ideas and appeal to investors.

But if you’re not veering away from the well-trodden path and playing it safe, your app’s unlikely high risk. Furthermore, it will be harder to excite users with an app that’s not much different than existing alternatives.

3. Why You Should Implement Good App Design

A side benefit of developing an MVP is that it helps your team hone their app design skills. And a few areas that will improve include the following:

  • Gaining a better understanding of the product and the resources required to complete it
  • Accelerate the team’s understanding of the client’s needs and enhance iteration and delivery
  • Significantly reduce time to market (TTM)
  • Gain a competitive advantage over rivals entering the same market

However, developers need to understand what they’re trying to achieve with a minimum viable product. They’ll need to build a vertical slice encompassing emotional design, usability, reliability, and functionality. And never a horizontal slice across only one of these key elements.

4. How To Develop An MVP Successfully

As we mentioned earlier, an MVP is the sensible choice when embarking on a project that’s high risk. So, you’ll want to tackle it in a manner that leads to a successful outcome. Your minimum viable product should be a usable product, even with its minimal functionality. It should never end up as a demo, feel incomplete, or be meant only to gather feedback from users.

Furthermore, your team should be capable of using the right tools for making and releasing an MVP. They should implement analytics and a robust feedback pipeline for gaining insight into user engagement and responses.

5. Consider The Costs Of Developing An MVP

Depending on the size and complexity of your MVP, it can cost between $25,000 to $100,000. That’s a significant amount of money that could go towards your advertising and marketing endeavors instead. Therefore, it’s vital that you’ve done marketing research and determined what pain points you’re addressing before embarking on your MVP. Then, ensure that you build a community around your app and that you listen to user feedback.

Given the challenges and amount of work required to complete an MVP successfully, it’s best to work with a professional studio. Contact us today to learn how NS804 can help you develop an engaging MVP with brilliant app design.

7 Steps To Build An Android MVP App

Are you sitting on the fence of whether or not to build an Android MVP? Given the global proliferation of Android smartphones and other devices, it makes sense to support the platform. But it’s also a platform that’s harder to develop for than iOS, making some developers balk at the thought. While Android development does have its fair share of quirks, it’s still worth supporting in the long run. Follow these 7 steps to build an Android MVP app and reach users around the world.

1. Why You Need An Android MVP App

The market for Android apps is dynamic and ever-growing. Unlike Apple’s tightly locked iOS ecosystem, Android is truly open. While most users download their Android apps from Google Play, that’s not the only choice available to them. Popular Android digital storefronts such as Amazon AppStore, Aptoide, and GetJar are several good alternatives. And smartphone manufacturers such as Huawei and Samsung have their brand-specific app stores, namely: Huawei AppGallery and Samsung Galaxy Apps.

Also, the Android platform makes it easy to sideload apps, allowing users to download and install apps from any source, including directly from the developer’s website. Undoubtedly, all these storefronts give developers ample opportunities to leverage their apps and grow their respective audiences further. Moreover, these storefronts make the perfect testing ground to try out new app ideas.

What all this means is that you should be developing an Android MVP if you’re targeting this platform. An MVP will allow you to reduce your costs and risks by focussing strictly on essential features. Then, you can test the viability of your ideas on a variety of markets and audiences. And once you receive feedback and analyze all relevant data points, you can then iterate your app MVP accordingly.

2. iOS MVP Example Takeaways

While Android’s a platform that every app developer should consider supporting, we have a few takeaways regarding iOS. From recent findings, iOS apps have higher engagement and retention rates. Furthermore, iOS users buy more purchasable apps and spend more on in-app purchases than Android users. And from a developer’s standpoint, it’s usually a faster and smoother process to develop and test iOS apps. Thus, iOS is better suited for creating an app MVP in most cases.

And to give you a brief idea about what this entails, let’s go over an iOS MVP example. NS804 developed Brew Trader, which is an app aimed at craft beer enthusiasts. The app helps them track down fellow aficionados located nearby and trade bottles in an efficient manner.

To develop this app, we set out to make our MVP ideation as simple as possible. While we initially listed down plenty of cool ideas, we eventually narrowed these down to the most relevant. The Brew Trader MVP ended up with three screens: a map showing bottle locations and the latest offers, a user profile, and a messenger so that users can DM each other. We built this MVP using the modern Swift programming language and by implementing a view controller design pattern.

3. Start With A Clear Purpose

One lesson that the above iOS MVP example offers us is that having a clear purpose is vital. As we’ve already revealed, Beer Trader is a simple and incredibly focused app. And that’s what defines most of the best and successful apps in the marketplace.

Before embarking on Android MVP development, you’ll need to ask yourself what problem you’re trying to solve. Ideally, you’ll come up with a no-frills solution that solves this one problem exceptionally well. Never try to solve many problems in your MPV, as it will lack direction and suffer feature creep.

