Top Ingredients for Long-Term Mobile App Success
Top Ingredients for Long-Term Mobile App Success
Keep these points about mobile app UX, deployment, and testing in mind when developing your app to ensure long-term success.
Join the DZone community and get the full member experience.Join For Free
Like in any field of the world, achieving success requires some key factors – there’s hard work and there’s luck. But there are also one or two things that have killer impacts, making all the difference. And it’s that point that makes top mobile games/apps stand out from the crowd.
Now there’s one prerequisite. Over the years, all of our customers who have achieved massive success in their verticals have been offering great products that differentiate them from the rest. That’s true, you need to first build a product that your target audience wants. Without this in place, it might be hard to move forward.
Given that you have built a game-changing product validated by your customers in a period of time, you’ll need a "tasty sauce" to make it a roaring success. That is, from our observations on our top customers, meeting your end users needs and keeping them satiated. To continuously make this sauce awesome, you’ll need a couple of kicking-butt ingredients. Let’s break them down.
User Experience Comes First
UX is rather important in mobile applications. A glitch, crash, or error in your app will probably destroy the hard-earned trust from your end users. Think about it – when you are building a mobile-friendly website to waive the SEO punishment from Google, you are actually creating a better experience for your users/customers. Regardless of what your app is built for or how many features it has, you’ll need to make it user-first.
End users should have access to mobile apps in any circumstances – 3G/4G, GPS location, the strength of signals, low memory, interruptions during the app interactions, etc. Chances are, the response time varies a lot between users and use cases.
While more companies have been adopting performance testing to measure user experience and app performance, you might want to take it further by implementing a real user environment with access to every possible scenario. It’s best done by creating a tailored in-house environment to test and replicate similar use cases as your users.
Now, assuming that you have already adopted DevOps processes, a key element would be making your DevOps responsible teams tightly aligned with designers as well. At the end of the day, creating an instant feedback loop with good analytics between designers, devs, testers, and ops would be essential to deliver an overall compelling UX.
Ship Frequent, Ship Fast, and Ship Hard
There are two cruel facts – one is that today’s mobile market is seriously competitive with countless alternatives to one app, and mobile users are getting less tolerant and more demanding.
In the couple of days after you deliver an update to the market, your end users are already hungry for new features in the next releases. Even if your app is not supposed to entertain users with stunning features, you’ll still make sure your app quality is always above par, as a sloppy app awaiting a fix or new release might cause a significant loss of revenue.
To cope with your users’ hunger, all you can do is make sure you deliver timely releases with new features to meet their expectations and get them engaged with your mobile apps. If you are not satisfied with your current app delivery pipeline, then read on for insights.
You might have had this idea – a common practice to accelerate time-to-market is to realize a higher frequency of releases. To achieve this agility, you’ll need a well-established DevOps process to get an integrated environment from build to test to deploy to monitor. In the end, a good DevOps process can help you streamline CI/CD pipeline and make sure everyone from Dev, QA and Ops work under tight collaboration and frequent communication from idea, to design, to code, to production.
Always Be Testing…Efficiently
You might be thinking that it is a motto for your business team to conduct numerous A/B/X testing for app store optimization and user acquisition. Why does it matter to you?
It’s not a rare case in many organizations that the majority of testing tasks are only performed right before the releases, the reason being that every possible code change during the development will cause some damage to app quality. With that in mind, testing everything in a big batch at the end of the release cycle seems to be a good way to minimize testing efforts and costs. But it’s not. And the truth is "so many tests, so little time" before the release.
To confront a tight release schedule, these teams might just opt for manual testing against a handful of real devices, and worse, rely on emulators for so-called "testing at scale."
Implementing and making full use of test automation allows you to "always be testing." As aforementioned, adopting DevOps processes is one of the key factors to mobile app success, and automation plays a key role. Powered by a scalable test automation solution like Bitbar Testing, you are able to run tests on multiple devices at scale and maximize device coverage for optimal user acquisition. This is critical, especially when you explore a new market while trying to stay on top in your home markets.
One way to always be testing is to introduce unit testing by creating and running smaller tests. Smaller tests are easy to manage and quick to execute so that you can instantly report feedback to developers. This definitely reduces the overall turnaround time and boosts the dev and test efficiency.
One thing to clarify is that manual testing is still needed for some key testing scenarios, but you need to diminish it to achieve real agility. In the end, automating every possible test means a relentless quest to hone the quality of apps, continuously validate app performance, and make it always ready to ship.
Published at DZone with permission of Ville-Veikko Helppi , DZone MVB. See the original article here.
Opinions expressed by DZone contributors are their own.