Category Archives: App Design

How to legally protect your app startup idea

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So, you’ve just come up with the next big app idea. A true innovation, you’re certain the app will be as successful as Instagram or Snapchat. But put on the brakes for just a second. Before launching your idea to the world, you need to ensure it is properly protected.

The good news is, legal protection is not difficult to obtain. To safeguard your app from potential copycats, here is your guide to intellectual property law, copyright, patents, non-disclosure agreements and more.

Intellectual property

Intellectual property (IP) concerns any creations of the mind (i.e. intellect), which can be legally protected by the owners. Provided the concept is original and novel, a wide variety of inventions and ideas are eligible for IP protection.

Some of these include:

• Designs (i.e. company logos, etc.)
• Written words (i.e. scripts, novels, etc.)
• Apps and more.

Crucial for your business’ long-term financial success, IP rights give you the chance and time you need to launch your creation to the public.

The object of Australian IP law is twofold. First, to encourage entrepreneurs and inventors to create innovative products and processes.

And, second, to protect Australian businesses who develop unique IP to gain an advantage over competitors.

Under Australian law, there are four main categories of IP (some of which will be discussed in this article):

• Copyright
• Trademarks
• Patents
• Secret processes
• Registered designs

Copyright

As a business owner, your very livelihood can hinge on your ability to stop other businesses from stealing your unique app idea. Fortunately, copyright is very easy to obtain, as this form of IP requires no official registration.

What exactly does copyright protect?

The answer is, the original expression of information and/or ideas in the form of:

• Broadcasts
• Music
• Writing
• Visual images (moving and still)
• Sound recording
• Computer programs (this includes apps).

All of the aforementioned forms of expression are protected under the Copyright Act (1968). Although the Act hasn’t been updated for decades, it protects the creation of computer programs. Therefore, this protection can be extended to the creation of app ideas.

While copyright protection is free, your app idea must meet certain criteria to obtain it. It must:

Result from your skill and effort – This means the app must be born from a concept you came up with.

Be novel or original – Although the idea can share similarities with other apps, it must have a function which makes it unique.

Be published and available in material form – The submission of your app for approval can be regarded as “published”.

Trademark

Essentially, a trademark is an easy way to distinguish your app from competitors. Obtaining trademark protection enables you to commercially license, use or sell your trademark. Put simply, this means your trademark can’t be commercially used by anyone else.

Any feature(s) which distinguishes your app from others is eligible for trademark registration. Trademarkable features include:

• A number
• Letter
• Word or phrase
• Logo
• Smell
• Sound
• Shape
• Picture.

How do I register to trademark my app idea?

To protect your trademark against competitors, there is a legal process to follow.

First, conduct a search of Australia’s Trade Marks Search System to ensure your desired trademark is available.

If available, you can apply for a standard trademark. Your application will take three to four months to assess.

How much does a trademark cost?

The cost will vary based on the level of protection you request. The general cost of a standard trademark is $250.

How long is my app idea trademarked?

Once your app is registered, the trademark is valid across all Australian states and territories for a decade. For international protection, you need to register your trademark in each individual country.

Patent

A patent provides all-encompassing protection for your app – covering everything from your original idea to its functionality.

Having said that, a patent is expensive and the setup process is lengthy (i.e. approval can take up to three years).

Due to the long approval process, you should only apply for a patent a year after your app has been launched to the public.

Do some app ideas have a better chance of approval than others?

Yes. Generally, apps which are born from an innovative and original idea have a far better chance of being approved.

You can further increase these chances if your idea can be repeated in other settings. This means the functions of the app can be replicated across other mediums (such as a website).

Who should apply for patent protection?

We recommend applying for a patent if you are fully invested in your app’s development idea and are confident of its long-term financial success.

Design protection

This is another form of patent protection. Unlike a traditional trademark, a design patent is designed to protect the visual design of your app idea. These design features include screens, icon sets, logos and backgrounds.

Can I protect more than one design?

Yes. In fact, when applying for design protection, you have several options. You can choose to protect one design, one design to be used across a variety of products or multiple designs.

In addition, design protection is less expensive and has a faster approval process than a regular patent.

How long does the registration process take?

Once you have applied to have your design officially registered, it can take up to three months to process the request.

How long does design protection last?

Design protection is valid for five years. After this time has expired, you can elect to renew it for a further five years.

Contracts

In app development, as in life, many hands make light work. Most likely, you’ll be working with a team of people to bring your idea to life. So, we recommend that you retain a lawyer to draw up some contracts.

A formal business contract protects everyone involved in the creation and development of your app. This legally binding agreement ensures you are paid for your work and saves you from expensive legal headaches if a team member does not deliver.

In terms of app development, the contracts you should focus on are a confidentiality agreement and a non-disclosure agreement (discussed below).

Confidentiality agreement

When developing an app, a confidentiality agreement is absolutely essential. It is a legally binding agreement between all individuals or companies (or a combination of both) involved in the app’s development and creation.

Under this agreement, all parties involved are prohibited from revealing confidential information about the app to outsiders or rival companies.

Such confidential information may include:

• Trade secrets
• Strategic and marketing plans
• App design and creation knowledge
• The technology used to develop the app and more

What should a confidentiality agreement cover?

To be legally enforceable, there are several items the agreement must cover, including:

• Whether the agreement’s one- or two-way
• All parties full, legal names and addresses
• The definition of “confidential information”
• The obligation to keep the information within secret
• The obligation to only use the information within for its specific purpose

What are the benefits of a confidentiality agreement?

The agreement allows for the free-flow of confidential information between everyone involved in the project. This ensures that competitors are unable to access any information which is private information relating to the app.

And, it ensures you can:

• Disclose your idea without risking its novelty, so you are eligible for a patent
• Even with a second application, you are still eligible for a patent
• Prevent your team from reverse-engineering your idea, and;
• Freely express confidential information to consultants or freelancers

Proprietary information and inventions agreement

A PIIA agreement is designed to protect the aforementioned confidential information, along with your intellectual property. This contract serves two key purposes:

• Prohibiting employees from revealing confidential information while creating the app and after it is launched
• Stipulating that employees own any inventions they create while carrying out their duties

Non-disclosure agreement

This agreement is widely used throughout the tech environment. It ensures that everyone involved in the project does not disclose confidential information to competitors.

While quite similar to a confidentiality agreement, a non-disclosure agreement (NDA) has some distinct differences. These differences do not affect the legal enforceability of either contract. Rather, the difference lies in how the agreements are used.

What are the differences?

There are several discrete features which separate a confidentiality agreement and an NDA.

An NDA:

• Has a higher level of secrecy – As the name implies, you are bound to keep all confidential information relating to the app private.
• Is a one-way agreement – Most confidentiality agreements feature a two-way exchange of private information (i.e. between you and your team members). By contrast, an NDA includes a one-way exchange of sensitive information.
• Is frequently used by startups – NDAs are most commonly used by startup companies or in third-party situations (i.e. with customers, investors or suppliers).
• Is shorter than confidentiality agreement – Containing only essential information, NDAs are compressed to one or two pages.

Would you like some assistance on legally protecting your app idea? You can seek our legal services here

Are you interested in seeing your app grow from an idea to a functional program? At Enterprise Monkey, we specialise in app development, so contact us today to bring your plan to life.

Enterprise Monkey Among the Top App Developers in Australia

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Enterprise Monkey Among the Top Mobile App Developers in Australia

The app development work that Enterprise Monkey’s team executes showcases the power of our designs, which optimize our clients’ business processes, increase rates of customer engagement, and ultimately achieve intense, exponential growth, regardless of company size or industry.

Our innovations are among the best and brightest, which is why business insight firm The Manifest also ranked Enterprise Monkey among the 20 best app development company in Australia.

 

top-mobile-app-developers-clutch

 

In a recent press release, Medium also tabbed our team as one of the top 15 mobile app developers in the country, a feature of our exceptional skills and services.

The recognition from The Manifest and its sister company, Clutch, highlights the strength of Enterprise Monkey as an app and web designer, and we pride ourselves on the quality of our development chops and strong client service.

Having undergone evaluation of our industry experience, market presence, portfolio, customer satisfaction, client reviews, and more, we value having affirmation that our performance on all fronts is up to par, both throughout Melbourne and the country as a whole.

In a period of ceaseless technology updates, improvements, and trends, mobile apps have shown to be instrumental in bolstering and sustaining customer loyalty, increasing efficiency, and benefitting the sales, revenue, and overall growth of businesses and their brands. Apps are vital for everyday operations and efforts of companies, and Enterprise Monkey is here as a trusted resource for those app and web needs that firms may have.

As one client remarked, “The functionality and reliability of the mobile and web platforms they developed were a slam dunk. For what we needed at the time and for what we were expecting, their work was a ten out of ten.”

“They didn’t just accept payment, do their job, and move on, but they were part of the team. I work with them almost every day, chatting about how we can make things better and get the word out about our product. They’re very interactive, which I can’t appreciate more,” praised the same client, describing our project management style. “I’ve had some experience with other IT companies, which is why I speak very highly of them. Unlike other companies that come in to simply do the job, these guys are in it for the long haul.

Reach out to us here if you want to talk to a team member about our experience and expertise in app development, or feel free to browse through our Clutch profile for details about our involvement and style.