4. Define Your Audience

We’ve mentioned how Android’s wide variety of storefronts make it easy to target a large audience beyond Google Play. However, audiences vary widely from storefront to storefront, and they all have different expectations. For example, Amazon AppStore users are more accustomed to purchasing apps and games in particular. But that’s not true for Aptoide users, who predominantly seek free apps without any geo-restrictions. On top of that, Google Play’s audience is incredibly diverse given the popularity of the platform.

So, what’s a busy Android developer to do? As always, you’ll want to keep things as simple as possible. Don’t try to target all these users and stick to one or two app stores initially. If you’re developing a premium app with in-app purchases, it makes sense to target Google Play and possibly Amazon AppStore users.

But you’ll need to narrow down your target audience even further. Perhaps you’re creating a VR architectural visualization app that depicts Brutalist architecture. In that case, you’ll want to target architects and designers based in Canada, the Czech Republic, the USA, the UK, Russia, Serbia, and Sweden, where this type of architecture is prominent.

5. Think About What To Scale Back

Scaling back and finding your true minimum is one of the most important things you can do. But you should be careful, as you don’t want your Android MVP to be so devoid of features that it becomes useless. Aim for the least amount of features but ensure that they all work flawlessly. Be sure to implement or retain all core functionality relevant to your app and avoid or remove any fluff. While there are no guarantees, most users will find such an app valuable.

6. Create A Detailed Explainer

Clients, users, and stakeholders will want to know what your app MVP is all about. This presents the perfect opportunity to create a detailed explainer. Carefully lay out your plans, even if they don’t all make it into the MVP. Also, consider adding a roadmap so that your audience knows what you have planned in the months ahead. And use video, especially if your MVP relies heavily on graphics and other visual elements.

7. Design The UI and UX

You’ve worked hard on creating the logic for your app, so don’t skimp on the design work either. Ensure that you’re following best practices and guides aimed at Android developers. As you go about building your user interface (UI), consider how your app bar, bubbles, dialog windows, menus, pop-up messages, and other UI elements work together. Ultimately, you want a clean and cohesive UI that flows naturally. And look closely at engagement and usability, as these correlate with your MVP’s user experience (UX).

8. Choose Your Language

A key benefit of Android development is that you can choose from several programming languages to create your project. Most developers will probably go with Java since this is the official language of the platform. However, in recent years, Kotlin has been gaining popularity since it’s similar but easier than Java.

For game developers, C++ is an apt choice, especially when optimal performance is essential. But Unity that uses the C# language has become a popular option amongst cross-platform and mobile game developers. And for simpler 2D games where performance isn’t a big concern, JavaScript and LUA are valid options.

9. Create A Testing Group

Try to create a community that backs your app as early as possible. Even if you only manage to gain a small following early on, these users can be invaluable. Entice them with competitions and insider early access initiatives to test your app. Then, set up a robust feedback pipeline so that these users can conveniently share their thoughts with your team. Keep track of all this feedback and ensure that your team makes the necessary iterations. Finally, always thank and credit your users for all their contributions.

In Conclusion

Developing for Android can be a challenging yet rewarding experience. However, it’s possible to overcome the more challenging aspects of the platform by following these 7 steps. Contact us today to find out how NS804 can make your next Android app simply amazing.

How To Become The Next Big Appreneur

Steps To Take Toward Becoming The Next Big Appreneur

The next big idea is already out there. However, that doesn’t mean it’s realized yet. Rather, just that it exists. And with the right home, it could blossom into a world-changing concept. Innovators, inventors, and appreneurs alike dream big, and reach for the stars. Don’t lose hope, though. On the contrary, this should inspire you, push you to join the statement-makers and trend-setters and leave your mark on the world in the form of the next game-changing application as the next big appreneur.

Most of the greats start from humble beginnings. This is the same for mobile app developers and programmers as well, and to become the next great appreneur, it serves well to start at the very beginning: research. Research and data are two of the strongest tools in the toolbox of an appreneur. No matter the development phase. To get get on the right track to becoming the next big appreneur, here are some tricks of the trade to master.

Developing Effective MVP’s Quickly and Efficiently

Developing an MVP should be one of the first app development phases that you study and work to master. Unlike in sports, MVP in the world of application development stands for Minimum Viable Product. MVP’s are undoubtedly one of the most integral ingredients to recruiting interest in an application, and securing funding. As such, having a process in place to develop MVP’s quickly and efficiently will lead to a higher percentage of your application development projects taking off.

MVP’s are the first comprehensive representation of what an application will be. Therefore, they’re essentially responsible for the first impression that your application leaves on potential partners and other interested parties.

Be a Wise Appreneur – Only Work With Trusted Agencies

While some development firms take on the entirety of a development project, it isn’t often the case. More common, though, is the combination of internal and external developers working in concert. With that level of collaboration on development projects, trust is absolutely vital. Surely, trust is vital in any relationship, but this is especially true when it comes to business partnerships.

