Many companies are developing a mobile app for their customers to access their product, service, or content offering, and it’s no secret why. Mobile apps present many benefits.

For starters, the Android and iOS app stores provide a great platform for acquisition since they both have high levels of organic traffic. Customers that may not have known about a company can, therefore, find out about it when searching through an app store. Moreover, once a customer downloads an app, the app owner has more means of engaging with them, including push notifications, app software updates, and new functionalities that could interact directly with the customer’s smartphone.

However, too many companies rush into their app development efforts too hastily, and as a result waste a large amount of time and resources. These apps often have to be redeveloped from scratch either because the idea for the app was ill-conceived and not based on market needs, or because the app was built on outdated technologies.

These are the things that any business owner should consider before building a mobile app. Factoring them in early will save you a lot of time and sunk costs in the future.

1. Market Demand

Most companies developing a mobile app go wrong by not conducting rigorous market research before beginning development efforts. Intuition can be a wonderful tool. However, when assessing whether an app idea makes sense and whether there is actually a market that is willing to make the limited storage space on their phone available to use it, it makes sense to look at the data. Too many entrepreneurs or business owners get caught up in an enticing and romanticized idea for an app, without making sure that the data support their intuition.

When conducting market research for a mobile application, there are several things to take into consideration. A good first step is to create a profile of your targeted end-user demographics and conduct an analysis of that demographic.

In other words, determine who the ideal user of your app is as well as their characteristics, behavior, and interests. Platforms like Google Trends, your keyword research tool of choice, and market research software like Buzzsumo can be a good starting point. Be comprehensive in collecting data on your target users’ search queries, buying patterns, and needs.

The nature of your market research efforts will vary based on your company’s niche and the kind of product you’re building. Nevertheless, whatever the product is, adequate research is crucial.

2. User Experience Research

A good next step is to reach out to anyone in your network that matches the demographics of your target user. Ideally, this is someone that your app is a perfect match for who isn’t a friend or family member. Friends and family will tend to bring a positive bias towards your product when evaluating it.

Show your user tester wireframes or mockups of your app if you have them, and if you don’t, explain the functionality of the app in as much detail as possible. Take notes on their feedback, and be sure to include questions related to the business model of your mobile app. For example, if you plan to release a paid application, ask your tester if they would pay to use the app you have in mind.

It can be useful to employ a note-taking tool to streamline communication and ensure accurate notes.

3. Which Features Will Enable Monetization

You would be shocked by how often business owners ignore what is, perhaps, the most important part of building an app – how it will actually make money. Based on the feedback you’ve received from talking to potential users that are part of your target market, it’s time to determine which features need to be built into the application that will allow you to monetize it.

According to Digital Authority, out of every 10,000 apps developed only one will succeed. This is largely due to many apps not integrating functionality that will enable monetization.

If you plan to monetize your application by selling user data, for example, you have to make sure that your development team builds in ways to collect, house and organize that data. If you plan to sell the application to users, consider any payment gateways that must be built-in and verify if your price points are realistic with market demand.

If you plan to sell advertising placements on the app, consider what kinds of integrations or SDKs are needed to enable that. An additional step would be to contact potential advertisers and ask if there is any interest on their part in advertising on the app when it’s built. You will also get an idea of what kind of metrics you would have to meet in order to sell ads by speaking with advertisers beforehand.

4. Which Technologies and Programming Languages Will Be Used

A common mistake when building apps is using the wrong technologies and dependencies when developing the product. This can have dire consequences when distributing the app through an app store, making new updates, or introducing new features. The Apple and Android App Stores have specific requirements any app must meet when being uploaded, and building the app on unsupported technologies might mean it will get denied.

The Android App Store lists as one of its best practices that developers build software geared towards current versions of its operating system. Most of these requirements are demanded as a way for app store companies to ensure the quality of the products being offered on their platform. Most experienced mobile app developers should be familiar with these requirements, but you should be as well!

The Apple App store has its own set of best practices to consider before starting development.

5. The Cross-Compatibility of Different Technologies

Some other things to consider when choosing which technologies and dependencies to implement is whether the technologies used are cross-compatible for different operating systems. Certain programming languages are only supported on specific operating systems, while other languages and frameworks are deployable on multiple operating systems.

Finally, when choosing which tools to use for development, determine whether those frameworks will allow the code in the software to run natively on a user’s smartphone. Tools that allow for the implementation of native code will often mean the app runs more quickly. It also enables certain functionalities that are closely tied to a smartphone’s hardware.

