For any mobile app, no matter who’s making it, just surviving in a market saturated with digital products and services takes a serious dedication to quality. Most companies have a pretty cookie-cutter way of judging the quality of their mobile products, judging them on a select few categories like visual presentation, responsiveness, or how easy it is to integrate it with popular social services like Facebook and Twitter.
But an app that meets all these basic requirements is merely passable — and passable doesn’t add much value to your brand. To create an app that earns the distinction of “best in class,” the customer’s experience of each user-facing touchpoint embodies the same quality and polish as the others — in other words, it is not only effective, but effective in a highly consistent way.
A huge part of delivering consistent quality with your app is tailoring it to the many different platforms, operating systems, and networks on which your users will be engaging with it. Granted, plenty of the aspects you’ll be tweaking will go unseen by the majority of your potential users, but they should still be taken into account if you want to deliver the same brand experience throughout your installed base.
When it comes to differing platforms, the developer of a best-in-class app should be looking for bugs that relate to things like processor power, battery life, and interoperability with native features. A lack of attention to details like these could end up dragging down your user experience, leading to frequent crashes, drained batteries, or features that don’t work the way they should — your app might fail to interact efficiently with a certain phone’s GPS, for instance.
Developers should also think about all the different data providers that will power their product and optimize for connectivity or bandwidth, network latency, and refresh rate. If your app requires some level of internet connectivity — and it should — slow loading time could interrupt your customer’s train of actions with the app, and they won’t wait for the new version to arrive before they uninstall it.
But of course, these are just the basics, precautions that prevent your product from becoming embarrassments to the brand. The “best in class” mantle isn’t just a quality problem to solve.
Every great app has a fundamental understanding of its audience’s needs woven into the design from the moment of inception. The app’s entire basis should be in some kind of innate usefulness or utility for the consumer. None of your customers have any interest in a glorified mobile advertisement: if you’re not servicing their needs, they probably don’t want you on their smartphone.
The way that users interact with your app should be made intuitive during every step of their experience, even for the least tech-literate members of your audience. For a best-in-class app, though, the tricky part is simultaneously offering a kind of layered depth that supports a rich feature set for your most devoted followers. The experience has to find a balance between incredibly simple form and vast, textured function to deliver a journey for customers — one that, at its core, is still devoted to meeting the consumer’s need simply and quickly.
Finally, the “best in class” app needs to adapt and grow regularly and consistently over time, updating its content and features based on user feedback or embedded analytics. This is a major component of staying ahead of the competition, who will undoubtedly be checking comment threads and reviews to get an edge over the services you’re offering.
Centric Digital will help your company to develop an app that does more than just survive. We’ll identify your mobile audience and find gaps in their experience of your brand and make sure you deliver an app capable of filling them. Every brand has an app nowadays, but it takes a call from Centric Digital to make an app that’s best in class.