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Musings

Five steps to creating great-performing Apps

25 Mar 2015 by KRS

In days gone past if you told someone you were an app developer they would probably have assumed you worked with apprentices. In 2015, if you are not developing a mobile or digital business application of some description, then you are considered to be behind the times and out of touch with your customers.

Recognising that businesses (of all sizes) have become mobile and customers are no longer static, KRS has invested in creating a Mobile Applications development division to bolster its custom software offerings. While developing an application (App) is simple in theory, there is a lot of behind the scenes work that needs to be considered and built. KRS specializes in business data Applications, and understands the realms of databases, Cloud, Web Services and APIs. (Well, we have been doing this for a number of years now, so we should!).

Beyond the basics of having the technical skills to support the App being developed, is the very real need to understand the function and purpose of the App in question. Taking its research in this arena to another level, and so as to better understand exactly what is required from consumers and from a business perspective, Lorraine Steyn, founder of KRS, recently immersed herself in the technical realm of application creation. The result – I’m Bored.

Far from being ‘boring’ though, the I’m Bored app and service fills a vital need in the marketplace and therefore lesson number one – beyond ensuring that your App has an eye-catching design, make sure there is already a demand for your app rather than building something and then creating the demand.

The second thing to bear in mind is, know who your customers are. I’m Bored has two sets of distinctly different users. On the one hand, parents and children looking for wholesome family-centric events and things to do (weekends and school holidays) and; the events, products and services themselves that require promotion to attract feet through the door.

These customers represent a cross section of smartphone and feature phone users, so hence the application runs on a number of operating systems but more importantly is designed as an in-Facebook application. This means it has plenty of eyeballs – good news for the events and services requiring the traffic. This has also required some mental agility in getting to know Facebook’s evolving algorithms and how to best resolve this particular equation.

In addition to the actual mobile App, I’m Bored is supported by a website, an essential for all businesses and which brings us neatly to number three – provide useful content that is easily accessible and easy to read. The application that you develop, like I’m Bored, should provide value to your end user who will more than likely be drawn to your website – so time to refresh and strip out the old and make it relevant.

All of the above should of course achieve a clearly defined objective for the business, whether it be increasing staff productivity or the App is the business.

This brings up the question of revenue model. Developing an App is a cost but so is the continued updating and maintenance of the service it provides. From the beginning decide whether this is a public service or whether as a business, you want to make the App fully commercial. In the case of I’m Bored, it is both. Parents and children can discover the events for free and the events can post free listings but pay for wider advertising o opportunities.

In the case of business, it is highly likely that the App will be a value-add proposition, however, a key insight here, is understanding the cost to the end user. While they might not actually be paying for the service you provide, there is a data or telecoms cost associated to the use of the App. Giving your end users options, as to how they wish to engage with your App, and making sure that the App is fast to load and execute commands, wins hearts and pockets over in the long run.

To find out more about KRS’s SPA Web and Apps Development offering for your business please email: enquiries@krs.co.dev

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