Enterprise Monkey appreciates the support that we’ve received from Clutch, The Manifest, our clients, and Medium in their acknowledgements of our superb performance, service, and product, and we look forward to continuing doing what we do best. On to the next new challenge!

10 Steps to Start an App Business [Infographic]

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10 steps to start a business - How to start an business?

In this competitive environment and the race to always be on the top, businesses are always looking for innovative ways to capture their potential customers. For an app business, the best way to be in touch with its clients is through smartphones.

Most of the businesses today run through apps. Apps have become an important medium to carry out business and serve the clients. Businesses have moved from physical aspects of business towards the mobile world, offering various range of products, offers, discounts and more.

Customers who are accompanied by their smartphones at all times, find it easier to connect with businesses who offer services online.

So if you want to expand your business, spread its roots into the digital world, the bottom line is that you’re going to need an app. With the right planning and a clear picture of where you see your business in the coming year, bring your app to life.

Here is an interesting infographic with 10 easy steps to help you create your business app and expand your client base.

 

10 steps to start an app business - infographic.

 

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How to Choose the Best Mobile App Maintenance and Support Services?

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How to Choose Best Mobile App Maintenance and Support Services?

Most people who own an app business are unaware of the importance of investing in mobile app maintenance and support services.

If you are planning to build a new app or have recently launched one, you must understand and acknowledge the critical role of app maintenance and support in ensuring success.

This comprehensive guide will help you understand the meaning, relevance and importance of app maintenance and support.

It will also provide you with an overview of the kind of costs you need to incur for the same.

Without further ado, let’s begin…

 

What is Mobile App Maintenance and Support?

App Maintenance and Support

Mobile app maintenance and support essentially refer to the entire gamut of procedures followed to ensure a seamless and bug-free working of any live mobile app.

It includes monitoring, refining, fixing and updating the elements that make it up in order to ensure a superlative end user experience.

A successful mobile app is not the one with the higher number of downloads. Rather, it should have a large number of active users and a high retention rate.

 

bi-intelligence

 

Statistically speaking, almost 52 per cent of the apps are uninstalled by a major chunk of their users within the first three months of the launch.

It occurs due to the negligence of the required app maintenance to enhance the user experience.

If you do wish to gather an optimized response and ROI from your mobile app, you must come prepared with an app maintenance and support strategy.

No matter how much costly or well-crafted your app is, there is always a scope of improvement. You might feel a need for adding the new features to stand out from the competition or there may be some other reasons.

Then there comes the app maintenance and support, which helps you push the new features to your existing app or take care of the bugs.

 

Does my app require maintenance?

 

Types of Mobile Apps that Require Maintenance

The exact quantum and depth of the support and maintenance effort needed in any app will depend on the nature of attributes that make it up and the level of complexity that goes behind it.

To analyse whether your app classifies for the consideration of maintenance and support plan, you should know that more complex the architecture of your app, the greater is the size of the database, and the greater is the need of support and maintenance.

For an example, suppose you own a complex ecommerce app that has millions of daily active users. You are going to require a more proactive maintenance plan as compared to a minimal one-page app that is meant only for implementing the basic functionality.

Hence, depending upon your app type, the number of daily active users, and the level of complexity, you can opt for the most relevant maintenance plan from any efficient mobile app maintenance and support service provider.

 

What Are the Different Types of Mobile App Maintenance?

To put it succinctly, mobile app maintenance typically branches into the following types –

 

types-of-app-maintenance

 

i. Emergency Maintenance

The emergency aspect of maintenance takes care of all the sudden problems and errors that plague the system and demand immediate intervention.  

Whenever a company finds itself in an unpredictable but critical problematic situation as with regards to their mobile app, they must avail emergency maintenance.

 

ii.  Perfective Maintenance

As the target users use the app, certain new or changed user requirements are discovered. Perfective maintenance takes those feedbacks into account.

It involves functional modifications in the source code, so as to provide active app users with a perfect user experience, just like they desire.

 

iii.  Adaptive Maintenance

The adaptive type of maintenance is concerned with updating the system to keep it abreast with the changing hardware or software environment.

Environment over here essentially refers to the influences and working conditions, which impact the application’s system.

 

iv.  Preventive Maintenance

Preventive maintenance is essentially the intervention that is focused on reducing or eliminating the occurrence of errors.

It primarily works on reducing the complexity of the application and improving the understandability and maintainability factor.

 

v.  Corrective Maintenance

Lastly, corrective maintenance involves repairing of faults and residual errors in the daily app functions. Residual errors are basically errors in design, logic or coding. They are typically ascertained from the bugs reported by users.

 

Why should you opt for app maintenance?

 

What is The Importance of App Maintenance Services?

The importance of app maintenance is to enable the optimal realization of the benefits of building the app in the first place.

It’s quite well known that the costs of building an app and acquiring users are pretty steep. The App Store and Play Store are characterized by extreme competition today.

In this environment, rationality demands to optimize on the app’s performance, and retaining existing users, while attempting to get more on board.

Mobile app maintenance is very helpful in this regard by ensuring a superlative user experience.

With that, here’s how maintenance helps…

 

i. Stay upbeat with hardware changes

As mobile and tablet manufacturers come up with new models of the hardware systems, the new devices are not always of the same size specifications or features. For instance, the introduction of a face and fingerprint recognition changed screen sizes and so on.

An app that is not updated to adapt to the changing hardware and OS, becomes outdated. A regular and dedicated maintenance team working to keep up with these changes from time to time helps in maintaining user loyalty.

 

ii. Improve the UI

The look and feel of any app are very important in determining its success. The UI needs to be attractive and functional, or at least not outdated in order to keep the users hooked on to it.

It’s no surprise that aesthetic trends keep evolving, and then the functional designs too, are expected to undergo a change.

With a systematic maintenance plan, you’ll never fall behind time in nurturing the best UI.

 

iii. Ensure compatibility with evolving OS

Almost every year, it is common to find an update in the versions of iOS and Android. In the event of that update, your existing app may not remain functional at all or as functional as it is. This gap can annoy users or make them abandon your app.

Having a maintenance plan in place that includes pro-active audits when the beta version of the update is released is optimal in terms of avoiding last-minute inconvenience to the users.

Maintenance basically facilitates the right intervention at the right time. The development team can become aware of the changes they need to make in advance.

Hence they can be positioned to respond at the appropriate time before it gets late.

 

iv. Stay in sync with software library updates

App developers, as a common practice, prefer to make use of the pre-coded software libraries to eliminate heaps of redundant coding work.

This also means that they need to ensure that your app software is up to date with any updates in the concerned libraries.

Maintenance plans play a very helpful part in this regard and ensure continued optimality.

 

v. Manage downtimes effectively

Downtimes are common and unavoidable in almost every segment of information technology.

Even the biggest of the global names such as Amazon, Blackberry and so on are victims of downtimes that are known to have severely hit their bottom line.

Investing in regular and timely app maintenance helps to detect such downtimes before it gets too late. Having scheduled maintenance plans in place also means that you’re ensured of prompt and effective solutions to restore the normal functioning in the event of those situations.

 

vi. Ensure continued and robust security

With the dedication of the hackers and cybercriminals in finding security loopholes to exploit, even the best security protocols and encryptions are able to have only a limited shelf life.

Now if your app is home to sensitive information, having that data vulnerable can have adverse and irreversible implications.

Regular app maintenance helps in ensuring security.  It takes into account that the latest security protocols and measures are in place to protect the app and its users from the threats of nasty cyber crimes.

 

Cost of the App Maintenance and Support Services

Unlike the common pre-conceived notion, app maintenance costs are not necessarily over-priced.

 

App maintenance plans

App Maintenance and Support Plans

The foremost thing to understand is that the actual cost is directly proportional to the type and complexity of maintenance needed and opted for.

Moreover, not maintaining your app, in the long run, can be more costly than maintaining it regularly.

Mainly it’s the combination of two factors that determine the pocket pinch for your app:

Complexity: The more complex is the app, the more comprehensive its maintenance need to be.

Frequency: Next comes the frequency at which the intervention is needed. Weekly or monthly maintenance intervention as a service will cost more than quarterly or half yearly maintenance.

As such, the cost can be broken into the following broad components –

  1. Hosting costs
  2. Monitoring and crash analytics
  3. App store optimization
  4. Licenses
  5. Frequency of adding new content
  6. Marketing costs
  7. Emergency situations

As a ballpark, you can estimate 20% of the cost for initial development while scheming about the cost of maintaining your app.

Over here, it is also important to acknowledge that the cost is going to be highly dependent on how your app was initially built. If it hasn’t been designed to scale, the costs of maintenance can significantly multiply as the app grows its user base.

Usually, the companies that provide app development services also offer the mobile app maintenance plans.

You may stick to the same team or look for another experienced app maintenance service provider.

Online Shopping Apps – How to Get Started with your Ecommerce App Idea?

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Online Shopping Apps - How to Get Started with your Ecommerce App Idea?

Online shopping apps are dominating the mobile era as many of the e-commerce websites are converting into the online shopping mobile apps.

Mobile retail apps provide 24/7 accessibility, better price comparison, exclusive deals, and offers, convenience and time saving, around 85% of online shoppers prefer mobile apps for shopping over websites.

Moreover, with the rising number of active mobile device users, mobile apps offer a better conversion rate than any of its other device counterparts.

