Every company needs an app. If you’re the one responsible for making those apps, your work is already cut out for you. Making your first iOS app may seem intimidating, but going in with the right knowledge will provide you with some comfort. Keeping in mind that iOS is a very specialized platform and that Apple users are very particular, you’ll want to do a little research on more than just the standard coding if you want your app to make a big splash.
1. Research the App Store
It would be terrible to sink all kinds of time and money into what you believed to be the perfect idea, only to discover that there’s a similar app in the App Store that’s already dominating the market. Before you walk away from the drawing board, make a list of keywords that are relevant to your app. Take a good look at everything that may be considered similar. If you’re going to stick with your original idea, you need to determine how to make your version a large improvement over the pre-existing app.
2. Use Apple’s Tools
A lot of app tools prioritize Android functionality. Not all simulators and build tools truly duplicate the requirements of iOS. If you’re willing to spend the cash, it may be worth it to join Apple’s Developer Program. You’ll have access to tons of tools and tips that are tailored specifically to crafting iOS apps, rather than generalized app information. Make sure all the tools you’re using are specific to iOS, as multifunctional tools don’t provide a genuine experience. Apple also has a very specific set of guidelines for the kind of apps they’ll allow. Using their references can prevent you from creating an app you cannot release.
3. Develop a Great Relationship with the iPhone
If you’ve been using an iPhone for years, you probably have it down to intuition. If you haven’t, you need to learn to use that phone as if it were an extension of yourself. If your app design won’t work with the intuition of an iOS user, chances are slim that they’ll be willing to teach themselves to use their phone in a different way for the sole purpose of interacting with your app. Touch sensitivity and menu placement count for a lot. Ideally, you want users to understand how the app will work before they even download it.
4. View Your App with New Eyes
User experience is best measured by allowing someone to use the app and making note of their reactions. You may use your app and feel like it works perfectly, but we’re all a little biased when it comes to our own design. The best way to evaluate user experience is to hand your app off to a friend or a coworker whose honesty you can depend on. If your UX is bad, you’ll want to know before negative feedback shows up in the App Store. Fix it before the users get to see the app.
5. Test, Test, and Test Again
If you launch an app that’s full of bugs, you won’t be received very well. Once people have had a negative experience with your app, it’s hard to draw them back in. While some bugs are inevitable and difficult to find, you’ll want to address as many as you can before you officially release your app. Getting a warm welcome into the App Store will increase your potential for future success. Always do it right the first time, and avoid releasing the app until you’re completely sure that it’s been thoroughly debugged.
App development is a skill that takes time to master. If your first app doesn’t live up to your expectations, that doesn’t mean your second app won’t fare better. You learn as you create and receive feedback. Always take your feedback seriously, and apply it to future apps.
With a background in business administration and management, Tess Pajaron currently works at Open Colleges, Australia’s leading online educator. She likes to cover stories in careers and marketing.