5 Questions You Must Ask Your Mobile App Developer

5-questions-you-must-ask-your-mobile-app-developerOnce you decide to have an app for your business, you start scouting for good mobile app developers. You read reviews of app development companies, you go through their work portfolios and try to gather as much information as possible. You cannot let fancy presentations alone sway you. Before finalising the partner for app development however it would be prudent to ask them a few questions. Once you know the answers you would be better informed to make a decision regarding the app developer you want to choose for the development of your app.

So what are those questions you must ask? Let’s go through them one-by-one.

#1 Can you share details of 3 of your best apps?

Answer to this question can tell you a lot about the company. The apps the company submits as best work need not be super successful ones in the market but they will give you an idea about the development capability of the team. The app should be easy to use. Jumpy UX and UI should be considered warning signals.  The logo, the color palette, icons used, navigation etc. will give you fair idea about the designing and development team.

#2 Is the development team that will work on my app in-house?

Some mobile app development companies outsource the complete app development work or a part of it. When the work is outsourced you do not have ways and means to monitor the progress and really know what is going on with your app. A project always goes through a few roadblocks and a few corrections while in development. It is better to keep everyone in the loop. With a team that is not in-house things can get complicated.

#3 What will be the communication procedure during the development?

Depending on your convenience you can tell the app development company details on how you would like to be communicated. If you are an email person or you prefer getting on with the team on Skype – you need to set the standard procedure of communication beforehand. Decide the day, date and the time you can be contacted at – it is important to discuss this in case you live in different time zones. You can set guidelines for resolving conflicts too. Line of communication should be clear. The team should be able to incorporate feedback as a part of the process.

#4 What will be the after launch app maintenance policy?

The job doesn’t get over with the app launch. In fact the journey of users starts after the app launch. Make sure you and the app developers reach a clear understanding about the journey of the app, which would invariably include updates, post launch.

#5 Will you transfer the codes, files and documents to me after the project is completed? How?

You would be paying the app development company for the project. You own the source codes, the related files, databases, web systems and documents. A good mobile app development company should have no problem in handing it all over to you – should you ever want it, once the project gets over.

These are some questions you can ask the app developers before finalising on the one you are most comfortable with. Do not hesitate to add more questions if you have doubt regarding any aspect of app development. Good partnerships are built on good open communication. Hope you find the right app development partner for developing your app. Good luck!

Three Major Approaches of Mobile App Development

three-major-approaches-of-mobile-app-developmentMobile App Development currently includes three major approaches –Mobile Web Apps, Native mobile apps and Hybrid mobile apps. Well, if you are confused to formulate your mobile app development strategy and wondering which approach would best suit your business, then, all you have to do is to take time to understand the purpose of your app. This homework will help you to decide on the approach. Venturing into this business without truly understanding the purpose will create problems.

Residing on a web server, Mobile web apps run both on mobile browser and HTML rendering components. Native apps are developed using mobile device platform specific software development kit (SDK). Hybrid apps use cross-platform tools. Built with HTML5 and JavaScript, the approach uses both browser interfaces and native components. It takes most of the good features from both mobile web and native.

Forrester’s 2016 report titled, “Native, Web, And Cross-Platform Mobile Apps All Have Their Place,” highlights on four key questions that one can ask when faced with choosing a mobile app dev approach. The questions are; who will be using the mobile app? Why do they need a mobile app? When and how will they use the app? What technologies best meet the needs of the app and its would-be users? Forrester says these four questions can help in deciding on the approach that best for a specific mobile app development project.

Apart from the above mentioned questions, have a look on few apps developed based on specific mobile app development approaches.  These apps are successful because they were developed considering few factors that contributed to deciding or formulating on the approach. Appropriate assessment enables to choose the right one.

To help clear your confusion you can go through the following chart which specifies the advantages and disadvantages of each of these approaches.

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Examples

Examples of Native Apps: Facebook, Twitter, Whatsapp
Examples of Hybrid Apps: Evernote, App Store, Gmail for Mobile in HTML5, Uber
Examples of Mobile Web Apps: mFacebook.com, mTwitter.com,

To Wrap

As we move towards a hundred percent mobility phase, the functionality and value of mobile apps has greater role to decide its acceptance and stay. Making and breaking the success of your app depends on the purpose of the app and the way it is approached. The above mentioned development options have its own purpose to deliver. It reflects the way you would want to deliver experience to your customers via your app. Whether it is hybrid or native, before you start building the idea, analyse and understand the weakness, threats and opportunities that lie with each strategy. Keep your strategies ready. Once this is ready, you will take less than five minutes to decide on the approach. Final say is use the approach that best fits your business.

Making a mobile app can be the best decision that you can make in 2017 to enhance your business income and client numbers. OpenXcell has been specializing in developing mobile applications on different platforms in view of its client require. Based on the target users, objective, and the budgeted investment for developing and maintaining an app, OpenXcell can help you choose the right approach.

