Top tips for making, not breaking an app.

These days it seems like there’s an App for everything.  You’ve got an original idea, and you’ve seen plenty of your friends succeed in the App-sphere.  But how do you create an App, and ensure its success?

Anushka Bandara, co-founder, CEO and Operations Manager of multi-national Elegant Media, has shared his top tips for creating a successful App.

“Because of how prevalent Apps are, a lot of people underestimate how much work you have to put into them. The most successful Apps are the ones that are regularly updated and improved,” Bandara said.

His first tip for creating an App is to be specific.

“Start out with a clear vision of what you want: write down the App’s features and how it functions. It’s essential to have a clear vision to work with an App developer.  You’ll also be able to see what’s missing and what makes your App special.”

It’s also essential to do market research after your initial features list to see what’s on the market and what features make your App unique.

“Market research will tell you the current trends and what people want from Apps,” says Bandara. “You’ll also want to identify your customer base, what profession, age, gender, or income group they are. This will allow you to tailor your App’s features to suit the demographic, and do some targeted market research.”

Monetisation is an often overlooked element of App design, but one Bandara stresses the importance of.  “There are several options for this, but any of them will change the way your App functions and how it’s designed. Subscription services are growing in popularity, and user-data is also a good way to monetise.

“If your App has a social mission you could try for sponsorship.  Paid Apps don’t work anymore, although in-App purchases are still working, and advertising is less attractive because of the focus on user experience.”

After these initial design stages, Bandara advises you to model.

“You can either create a paper prototype – arts and crafts are always fun – or you can do a wireframe model using online tools.  Paper prototypes are quick and easy to make, while wireframe models are a bit more time consuming, but slightly truer to an actual end product.”

Once you have a workable model, you can begin looking for App developers to work with.

Bandara warns, “App development can be expensive and there are a lot of cowboys in the industry that have burned a lot of people.   With Elegant Media’s subscription service we let you dip a toe into the waters of App development, and build up from there.  It’s an affordable, effective option that lets you build as you go, rather than paying a massive sum up front.

“With any App developer, you should be creating a detailed model of your App with wireframe tools, including aesthetic elements.  After that, get your App developer to re-assess pricing.”

Bandara also says it’s essential to keep in close contact with your developer throughout the process.

“You should be getting new versions every week so you can make changes and fix any problems.”

Marketing is a key element of any successful business venture, and social media marketing works particularly well for Apps.

Ultimately, though, the key to any successful App is constant supervision.

“Looking at the most successful Apps shows you that they are constantly updated and improved. The markets change, competitions pop up, and Apps can quickly become outdated.  Make sure you’re always updating your App to make sure it stays successful. A regularly updated App gives the market confidence that it is a good App and that it is responding to the needs of the market and staying in touch with updated requirements.”

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