Working with trusted agencies for external development purposes protects your firm from a slew of liability. Shady development firms could leave you with an application that’s simply riddled with bugs. Furthermore, freelancers or under-reviewed development agencies may even falsely advertise the level of their programming and application development skills, wasting valuable time and resources both.

Know The In’s and Out’s of The App-Stores

Research, research, research. It was already mentioned earlier that data and research are two of a developers best friends. This is certainly the case when it comes to understanding the app-stores and your applications placement within them. The app-stores are real-time marketplaces that almost live in a bubble outside the rest of the economy. Operating with a completely different set of metrics and KPI’s than would be seen in certain more traditional markets.

Therefore, dedicating time and committing to learning the in’s and out’s of the app-store in depth will help you in placing and marketing your application. Ultimately, helping you climb the ranks as one of the influential appreneurs of today. Beyond understanding some of the current trends of the users in the app-stores, there are other metrics to look for as well when conducting app-store research.

Importantly, developers want to pay attention to the algorithms that app-stores are using. Now, these algorithms are hardly ever going to be publicly available, but if your development team can find some patterns, this too will lead to a higher rate of success on building the popularity of your applications in the app-stores, and therefore the popularity of your brand and development firm.

Be An Original Appreneur Or Risk Bad Press

As a true inventor, innovator, or appreneur, it takes more than just regurgitating what already works and what’s already popular. Rather, it takes a new and fresh approach to things. A re-invention of current technology or a spark of imagination that leads to something entirely brand new. While it makes sense that a lot of mobile app developers and appreneurs would seek to recreate the success of others. Afterall, thi is often how companies are built in other industries as well; one business person sees a way to improve upon something another business is doing and alters the methodology or the business model, and voila.

As an appreneur, however, the market is too saturated for this, and rather than helping build your reputation as the next great appreneur, it could lead to a slight setback in your path toward successful apprenurship. Especially if it’s viewed as a simple copy-and-paste approach.

Pay a Close Watch to New Mobile App Development Trends

This goes hand-in-hand with the earlier section about conducting in depth research into the mobile app-stores. While earlier we discussed the benefit of watching the mobile-app stores and letting your team attempt to decipher the algorithm, here we delve into users. Understanding the users that make up the mobile app store communities will yield impactful insights that are sure to help you and your firm market applications more successfully.

Gaining insight into the latest mobile app development trends will help your team in many ways. One way is by ensuring you’re building apps with features and designs to which users respond positively. Another way this helps is by reducing the bounce rate of users in your app. That’s an important metric, because it speaks to the sustainability and loyalty of your user base.

New Device Features

Each year our smart-devices are getting smarter. As an application-developer then, it’s vital to make sure you’re aware of all the latest device features. Since new features on the smart-devices themselves often lead to interesting, unique, and innovative new ideas for applications. Therefore, make sure your programming and development teams are all up to speed when it comes to what’s available on the latest smart-applications.

Take this a step further and encourage your team to start working on pitches for new applications based on new device features as soon as they’re reported.

App Review Research – In Your Niche Market

It really can’t be stressed enough how important accurate and current research is to app developers. Going back once again to understanding how to leverage the app-store, development firms can learn a lot from app-reviews on other applications in their same niche. This activity offers double-the-insight as well, since most of the applications in your niche market will also be direct competitors.

In other words, by actively researching reviews on applications in your niche market, your team can gain valuable insight. Insights such as, mistakes that competitors are making, what features customers are asking for, and what users like about existing apps.

Master Marketing – Pre-Launch, Launch, and Post Launch

Marketing has long been the pillar of a strong company. Understanding how to position products or services among the competition is an art. For an appreneur, this means learning how to market your application from concept to launch, and beyond. No matter the industry, marketing is truly a skill, and market trends are in constant flux. Become a master of marketing, and it’ll only be a matter of time until you’re the next big appreneur.

For more information on how to become the next appreneur, keep browsing the library of NS804. NS804 is the mobile app developer of the everyday person.

How Much Does It Cost To Build A MVP

Ever wondered how much it costs to build a MVP? We answer that question in more detail below and demystify the process of developing a compelling app MVP. Furthermore, we provide a few tips on some of the pitfalls you should avoid.

1. Why The DIY Option Costs More

You’ve decided to build an app MVP but still pondering whether to do it yourself. You may think it will cost you nothing or very little if you forego freelancers or professional development companies. But have you thought about how much your own time is worth? Do you have the technical skills to build a MVP efficiently and complete it on time? And have you considered all the costs associated with designing, developing, releasing, testing, and analyzing data of your MVP?

A competent freelance developer will likely charge you between $ 4,000 to $ 6,000, while a development company will charge you between $ 5,000 to $ 35,000, depending on the complexity of your project. It’s unlikely that you’ll finish your project at a lower price, especially if you don’t have any prior experience.

