How many times have you downloaded an app with a description that sounds great, only to try it once and uninstall it? It is something that has happened to most of us more times than we can count.
It could be anything from technical errors to aesthetics. The bottom line is that these apps have failed when it comes to UX design. Many of these issues could have been solved if the app builders had just worked with a digital strategy agency as a part of the development process.
UX has to be a priority when building an app. Things like having a great idea, a solid revenue model and smart marketing will not do much if the app does not deliver on the user experience.
Building an app with good UX design works in a three-stage cycle. The team develops a plan, moves to prototyping and testing and then pulls it all together to create the app and release it on the market. From there, most developers would continue to work through the cycle to refine the app after it has been released.
Develop a Plan
The planning stage is where you take the idea and perform research to figure out what the app needs to be. If you were to go directly from having an idea to prototyping and testing, you would be developing the app without the information you need to meet the needs and expectations of users.
You might start with a product strategy and build a product roadmap. Beyond the basic idea, what is the app supposed to do? What problem is it supposed to solve? Why would people want to download it on their phones? What goals are you trying to achieve with the app? How do you expect to reach those goals?
Once you have a more complete picture of what the app is going to be, you will need to do some research? If there are any competitors for the app, you will need to look into competitive analysis. You will also need to do customer analysis to figure out who your primary customers will be and what they might want or need from an app like yours.
Prototyping and Testing
This is where you use the information from the previous stage to start building wireframes and prototypes of the app. You’ll start getting an idea of what the finished app might look like and how it might work. In some cases, you might even need to circle back to some of the planning work to refine or rework your vision based on some of the results.
This is also a good time to start working on a little user testing. You might bring testers in to have them work on moderated testing or you might release the prototype to testers for a little independent testing. This can offer important insights concerning the user experience and help you resolve issues that real users might have when they use the app.
Putting it All Together
This stage involves taking all of the information and using it to create an app with a good UX. Take all the market research, the lessons learned from prototyping and the feedback from testers to create an app that will hit all of the right points.
Get ready to release the app to the relevant app stores and start implementing your marketing strategy. Once the app starts hitting the phones of users, you will need to be ready to monitor the analytics and pay attention to user feedback. Keep an eye on how people respond to the app and analyze user behavior to see if people are using the app in the way you expected.
It is important to remember that the process does not end with the release of the app. Based on the results of the release, you might need to do more research or revisit some of the design decisions you made. Plan for updates based on the analytics and user feedback and try to refine the UX as you move forward.