Building an app isn’t easy, but with proper planning and research, it can be an amazing way for many business owners to capitalize on the trend towards mobile usage.

Author bio: This article comes from Marina Turea, content manager at Digital Authority Partners.


2. Conjure up a Design Aesthetic That Complements Your Work

Making the design of your portfolio website harmonious with your works is something you should strive for. In other words, all the colors, patterns, buttons, and other elements on your site should be in tune with what you plan to display. Or, at the very least, you should carefully consider the relationship between your works and your website design while coming up with your portfolio.

Of course, that is not to say that your website design should distract your viewers from appreciating your works. Rather, it should aim to complement them. There are a few different ways you can achieve this.

  1. Go for minimalism. Regardless of the nature of your work and the style you want to present, going for a minimalistic web design approach is an unmistakable decision. The reason for this is simple – if you incorporate minimalistic design into your portfolio, your works will be at the forefront, and your visitors will be able to easily navigate through them and get a comprehensive overview of your style and skills.

2. Strive for similarity. In case you want to be more daring with your design elements, colors and animations, it might be a good idea to try and blend all these elements with your works, i.e. to get them to have the same or similar vibe as the creative pieces you plan to display in your portfolio. Using this tactic, you can make your portfolio design “become one” with your works.

3. Create a contrast. Another way you can approach your portfolio design is to make it look different from your works. Depending on the nature of your work, this can actually make your portfolio pieces stand out even more.

As far as the structure of your portfolio goes, here are some things to keep in mind when figuring out how to compile your works and present them to the world.

What we mean by portfolio lists is a collection of several portfolio pieces shown together on a single page. Depending on how you chose to organize your portfolio, a portfolio list can showcase your entire collection of works or just a few pieces from one category. There’s a number of ways you can present your portfolio lists to ensure each piece gets the attention it deserves.

For example, if you have works that are rich in color or detail, or if various pieces from your collection simply don’t go well side by side, you need to make sure they have enough space to “breathe”. To do this, you can create more free space around them, thus preventing your portfolio from becoming oversaturated. This can be done by:

  1. Using a slider to present your works one by one,

2. Creating a list with plenty of white space,

3. Showcasing a smaller number of works with more empty space around them,

4. Using an asymmetric or “broken grid” type of list. This will let viewers rest their eyes as they go from one piece to the next, and you’ll still be able to showcase your works in all their glory.

If, on the other hand, your works are more minimalistic in their structure and/or fit well next to one another, then more compact list types such as a masonry or pinterest style list can work much better. By using a list that places your pieces closer to each other, the sense of unity and the consistent style in your works will immediately prevail, which can be a great advantage when used wisely.

Portfolio singles are pages dedicated to each single piece from your portfolio. Depending on the type of work in question, singles can contain one or more images. For example, if you’re presenting a logo design or a piece of art, you can always add early sketches and drafts to your single, or even random things that inspired you while working on the piece. This is a great way to present your unique way of viewing things as well as the creative process that led to the finished piece of work.

When it comes to single presentations of your work, the same rules apply as for portfolio lists. Whether you’ll use small images, big images, sliders, masonry grids, or something else entirely depends on the material you’re showing off. You can try out a few different presentation styles and see which one seems to best suit your work.

Like we mentioned before, it’s always a good idea to include a description of the work. In some cases, you might even want to write up an entire case study. However, if you think that your works speak for themselves, then it may be best to keep things simple. This means including only your most effective work examples and adding only the most essential info needed.

Hover animations are an essential part of the web and, as such, they must not be overlooked. The hover animations you choose for your portfolio should match both the style of your website and your works. There are a few paths you could choose when deciding on your hover animations.

One option is going minimal, almost without any changes in the way the works are displayed. Another popular trick is to switch the image and show a different picture when your visitors hover over each of your works. Or you could stick with a more classic approach and add a subtle motion animation or even simply display a few key pieces of information across the image on hover.

All in all, hovers can be another great addition to your portfolio presentation and can help further emphasize the uniqueness of your work.

In case you’re struggling with choosing a design concept for your portfolio, there’s no need to fret – plenty of portfolio WordPress themes have predesigned layouts which can help you set up your portfolio with ease. You just have to find the theme that best fits the general style you’re going for, and then simply customize to your liking.