Starbucks, one of the world’s largest coffee purveyor, launched its ‘Order and Pay’ mobile app, in 2009 and by 2010, they started noticing, a lot of their customers were coming in stores with smartphones and that inspired them to ask their customers, what can they do to enhance their experiences in stores, be it payments, loyalty, anything. The app enables customers to order their favorite beverages ahead of time and pick them up from the stores. 

 

Starbucks mobile app

Source

 

The company launched its app with the sole aim to provide a natural extension to its in-store experience; the key was to keep it simple and reinstate the customers’ store experiences to the mobile version. And as of now, one out of every four transactions is carried out through mobile devices and continues to analyze, evolve and learn its consumers’ behavior.

 

Steps to Make an Online Shopping App that Converts:

 

1. Market Research

It is imperative that you test the waters before setting your feet to work.

Define the product domain and the regions you intend to do business in; analyze the present and future conditions of the market.

Figure out the target audience, their business needs, and requirements and analyze what their responses have been in the past.

Next, on the basis of your region, determine the mobile platform you wish to launch your app first; for, Android clearly dominates the market share in developing countries like those in Asia and Africa, while iOS dominates the market share in developed countries like America, Australia, and Europe.

 

Geographical Distribution of Android and iOS

Geographical Distribution of Android and iOS

 

Anatomize the business models of your market counterparts; learn which of their strategies have been lauded and which ones have lacked attention or been missed out.

 

2. Essential Features to opt for

 

I. Customer and Guest Login

Users do not like tedious login process that asks their personal details, again and again. Provide them with social logins supporting all major social media platforms and guest login, so that they can access basic features, that do not actually need contact details.

 

Customer and guest login

 

For instance, the e-commerce giant, Amazon allows its consumers to search and browse through its vast catalogue, follow latest deals and offers, use Alexa for a better shopping experience, everything without even logging in; consumers just need to log in when they wish to create a wishlist or place an order.

 

II. Search filters and indexing

Customers do not like a messed up marketplace, they like to organize things their way viz according to size, colors, brands, price, moods or occasions. Provide your customers with all possible search filters with high-quality indexing, enabling them to look for their requirements effortlessly.

 

III. Recommendations

Around 48% of the online shoppers buy on an impulse, that is, they buy more than what they actually need. Given, this new trend among online shoppers, providing recommendations according to the latest arrivals, trends, deals, promotions, and festivities, during their retail surfing session, can provide a significant boost to your sales.

You can use predictive analytics and geofencing to serve consumers better by analyzing their movements, previous shopping experiences, and search preferences.

 

IV. User Reviews and Ratings

Provide users with embedded reviewing platforms or forums to post and discuss issues and reviews, regarding your products.

Encourage them to post honest reviews and do not get discouraged yourself with the negative ones. Communicate with the consumers asking about their experience, work on that and inform the consumers, once you overcome them.

 

Customer reviews and ratings

 

According to Inc, 91% of online shoppers go through ratings and reviews regularly or occasionally and 84% trust them as much as a personal recommendation.

You can provide users with effective and efficient consumer support using shopbots and live chats, to resolve their queries anytime, from any remote corner of the world.

 

V. Hassle-free checkouts

Checkout processes must be as hassle-free as possible, for, tedious checkouts and last moment delivery costs are two of the four major cart abandonment reasons, according to Shopify.

Provide your users with tracking dots or progress bars to monitor their checkout progress, so that they can be patient during the checkout process.

You can provide consumers with an estimated delivery cost, that might vary with the delivery destination and costs of the order, with an option for free shipping for orders above a certain cost and place for certain areas.

 

VI. Secured Payment Gateway

Monetary transactions are delicate matters that can either convert your visitors into regular consumers or vice-versa.

Prefer to embed the services of trusted, secure and reliable payment gateways, which are familiar among the audience you intend to target and provides all types of payment options.

 

3. Design and Development

Design forms an important and inevitable aspect of an app; and since consumers form the basis of the e-commerce industry, it has to be highly intuitive and user-friendly. You have to keep yourselves in their shoes to understand their perspectives.

 

Ecommerce app design and development

 

Use an easily identifiable and catchy app icon, that clearly represents your brand value, so that your consumers are able to distinguish them among million others on the App Stores.

Do not fill every inch of the space available and make it congested, for, that makes it look cluttered and refrains consumers from coming back again; rather use extensive white backgrounds that define different elements of your app in a comprehensive manner and provides an elegant look.

Upload high-quality photos with pan and zoom effect as poor quality pictures tend to disappoint consumers, for they aren’t able to see, what they are paying for.

On the basis of your market research & audience targeting, you can decide the development platforms. Developing and testing your product for Android can take a significant amount of time, owing to a large number of Android-powered devices, whereas, for iOS, you only have to develop and test for a handful of devices.

Adopt a Minimum Viable Product strategy with only the must-have features that reflect your core idea, and launch it in the market. This will provide you with first-hand reports about your target audience, to understand and analyze their behavior and demand for your services.

 

4. Monitor Growth

Consumers tend to abandon those apps that have a high load time and app installation time.

 

Growth monitoring

 

As your product gains popularity and familiarity among masses, it will tend to increase traffic. It will lead to slowing down of the services; images would take minutes to load, content wouldn’t load up in time, leading to frequent session timeout errors, and eventually leading to a significant fall in your consumer turnup rates.

Pay close attention to what your users have to say about you, analyze their feedbacks and work on providing them with a seamless User Experience.

Employ a top-notch community of customer service executives to get in touch with the consumers. Provide your consumers with comprehensive FAQs and complaint forums.

 

5. Marketing

You might have launched a stupendous product, in accordance with all the market data, marketplace insights, needs and requirements of your audience, but, do not underestimate the power of marketing to reach masses.

 

Ecommerce app marketing

 

Marketing provides you opportunities to appeal to a wider audience, to engage with your users and stay in touch with them always.

You can build a blog and post regularly about the latest and trending topics of your niche, conduct quizzes, provide links to your social media handles, provide loyalty and reward points, gift vouchers, goodies but, refrain from promoting your products and making sales, always.

 

Benefits of developing online shopping mobile apps:

 

1. Boosts consumer loyalty

Mobile Apps are the best way you can directly engage with your customer and give them exemplary reasons to build loyalty for your products.

You can run membership programs and organize sales event with deals and discounts exclusively for your members.

You can reward them with loyalty points for their every purchase and encourage them to avail your services again, which can then be used to redeem gift vouchers or access free goodies.

With shopbots and voice assistants in-place, mobile apps allow you to deploy advanced customer support to provide timely assistance to your consumers.

 

2. Personalized marketing

Mobile Apps allow you to serve your customers according to their preferences, location, interests, past shopping behavior and experiences. In all, a mobile app allows you to devise tailor-made marketing strategies personally according to each and every customer.

You can send push and in-app notifications to your consumers, notifying them about the latest arrivals, deals, and discounts available on the stores near them. As your consumer travels, your app can observe their behavior through geofencing and predictive analysis and serve them accordingly.

 

3. Leveraging device’s inbuilt features

One of the biggest advantages a mobile app offers is its ability to engage with the inbuilt features, like GPS, Microphone, Gyrometer, Accelerometer of the handsets, which in turn facilitates your app to communicate with the user efficiently.

Global Positioning system enables your app to track your consumers’ location and with geofencing in place, you can send push notifications to your consumer regarding latest offers and arrival at the nearest stores.

Microphone facilitates voice search, while Camera assists in Augmented Reality deployed features, barcode and QR code scanners and image search.

While sensors like Gyrometers and Accelerometers facilitate 360-degree virtual tours, Fingerprint and Iris sensors help with security.

 

4. Mobile apps are faster

With most of their data stored in the device itself, mobile apps tend to load faster than their web counterparts, which fetch data from the web servers. Websites primarily use JavaScript to run its functions, while apps are based on frameworks, providing an edge over mobile sites.

Moreover, mobile websites require to be accessed through URLs in the browser, while apps, on the contrary, are just one touch away, implying a faster response time and a better conversion rate.

 

Some of the best online shopping apps in Australia:

 

I. Ozsale

Available on iOS | Android; Free
App installs: 500,000+

 

Ozsale mobile app

Source

Ozsale is Australia’s leading members-only shopping club, that offers exclusive deals from all the major global brands. Each day, a notification is sent to the members giving the details about sales event; the events are for men, women, kids, home, beauty, wine and more. The app boasts about providing exclusive deals to its members only, on products that are nowhere else to find.

 

II. Kogan

Available on iOS | Android; Free
App installs: 100,000+

 

Kogan app

Source

 

Started in 2006 with selling television, the company soon realized, it could sell only a limited number of televisions to a consumer; and has ventured and marked its presence into multiple domains, across the retail industry, Kogan Retail, Kogan Marketplace, Kogan Mobile, Kogan Pantry, Kogan Internet, Kogan Health, Kogan Pet Insurance, Kogan Life Insurance and Kogan Travel.

 

III. Woolworths

Available on iOS | Android; Free
App installs: 1,000,000+

 

Woolworths app

Source

 

Woolworths is one of Australia’s leading grocery stores operating around 1000 stores across the nation. It allows users to create shopping lists, earn, track and redeem reward points, track orders, browse delectable recipes and add their ingredients to the cart, access aisle information in the stores and explore Woolworths Specials.