2. Why Build A MVP Using Professionals

Even if you’ve built an MVP before, you benefit immensely by working with a professional development team. Not only will you have peace of mind that your project will be completed on time, but your MVP will comply with best practices. However, you’ll need to be vigilant about your user testing and quality assurance (QA) processes.

Ensure that your development team is fully collaborating with you throughout the entire development process. And ensure that they’re regularly testing your MVP and that they’re consistently collecting and analyzing data. The last thing you want is the unfortunate scenario where users lose trust in a technology that seemed promising.

3. How To Scale Back An App MVP

You’re likely targeting a niche market with your app MVP. And users in niche markets tend to be early adopters looking for solutions that solve specific problems. Thus, you won’t need all the bells and whistles to attract these users. Instead, focus on the bare minimum of features that your users will find beneficial to save on development costs.

4. How Long Does It Take To Build A MVP

It usually takes between two to four months to develop an MVP. But it can take longer if you’re creating a more complex application. And in most cases, you’ll spend the bulk of your development time building all your back-end systems. Therefore, ensure that your development team has the necessary skills to handle such tasks to avoid unforeseen delays.

5. Why An App MVP Saves You Money Overall

Developing and marketing a mobile application costs a substantial amount of money. But it’s always a huge risk releasing such an application, especially if you haven’t ascertained if it will be successful. That’s why building an MVP makes sense since it allows you to test out your ideas and gather user feedback at a fraction of the cost of a full-fledged application. If your MVP gains traction and receives positive feedback from users, you can entice investors to help you scale your app.

Contact us today to learn how NS804 can help you build a MVP that engages users and impresses investors.

Perfecting Your MVP Pitch

Crafting The Perfect Pitch For Your MVP

Businesses do not start from nothing. No, rather, a business forms from a thought. Sometimes, a single thought that undergoes nurturing and care until it’s a full-blown business operation. Think about Steve Jobs starting the behemoth that is Apple out of his garage. That’s some all-star thought-nourishment. As with any venture, a vital step is taking that thought, and turning it into a tangible prototype. This is the epicenter of an MVP when it comes to app development.

Designing a prototype that exemplifies the core concepts and values that your idea offers is integral to gaining traction; not only with investors and potential partners but with users as well.

The Ins and Outs of an MVP

MVP stands for minimum viable product. However, an easy way to think about MVPs is like they are the prototype of the application market. In that way, they share many of the same responsibilities and functions that a prototype serves in other industries. For example, MVPs often contain core components of the ultimate design, function, and user experience so that investors and potential partners can get an idea of how your app will deliver its value to the end-user. Now, that’s an extremely important word when it comes to MVPs – ‘value’.

The value-proposition is what should really drive the development of your MVP. When asking yourself or your team which elements need to be included in the MVP, consider which components you would regard as a core aspect of the value proposition. Asking and answering this question acts as a guide that yields a well-crafted MVP that contains the core aspects of your application and demonstrates the value that it will bring to users.

Building Value With Investors and Partners

Investors and potential partners are often akin to NFL coaches in a sense when it comes to “seeing it on the field”. In other words, ideas and potential are just that until they’re proven and tangible. This is what an MVP offers to your investors – the proof they need to sign on the dotted line and hand over the rest of those start-up funds. Plus, by having an MVP to show to interested parties and partners your team will be generating more buzz around the exciting new project that’s being developed.

Doubling down on this point, an MVP should also contain aspects of the user experience and design intentions. This will give investors a more immersive sense of what to expect from the final product, which keeps everyone aligned to the same value proposition and expectations.

Pitch Tips and Tricks

There are many pitching techniques and sales strategies that developers and programmers use. However, the most potent strategy in delivering an impactful MVP pitch is the integrity of the MVP and the value-proposition themselves. A strong MVP speaks for itself.

Wrapping Up on MVPs

The minimum viable product, or MVP, is an extremely important aspect of the application development world to grasp and master. For more information on MVPs or anything else related to app development; continue browsing NS804. NS804 is the proud app developer of the everyday person.

How A Minimum Viable Product Helps You Identify Opportunities

Building a minimum viable product (MVP) is a smart move. Not only will it help you identify opportunities, but provide valuable insight into what your users truly want. And if you plan your MVP carefully, you’ll complete it successfully while keeping your development costs low.

1. The Minimum Viable Product Is A Powerful Tool In Your Arsenal

Every smart appreneur or enterprise takes advantage of the most effective tools available to them. Such a tool is the minimum viable product, which helps determine whether or not an app will be successful. Since an MVP is far cheaper and quicker to develop than a full-featured app, it’s a less risky option. The developer only focuses on the bare minimum features and tries to solve a problem that app users face.

But even with this reduced cost and risk, it’s vital to treat MVP development seriously. Don’t be self-indulgent with your ideas or implement trendy concepts that don’t align with what’s best for your business. An MVP is supposed to reveal whether users find your app appealing while you gather analytical data and feedback. Moreover, this MVP should diminish fears and concerns from investors and stakeholders about the prospects of your upcoming project.

