Application development: how to get your product off the ground?
The new normal is making the world more and more digital. For this reason, providing complete experiences for your client has become essential for most companies.
And when we say complete, we mean easy, simple, and that solves problems. It is useless to offer a digital solution – be it a portal, an application, or a chatbot – that does not solve the customer’s pain.
It is this experience that we will talk about in this article. However, let’s move you to the previous step: how to develop applications to hit the user’s heart.
How does application development work?
The first step is to understand that, when we talk about digital experiences, the human being can only communicate with the outside world through two senses: sight and hearing. And yet, in a reduced way.
This characterizes a difficulty factor because the digital interfaces and several screens serve to emulate and replace face-to-face experiences.
And, of course, create new ones (whenever possible)!
Don’t know where to start? Consider the reflection of this sentence as a first (and essential) step:
Screens are the magic windows to another world.
What does it mean in practice? When you think about the user experience, answer the following questions:
1. What does my application want to deliver from the outside world?
2. What feeling do I want my client, consumer, or customer to have when using my interface?
And here we have a multitude of answers – directly proportional to the number of applications that we can find in our smartphones’ app stores. Each box is a different and personalized offer, designed for each user – or millions of them.
Today, we can carry out practically all transactions via mobile, with few clicks – especially if we consider the processes we needed to do before these apps existed.
To get an idea, we bring some reflections:
- Do you know how many hours you spend using your apps a day?
- Would you be able to work if you didn’t use any apps?
- How much time do you save using apps within your routine? Think of apps from banks, supermarkets, food delivery, public transport consultation, navigation, e-commerce… the list is practically endless.
Where do we want to go?
App development is an essential investment for your company – regardless of the segment. From engaging and retaining customers to strengthening your brand positioning, the apps undoubtedly represent an exciting opportunity.
It is not because everyone does it that it is easy. Remember that, precisely for this reason, you will find many competitors going after your customers’ clicks. To differentiate yourself, you need to know exactly what you have to offer, where you want to go and how your app will develop. We’ll talk more about that in the next section.
Step by step to develop apps
The first consideration to be made is: how will my application really be useful to my client? This premise should guide the entire process of building your app. It will ensure that you’re creating something that adds value to your audience – not yourself.
Let’s take a step-by-step look at what cannot be missing from this development.
- Selecting the team
It is essential to have a multidisciplinary team, which will guarantee the knowledge and mastery of the areas of expertise necessary to develop your application.
Expertise, knowledge, practical skills are just some of the factors that must be taken into account. See: Lack of time, software, or equipment can also hinder the process. For this reason, many companies choose to outsource this service as a way to reduce costs and save time.
- Consider the behavior of the new consumer.
At this point, it is already clear to everyone how much our behavior has changed. And this directly implies that the vast majority of data that companies have about their customers and potential customers has become obsolete.
Stay tuned! Your user’s priority today can be totally different. The information on consumption habits, hygiene, health, work, and worldview may no longer correspond to what you had mapped.
Putting our new normal in perspective, many people who were not so closely related to the internet, websites, portals, and applications, had no choice: they were practically forced to dive into digital.
Jakob Nielsen, a computer scientist and one of the usability gurus, says that this new portion of users now needs to use digital media to socialize, get information, work, and even shop. And here we have a big slice of the elderly.
These people need to be looked at with great attention and care during the development process. The way they look at an interface is totally different from a heavy user or a professional in the field.
In this sense, consider using some guidelines that can help accessibility.
- Larger buttons
- Use as little text as possible: few words used forcefully
- Be clear and direct
- Decrease the number of options only to the necessary flow
- Always choose to use illustrations instead of texts
Remember: dramatically simplified interfaces guarantee your user’s autonomy.
4. Define the type of experience
What kind of experience do my users need? And which ones do they want? Within that answer, there are many possibilities. However, in short, you can follow two macro paths.
There is no correct answer, okay? Both scenarios are possible. They only need to be adequately fitted according to your project. To decide, focus on the two questions that opened that item.
Tip! If you don’t know where to start, UX Research can help a lot. This discipline will give you the necessary tools to understand what brings value to your client’s daily life. This will vary from business to business, from user to user, and according to each corporation’s objectives. Again, there is no right answer.