 

IV. MYER

Available on iOS | Android; Free
App installs: 100,000+

 

MYER mobile app

Source

 

MYER, founded in the early 20th century, is one of the oldest brick and mortar supermarket chains in Australia, with its feet in all Australian states and one of the two self-governing territories of Australia. The MYER one allows shoppers to track their rewards and credits under MYER one rewards program, maintain previous purchase history and access to member-only offers.

 

V. THE ICONIC

Available on iOS | Android; Free
App installs: 100,000+

 

The Iconic mobile app

Source

THE ICONIC is one of Australia’s leading fashion and sportswear shopping destination. The app allows fashionistas to shop and browse the catalogue, and search effortlessly with filters like the brand, color, size, price and category, large-sized and high-quality pictures, access shopping lists, wishlists through seamless navigation, get notified about exclusive offers.

 

VI. Coles

Available on iOS | Android; Free
App installs: 500,000+

 

Coles mobile app

Source

 

Coles Supermarket is a retail and consumer services chain that operates 807 stores across Australia. Coles’ handy shopping assistant allows users to link their fly-buys member number, build shopping lists, get notified when their favourites are on Specials, locate products in-store through apps, move shopping list to Coles Online to get products home delivered and know store details.

 

VII. Catch of the day

Available on iOS | Android; Free
App installs: 500,000+

 

Catch of the day mobile app

Source

 

Catch of the day is Australia’s #1 online shopping destination for discount prices on sports, fashion, home, beauty, grocery, and tech from over thousands of brands from across the globe. The app offers single tap order placement and checkout process, fast and consistent delivery and offers bargains thrice a day.

 

Summing up

With mobile apps having exemplary benefits to make a mark among shoppers community, they surely hold a potential to lead the ecommerce industry. Having online shopping apps in-place that continuously learns and evolves over time, according to consumer needs and behavior, could be the next big thing on your list.

Looking to create an online shopping app for your ecommerce business?

Connect with the best mobile app developers in Melbourne and reshape your ecommerce business.

How to Create an App? [The Ultimate App Development Checklist]

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How to create an app?

Are you wondering how to create an app?

Have you got a killer app idea with the potential to culminate into a remarkable business?

Well, it is understandable if the app development process at the onset looks daunting to you.

With many layers of details and multiple touch points, building a mobile app from scratch is a lengthy process.

Creating an app is a fairly expensive investment, approaching it right is the key to make it worth spending.

Hence, by streamlining your approach, you’ll be surely enabled to extract maximum value for your users and your business in a systematic manner.

This article is all about helping you understand the different milestones of the app development for your next project.

Without further ado, let’s have a look at this ultimate app development checklist you must go through while creating an app. It will help you validate your app idea and launch it quickly

 

The ultimate checklist to create an App:

 

1. Identify the app’s purpose and relevance for your target group

The first and foremost step before kick-starting any kind of app development exercise is to analyze and ascertain the purpose of building the app and the type of individuals it is being built for.

 

app-audience

Ascertain Your Target Group For Building The App

 

From a business perspective, you must attempt to gain clarity on who exactly comes under your intended target group and how building a mobile application is going to provide value to them.

An app might be a solution for most people, but it still may not apply to everybody. You must know how this investment is going to help you more than owning just a website, or whether your app’s value proposition is actually worth it for your user to download yet another app on their mobile phone and not delete it immediately. Thereafter, you must also conduct proper market research before deciding your way forward.

If your analysis after all this makes you feel positive about the prospect of building an app, only then should you go ahead with it.

Moreover, you must make it a point to ensure that your goal and target group is well documented so that the actual app developers and the team working on it don’t suffer from any kind of information asymmetry or communication gap.

 

2. Conduct a thorough competitor analysis

The next step for you is to thoroughly scan your niche and look out for the rivals. You need to understand their strategies and approaches in order to win your target audience’s interest.

You can conduct a Competitor SWOT Analysis and figure out the key areas in which they’re performing well.

 

Competitors SWOT analysis

Conduct A Competitor SWOT Analysis

 

You can look out for pointers such as the striking features, small details, and whether their app is paid or free.

You must scan their customer reviews to understand what kind of appreciation or criticism they are receiving.

You need to fill in all other brains behind the app (i.e. your teammates) about your key takeaways from this analysis.

 

3. Device a meaningful planning

It is the time to plan out your unique value proposition in some detail and assess how exactly can you compel a customer to do what you want them to do.

 

app-plan

Device A Systematic Plan To Achieve Your Goal

 

At this step, you must engage in proper discovery and define your app project from a holistic perspective spanning the design and development aspects. You should be aware of the mistakes to avoid while building an app.

You need to figure out that what level of functionalities your app must include, and what all is important in aiding to achieve its purpose.

We’d suggest that you slate down the number of possibilities you want to leverage your app to benefit your customers. For instance, whether you want it to enable promotions, loyalty programs, support and so on.

As you focus on the big picture, you need to take a step back and analyze the assumptions you’re making at every stage, for they might come in way of seamless implementation.

In the brainstorming sessions with your team, figure out the things that will ruin your mobile app user interface. Pointing out these concerns in advance will help your app go viral easily.

Moreover, you also need to figure out if you have your branding elements in place, else you need to build a plan for getting that part covered.

 

4. Ascertain your budgetary allocations

No project can start without factoring in the economic aspects.

App development as a fact is a fairly expensive investment, the cost of which depends on the level of customization and functionality you opt for.

It is highly recommended that you must start with developing an MVP app and discuss with your developer that how much would your app’s MVP cost you?

Moreover, taking all the factors into consideration, one’s your app is ready, you need to acknowledge that you’ll require more funds to market it.

 

Planning app budget

Allocate Budget Based On The Right Considerations

 

So, figure out how much does it cost to outsource app development. If the success of your app necessitates extensive details and features, you need to make sure that you have the funds. If you are constrained, you must drop out the not so engaging features.

As you decide on your budget, you must have a clear picture of the monetization strategy – whether your app is free, paid or freemium.

This can give you a proper sense of how much you should be spending the most. Leaving this part out for later is not advisable.

 

5. Choose the right app development platform

Choosing your mobile app building platform is a crucial step because it categorises your target audience based on the platforms they prefer to use. You need to make a choice between native apps vs hybrid apps development.

Mostly, the app makers prefer both iOS and Android platforms as they have the largest audience base. However, you can opt for any platform according to your requirements and later expand it to the other platforms.

 

Choose the right app development platform

Choose The Most Appropriate App Development Platform

 

Even though it’s possible to have a significant part of common coding across operating systems, one-size fits all approach isn’t particularly advisable.

For every additional platform that you make your application accessible for, your app development costs and the number of users you can target will simultaneously increase.

Depending on your budget, target group and the key objectives, you need to figure out the appropriate platform(s) to build your app.

 

6. Pick the right mobile app developers

It’s time to finally entrust someone to carry out the technical part for your business app. Apart from just knowing how to create an app, the actual implementation considering all the aspects is all you need.

To ease out the pain of finding the best app developer, we have listed all your possible concerns in this guide on how to choose the right mobile app developers in Australia.

 

Best mobile app development company

Hire the Best Mobile App Development Company

 

This is an important decision, for a wrong choice can completely derail you from achieving your goals in addition to draining out a significant quantum of resources.

If you try to build your app with a DIY approach, it might save you some money, but can get you into a lot of complexities.

As someone who is not savvy with the process, understanding the implementation can take up a lot of your time. Moreover, the missing post-implementation support can be an additional hassle.

Freelancers, on the other hand, may be among the most economical choices for getting an app developed by the professionals. However, since they operate as solopreneurs, their exposure in a wide variety of projects is often limited.

It might be a problem if you want to build an app with complex functionalities. Their lack of a team also results in a higher cycle time to complete the development process, getting you into the unnecessary delay.

Moreover, freelancers are often unable to help significantly with post-launch support.

In that sense, delegating companies with the task is a safer choice, even if it comes at a slightly higher cost.

Organisations are usually equipped with greater manpower and tend to have much more expertise and experience in handling different types of projects. You must go for the app makers who use agile development methodology in their approach.

The best services need not be the expensive one. You can find one to help you with your specific functional needs to keep it within budget.

With careful consideration of the above factors, you can choose one and accordingly delegate the task.

 

7. Set the timescale & communication channels

Whoever you entrust with the job of building your app, you must set clearly defined project milestones. The process of app building is a lengthy one and includes many steps such as planning, designing, programming, testing, approval, deployment and support. It also requires the involvement of different people at the different stages.

It’s very important for you to set predefined timescales for the different steps in a mutually agreeable manner with your app developers.

 

App development milestones

Set Predefined Time Bound Milestones

 

In case the time horizon looks very long, you can prioritize the key features that are most important, and try and set the schedules accordingly in consensus with the team.

You must establish absolute clarity on the project stakeholders and key contacts. Doing so is important to ensure friction-free communication flow.

 

8. Get started with the multifaceted implementation process

As the project implementation starts, there are a lot of elements you need to take care of. The application with its design, content and backend together must contribute to an improved user experience.

The layout and navigation aspect is quite critical, which you must instruct your app developing teams to sort out with wireframing. Getting them to create blueprints of screens prior to design and coding can get a lot of small details taken care of, making your app user-friendly.