2. Carefully Plan Your MVP To Reduce Development Costs

Before commencing with your minimum viable product, you’ll need to assess various factors. Firstly, understand what’s best for your business and what your long-term goals are for the app. Secondly, map out how app users will find your app and what pain points they may experience. Thirdly, decide on which features to prioritize based on the pain points and opportunities your target users present.

Use a prioritization matrix to help you determine which features to implement and which to leave out. Implement high impact and high urgency features while leaving out or revisiting low impact and low urgency features. By doing this, you’ll reduce development costs by building an MVP that strictly delivers the bare essentials.

3. Understand The Project Management Methodologies

From the most successful mobile app developers to elite business schools, the MVP has become indispensable. Undoubtedly, it can yield phenomenal results, provided it’s used for the right reasons and not as a panacea. That’s why it’s vital to understand project management methodologies, especially when running a lean startup enterprise. As an appreneur, mobile app developer, or even a business releasing its first app, you should have a handle on Agile practices.

Nowadays, many developers utilize the Agile methodology for delivering their products to app users quickly. But quick doesn’t mean bad, as Agile requires that each developer’s code is tested and passes code review before it’s added to the main branch. Furthermore, the development team will regularly engage the community and deliver updates continuously.

4. Your MVP Will Let You Know What App Users Want

Once you’ve released your minimum viable product, your users will start using it and give their feedback. Of course, you should be encouraging reviews and be engaging with users on as many channels as possible. You should also set up an analytics pipeline to effectively collect and analyze user data. All this information will let you know if you’ve created an MVP that’s worth scaling into a full-featured app.

And while developing an MVP may be less risky, this doesn’t mean that you should attempt it alone. For the best results, partner with an experienced development company that will help release your app within budget. Contact us today to learn how NS804 can assist you in creating MVPs that will appeal to new users.

When Should You Create A New App Versus Updating Apps?

When deliberating over updating apps versus creating an entirely new app, appreneurs face a serious dilemma. Will updating their existing apps continue to excite users, or will a new app take their business to the next level? We take a deeper look at both and answer several questions that you may have.

1. Should You Ever Stop Updating An Old App?

There are several reasons why you’ll want to stop updating an old app. For one, it’s so old that the user base has dwindled significantly, and it’s no longer feasible to provide updates. Secondly, it doesn’t run well on newer hardware, and an app update won’t take advantage of modern chipsets. Thirdly, your codebase has become bloated and unmaintainable that your app would benefit from a complete rewrite.

Of course, there’s always a risk that you’ll disappoint your loyal users if you stop supporting a much-loved app. Ensure that you don’t alienate these users by communicating that you’ll create an entirely new and improved app that will replace the older app. And make it easy for them to move to the new app via an effective onboarding process.

If you’ve invested heavily in an older app, it’s not necessary to abandon it. You can still refactor the codebase and keep releasing it to your existing customers. But even if you do a complete rewrite of your app, you can still launch it with the same bundle ID and app name, and your users would get it.

2. Is Updating Apps More Time Consuming Than Starting Over?

If you’re working with an experienced development team, then updating apps shouldn’t take much time. The team should regularly provide minor and major updates throughout the year to keep these apps relevant. And these updates will take the form of additional content, bug fixes, enhanced functionality, new monetization options, platform compliance, and security patches, to name a few.

However, it’s important to mention that it takes several weeks for Apple’s App Store and Google Play to approve bug fixes and updates. A competent team will make several fixes before submitting a revised app to the stores. Thus, saving valuable time and ensuring that users have the most up-to-date app available.

3. Are Your New App Design Ideas Limited By Old Code?

Whether we like it or not, a piece of software will always face obsolescence at some point. No matter how advanced and innovative your app is, it’ll become obsolete eventually.

For example, you may want to implement new app design ideas that take advantage of the bigger screen real estate of foldable phones. But your older apps were designed for smartphones with single and smaller screens. You decide to roll out an update that resizes your app for foldable phones, but users complain that it feels shoehorned and that the User Interface (UI) doesn’t feel native to their phones or that the User Experience (UX) doesn’t feel quite right.

You may be able to implement these new features with an app update. If you’re refactoring your codebase and following software best practices, then you should be able to make the necessary changes. However, if this isn’t the best solution, consider rewriting your app to take advantage of the latest smartphone features.

4. How Often Are Users Updating Apps?

Every time you release an app update, ensure that you’re monitoring how often your users are updating your app. Why this is so important is because it tells you if users are still interested in your app. If they’re not regularly updating, then it’s likely that interest is waning.

Furthermore, you must gather and analyze user feedback to determine what users truly want. Perhaps, they’ve grown tired of your app, as it no longer provides them with features they find valuable. Or your app’s lagging behind competing offerings, and you’ll need to create an entirely new app to remain relevant.

