October 25, 2013

Strategies for mobile app success

Written By Martin Sandhu

We talk lots about mobile strategies on this blog, largely because unfortunately it’s something that businesses in the process of developing a mobile app tend to think about a little later than they should.

Whilst the marketing aspect of a strategy is clearly very important, there are on-going, more technical processes that should also be written into a mobile strategy to ensure your app keeps up with the rapidly changing mobile market. Two key things to consider are agility and testing…

Both mobile technology and the industry are changing rapidly and consumers are used to things being available immediately and working correctly. So you need to ensure any app or mobile website you build is agile and can quickly and easily be modified, updated or tweaked. Accumulating a catalogue of issues and fixing them periodically is no longer good enough, if there is a problem with your app users will pick up on it and grow frustrated and fed up.

Agility requires you to be constantly on top of both what is happening with your app – how it is being used and other such analytics – and what is happening in the mobile industry and with other apps.

Testing should be a constantly occurring process, not something done pre-launch and then essentially left to the users. Testing prior to launch needs to involve both developers and trained testers, as well a sample of the target audience – all three groups will test in a different way and will therefore provide much more wide-reaching feedback. Here at Roller were big fans of Crittercism & JIRA and use these platforms as part of our mobile development cycle.

Post-launch analytics are key to spotting problems. Looking for specific usage patterns and analysing crash data etc will prove crucial to finding bugs and resolving them before they pose a major problem. Leaving users to be the only form of testing once an app is live can have devastating effects – a computer glitch at United Airlines recently led to an undisclosed amount of free tickets being sold via their mobile app!

A successful app requires a well-planned strategy, with considerations from all angles, the right testing tools and an up-to-date knowledge of the industry.