 

app-wireframe

Building A Wireframe

 

The reasons why anyone will download your app is for its content. Hence, that too must receive paramount importance in terms of being crafted valuably and relevantly.

The content part is something that you need to thoroughly work on and provide to the team in core terms, which they may refine further with a professional touch.

 

9. Prototype, test and improve

Post-intervention at all the right places and discussions with your developing team, it’s also important to have them to build a prototype. Doing so helps to practically uncover where exactly are the loopholes in your planning and implementation.

 

prototype-test

Prototype, Test and Improve your Mobile App Regularly

 

If you are doubtful about certain aspects and features, prototyping can help you get the most relevant answers and indicate towards the best kind of improvements. Once you have a prototype, and you’ve tested it, you can use the feedback to improve further.

With all of that in place, you can then get the team to finish the remaining work with the app and the coding of the backend in a consistent style. Consistency always helps in the long run. Also, it’s important that at this step, you’re secured of the fact that the app takes care of data security.

With all of the above taken care of, you and the team can look out for final glitches and fix them before you’re ready to launch officially.

 

10. Work on the app promotion

Once the app is ready, you need to promote it and get the desired return on your investment. One way of doing that is going through these simple hacks to improve your app store visibility.

In order to be able to do that, you need to work on a well-defined pre and post-launch plan.

 

app-promotion

Have An App Promotion Plan Ready

 

This includes working on the app store optimization to make your app discoverable and promoting it across all the relevant channels.

Doing so successfully requires careful thought and planning, which you should never defer to the end. If your new app launch requires training of employees or user training, you need to factor that in too.

You also need to ensure that the app developer sets up the in-app analytics for you, so that can gather relevant insights from the traction and use it for further course of action.  Moreover, you need to sort out your social media integration as well.

 

This checklist has covered all the prerequisites to build an app. We hope this article has answered your query on how to create an app.

Need more assistance? Connect with Melbourne’s best app makers and launch your app like a pro.

Are Mobile Apps Becoming Our New Digital Companions? [Infographic]

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Mobile apps are becoming new companions - Infographic

What is an app?

A computer software? A program? Or human’s digital companion?

We live in a world where mobile apps are far closer to us than the actual human beings.

For example, how many closed ones can you name whom you can talk to 24/7, who knows your real-time location or can identify all the faces in your photo gallery?

I think your answer would be ‘none’.

Being the app creators, we’ve come to the conclusion that mobile apps are becoming our new digital companions at a rapid rate.

If you visit any app store and go through the list of mobile applications available, you will find that the mobile apps which have a higher number of app downloads and user engagement rate are the free apps. So, people are addicted to these kinds of mobile apps.

Here’s an interesting infographic highlighting the areas where applications are helping us the most. We’ll also talk about the examples of mobile application features that are behind the virality of such mobile apps.

Are Mobile Apps Becoming Our New Digital Companions? [Infographic]

We hope that you agree on all the niches listed in the above infographic, where mobile apps are turning out to be a better companion.

The best time is yet to come when almost every app will be integrated with the latest technologies like ML, VR and AR. Hence, solving our queries more efficiently and quickly.

So tell us which is your favourite companion-cum-mobile app?
 

Share this Infographic On Your Site

Best App Startup Ideas: How to Get Started with your App Idea?

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Best app startup ideas

App startup ideas are the brainchild of a man’s entrepreneurial spirit.

Many app startup ideas bring a revolution to change how things exist and how the fast-evolving technology can be deployed to transform the world we live in.

Every sector, be it, ecommerce, agriculture, finance, education, medical, hospitality, etc has seen a significant involvement of these budding reforms.

Startups do not merely start up with the motive to make money. In fact, they come up with a unique set of solutions to address the real-world problems that no one else could solve.

For example, Zappos, an online shoe and clothing retailer based in Las Vegas, started way back in 1998 when its founder Nick Swinmurn could not find the shoes he was looking for in a shopping mall. The Zappos App started with the sole aim to deliver an effective and efficient customer service. Customer service executives of Zappos go out of the way to cater to the customers.

Another example is Square, a mobile payment company and a financial, merchant services aggregator, started in 2009 when one of its co-founder, Jim McKelvey struggled to accept a credit card for a piece of artifact he created. Since then, Square has revolutionized the way how small businesses received their payments.

While these stories might have rushed adrenaline to your entrepreneurial spirit, we bring you 11 most in-demand and trending app startup ideas.

 

Best App Startup Ideas

 

App Startup Idea 1: Restaurant Reservation App

Some essential features to look out for:

Easy login through email IDs or social IDs, best restaurants from around the country, search by preference: restaurant, cuisines, area, virtual Restaurant Tour, graphical seat selection by party size and time, shareable booking details, earn loyalty points and rewards, easy check-in through OTPs, order from the app, track order and waiting time, in-app payments and POS available Rate and Review.

 

Competition for Restaurant Reservation Apps:

OpenTable revolutionized the way bookings were done long ago with its Restaurant Reservation Application. Since then, companies have ventured into the domain, but none were so effective in marking a lasting imprint.

With around two-thirds of the restaurateurs still preferring to book a table over calls, there is a void in the hospitality industry which can be filled with newer, better and innovative ideas and technologies that compress waiter time, offer ‘order and pay’ from the table and reduce order delivery time.

OpenTable, Reserve, Table8 are some of the ventures that made a move in this industry.

 

App Startup Idea 2: Invites App

Some essential features to look out for:

Easy login through email ID or Social IDs or contact number, Contact Synchronization: from all your social media handles for better connectivity, wide range of templates and elements to design invitations, socially shareable invitations via SMS or MMS, in-app gallery, in-app purchases: exclusive templates, collaborate on designs with workmates or friends and monitor RSVPs.

 

Competition for Invites App:

With the advent of apps that allow you to send tailor-made or pre-defined invites to your family and friends, organizing events had never been that easy. Hobnob and Invitd are some good examples of invitation sending apps, that enable you to send invites via SMS or MMS instantly, track responses and group text using chat rooms.

 

App Startup Idea 3: Social Connect

Some essential features to look out for:

All major social media channels are supported, push notifications for feeds and messages, comment or reply from within the app and set the password for security.

 

Competition for Social Connect Apps:

Social Media Management Apps have a demand, for, downloading every social media app, checking feeds, message replies, appears too tiresome. Apps that let you manage all your social media accounts through just one single click are what people are demanding next.

You can develop an app that receives updates and messages from all the linked accounts and lets you reply to them, all in a single app. HootSuite, Buffers and Sprout Social are some apps that let you manage all your social media accounts through one app.

 

App Startup Idea 4: Parking App

Some essential features to look out for:

Easy login through email ID or contact number, all major parking and metered spots covered, search by preference: locality, marketplace, workplace, paid/free/metered, save car’s location, allotment through OTP and registration number, shareable parking details, in-app payments and set reminder to remind you when your parking ticket is about to expire.

 

Competition for Parking Apps:

Searching for parking has been like searching for a needle in a haystack but, with parking industry coming together with the technology, finding a parking spot has become easier.

Apps laced with Navigation maps, reminder system, tracker, that can ease their lives, by reminding them where they parked their car, reminding about expiration time for metered spots, directing routes to the parking, are what consumers are looking forward to.

AwareCar, Parkopedia are some apps working in the parking industry and easing lives.

 

App Startup Idea 5: Smart Home App

Some essential features to look out for:

Easy login through email ID and contact number, appliances synchronization, Unique Identifier (UID) allotment, set individual appliance password, lock/unlock the device from anywhere, anytime and alarms for suspicious activity.

 

Competition for Smart Home Apps:

Home Automation has taken the world by storm; Tech giants like Google, Apple, Amazon are progressively working and battling to mark a lasting imprint upon the consumers’ minds. Some of the commendable inventions are voice controlled speakers, Amazon Echo, Google Home and Apple HomePod.

None of the complete smart home solutions can be fostered by an individual company, providing ample of space and room for startups to grow; you can prefer to build an app that supports these AI embedded speakers.

 

App Startup Idea 6: Interior Designing App

Some essential features to look out for:

Easy login through email ID or Social ID, wide range of products from world’s best brands, search by preference: brands, colors, size, type, category, 360-degree product movement, socially shareable snaps, in-app catalog, easy buy, shareable shopping cart, free delivery in all metropolis, in-app payments and COD available, 30 days return guarantee and 24/7 chat support.

 

Competition for Interior Designing Apps:

By far, Interior Designing has harnessed the full power of the device camera and Augmented Reality. From seeing how a piece of furniture will compliment your home decor, to check whether an artifact will blend perfectly with the surrounding or not, or which colors will look best; there’s an app for everything. Some examples are Houzz, Havenly, and Housecraft.

Developing a startup in this domain will mean you need to make sure your app stands at par with these apps. You can begin with markets or regions where Interior Designing apps haven’t created a remarkable impact and try to overcome all the shortcomings which user have faced in the past, even if, they were by your competitors, refrain from making them again.

 

App Startup Idea 7: Traveller App Guide

Some essential features to look out for:

No login required (optional) [necessary if a user wants to track his past trips and experiences], search by current/preferred location, socially shareable snaps and details, ratings and reviews, and best commuting options via Maps and other travellers’ experiences.

 

Competition for Traveller App guides

Review-based travel forums are in demand, for people do check reviews and ratings before visiting any eatery or sightseeing destinations. You may consider beginning with those places which are underrated or eateries whose services are exemplary.

