Calm Experts

BUYER’S 

GUIDE FOR 

MOBILE APPS

Calm Experts - coding digital

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5 habits of great app developers

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25 questions to ask your (potential) app developer 

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6 must-have features for your mobile app

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Conclusion

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5 HABITS OF GREAT APP DEVELOPERS

 5 habits of great app developers

So you’re looking for an app developer. Well, there are plenty of options out there, but only a few teams that are capable of delivering a quality product that will supercharge your business.  Here are five habits all great app developers possess to build an app that drives conversions and improves your user experience.
  1. They Can Monetize Your App Effectively 
One quality that most famous app developers possess – along with million download launches and thousands of 5-star reviews — is a principle of data efficiency.  As a senior officer for your business, you need an app that doesn’t suck up all of your user’s data from spending a few minutes on your platform. Some app users may need localized versions tailored to different languages, while others are relying on weak data connections or smaller data packages with their smartphones.  Other essential components of data efficiency are security and scalability. Unless your app is a simple calculation function, you will need to store the app’s data on the cloud. Your final product should use as little data as possible to operate, and should also have robust offline capabilities, so remember that when you’re vetting a potential development partner. 
  1. They Prioritize User Intent 
The best app development campaigns know how to build for user intent. It’s common for many freelance developers and app development agencies to lack precision in research and UI deployment, but the highest-performing app developers know exactly what their users are doing.  They know what their users’ needs are, and they know how to adapt to those needs as they evolve. They’re also experienced in analytics and know how to activate them to enhance the right feature set. There are often different types of users within a complex app, but your app developer should have past success in developing interfaces that create a simplified, successful experience for all of them. Flaws in usability will impact your engagement goals, but the right partner will be able to circumvent those kinds of issues with a data-driven experience mapped out to perfection. 
  1. 3. They Can Monetize Your App Effectively 
If you’re hiring someone to develop a revenue-boosting app for your business, it will require more than just a terrific product – you’ll need a solid monetization strategy. There are two common monetization methods within a mobile app: in-app purchases and in-app advertising. Given the low percentage of users who actually make regular in-app purchases, in-app advertising is the key monetization model for businesses to maximize.  Your app developer should understand how to position advertisements effectively and how to cater to each user relevant to their monetization category. They should also have a deep understanding of product marketing and be able to leverage that to encourage higher engagement and increased in-app actions. Planning to have in-app purchases in your product? Make sure that they vocalize how they plan to make the checkout process as seamless as possible. It’s the biggest source of friction in the user experience, and can completely turn users off from your app.  Great app developers will already have a design solution for this issue. 
  1. They Know How To Design a Fluid Onboarding Flow 
The first few minutes of your user’s app experience are critical for keeping them on your platform, so you need to have an easy-to-follow process for onboarding each user type. Some apps offer tutorials, while others create pop-ups that guide the user along the path the developer wants them to  follow. Throughout the launch process, there will inevitably be users who fail to follow the specific journey or navigation path the development team has laid out for them, so your partners should be able to explain their processes for optimizing flow as your app matures. Flows from high-traffic screens are especially important to keep smooth and intuitive for all user types, so accessibility plays a unique role in onboarding success and should be integrated into your flow.
  1. They Know How To Handle Bugs – The Right Way 
Bugs are inevitable – but they should never be a show stopper for your app. Any good potential development hire will adopt a best practice approach to bug fixes as soon as they arise. This extends to general product support, since your app will need lots of it in the early launch phase. Your success is dependent on proactive measures being implemented to mitigate the damage of a shutdown or reboot, along with continuous improvement (via agile development cycles) in terms of troubleshooting and reporting mechanisms.  When developing an app, it may feel like there are a million  different things to focus on. The sheer breadth of knowledge required to execute a successful launch can be headache-inducing.  That’s why finding the right app development partner is so important.

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25 questions to ask your app developer

25 questions to ask your (potential) app developer 

What… 

  1. What are the components of a great mobile app experience?
  2. What are the topline metrics you look at to improve your user acquisition?
  3. What is your typical workflow for an enterprise app launch?
  4. If I want to drive my users to (insert desired endpoint), what would the onboarding flow look like to take them there? 5. What tactics do you use to optimize the App Store page for an app?

Where… 

  1. Where do you store your data?
  2. Where does establishing user intent fit into your development process?
  3. Where can I see your work for previous clients?
  4. Where do you see mobile app development heading (in terms of innovation) in the next decade?
  5. Where do you go to uncover the right content and features to develop for a specific user type?

When… 

  1. When will my app be ready for launch?
  2. When you debug an app, are there any rules or best practices you adhere to?
  3. How (and when) do you address user feedback on the app?
  4. Can you determine when users are more likely to be using my app?
  5. When (at what stage) are you testing your apps? Why do you use this framework?

Why… 

  1. Why are you the best app developer for this job?
  2. Why did you choose (your developer’s software dev kit) as the default tool for your projects?
  1. What APIs do you like to use? Why do you use them?
  2. Why is your implementation strategy perfect for Android users? For iOS users?
  3. Why will users have faith and trust in my app experience? What do you do to build user trust?