5. Is A New App More Profitable Than Updating?

It largely depends if your app can retain user interest over a long period. Consider the costs associated with updating your app every year, which is approximately 20% of your initial development costs. Within five years, you would’ve spent about as much on updating an existing app as you would on a new app.

If an existing app can retain profitability over five years or more, then updating makes sense. But if an app doesn’t retain a sizable user base over this period to ensure its profitability, it’s better to create a new app. Moreover, you’ll likely attract more potential users and expand your user base with a new app, provided you also properly market and promote it.

Another side benefit of releasing an entirely new application is for listing purposes in the app stores. When you launch an app for the first time, it will get listed in the ‘what’s new’ section. Inevitably, this will enhance your app’s visibility and help you draw new users that you could never reach before.

6. Did A Major App Update Perform Well Or Not?

A major app update will increase brand loyalty as long as you provide users with the features they want. But it can also go horribly wrong if you’re not careful. When you’re implementing additional functionality, this inevitably increases your costs. Ideally, you’ll want to monetize these extra features, especially if users find these valuable. However, it’s also possible that users don’t want to pay for these features, meaning that you won’t see a meaningful ROI.

7. Can You Transfer User Settings To A New App Easily?

Do keep in mind that there are often compatibility issues when attempting to run older apps on new hardware. But compatibility issues don’t end there. If an older app uses a different file format from a new app, transferring user settings will prove difficult.

Of course, a competent developer will offer a workaround that allows users to transfer their settings. However, it’s always good practice to implement commonly-used data formats such as JavaScript Object Notation (JSON). All your apps should parse data with this format to make it easy for users to move to your latest app without inconveniencing them.

8. Is It Too Difficult To Add New Features To Your App?

It shouldn’t prove too difficult to add new features to a well-designed and engineered app. If you’re working with an experienced developer, such as NS804, updating apps won’t be a problem. But if your app has become bloated after several updates or suffers from technical debt, it will become hard to maintain. Moreover, adding new features will only make your app more unstable while negatively affecting its usability.

It’s crucial that your projects allow you to implement your new app design ideas. Users are always looking forward to features and improvements that make their favorite apps more engaging. Therefore, an outdated codebase can become a liability if it’s hindering you from moving forward with your ideas.

9. Will A New App Boost Your User Base?

There are no guarantees that your latest app will succeed if you release it out in the wild. It’s always easier and less costly to promote an existing app than an entirely new offering. But if you want to know if your new app design ideas are feasible, then it’s best to create a minimum viable product (MVP) to measure interest. After all, it costs less and takes less time to make an MVP than a full-fledged app, which inevitably reduces your risk.

Once you’ve ascertained that your MVP has gained traction with users, it’s time to scale. You can now move ahead and implement more of your ideas that’ll differentiate your app in a crowded marketplace. Be sure to market and promote your latest app to reach new users and increase your user base. Contact us today to learn how NS804 can help you create a new app that engages and excites your users.

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.

Beat App Building Competition With Thorough Research

Spending time on research will give any appreneur an edge in the app building competition arena. It’s an overly competitive market out there, and developers need to do their homework if they’re going to succeed. Moreover, extensive research should always precede the app development and marketing processes. Below, we provide several handy tips on how to conduct research before developing your next app.

1. App Building Competition Doesn’t Mean Give Up

Many appreneurs build an MVP to beat their competitors to market and enjoy a leading position. But with a deluge of apps in the app stores, it’s not always possible to be the first to market. Now, that may demoralize many budding appreneurs entering the market in 2021 and beyond. They may feel dissuaded from developing their app and testing out their cool ideas. However, it’s possible to succeed even in an excessively competitive market with the right approach.

The app marketplace is always giving us signals about what works and what doesn’t. But many of these signals seem cryptic or obscure, especially to inexperienced developers. Quite often, they don’t even know what to look for and where to begin their research. That’s why it’s critical to have a plan of action based on tried-and-true research methodologies.

2. Market Research Gives You An Edge

If you’re serious about making an impact in the app marketplace, you need to conduct market research. But why is this so important? Well, once you launch your app, you’ll likely only get one shot to make an impact. While users may download your app, this doesn’t mean that they’ll use it for prolonged periods. According to Statista, 25 percent of downloaded apps between 2010 to 2019 have been used only once, globally.

What this data reveals is the fickle nature of users. But it also tells us that many developers don’t take the time to research the marketplace. Given the low bar of entry, many developers throw everything at the wall hoping that something sticks. But that’s a bad strategy and only leads to failure in most cases.

Thus, an effective way to gain an edge in such a competitive marketplace is to do your homework. By conducting extensive market research, you’ll determine if your app idea is feasible, frame your business model, and solidify your marketing strategy.

