Breaking Ground: How To Build Your Great App – Part 2 of a 2-Part Series
Will the App Store Accept It?
Following our last post, How A Great Idea Becomes A Great App, once you’ve established that there is a market for your idea, and that you’re willing to invest the time and money to build your great app, how do you monitor the build process through to testing?
In order to prevent the market from becoming oversaturated with self-promoting, glorified marketing tools, an app needs to adhere to rigid standards and specific guidelines, while providing value to the users. Though there isn’t one way to build a good app, there are many bad ways; and, there’s no guarantee that once your app is ready to launch, the App Store will accept it.
Basically, your app must be built to perform well, not simply satisfy a wish list of cool ideas. If you’re like most people, you’re probably not familiar with coding or back end integration. How do you know if you’ve signed on with a programmer who can actually make your app do what you’ve envisioned?
What you don’t know can kill your app
Before building your app, you should create an outline of every step of the development process and define every feature and function of the app before the first line of code is written. This includes what information you will provide to users and the level of integration needed to carry out those functions — right down to the look and feel of the command buttons.
Transparency in the building process
During the development phase of your app, it is a good idea to use web-based platforms to assist with management, collaboration and testing. Connect Think favors TestFlight and Basecamp. TestFlight allows us to distribute and test beta versions of the app over the air so that we can manage, track and centralize feedback. With Basecamp we can share files, messages, schedules, and milestones both internally and with our clients throughout the entire process. With tools like this available, your involvement in the building of the app should suit you as well as your developers.
Choose the right partner for your vision
Whether you’re a start-up company, an IT Director, or a CEO looking to improve your business, you want a partner and consultant who can provide consistently superior and appropriate solutions for your app. If collaboration is your style, be certain the company you hire is willing to accept you as part of the development process.
Our client, Red Funnel, was a start up when they hired us to collaborate on their FatStax for iPad app. FatStax is a mobile sales app and content delivery tool that enables a sales team to share information during a discussion to accelerate the buying process. Over the years, FatStax has gathered feedback from users, and we have been able to use that feedback to extend the functionality of the app. We’ve developed custom builds for FatStax enterprise clients and the app now integrates with third-party CRM systems (SalesForce.com, ActOn, etc.).
Choosing the right partner for a seamless and collaborative process is one that you should consider early on in your decision-making process.
Test your app before, during and after it’s built
Make sure your developer is prepared to rigorously test your app on multiple devices and iOS versions. Different kinds of devices and iOS releases have different capabilities. Testing an app means pushing the app to BETA testers and retrieving logs to detect bugs and errors with minimal user interaction. TestFlight is a great tool to provide this feedback, as well as Crashlytics, which allows developers to remotely gather crash reports. Moreover, specific pieces of functionality are constantly tested so that users are saved the hassle of an app completely crashing.
You’re only as good as your last app, so it is in your best interest as well as ours to make that app deliver. Do you have a great idea that you’re ready to turn into a great app? Contact Connect Think at firstname.lastname@example.org or check out our portfolio for more information.