Small businesses benefit from integrating app development into strategic plans. Apps help with effectively marketing a business while also providing a means for completing sales through a decent smartphone. Rolling out any app prematurely, however, could create disastrous, avoidable problems. Business owners should look closely at four phases of development capable of reducing troubles.
1. Review a blueprint of the app
A blueprint represents a rough draft plan for an app. The common name for a mobile app blueprint is a “wireframe.” No matter the name, the rough draft serves a similar purpose as a building blueprint. The draft presents a visual guide of what the developer intends to develop. The blueprint/wireframe can be drawn up on paper, but most prefer to create on with a software program. Software blueprints can be easier to produce and more visually appealing.
Reviewing the blueprint allows a business owner a chance to ask questions about the app and the development process. He/she can gain clarification on certain points while also allowed to make suggestions. Best of all, these steps take place before commencing actual development work. Addressing concerns after development starts could prove complicated.
2. Try out a prototype of the app
Long before approving a final app product, ask the developer to create a prototype app. The prototype won’t be perfect since it’s not the “real” app. Trying out a prototype paints a picture of what the final app will do. The prototype also opens the door to making necessary revisions on the next stage of the app development process.
A small business owner could ask a handful of friends and employees to try out the prototype. See what they say about the application. Their opinions might prove helpful to the developer during the next phase of development.
3. Release a beta test model
The beta test version of the app is like the older sibling of the prototype. The beta version is the presumed finished version. Developers know the app may contain bugs and requires improvement. They probably won’t assume the app isn’t a non-working failure. After all, the beta version gets released to the actual public.
A beta version won’t go out on a grand scale. A small, targeted audience of users acquire the beta app to test it out and provide feedback. Based on the reported beta user experiences, the developer makes final improvements. Another round of beta testing may take place. Or, the next version release could be the final one. Incidentally, the final version won’t necessarily prove final. 2.0 and other updated versions of a successful app might eventually follow.
4. Take user reviews and feedback seriously
Once the app goes live, users maintain the option to review and rate the program in an app store. Don’t ignore any reviews or user feedback. Terrible reviews might necessitate pulling the app. Constructive criticism may prove helpful when planning version 2.0.
Remember, the end user’s opinion becomes the last word on the value of the app.