3. Research App Stores

The App Store and Google Play are the first places you should check out when conducting your research. Start by browsing the store pages of all the highest-ranking apps and those in the same category as the app you’ll be making. Then, carefully study the screenshots, wording, and user reviews of these apps. Narrow down your closest competitors and use analytics tools such as App Annie to gain greater insight into what makes them so successful.

4. Build An MVP

In the app building competition game, it makes sense to use the most effective methods. You may have come up with several good ideas that could lead to a potentially lucrative app. But these ideas aren’t worth much if they’re only theoretical and remain untested.

One of the best ways to see if your ideas can gain traction in the marketplace is to build an MVP. An MVP reduces the risks and costs associated with releasing a full-fledged product. Depending on the complexity of your app, an MVP could cost between $ 25,000 to $ 100,000.

5. Use MVP As A Research Tool

A key reason to build an MVP is that you’ll gain invaluable feedback and insight from your users. Without a doubt, this user data will give you a clear picture if you’re on the right track. Furthermore, you’ll have an opportunity to iron out the kinks before your product’s final release.

6. Discover If There’s A Real Need

You may be obsessed with some of your ideas and eager to implement them in your upcoming app. These ideas may seem great to you and your team but not necessarily to your target audience. Therefore, it’s better to take some preparatory steps before embarking on such a costly and potentially risky endeavor.

It’s vital to discover if there’s a real need for your app, and you can do this with a SWOT analysis. A SWOT analysis is a simple procedure that allows you to determine the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats, as these pertain to your app and organization.

7. Understanding ASO Research And Development

One thing that sets apart successful appreneurs is their extensive knowledge of ASO research and development. ASO stands for App Store Optimization and is powered by keywords similarly to search engine optimization (SEO). Several years ago, you could be forgiven for not knowing much about ASO. But app stores have matured, which makes ASO a mandatory field that no appreneur should ignore.

A crucial part of ASO research and development includes researching and implementing keywords. Initially, you’ll find out what keywords your closest competitors use and what works well on the app stores. Then, you’ll implement 2-3 keywords, but as your ASO campaign matures, you may even implement up to 5 keywords.

8. Look At Trends In User Needs

We’ve already mentioned that app users tend to be fickle. But this isn’t necessarily a bad thing, as users’ ever-changing needs drive innovation. That’s why it’s essential to keep abreast of user trends and respond with apps that will engage them.

You should regularly peruse reports and white papers that track these trends. Read user reviews to pinpoint common problems and what features users commonly request. Also, make it a habit to read blogs from tech insiders and other authoritative sources that reveal upcoming developments.

9. Test User Engagement Strategies

Ideally, your app should be solving pain points that users regularly experience. But you’ll only know for sure if your app’s meeting expectations by testing user engagement. Make onboarding as frictionless as possible and give your users clear instructions of what to do next, and encourage them to unlock content and additional features.

Add analytics, then collect and analyze data to see how users are engaging with your app. A few things you’ll be looking out for include how often users open your app, how long sessions last, and if any anomalies occur. And implement personalized push notifications to aid users when they experience specific issues.

10. Develop For The User, Not The Brand

While it’s vital to build your brand, don’t prioritize this over your users. After all, most users seldom care about the brand behind an app. What keeps them using an app are its features and any benefits they derive thereof.

If you’ve properly researched your target audience, then you’ll know what engages and repels them. For example, if you’re developing a streaming app for audiophiles, then you should ensure that music streams run at a high bitrate. And since audiophiles tend to pay for content and expect a premium experience, they don’t want to deal with disruptive ads. Thus, give them the option to pay to remove ads, even if your business strategy revolves around the ad model.

The Bottom Line

Thorough research makes all the difference in the world when trying to beat the competition. It’s a long and complex process, but it’s worthwhile since you’ll gain a better understanding of the market and if your app actually stands a chance. Contact us today to learn how NS804 can help you develop an app that leaves the competition in the dust!

Build An MVP: 8 Mistakes To Avoid For Success

If you’re about to build an MVP, then you’re going to face several challenges. You’ll want to implement a ton of cool ideas, but you’ll probably pare these down for project feasibility. Then, you’ll have to consider Waterfall methodology vs Agile and choose the right model. And, budgetary concerns may make you spend too much or too little on your upcoming project. The wrong decisions could potentially derail the success of your MVP. Therefore, we’ve compiled this handy list of 8 mistakes to avoid to keep your project on track.

1. Build An MVP Too Complete Or Slimmed Down

Everything in life is about balance, and the same applies to building an MVP. Quite often, developers get excited about making a mind-blowing MVP and go overboard by adding unnecessary features. They waste company resources by spending time on these extra bells and whistles, hoping that they’ll wow clients. But the result is an unfocused product that confuses clients or doesn’t deliver basic functionality as it should. Small or inexperienced teams usually have trouble implementing complex systems with robust functionality.