How… 

  1. How do you build a product that are users are delighted to use?
  2. How do you accommodate users with slower/intermittent data connections?
  3. How do you calibrate your approach for (your business vertical)?
  1. How do you plan to monetize the app?
  2. How do you streamline the checkout/authorization process for users?
 

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6 must-have features for your mobile app

6 must-have features for your mobile app 

No mobile app is the same, but there are a handful of features that you’ll find in all successful launches. Professional app development is all about solving the user’s problem so well that they’ll want to come back to your app over and over again. Keep reading to find out what Calm Experts guarantees to all of their clients when developing a gorgeous, user-friendly mobile app. 

  1. Universal Compatibility (Android, iOS, etc.) 

More often than not, your user base utilizes a variety of smartphones across a multitude of operating systems. Building a mobile app with universal compatibility should be top of mind for any business that is serious about product excellence. The fact is, your user will judge the value of your app based on how the user experience translates to their operating system. Functionality is a cross-platform priority for all user types, so stress the importance of eliminating any experiential gaps for users that run older versions of Android or iOS. 

  1. The Right APIs 

The ability to connect to any API sounds nice in the planning stages, but what’s more important is your app developer’s understanding of what APIs will accelerate growth and activate user engagement – and their ability to have them implemented on day one. APIs can transform productivity and enable a one-of-a kind integrated experience that can single-handedly win customers over – especially if you install the right ones. It could be a payment app that simplifies the checkout process for premium users, or a crash tracker like Crashlytics that can expedite bug fixes. Maybe your business needs a top-notch marketing API like Tapstream to address bottlenecks in user acquisition; you might need a combination of all three use cases. Whatever role APIs can play in your deployment, you must set expectations of using them as a core value-add with your development partner.

  1. Effective Data & Analytics Tools 

The words data and analytics are thrown around so often that they’ve lost a lot of meaning to businesses who genuinely need them to improve decision making. With the right data toolset, you can uncover the most critical conversion components that demonstrate value to your users very early on in your launch cycle. Using Google Optimize and Google Analytics, you can run A/B tests on headlines, icons, and other in-app elements without countless manual updates to your app. It’s a great package for measuring performance – as long as your developer knows how to leverage it. Localytics is a cloud-based PaaS (platform as a service) that identifies business problems and presents recommendations on things like drop-offs, low conversion rates, and low retention. Successful apps and app-driven businesses know exactly how data and analytics can bridge the performance gap, and maximize their tools to great effect. If you’re serious about deploying a value-driven mobile app, you must ensure that you’re utilizing effective data and analytics tools. 

  1. A Localized User Interface 

Whether you’re launching in a region that speaks multiple languages, or going global – you must design localized versions for each segment of your user base. In a city like Montréal, this means having English and Quebecois French interfaces, and conducting tests with native speakers to guarantee a natural user experience. Businesses that want to offer a truly bespoke experience to each user type should also research the areas they’re launching in, to understand the local trends and preferences they have for an app’s content and features. The more thorough you are in your research, the better your interface will perform.

  1. Frictionless Sign-Ins 

The sign-in process should be the simplest step in the user 

journey – but it also happens to be one of the most important for retaining new users. If your app is difficult to log into, or creates a lot of headache for the user as they try to authenticate themselves, it’s enough to turn them off from your product completely. Pro tip: offer a familiar authentication system like Google, or Facebook that can lessen the burden of the onboarding process for new users. It’s also important to use something with a smaller learning curve for security purposes, because a lot of them already have built-in repositories for sensitive user data. Building a brand new authentication infrastructure will add complexity to your launch, so talk with your developer to find the most effective strategy for sign-ins. 

  1. Customizable User Notifications 

Everybody with a smartphone has experienced the frustration that comes with those irksome notification pop-ups every time an app launches. 

Well, it doesn’t have to be this way. By enabling users to customize how the app interacts with them when they aren’t using it, you are adding value through functionality. 

Consider user intent when designing any type of notification – the more personalized, the better. Upon tapping a notification, your app should take users to the exact location within the app where they can take action on it. High priority notifications should use the LED function, whereas others should not. Use unique icons for your notifications so it always gets your users attention, but give your users control over what they are notified for. This will go a long way in communicating the quality of your offering to your user base.

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Conclusion

Conclusion 

Choosing an app developer can be daunting. To do it right, you must consider a candidate’s experience, approach, and their capability to work seamlessly within your company’s infrastructure, budget, and timeline. 

As you venture further into your decision-making process, remember to ask yourself some essential questions: 

Beyond a mobile app, what do I really need? 

What are my deal-breakers? 

Can they move at our pace? 

Can I truly count on them to deliver? 

Start by answering these, and you’ll begin to understand what the perfect partner looks like. Sometimes it’s not the most expensive, or the most experienced choice who can give you the most personalized solution at your expense level. Keep all options in play, and follow our playbook if you need help with keeping the process in motion. 

And most importantly, pick someone with enthusiasm. That’s often the biggest indicator of a successful partnership. 

To your health, 

The Calm Experts Team

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