This post was submitted by our guest, Jennifer Hooper.
With smartphone usage quickly growing among all ages and income levels, it may be seductive to think that you should build a mobile phone app. But before you rush into production mode, consider what you or your customers need.
It takes two things to make a successful cell phone app:
- a good idea
- an experienced developer
The best cell phone apps are simple, useful, and convenient. Notice I didn’t say “complex.” Some of the most popular apps are extremely simple. Consider a weather app: it simply pushes weather information to your phone, yet millions use one every day. My current favorite apps are also simple: a “Dice” app and TurboTax’s “MyTaxRefund” app. Simple, useful, convenient.
Next, you need someone who can build it. Not just someone who can write code, but someone who understands the nuances of both the Android and iOS cell phone platforms. The developer must also be knowledgeable about, and experienced in, submitting an app to the app stores (trust me, that is not simple).
Sephone and I recently collaborated on a simple app called the “BAT Community Connector,” which provides information about riding public bus system in the greater Bangor area. I came up with the idea; they had the expertise and experience to make it happen. The app couldn’t possibly be successful without both.
Don’t just build an app to build an app. Make sure your idea fills a gap, provides a service, or adds a convenience. Once you’ve got that, team up with a company that will make it happen. Personally, I recommend Sephone. I can’t imagine I could have had a better experience working with anyone else.