However, it’s not a good idea to build an MVP that’s too slimmed down either. While it makes sense to keep things simple, this doesn’t mean that it should be too basic unless that’s what’s specified by the client. Ideally, you want to create an MVP that delivers all core functionality in a near-flawless manner. But you also want to implement the user interface (UI) & user experience (UX) to make your MVP feel complete. Ultimately, you want the MVP to give the client a clear picture of how the final product will look.

2. Choosing The Wrong Methodology

Developers are a passionate lot, especially when it comes to their favorite programming languages, tools, and methodologies. You’ll catch them feverishly debating the Waterfall methodology vs Agile on Stack Overflow, Quora, or around the water cooler. You may even have a hotshot developer on the team that’s eager to dive into an MVP agile project. Thus, it’s easy to be swayed by popular opinion of which methodology to adopt in your upcoming MVP.

The best course of action here is to consider all benefits of the Waterfall methodology vs Agile. Moreover, you’ll have to decide on which model suits your MVP the most. If you need to get deliverables out to clients quickly, then we recommend the MVP agile approach. But if you’re working on a larger or very defined project, then it’s better to apply the Waterfall methodology. Keep in mind that it’s difficult going back and making changes after commencing or testing a project with Waterfall.

3. Build An MVP That Costs Too Much

We don’t recommend that you skimp on costs to build your MVP. After all, you want an MVP that’s of reasonably good quality. But don’t burn through your entire budget, as your project may prove unfeasible in the long run. By working with an experienced developer, such as NS804, it’s possible to determine costs beforehand and avoid nasty surprises along the way. Moreover, a competent developer will deliver the MVP on time, implement best practices, and meet expectations.

4. Spending Too Much Time On Research

It makes sense to do your homework before building your MVP, but don’t overdo it. One of the reasons you’re making an MVP is to determine its validity in the marketplace. Ultimately, it’s your target audience that will decide if your project is worth scaling into a full-fledged product. Researching too much will also give you plenty of ideas, which may tempt you to apply all these in your MVP. Overloading your app with too many features will make it harder to develop, maintain, and scale.

5. Building An MVP Without Understanding Your Audience

One of the biggest mistakes you could make is building an MVP without understanding your audience. If you’ve never released an app before, you may think that all users will find your MVP appealing. But when you eventually launch it, you’ll come to the harsh realization that few users bother to download it.

Now, why does this happen to so many developers?

In most cases, they’ve failed to do market research to understand who their audience is and what they want. They’ve cast their net wide, hoping that they’ll attract a large mainstream audience. But that’s now how the app marketplace works! Users invest their time in highly-popular apps such as Evernote, Facebook Messenger, and Signal since these provide the features and functionality that people find valuable. Thus, only incredibly talented development teams with massive marketing budgets can compete with the above offerings.

Before embarking on MVP development, it’s critical to think about target market segmentation. Moreover, it’s necessary to ask several questions such as: Where does your user live? What’s their demographic group? What’s their general attitude or outlook on life? What hobbies and interests do they spend their money and time on? And what life stage are they currently in?

Also, it’s vital to understand the differences between a target market and a target audience. It’s’ easy to confuse the two terms since they often have overlapping meanings. Succinctly, a target market affects every aspect of an enterprise’s decisions relating to its product, pricing, and sales processes. But the target audience will only influence the enterprise’s marketing and messaging endeavors.

6. Using The Cheapest Option Possible

You’ve decided to forge ahead with your MVP agile project but noticed that your input costs are mounting. With months still to go before your MVP is out the door, you decide to cut costs. You let go of several key developers in your team and hire cheaper contractors from abroad. Furthermore, you forego unit testing in the hopes of reducing your time to market (TTM) and overall costs. And, when you finally release your MVP, you discover that it’s a buggy mess plagued with problems.

Choosing the cheapest option almost always leads to unsatisfactory results. That’s why we can’t stress enough how important it’s to work with an experienced developer when building an MVP. Not only will a team of professionals help you craft a professional MVP, but they’ll also ensure that it’s budget-friendly.

7. Striving For Perfection

You should complete your MVP within a reasonable amount of time. But don’t rush it out the door, as its quality will likely suffer. Instead, focus on building an MVP that showcases its core functionality and avoid adding any unnecessary features. And don’t waste resources on too much spit and polish, which is better suited for your final product. You’ll meet your deadlines and goals if you keep your app as simple as possible and not try to make it perfect.

8. Promising Something Impossible To Deliver

You may be working with a phenomenal marketing team that’s ready to set all your social media channels on fire. You’ve handed over marketing materials and screenshots of your MVP, hoping the marketing team to build an enormous amount of hype. But have you thought things through about how you’ll be conveying your message to your target audience? Are you sure that your MVP will meet expectations, or are you overpromising? If your app doesn’t live up to the hype, then you risk damaging your reputation.

In Conclusion

Building an MVP is a rewarding but often challenging process. However, it’s possible to make the process a lot easier by avoiding the 8 mistakes we’ve covered above. Contact us today to learn how NS804 can make your next MVP a roaring success!