Developing an iPhone App for Your Business
You have a business and are thinking about entering the mobile arena. You’ve seen statistics and heard success stories so now you’re investigating iPhone app development.
If your business is solid and you have yet to complement it with a mobile website, offering your clients an aditional way to contact you and view your products is a perfect move. Let’s review some steps to consider while planning your iPhone app.
Design for Your Target Audience
Your app should provide a solution to a particular group of end users – your current and future clients. The solution could be an answer to a specific problem, or an option to discover something new. It may be that your clients have access to your services through their desktop computers and you want them to stay in touch while on the go.
Optimize and Simplify
Keep in mind that your audience is always on the move. Mobile app users prefer quick interactions with simple input, so don’t overdo the features. Users will not be creating complex spreadsheets on their phones. They will, however, use your application if the information can be obtained with a click or two. In some cases users will launch an app to get certain info but will not enter any data; examples for such use are map and email applications.
Think ‘New Possibilities’ instead of ‘Limited Options’
It used to be that the term mobile phone brought to mind the idea of limited functionality on a small screen. This was indeed the typical experience of past mobile platforms. Today’s smartphones however shift bounderies and reposition horisons. Think about what makes the iPhone unique and how to utilize this in your application. Imagine Bump or Urbanspoon and benchmark your app against what made them successful.
Consider OS and Model Differences
Once you have figured out your idea and know who your audience is, consider hardware and software. Select which version of the iOS and which model iPhone you will develop for. For example if your application makes use of the camera, compass or microphone it will work on an iPhone but not an iPod touch. It is ok to limit your app to only some models but be sure to think this through and plan for it.
Write Your Ideas Down
Document your thoughts, keep good track of decisions and reasons for going a particular way to avoid doubling back on yourself. Jot down what you would like the app to achieve, and think about the look and feel of the application. Your notes will be invaluable when you discuss your new app with a mobile application developer.
Give the User a Great Time
Think about how your clients will interact with the application. Decide on the simplest, most efficient and fun steps the end user must follow to get the job done. Find an exierienced mobile application development company and sit down together to brainstorm the user experience. Review similar applications and learn from their success.
Consider Memory, Battery Life and Data Management
Be careful with functionality that drains battery or clogs memory. Certain functions such as streaming data from the Internet will use up the battery fast, so plan wisely. Make sure your mobile application developer is familiar also with memory and data management issues on an iPhone.
If you are currently planning iPhone app development, and have come accross other interesting points – be sure to drop by and add to this list.