While this idea might not appear to give results too soon, it can be a sleeper hit. Yelp, FourSquare, AroundMe are some of the traveller forums, helping users have pleasant visits.

 

App Startup Idea 8: Multi-Utility App

Some essential features to look out for

Easy login through OTPs, wide range of services, search by service and locality, rates on per hour basis, easy availing and ratings & reviews.

 

Competition for Multi-Utility Apps

Services industry is a never dying industry with ample of space and room to grow. You can easily target markets and workforce, which pose a significant demand for such apps but have not been covered yet. Some of the successfully operating multi-utility apps are TaskRabbit, Zaarly and Handy.

 

App Startup Idea 9: Carpooling App

Some essential features to look out for

Easy login through contact number, search by locality/destination/route, socially shareable booking details, fares on per kilometre basis, emergency button: to help in case of mishappenings and 24/7 chat support.

 

Competition for Carpooling Apps

As the world moves towards sustainable development, reduction of carbon footprints, lesser traffic congestion, carpooling is what environmentalists and riders look forward to as potential reform.

You can begin by targeting consumers who commute to work daily. People commuting towards the same destination can then share rides and contribute significantly to the environment. Lyft, GetAround, and Carma are some of the successful ventures working towards this noble cause.

 

App Startup Idea 10: Tenant Finder App

Some essential features to look out for

Easy login through email ID and contact number, for tenants and landlords, wide range of properties from around the city, search by preference: PG/Hostel/Flat, Room Size, Facilities: Wi-Fi, Parking, Garage, Lawn, save preferences: to get notified as soon as new properties matching your needs are available, virtual home tour, easy Property Registration, in-app payments, chatting interface within the app to contact landlords, verified homes and 24/7 chat support.

 

Competition for Tenant Finder Apps

Real estate sector has been a bit slow in adopting technologies to streamline itself. Technologies like Virtual Reality enabling users to visit properties from their place of comfort, predictive analytics and geofencing to deliver best property results, e-signing services to reduce tiring paperwork, ACH for transactions, can bring a remarkable volte-face to this domain.

You can begin with one region, listing the properties available for rent, advertising and analysing user response and then expand to other regions gradually. Zillow Rentals, Trulia Rentals are some tenant finding apps easing house-hunting processes.

 

App Startup Idea 11: Styling App

Some essential features to look out for

Easy login through email ID or Social ID, wide range of products from world’s best brands, search by preference: brands, colors, size, type, category, socially shareable snaps, in-app gallery, easy buy, shareable shopping cart, free delivery in all metropolis, in-app payments and COD available, 30 days return guarantee and 24/7 chat support.

 

Competition for Styling Apps

According to a study by McKinsey & Co. and Business of Fashion, The State of Fashion, “leading innovators will reveal the possibilities of Artificial Intelligence across all the parts of the fashion value chain”. According to the same report, 75% of the world’ leading fashion brands have planned to invest in AI in 2018/2019.

Globally, the fashion industry is valued at 3 trillion dollars, 2 per cent of the world’s total GDP, thus, making technological reforms inevitable for it. The global brand, Gucci raised the bars quite high when it launched its new ad campaign, ‘The Gucci Hallucination’ for its Spring Summer Sale 2018, which combines art, fashion, and tech altogether.

With Virtual Reality, Augmented Reality, 3D Printing transforming the fashion world, the fashion industry is all set to receive a digital makeover. Burberry Beauty Box, Sephora, and Converse shoes are some out of the box tech combinations of the human mind.

 

How to Get Started with an App Idea?

Step 1: Validate your idea

 

How to get started with an app idea?

 

Before you hop on to turn your app idea into a reality, it is imperative that you figure out whether your idea holds demands and value in the market; for, no matter how amazing your idea is, launching an app with no demand is futile.

Searching the queries related to your idea will give you the statistical insights into your idea’s domain and will help you design your product in accordance with the consumers’ needs.

 

 

Step 2: Design and Document Wireframes

 

App wireframes

 

Next comes, designing and documenting wireframes. Start with a Minimum Viable Product, resonating the core features of your idea and refrain from adding ‘nice to include’ features in your list, because it’s futile to develop an overloaded app that fails to create an impact.

Now that you are familiar with your target audience, their needs, requirements and core features, start designing wireframes for your product, as you envision your user to navigate through the app. You can use online tools like Axure and Mockup to document wireframes.

 

Step 3: Freelancers vs App development Agency: Whom to choose?

 

Freelancer or app development agency

 

Complex Hiring Process

Coders are not the only persons you will be needing to give a kickstart to your startup. You will need UI/UX designers for designing seamless user experience, testers to test and review your product, marketing people to design and implement your app’s marketing strategy, quality assurance, and above all, project managers to coordinate with the team and the potential stakeholders.

In an App Development Agency, all the recruitment process is carried out by an experienced team, whereas on the other hand, if you choose to hire freelancers you have to go through all the rigorous hiring processes by yourself, and that might delay the product delivery.

 

Coordination

With freelancers, it may happen that your team might be dispersed across the globe; your coders might be working from San Francisco, while your Digital Marketing Executives will be devising marketing strategies from some corner of Europe.

Differences in their respective time zones and personal work hours may pose difficulties for the project manager to maintain an effective and healthy coordination with all of them, eventually affecting the quality of your product.

On the contrary, with app development agencies it is easier to maintain coordination within and among teams, for they are all toil under one roof.

 

Timely Product Delivery

Well, setup app development agencies stick to their product delivery timelines, while the same cannot be true about freelancers. For, freelancers might fall sick, take long leaves in case of some unforeseen circumstances, affecting the delivery and the quality of your product as there is no alternative to that person.

While it is true that the same might happen with professionals working in an agency, the agency does have people working for it in reserve, so that the unforeseen issues do not cost huge losses to the product and the team.

 

Regular updates

Mobile Apps are not products which once developed, can last forever; with technologies advancing fast, it is imperative to keep your product at par with the changing technical requirements, they need regular updates to keep up with the changes in the underlying technologies.

While professionals working for an agency can get to work on updates as soon as you make the deposit, with freelancers you might have to go through all the hiring process again, in case the previous team you worked with, isn’t available.

Also, in case you employ new professionals, your team might have to go through all the code, from the scratch all over again, while with an agency, since the product was built in-house, professionals wouldn’t find it difficult to get along with the updated technologies.

 

Budget

This is one factor where hiring freelancers give an edge over hiring an app development agency. Since freelancers do not have overhead costs, they are likely to charge you less than what agencies charge.

So, if you’re low on budget, you can prefer to go for a team of freelance professionals and move it in-house once your app gets received appreciatively among the people.

 

Step 4: Marketing and ASO

 

Marketing and ASO

 

Your dream of turning your idea into a successful startup doesn’t conclude with just building the app; for it is merely a piece of code and code doesn’t attract consumers. You have to plan well thought out marketing strategies and make the best use of App Store Optimisation to get visibility among the masses.

App Store Optimisation is the process to get higher rank among keyword searches in the popular app stores. Understanding what goes into ASO, will help your product stand out and make a mark. The higher your app ranks, higher are the chances of getting visibility and hence, app installs and potential consumers.

 

 

Summing Up

While ideas are dime a dozen, it is their implementation and underlying business models which make them a success. There have been cases of startups which do not make it big in the first go, they changed directions, reformed according to consumer needs, some even started from scratch, again and are now doing wonders.

So, if you have an app idea and above all, an excellent business model for it, no matter what, it will become big, not immediately, but definitely, for even Rome wasn’t built in a day.

Got an app idea? Don’t know where to start?

Get in touch with our expert app makers and we’ll provide you with the best app development experience.

Machine Learning Apps: Why Should You Integrate ML Into Your Mobile App?

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Machine Learning Apps: Why Should You Integrate ML Into Your Mobile App?

Machine Learning Apps are fast invading into our everyday lives as the technology is progressing towards delivering smarter mobile-centric solutions.

Embedding mobile apps with Machine Learning, a promising segment of AI, is spelling out a lot of advantages for the adopting companies to stand out amidst the clutter and rake in sizeable profits.

Many organizations are investing heavily in Machine Learning to reap its benefits. Based on a prediction, Machine Learning as a service market will touch $5,537 million by 2023 while growing at a CAGR of 39 per cent from 2017-2023.

 

What Are Machine Learning Apps?

Machine Learning Applications refer to a set of apps with Artificial Intelligence mechanisms that are designed to create a universal approach throughout the web to solve similar problems. The ML apps are based on a continuous learning process and provide end users with the exceptional user experience.

Machine Learning is implemented as a piece of software, which is specifically developed to improve its own behaviour and predictions by learning from the data it collects.

 

Basic Principle Behind ML

The functionality of ML is quite similar to the human central nervous system in nature.

In order to transmit every piece of information to the brain, the neural networks within one’s nervous system generate electrical impulses and quickly pass on the simplest signals, one neuron to another.

Machine Learning is based on the implementation of these very fundamentals and any project based on it goes through a very similar workflow.

 

ml-workflow

 

Machine Learning empowers an app to recognize patterns and apply its learning to continually improve the user experience and eliminate friction.

Most of the modern apps that are poised for success have embedded this Artificial Intelligence mechanism, working in the background.

