Mobile App Development – 6 Best Practices

Jigar Panchal

If you develop apps for use on smart devices, complete and accurate testing needs to be an essential part of your development process. The following 6 best practices will provide you with useful information, techniques, and ideas on how to test a mobile application.

1. Always use physical devices for Testing
Yes, simulators are cheaper alternatives for testing across multiple devices. However, your best bet to find bugs in later stages of development will require testing on real devices. Not only will you get to check for responsiveness and get a complete look and feel of how the app should appear and function on the mobile device, but you also get to see errors and bugs that the simulator might miss. Ensure that you are testing on all devices with platforms that you are developing the app for. Target Device Selection – Create an optimal mix of simulator testing and physical device testing on different models to maximize test coverage.

2. Know your Audience
Mobile users expect much more from mobile devices and mobile apps than from other applications like those for the Web or desktop. One of the biggest challenges in the mobile app world is high user expectations. Therefore, knowing your target customers and their expectations is essential. You need information like age, gender, monthly income, mobile usage habits, and geographical location to get a better picture of your customers. This knowledge will help you to understand usage patterns and support mobile testing more appropriately in your business. With thorough understanding of the customer, you can downsize your testing efforts by focusing on what is most important to the user. You may be able to reduce the number of devices for testing, because you only need to test on the devices your customers use.

To get information like this, you can interview customers, conduct market research based on target groups, and use statistics from mobile app stores.

3. Make the App Comprehensible
Your application should be easy to understand for the users. So make sure you include clear instructions wherever necessary. Include text to accompany graphics. Avoid making the common mistake of relying only on images to tell the tale. If your app has too many graphics, the users might not be able to figure out the real purpose of the app. So maintain a balance of text and images and provide concise instructions.

4. Determine the Right Design Methodology
Devising the right design methodology is the key to developing a successful mobile app. According to a mobile best practices report published by Accenture, having a definitive design strategy is especially important in a ‘cross-platform environment where multiple efforts may be underway simultaneously.’ Creating a storyboard helps. You can list down complete functionality, and future components, of your app on a piece of paper and eliminate any problems that may arise at this stage. It is also a good idea to involve potential users in the design process. Their feedback will help you improve the design in a way that is well accepted by the end user.

5. Incorporate Application Analytics
The mobile environment is not always connected. Thus monitoring clicks and other usage analytics is a challenge. Incorporating analytics features in your app to understand how users are interacting with it is a good idea. This will help you in identifying which features worked or which didn’t and whether users are interacting with the app the way you expected. Including crash logs is also advised, so that you know what goes wrong with your app when it is used in the real world.

6. Keep posted on New Updates
Ensure you keep your users engaged on our portal and also keep them updated on the New releases and features integrated (if any). The key segment is the user should not be felt lost by your TEAM. Whenever any new changes are done the best way to keep the users engaged is to provide them with a brief statement about the changes and also with the page link for redirecting them to your page.

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