Common Mistakes to Avoid during Mobile App Development

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Mobile app developers and app development forums are always talking about the various ways and means to develop great mobile software. Everyone around is interested in learning about how to create the most engaging, top-selling mobile app, and achieving immediate success in this field. Of course, there are several app development books and tutorials available to you, both online and offline, using which you can definitely get better in your skills. But there is one thing you should understand – the learning process is never complete without understanding the common pitfalls in the field, which you would do well to circumvent. Here is a list of common mistakes that you should try and avoid while in the process of developing a mobile app.

Packing in Too Many Features

Mobile App Features
Image © Nicola/Flickr.

One of the commonest mistakes amateur app developers make is to give in to the temptation of using all of the device’s built-in features in their app. Most of the major smartphones available in the market today come with uber-cool features, such as accelerometer, gyroscope, camera, GPS and so on.

You, as a developer should first understand what you want your app to do, its unique functions and in what particular way you want it to serve your users. Simply building an app that tries to take advantage of all these multiple functions will not help your app in any way.

At least the very first version of your app should only aim to meet the immediate needs of the user or the company that you are developing the app for. Focus sharply on your target audience while initially creating your app. You can probably think of adding more features in the upcoming versions of your app. Doing that will also make it look like you are constantly updating your app. This itself will make it more popular to your users.

Remember, the user experience has to be of most importance to you at this point in time. Hence, your app should use features which work best on that particular mobile device.

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  • Creating Elaborate and Complicated UIs

    The very first version of your app should use an easy-to-operate, intuitive, user interface. The UI should preferably be such that the user learns to use it quickly, without having to refer to the user manual. The UI, hence, needs to be simple, to the point and well-laid-out.

    Your average user is no geek – he or she just wants to enjoy the basic features of their mobile device. Hence, most users are not looking for a UI that is over-the-top and very difficult to understand. Users prefer apps where every aspect, including each screen, each button and each function is well defined and rendered on screen in such a way as to make their lives simple for them.

    Of course, there have been ground-breaking apps with complicated UIs and multi-touch gestures, which have become the craze amongst the latest generation of mobile device users. In case you want to develop such an app, it would be a good idea to also include a detailed how-to section in your app. One more thing to remember here is to make your UI consistent and homogeneous through all the future versions of your app, so that your users need not keep adjusting to different types of UIs in the coming app updates.

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  • Adding on Too Many Mobile Platforms

    Developers need to resist the temptation to immediately start developing for several mobile platforms, all at once. Adding on too many features and mobile platforms to your first version will raise your initial costs sky-high. This may also turn counter-productive for you, as it may actually end up reducing the chances of the success of your app in the marketplace.

    If you should think of developing an app for multiple platforms such as Apple, Android and BlackBerry, plan out your app development strategies well in advance. Think of a unique app concept that will also most appeal to your audience.

    Research the several mobile platforms available to you and choose the right platforms for your app. Do not rush in to include all the OS’ at one go. Instead, chalk out realistic, achievable goals for yourself and take it one at a time. Also, releasing a pilot version of your app may help you get the right feedback from your audience.

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