5. Be present in your customer’s life.
With the increase in online traffic and, consequently, with the high growth of applications being launched, your brand needs to be present in the user’s life.
Experience is closely linked with presence. That is, to be relevant, your brand cannot disappear or be left in the background of your user’s routine.
How to do this?
6. Proper communication
Involve the areas of branding and marketing to think about this appropriate communication. This is where UX writing comes in – writing with the user in mind.
It is necessary to choose carefully all the items in this topic: from positioning to the words used. This will ensure that your company is seen in the right way by customers.
7. Define the programming language
Finally, it is time to decide which programming language the mobile developer will use to develop your application. This depends directly on the platforms where you want to make your app available (for example, Android or iOS – or both). We’ll talk more about that in the next section.
Discover 4 frameworks for application development
Which language to choose? Again, there is no right answer to choose adequate language. You need to evaluate, together with your team and the specialists in charge, which path to follow to reach the goal successfully.
Depending on the number of users you want to reach with your strategy, it may be interesting to choose multiplatform frameworks. Thus, the same app is created with a single code base, reducing costs and facilitating security (correction of bugs and loopholes).
It is worth remembering that here we brought only four examples. However, it is important to evaluate with your team (which you chose carefully there in step 1) which is the best option for your business objective.
How to enter the digital products market
There are hundreds of possibilities to enter the digital products market. According to your company’s sector and knowledge, you might already have some ideas of where to start.
Anyway, it is good to remember some important points to identify needs.
Now that you’ve done all of these analyses – or the ones that made the most sense for you and your company – you probably already know the best app opportunities to enter the digital products market. Let’s take a few examples.
- Home office
With the rapid adaptation of companies to the remote model, many will likely not return to the face-to-face model. The increase in productivity and the decrease in stress were signs perceived by the vast majority of corporations.
In this sense, investing in something that adds value to this new reality – be it for the company, for the employee, for customers, partners, or all of them – can be very promising. Think about investing part of the reduced cost in increasing your employees’ quality of life while also increasing engagement and motivation.
- Remote psychological support
- Encouraging healthy activities, such as physical exercise or planting a vegetable garden at home
- Manual activity workshops
- Functional classes
2. Social distance
Even after the pandemic, the fear of a 2nd wave or an endemic will still be a significant concern worldwide.
Thus, thinking about solutions that optimize people’s time and reduce crowding risk can provide security and generate trust, encouraging your product or service consumption.
- Monitor supermarket queues, indicating more free times for customers
- Securely occupying cinema, theater, and concert hall seats
- Digital screening of hospitals and clinics
3. Mental health and social contact
With social isolation, life turned into being at home. Having fear contagion, which caused many people to stop meeting friends and relatives, anxiety and loneliness became part of the new normal.
How to approach people safely?
- Chat apps in more intimate and secure environments
- Remote therapy platform
- Emotional support app
Large-scale unemployment was a consequence of the global pandemic. This large amount will probably not be hired back in their original functions. However, companies will probably hire them in areas where the activities and tasks might differ.
- Workforce empowerment and training solutions
- App that connects employer with candidate
We are already getting back to normal in terms of travel, but some restrictions need to be followed. The question to be answered here is how to encourage domestic and local tourism safely.
6. Small suppliers
With the increase in purchases by applications – be it products, food or market items, and pharmacies -, small establishments that had a loyal but in-person audience ended up harmed. Many even had to close their doors.
- Inclusion of small establishments in the delivery ecosystem
7. Premise for agglomerations
As we said, even after the end of the pandemic, it is likely that the world population is still afraid to carry out activities in which many people come together, such as concerts. Thinking about apps that mitigate the spread of the disease is a massive opportunity in this context.
- Immunity certificate: couriers with temperature sensors, rapid tests to check for the absence of symptoms.
8. Distanced learning strengthened
The truth is that distance learning has always been a little stigmatized compared to the face-to-face model. Many educational institutions had to close their doors because they failed to achieve the minimum number of student enrollments to keep it running.
In this scenario, strengthening the distanced learning can help many institutions that may have this model as an opportunity for survival.
- Mitigate restrictions and usage problems, such as internet access and pervasive content
Do you already know where the application development opportunities are in your corporation? If you need help getting your ideas off the ground, our experts can help. Please contact us, and we can have a virtual coffee!