Why are best practices important in the first place? These conventions or rules serve as an app development guide, ensuring better accountability and productivity for software companies.
They help streamline different cogs of the machine and can immensely improve efficiency and shorten turnaround time. Today, we’ll go over some of the app development best practices that are highly relevant in the market in 2023.
Break up your code into modules
It is the case today that even a simple app development project such as building an online calculator, for instance, could have a huge code base.
In this case, you may need to develop code to get users’ input and determine the type of operator, and then execute several loops for each capability.
In a nutshell, this can translate to dozens of lines of code stacking up quickly, increasing the possibility of a bug while also elevating the difficulty in spotting such anomalies.
Sure modern code editors like Visual Studio Code have identifiers that pinpoint errors in your code down to a line, but it still helps to break down your code into modules since not all editors have this feature.
This app dev best practice remains prudent in 2023, and here are a few reasons why this is so:
- Modules provide code reusability. If you need to build an app with some overlapping features to a previous project, you don’t have to code the commonalities from the ground up
- Your code also becomes easier to read, test and refactor
- It also makes it easier to find things you need later on
- You can push out updates with a lower risk of breaking the program
Use a project management platform for task delegation
For the most part, many app development companies have large teams working on a single project at the same time. That’s because an app might require different technologies and expertise that may be beyond the capacity of just one person.
For instance, when building a web app, there may be two different requirements in terms of front-end or back-end/server-side know-how. In other words, there’s a need for expertise in different programming languages and frameworks therein.
However, with large teams working on the project, there’s also a necessity to find a solution that ensures accountability and collaboration and that everyone’s pulling in the same direction.
More so when you hire dedicated developers who may not be familiar with your workflow protocols.
Many app development companies popularly leverage the following project management tools for software development:
- Jira and others
Via these tools, they can assign tasks to various members of their software development team and even set deadlines for these tasks. These tools also enable the seamless preparation of progress reports to keep clients in the loop.
Be transparent with your disclosures
Many software developers are quite notorious for disclosures, in terms of keeping them vague or not abiding by them. There’s no room for any of that tomfoolery in 2023, with data and privacy laws constricting the globe over.
Several companies today are drowning in lawsuits running into the millions for misleading disclosures, the most notable of which is women-fertility app Flo Health which was sued by its users in a consolidated class action lawsuit.
It turns out the app didn’t protect data privacy as it said it would in the disclosure, by not restricting third-party access by social media sites and advertisers.
While this company escaped with a slap on the wrist, others haven’t been as lucky, losing millions to billions of dollars in settlements. Therefore, as a dev best practice, remember honesty is the best policy.
Here are a few tips on keeping your disclosures transparent:
- Elaborate on what personal data your app accesses
- Explain why you’re collecting this data. If you can’t account for it, it’s best not to collect the data at all
- Disclose third parties you share this information with if any
- Ultimately, avoid ambiguity at all costs
Be sure to stick within the boundaries of your disclosure to avoid landing in hot water with regulators such as the FTC.
If you hire dedicated developers when outsourcing, be sure to pass this message along so that you’re all on the same page.
Customer experience as a top priority
Over the years, I find that the process of mobile app development for startups especially is plagued by the challenge of keeping things simple.
Many apps have an overly complicated structure that can be overwhelming for the user and thereby impacts acquisition/retention.
As a matter of fact, when a customer experience is poor there’s a 62% elevated chance of user abandonment.
The key thing developers need to remember here is that you’re not building applications for other tech-savvy developers who know their way around technology as well as you do.
You’re probably targeting a market that may not even know the first thing about coding or app development.
Therefore, customer or user-centricity remains a cornerstone of any app development guide worth its salt, and here’s what developers need to do in this regard:
- Reduce sign-up steps
- Provide in-app tutorials for app features
- Include short & sweet tips to help users maximize these features
- Keep instructions plain and simple
- Observe UI simplicity. That’s not to say your design should be mundane-level basic but it shouldn’t be over the top as well
When your app is too complex, it takes a look more time to load, and your app will not perform well and this could also hurt your retention.
Constantly update with user feedback
A developer’s work is not over when the app officially goes live. It’s only just getting started. Find avenues to collect user feedback, so you can determine how the application is resonating with your market.
Doing so will provide insight into what users want from your app and bugs that may have slipped past QC.
How can you get feedback about your app? Here are a few ideas:
App store reviews:
If you’ve developed a mobile app, you can read user ratings and comments to unearth pressing user issues
Ask for feedback:
Use in-app notifications or email marketing to pick the brains of your users
Use analytics platforms:
Some analytics platforms let you shadow a user so you can better understand and solve their pain points
Just to recap, some of the most essential best practices when it comes to mobile app development for startups include using modules for your code, leveraging project management tools, being honest with your disclosures, prioritizing customer-centric designs, and implementing feedback-driven updates.
As a last piece of advice, it’s also wise to come up with an app marketing strategy that lets you understand your app’s competitors and audience as well as trends dominating the market before getting down to development work.
C.R. Venkatesh, popularly known as CRV, is a serial entrepreneur with a green thumb for IT and technology start-ups.
He is an Indian-based IT guru, author, and investor, most recognized for spearheading the development powerhouse that is Dot Com Infoway into conquering the global marketplace in digital marketing and software development.
He has overseen 24 years of success at the helm of the company, breaking through as one of the early pacesetters of the IT scene in India.
Beyond Dot Com Infoway, CRV is also responsible for the success of businesses like Magzter Inc, Thooya Innovations, and Minnal.
He also doubles as the President of the Saurashtra Small Business Association (SSBA) and made the cut as one of only 200 members of the Indian Angel Network.
A technologist at heart and by profession, Mr. C.R. Venkatesh’s academic qualifications trace back to Anna University in Chennai, India, where he graduated as a mechanical engineer.
His academic persuasions stem from a childhood fascination with games, gadgets, and technologies at large.
Mr. Venkatesh harbors decades of experience in influencer marketing, NFT, and digital marketing and has a passion for staying on the cutting edge of revolutionary innovations.
His sterling track record speaks for itself as substantiated by his numerous awards. The most notable in that collection includes the Top Icons of South India 2020 by Femina, IT Professional of The Year at The Golden Globe Tigers 2016, and CEO of the Year Award 2020- recognized by IAF India.
CRV is also a dedicated Rotarian with a sweet tooth for mobile games. When he’s not behind a screen, he loves to meet new faces and travel the world.
He is also an accomplished wordsmith, having published a book titled The Struggle Is Real, in which he details the inspirational stories of 10 icons.