 

4 Top App Onboarding Essentials

4-top-app-onboarding-essentialsFirst impressions stay forever. In the case of apps, getting the onboarding right is the only  way to get your first impression right.

As per a recent study by Localytics, 20% of the apps are used only once. So, it becomes all the more important to get your onboarding right.  A good onboarding ensures that a first-time user becomes an engaged, active user from the first interaction itself. For this, the onboarding should deliver on various fronts. It should provide the user a basic idea on how the app is going to serve his needs. Plus, the design should be intuitive and simplistic, not to mention visually appealing. Most importantly, the copy, concise and clutter free.

Here a list of features that ensure that your onboarding is right

#1.  Introductory content

App marketers get only a few seconds to impress first-time users. So make sure your app intro covers the core features.

The intro content could run in between first to three screens…and may go up to five screens as well. You can use your own discretion on this.

Nevertheless, keeps these five things in mind while designing your intro content:

# There should be length indicators. Users don’t like the content to drag on forever. So, you need  to provide them with indicators as to how long the content is. This will keep them going no matter what.

# Speak about benefits, not features – Speak about how the app is going to benefit the users and the value they would derive from it.

# Embed brand identifiers: This should include your brand logo and tagline. This would help users identify the brand right away.

# Make it visually appealing: Text should complement with images.

# Keep it short: It’s okay to run your intro from one to five screens. But then, the screen should contain only limited words. Don’t drag. Don’t ramble. No one is interested in reading your long stories.

# Option to opt out: Some users may like to opt out of intro…so make sure you embed that option as well.

#2.  Seek User Permission For Sending Push Notifications

The only way to offer value to your users is through push notifications and location tracking. However, before you send out your push notifications, the user needs to sign up for these features. This is where permissions come into the picture. Nevertheless, you cannot simply go ahead and seek app users’ permission. There’s a proper way do it.
Here are the four ways to seek permissions from users:

#1.  Leverage custom opt-in dialogue: This sort of permission helps you seek permission in your own personal way and at the same time helps you highlight your brand’s personality in the dialogue.

#2. Ensure to embed custom opt-in dialogue before the OS dialogue: This is because once the OS dialogue appears you won’t get a second chance to seek permission.

#3. Your users should know why you are seeking their permission in the first place. So, explain to them the benefits of push notifications and more.

#3. Nail Down User Intuition

User onboarding could be different for different apps. Say, for instance, for some apps, onboarding is straight forward.  Users don’t have to rack their brains to understand the app features and functionalities. However, all apps don’t share a similar onboarding trait. There are apps that come with less intuitive designs. For such apps, some sort of support system has to be put in place. For instance, in the case of gaming apps, the entry-level could serve as user onboarding. For service or eCommerce apps a tutorial could come handy.

Tips to create a perfect onboarding tutorial:

  • Keep it short. Users won’t spend more than a minute on it.
  • It should be easy to locate
  • The final step should ensure that users are still engaged with your app. So lead your users to actionable pages where they could update their status, take photos or something of a similar sort that keeps them hooked.

#4.  Use different color plays to guide users

Obviously, you should stick to the color scheme decided during the app development stages. But then, make sure to use higher contrasting hues and also bright colors to draw attention to where the users should actually navigate. This is one of the best ways to keep users visually engaged. By employing different color plays you could easily suggest users which option they should choose sans any explanation.

Final Thoughts:

User onboarding is not essential for all apps. Some apps are intuitive enough. And so user onboarding could turn out to be a pure nuisance for such apps. But then, some apps simply can’t  do away with them. So leverage the above-mentioned to tips to get started. However, make sure to keep testing your onboarding tactics and also consult some reputed mobile app development companies so to have a clear idea on what works and what is annoying to your users.

6 Things You Must Know About Testing Your Apps

6-things-you-must-know-about-testing-your-appsA buggy app is a recipe for disaster. It is important that you test your app properly before launching. Many mobile app development companies have separate divisions that focus on app testing. If the app does not perform properly on the user’s device after he has put in all the effort in  downloading your app and launching it, he will not hesitate in uninstalling your app and will give you bad reviews too. So what are the important things you should test your app for? Let’s find out.

#1 Test Your Device On Different Networks

Mobile apps behave differently in different network environment. It is difficult to achieve seamless connectivity. Sometimes there is lack of bandwidth, drop in packets due to re-routing and other glitches. Some apps crash when they are working from a specific location on a particular network. Testers need to find the vulnerabilities by testing the apps on different parameters like Uplink Bandwidth, Downlink Bandwidth, packet corruption, Loss percentage etc.

#2 Test your UX and UI On Different Screen Sizes

It is important that you test your app on different devices of different sizes. UX and UI of your app should perform well on the devices. All the elements should align perfectly with UI providing the right navigational maneuvering comfort it is designed to provide.

