The days of dictating the way you design a software package and its user interface are long gone. Today, software and app developments are dictated by user experience as the main criteria followed by functionality. When one looks at the Android app arena, it is chock-a-block with apps popping up each day. If you are planning to develop and deploy an Android app with the objective of branding, generating revenue or engaging target audiences keep in mind these features:
1. User experience
- Mobile device users come in all flavors—from the knowledgeable techie to more mature people with practically very little knowledge about navigating apps.
- The user interface needs to be simple, intuitive, logical and work the way human minds work.
2. Keep it simple
- The most popular apps are those that have an essentially simple appearance and feel.
- People are more interested in the functionality part rather than looks.
- An app must have just a few functionalities instead of trying to be a full-fledged desktop software package.
- How users perceive the app and what they think about it can be gleaned by simply incorporating a feedback button inside the app.
- Incorporating a feedback button also shows the app developer respects a user’s opinions and is open to carrying out modifications. This also enhances respect in the minds of users.
4. Focus on the main functionality
- The most popular apps focus on one main feature. Trying to cram too many features slows down apps and users are more likely to give simply using the app that then slides into oblivion.
- Feedbacks will give you indications about features to discard or include.
5. Full offline functionality
- If you are bent on delivering a happy user experience your app should be functional offline.
- The balanced approach is to create an app that builds on what you offer in your website, not acting as an extension but as a specific branch to fulfill specific functions related to your company business.
- A garment store could, for example, deploy an app that helps users mix and match colors and see the effect or an app that would give equivalents of international sizes.
6. Social media and sign-ins
- This is debatable but seems to work. Ideally, an app should have no restrictions unless it is related to company functions.
- Popular Android apps use Facebook, Gmail, Twitter or Google+ accounts for sign ins.
- Custom sign-ins could be installed but must have a provision for recalling usernames and passwords.
- This is not about keeping in touch but about providing touch sensitive buttons.
- Not all users care to leave feedbacks. Analytics helps you derive information on user behavior patterns that you can use to refine your app and remove undesirable aspects.
- Analytics integrated into an app to work seamlessly in the background are just indispensable, and any developer will need to incorporate these.
- If your app must have an indefinite product life, then upgrades and updates are indispensable. Device hardware evolves as do operating systems necessitating updates.
- Third party developments too necessitate updates. For instance, if your app is related to cameras, then you need to update it to accommodate new camera models and their features.
- Developing an Android app is not just putting together the nuts and bolts of code; it is a full-fledged project.