 

Let’s look at some of the ways Machine Learning can benefit your mobile application:

 

How is Machine Learning Benefiting the Applications?

Machine Learning holds the potential to improve outcomes for mobile apps in the following ways –

 

a) Lend A Touch of Personalization into your App

In today’s world of limited product differentiation, personalization is one of the key ways to stand out amidst target groups.

Machine Learning facilitates the app functionality customizations for different users by analyzing the revealed data from their behaviour.

This helps in serving the most customized options and even the most relevant ads, optimizing marketing costs.

 

b) Provides an Efficient Searching Experience for Applications

With the data led world progressing at a high speed, efficient searching has gained even more importance in creating a good user experience.

Today, when users search for their queries on the internet, they expect the results to be closely aligned with their search intent.

Machine Learning apps make this extremely relevant, seamless and quick to achieve.

 

c) Provides Way To Detect And Control Fraud through Applications

 

fraud-prevention-using-ml

 

Machine Learning helps to gauge if the app is vulnerable to security threats and hence plays a vital role in preventing frauds.

The analysis of GPS traces and usage patterns by means of ML tools assist a great deal in uncovering various suspicious activities.

This way, by analysis, continuous learning and automation, Machine Learning helps applications to adhere to and implement the high level of security standards.

 

d) Supports Applications with Visual and Auto Recognition

By means of neural networks, applications with  Machine Learning integration, detect various faces and recognize different words for enabling the translation.

This is largely helpful in making the experience seamless and less time-consuming for the end users.

 

e) Helps Applications with Advanced Data Mining

The applicability of Big Data is uncontested and multifold. However, to process the huge amount of the raw data, a lot of effort is required to analyze and categorize the information.

Machine Learning is equipped to process multiple profiles at once and hence helps to create well-aligned strategies for an app that is backed by robust data.

With all these promising features, it’s time to adapt to their world-class applications across various industries.

 

Most Successful Industrial Applications Of Machine Learning

Owing to its myriad advantages, Machine Learning has been applied by various industries to augment the performance and usefulness of their apps, both for the end-users and the business itself.

 

Here are some successful applications of the same in different industries –

 

Ecommerce Machine Learning Apps

Machine Learning has benefited many e-commerce giants such as  Amazon, Alibaba and eBay. As such, e-commerce stores need to have a fat advertising budget for acquiring their customers.

The retention of their acquired customers and improving the lifetime value of each customer acquired is essential to provide a boost to their bottom line.

Machine Learning techniques have really helped with this objective by simplifying cross-selling and upselling.

It basically enables an inbuilt mechanism to fetch the best product recommendations that align with a customer’s preferences, which makes cross-selling and upselling far more successful.

Moreover, Machine Learning has helped e-commerce operators in the following aspects:

  1. Shipping Cost Optimization
  2. Supply Prediction
  3. Demand Prediction
  4. Fraud Prevention

 

personalised-customer-experience

Machine Learning Enables Personalization Of Shopping Experience (Source)

On the other hand, customers who are using ML-based e-commerce apps, seem to be enjoying the more personalized shopping experience with recommendations.

It is consuming the least of their time and helping them make the best purchase based on their preferences.

 

Fitness & Health Machine Learning Apps

Machine Learning has been driving significant results in the fitness industry. It has enabled fitness providers to roll out personalized services for their users.

For instance, ML empowers coaches to auto-curate a workout routine that is client-focused as per their fitness goals and body capabilities. It has helped to save a lot of time for users to improve on their form and technique.

As a prominent example, the Optimize Fitness app is one that is empowered by Machine Learning. It helps its users gain access to a personalized workout routine with videos of the most relevant exercises for them.

Personalising fitness app using ML

Personalized Suggestions Given By Optimize Fitness App

Machine Learning has been useful in reducing the cycle time of lengthy and expensive drug discovery processes. It has been deployed to determine genetic markers and genes to offer patients a personalized treatment.

Machine Learning is also being used to aid in the speedy diagnosis of diseases, and to maintain smart electronic health records.

 

Taxi and Food Delivery Machine Learning Apps

The applicability of Machine Learning has also brought great results in delivery services and cab aggregation.

World’s most popular cab service, Uber, has created a great user experience for its active app users – both riders and drivers by relying on Machine Learning.

Uber app works with ML tools at the backend to help the riders with an accurate Estimated Time Of Arrival (ETA) and cost based on their trip details, factoring in the real-time traffic.

For the drivers, it presents optimized route information in real-time. Moreover, in order to arrest fraudulent transaction, Uber is relying on ML via practices like facial recognition, or detecting the usage of stolen credit cards.

In fact, Uber has also integrated ML to its venture Uber Eats. It is providing its users with customized recommendations and precise ETA for their food deliveries.

 

Entertainment Machine Learning Apps

Machine Learning is also making the entertainment world more fun with endless personalizations.

Among the entertainment applications, Netflix is one that deserves a mention. When it comes to watching online movies and TV Shows, Netflix is indeed the most trending app for all age groups. Its rising popularity and viewership retention strategies depends a lot on its personalized shows and movies recommendations.

Netflix has saved about one million dollars on account of the automated and personalized recommendations that its platform furnishes for the users. 80 percent of the recommendations the app gives out can be attributed to its Machine Learning backend.

Snapchat has also garnered significant popularity owing to its filters that help its app users spice up their photos with interesting options. With Machine Learning, the app has been made capable to perform face recognition, localize features and add the filters very accurately.

 

face-recognition

The Snapchat App Face Detection Capability Rests On Machine Learning (Source)

 

Education Machine Learning Apps

Machine Learning apps enabled chatbots to answer student’s queries in real-time, assess their assignments and provide unbiased grading as per their performance.

It has witnessed a tremendous response in the education sector. It has helped both students and teachers fair better in the knowledge exchange process.

Teachers as human beings will naturally have to go through a time limitation to analyze multiple students in detail and recommend better learning techniques or provide career guidance. ML powered chatbots are seamlessly stepping in right here to help students.

 

Finance Machine Learning Apps

Machine Learning apps have also been helping financial organizations with significant optimisation. It’s turning out to be very helpful for banking and finance companies to scrutinize transactions of customers, social media activities and browsing history to arrive at accurate credit ratings. This done correctly has clear implications for profitability.

More importantly, Machine Learning is being deployed to prevent frauds by analyzing transaction behaviour and also offering personalized customer services.

Machine Learning has also been bringing in real benefits for personal finances.

For example, the Oval Money application works with ML techniques to help people budget and save optimally by analyzing their spending habits along with that of the wider community.

This way, by automatically understanding behaviour and patterns on a large scale, the app is meting out a flexible and completely automated saving method to meet one’s financial goals.

 

Machine Learning principles of Oval Money App

Oval Money App Works On Machine Learning Principles (Source)

 

In short, the applications of ML have reached across various industry verticals to cultivate meaningful benefits.

 

Now comes the question, how to proceed with the implementation of ML in your app?
Is it that complicated? Well, with all the available open source libraries, it’s not.

 

How To Go Ahead With The Implementation of Machine Learning?

There are several open source ML libraries available for the app developers to embed in their applications. Many trusted companies are providing it, to enable seamless adoption of this technology.

 

Five such well-known libraries are –

 

I. TensorFlow

It is an open source ML library by Google Brain Team. It is helpful for numerical computation by means of using data flow graphs. It enables to execute computations to numerous CPUS/GPUS in any device via a single API.

 

II. Core ML

It is specifically meant for iOS app developers, and it helps them to integrate ML models in their applications. Core ML is well known to provide a boost to both app performance and efficiency.

 

III. Microsoft Cognitive Services

Microsoft Cognitive Services enable the developers to build apps that are smart. It empowers the apps to be able to see, hear, comprehend and converse using natural means of communication.

 

IV. Amazon Machine Learning Services

Machine Learning Services from Amazon enables developers to build ML models by means of using visualization tools and wizards. It also provides a mechanism to obtain predictions for mobile application without administration of any infrastructure.

For example, it can be used for forecasting of demand, prediction of frauds and the number of clicks.

 

V. Ignio

It is an ML-based self-learning platform by TCS. It is designed to automate and optimize IT operations. It is quite powerful in terms of grabbing environmental information and also resolving common errors by itself. In case of inability to resolve, it passes on the problem to the human and trains itself for the future.

 

To sum up, Machine Learning is among the most striking avenues of AI. It has massive potential in improving outcomes of mobile applications.

With its several advantages, it’s making applications user-friendly, full of utilities and also beneficial for the company that owns the app. It’s due to the same reason, that the most disruptive and popular apps have already adopted the technology and many others are fast adopting.

If you wish to build an app that creates real value for your user and your business, Machine Learning can be a safe bet to embed, so as to contribute towards your goal.

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11 Things That’ll Ruin Your Mobile App User Interface

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11 Things That'll Ruin Your Mobile App User Interface

When it comes to designing the interface of a mobile app, it is not at all a child’s play. After all, a good app interface isn’t just about how it looks and feels, but also how functional the design is.

A mere presence on an App Store or Play Store doesn’t benefit the customer or the business. Once the user downloads an app, the interface must contribute towards easing out the user’s life, while getting them attracted to the design and aesthetics.

App users tend to look for understandability, personalisation and efficiency when choosing an app and every good User Interface(UI) makes it a point to cater to that.

As such, there isn’t any hard and fast rule to design the best app interface. However, getting certain things right and avoiding major mistakes can help you achieve a lot in that regard.