#3 Test on the OS and its Different Versions

Test your app for the operating system it is designed for and make sure you test it with all the versions available in the markets. Once up at the stores, your app is going to be downloaded by users who would have different versions of Android or iOS running on their phones. Make sure the apps follow platform guidelines. You want to make sure everyone who downloads your app has a good experience.

#4 Test Battery Usage

It is important that your app doesn’t drain battery. Many users uninstall apps from their devices because it drains the battery too fast. App developers need to ensure that the app is not too greedy. App testers have this responsibility to check the apps for battery drain.

#5 Test Your App With Different Devices

It is very disappointing when you are in the midst of using an app and you get a call which somehow gets disconnected. Your app should learn to work with different features of different devices. Ensure that the user is able to receive calls and notifications while he is in your app. It should be able to work with other apps in the device. Some apps request for permissions again and again after every update. It can be very irritating for the user. Have a way for your apps to remember the permission it has been granted.

#6 Test for localization

Our world is as diverse as it is alike. When you plan to release your app in different countries, you have to test it for localization. Language , context, images all need to be localized. A good tester ensures that the app is ready for the country it is going to be released in.

These are a few of the things good testers from reputed mobile app development companies take into consideration while testing an app. Openxcell has experienced mobile app testers and can help you with testing your app.

The How and Why of App Referral Marketing

tips-to-leverage-referral-marketing-for-appsLooking forward to higher app downloads and ROI this year? Leverage Referral Marketing.

Referral marketing is an organic form of marketing and it’s considered to be one of the most successful forms of app marketing.  For instance, Uber, Airbnb and Evernote could attribute their success entirely to its referral marketing programs.

Dropbox witnessed 3900% growth, thanks to customer referral marketing programs. The company had 100,000 registered users in 2008, and within fifteen months it touched to a jaw-dropping figure of 4M users. Referral marketing is that powerful when used rightly.

Some facts and figures about App Referral Marketing

  • App Referral Marketing is the best vehicle for word-of-mouth publicity and helps accelerates app downloads. According to a study by appvirality, in-app referrals increase downloads by 36%.
  • According to Journal of Marketing, the lifetime value of referred customers is 16% higher over a non-referred customer.
  • A referred customer tends to spend more than a non-referred customer.  This is great news for cab or ride sharing apps with regard to revenue generation.
  • According to research, 80.59% of the users try a new app if it’s suggested by friends or family.
  • According to a Nielsen survey, word of mouth marketing is 92% more effective than any other form of marketing.

Tips to Leverage Referral Marketing For Apps  

Focus on market segmentation for your referrals

Narrow down your audience to specific segments. Then among them, identify the highest lifetime value influencers, specifically those with highest number of social followings and engaged users.

Segmenting customers will help you build stronger networks for your referral programs.

Offer Reciprocal Incentive for More Referrals

Remember one thing, no matter what, customers would speak good about your company only if they get something back in return.

The very idea of giving your customer something back in return for a positive public referral is called reciprocal incentive.  Say, for instance, Uber offers a powerful reciprocal incentive for its referrals.  It offers both the referrers and the recepients a free ride.

Referral links should be personalised

This is important. That is, the personalization of referral links and codes. Referral links ensure that the user clicks on the link without much ado, thanks to known names referring the program to you. You could even try coming up with a landing page that displays the image of the referrer.  These two simple tricks will add more weight to your app referral program.

In-app referrals should be promoted

Referral programs should be backed by proper promotional campaigns. Without proper promotion of your referrals, things might not work for you. Through push notifications, social media activities, promotion on websites and mobile sites, SMS, email newsletters and all, you could promote your in-app referrals.

Nail down the influencer for your referral programs

Nailing down the key influencer and then rewarding them in a huge way would give a definite boost to your in-app referral program. Take the help of known mobile app marketing/mobile app development companies to help you identify a key influencer for your app referral programs.

Nail down In-app analytics

In the case of in-app referrals, some metrics hold more weight over others. These could include invites sent by the referrer, clicks, installs, revenue generated and more could be tracked with the help of an app marketing agency.

Optimize your App for All Devices

A developer should ensure to optimize their app for all devices.  More important than that, ensure that their feature is visible on the app’s home page as well.

Match your Referral Marketing with Industry Data  

Mobile app trends keep changing at a significant pace. According to an Econsultancy post, ‘How consumers behave on ecommerce apps,’ higher chances of conversion for iOS apps is on Friday, while for Android apps it’s on Saturdays. This data should be borne in mind while promoting apps through different channels, be it through push notifications, emails, sms among many others.

Wrapping Up

Apps are the new website. Nearly 85% of shoppers choose an app over a website. Meaning, even your competitor is focussed on developing an app. So, the only way for your business to survive and thrive is to focus on the app and its promotion. And app referral marketing is one of the proven ways to promote your app and boost app downloads. It’s one of the crucial cogs of the app promotion and retention wheel.