 

What Are The Most Common Mistakes In Mobile App User Interface?

 

Since UI design is quite multi-faceted in approach, even the most experienced designers tend to make these common mistakes.

Here are some of the repetitive design flaws seen in the interface of many mobile apps. Also, explained are some of the best practices to avoid making those very mistakes.

Here they are…

 

1. Starting Out Without Understanding The End Users

In order to build an interface design that is end-user oriented, it’s vital to spend some time on understanding their needs, behaviours and preferences with proper focused initial research.

As a UI designer, you might have specific tastes and preferences. However, an interface design job well done on your part means building something that your ultimate app user will appreciate.

This means picking the right colors, fonts and designs that align well with their taste, mood while using the app and of course the purpose of the app.

 

Sway-app

App Interface Design Of Sway by PauseAble

For instance, in the above design, the color palette and fonts opted, go well with the theme of the app – Sway. Since Sway enables people to meditate, the interface design helps by ushering in a sense of calm with the combination of its chosen design and fonts.

Interestingly, a very common mistake made by many app developers is designing the apps for people who are always on the go. As per a study by Google, as many as 60 percent of users use their smartphones at home. Another study says that around 75 percent use phones when in the bathroom.

This behavior pattern means that if your app requires attention and is worth for the user to spend time on it, he or she will do so and use it in the appropriate environment.

Leaving out important parts so that it’s quickly navigable might not make sense for all apps. Hence, while designing, it is pertinent that you never lose sight of who exactly you’re designing for.

A great way to achieve that is by starting out with closely leveraging empathy maps.

 

Empathy Map

Empathy Map

 

2. Ignoring The Information Hierarchy

Another common practice is to start out with designing the interface of that part of the application that is easiest to design or which covers the core feature of the app.

However, this approach is flawed unless it precedes some careful thought towards laying out the right information hierarchy.

The key to getting the UI right is to understand that only those things that are important to the end user are truly important.

The layout must be planned before starting with design to ensure that the app is easily accessible and navigable for the user. The prioritization should be by popularity and this choice should be made only after research.

While designing the navigation, it’s important to keep it simple and intuitive. The categorization must be limited, relevant and well placed.

Once these things are in place, it makes sense to execute the actual design process.

 

3. Focusing Only On Functionality And Not Aesthetics

As much as the design does need to contribute to end-user functionality, good aesthetics can make a big difference to the end result. As a fact, the first impression can be related to design by up to 94 percent.

Human emotions really play an important role in decision-making and a design that fails to infuse positive feelings is unlikely to be successful in spite of being highly functional.

In that sense, having aesthetically appealing designs with well-chosen colors and the right contrast make an app’s interface far more attractive and preferred among its users.

lack-of-contrast

Lack of contrast in design makes it unattractive

 

4. Designing Before Finalizing Content

Even though you might get instant client approval with an aesthetically appealing design with a dummy lorem ipsum in place of the real content, this commonly followed approach is absolutely wrong.

It’s popularly agreed upon that design without content is nothing more than mere decoration.

Ideally, content should be the first step, since the app is all about a user engaging with its content. If the app doesn’t cater to the user’s content needs, the purpose of downloading it becomes void, no matter how beautiful the interface is.

Hence, the content part must start before the designing step on the assembly line. Prototyping without the real messaging can result in an unrealistic design, which can completely fail when the actual content is added. Very often, the space left out for content falls short than what’s needed optimally.

 

5. Engaging In Font Abuse

A significant element in a good UI design is the font. Fonts are leveraged to display the textual content and they largely determine the impact delivered by the message.

Ideally, the font selection must be restricted to the option that is simple, familiar and readable. It must go with the emotion of the messaging.

As a practical fact, if the app design uses inconsistent fonts or sizes across screens, the impact and appeal of the user interface get significantly distorted.

 

text-placements

A common practice observed with many interface designers is that they set the font as the system font of the operating system of the hardware device.

Doing so is safe, but it can sometimes result in a challenge. For instance, say in a Samsung device, if the user changes their default font preference to something that will simply not go with the interface design, the app can end up looking extremely unappealing.

Another pertinent point to be careful about with fonts is that every font is essentially a software that comes with a license.

Embedding one into the app without going through the terms of usage can end up attracting uncalled for legal troubles.

 

6. Infusing The Screen With Too Much Clutter

There was a time when smartphone screens were small and there was too much to fit in, in those small spaces. With the changing and increasing screen sizes, having a breezy design is becoming simpler and turning out to be very important.

While it’s necessary to include all the vital information in a quickly navigable manner, designing the app interface as an application of information overload can only cause analysis paralysis for the user.

If your design presents your users with too many competing options, it can overwhelm them and prevent them from finding what they’re looking for.

This naturally can get cumbersome and avoid them from wanting to tune in again.

Ideally, your design should be strategized to focus the user’s eyeballs on the most significant aspects.

Overall you should follow a minimalistic approach and be as intuitive as possible at every point of your interface.

cluttered-interphase

Too Much Clutter In Interface Design Disturbs The User

 

7. Confusing Minimalism With Simplicity

Many a time, trying to overdo the minimalistic design, unfortunately, results in friction. Less is always better than more, but too less is not a substitute for adequate.

The focus of your design should be to make the interface as intuitive as possible with immense clarity for the user on what to find and where.

The pivotal guiding principle behind your interface design should be to reduce the learning curve for your users.

If extreme minimalism defeats that, you should only apply it restrictedly.

For instance, many apps have a hamburger menu to support a very clean design. Unfortunately, if that element almost always gets missed out, the app user isn’t going to benefit and might abandon your app before spending more time in looking for the options.

Similarly, not labelling your icons if they are uncommon, can be another minimalistic approach that demands more attention to your user’s part. Alternately, removing a button that makes a user’s life much simpler is another example of minimalism gone wrong.

 

disney-color

App Interface Design for Color By Disney

 

As a good example, Disney’s coloring app does use unconventional icons. However, they make it a point to label them so that the user can quickly grasp what they’re looking at.

 

8. Having Inconsistency In The Design

When it comes to decoding the navigation for mobile apps, people often learn by doing. In other words, once they figure how things work on a page of the app, they use that knowledge to work their way through the other pages.

If most of the pages in your app interface design are inconsistent, it really spoils the look, feel with your application design.

More importantly, it disturbs the intuitive element of navigation. It confuses the user with the mixed signals, demands more of their time – something that your design must never force the user for.

Ideally, you should go for the same colors and elements and repeat the patterns wherever possible. If the objective of the screen doesn’t go with the remaining patterns, you must ensure to keep in mind that when put together, all the pages look complete as a whole.

Following style guides are very helpful in achieving this.

good-bad-page-design

Consistency In The Design Makes A Better User Interface

 

9. Following The Same Approach In Both iOS And Android

These days it is possible to clone an Android App and transfer the exact design, layout and navigation completely identically in iOS. While that might save time and cost, it might not turn out to be the best decision.

Users on both platforms have their own set of preferences, and your design should incorporate that.

They’re used to a certain way on each of the platforms and your design shouldn’t force them to learn from scratch.

Ideally, you should create an interface design that is consistent with the visual element on the relevant platform.

For instance, maintain similarity in the buttons, colors, iconography and so on.

 

10. Leaving Out Very Limited White Spaces

Many UI designers tend to have the tendency to fill all the empty space they have at their disposal. They feel that white space is a space wasted.

What they fail to understand is that the empty space has a significant utility of its own and is in itself an essential element in the UI design.

Well, thought out white space helps to prioritize the content and make it far more readable, by reducing the amount to be read at a single go. With its aesthetic appeal, it lends a touch of sophistication and contributes to the integrity of the design.

White space is significantly leveraged on e-commerce sites.

The Amazfit app interfaces too as a case example demonstrate great prowess in leveraging white space.

White spaces

App Interface Of AmazFit App

 

11. Over-doing The Innovation

While most people desire to create an app interface that is to design a breakthrough innovation and different from the rest, it’s important to not overdo this part.

Apps are built to help users solve their problems. If the innovation aspect in the interface design places a cognitive load on the user in trying to understand the changes, the unfamiliarity and innovation get counterproductive.

As a fact, for most of the design elements, solutions already exist. If the existing ones say, for instance, a play button is available and is commonly accepted, it makes little sense to replace that with an innovative symbol meaning the same.

People are generally averse to change by nature and prefer similarity as long as it is comforting. Hence, you should attempt at innovation mindfully and selectively.

 

Finco

App Interface Design Of Current By Finco Services

If you look at the user interface of Current, an app that helps parents teach their kids about finances, they bring in innovation with some interesting and fun colors, but don’t do away with the familiarity and clean layout of financial apps. Even for the symbols, the go ahead with the most familiar ones that almost everyone recognises.

 

Conclusion

Designing a good user interface is a multi-layered task, much beyond only aesthetics or functionality. It’s about getting the smallest of elements right as a collective bunch.

In order to achieve that, it’s important to start with good understanding and planning followed by meticulous execution of the designing details. Each small part has a significant impact on the end result be it as small as font size, the color palette, the design elements or even the icons.

Even though there is no rule of thumb that guarantees a great user interface, answering a question at each step helps to improve outcomes significantly. That question is, “Does this go with the need, mood and mindset of my end user?”

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