6 ingredients to build great mobile apps

At Robosoft, we partner with wide range of customers across the world in creating mobile and web products. The customer base ranges from a single person startup to a Fortune 500 company. Though all their products are unique and cut across various domains (e-commerce, News & Media, Entertainment, Sports etc.), the factors that drive the app creation are mostly similar.

When we embark on a journey of app creation with these customers, there are few common areas we look for. They may not be a superset of everything that we need from an app enthusiast, but there is a common thread.

1. Passion: when it comes to the business of business, nothing great is ever achieved without passion. At Robosoft, we are passionate about mobility and truly believe in giving our 100% to every step of the process –strategy, design, engineering, marketing and analytics. We look for partners who are equally passionate about their business and the mobile solution we co-create.

2. The story: there are two broad models to mobile apps – ‘app as a business’ or ‘apps for business’. A stand-alone app, say a digital weather app is an example of the former. And an app to support a business, say an app for an airline, is an example of the latter. In both case, the central idea is paramount. Behind every idea there is a story. We try to understand the thought process and story behind the idea from our customers. Any source material that helps in this stage is important – it could be a bunch of reference apps, sketches & diagrams, user-stories or even a well-defined product spec. This is where we get started – we arrive at what needs to be built and how the app should behave.

3. Design fundamentals: our team at Robosoft comprises strategists, designers and engineers and we firmly believe that all three faculties need to come together to create a great app. The design process is not just about plunging straight into creating designs. We follow a 7-step process ‘from idea to engineering’.

Robosoft Design Process

We would be delighted to take you through the entire process over a call or better still as our guest at our campus in Udupi – strong South Indian filter coffee guaranteed:)

However, if UI/UX designs are already available, we can also review and enhance them with feedback from our design teams and bring it to life by implementing it.

4. The backend basics: Very rarely is an app independent of cloud or server integrations. Be it content, business data or aggregation, there will be one or more server/cloud modules that apps interact with.

Robosoft can assist here in two ways:

1. Help build such an environment on a server end, define APIs and integrate with apps
2. If you already have an existing implementation/setup (need to integrated with third-party modules), we can do so. In order to understand these modules/interface an architectural explanation would be a great start.

In most cases, if there is a set of APIs already existing, it needs to be refined for mobile apps. An app UX and flow drives the API structure. We can help you to define the APIs and work with your existing tech team in realizing them.

5. Monetization: This is another important area that needs clarity at the earliest possible phase of app development. It could be as simple as integrating an Ad SDK (like Admob, InMobi, VSERV, or any other similar SDKs) or integrating with your own Ad platforms or building custom ad platforms.

In-App Purchases, Payment Gateway, eWallet integration and other such needs to be discussed and identified as early as possible to ensure on-time implementation and delivery. If none of the above is applicable, ignore monetization altogether.

6. Publishing: this is applicable to both consumer as well as enterprise publishing. Based on the smartphone platforms we are targeting, one need to create developer accounts on each of them (well before we have the beta version of the app; very essential for testing and distribution of the apps).

Mostly, it is a simple process. However, Robosoft can help you manage the process in the respective stores.

The beauty of the app industry is that crossing these six milestones is not the end of the journey – it’s just the beginning. Once the app goes live, there are a whole lot of strategies and tactics involved in Acquisition, Engagement, Retention and Monetization. We at Robosoft Technologies partner with clients on these critical phases too. Why not write to us to find out more?

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Srinidhi Rao Srinidhi has seen the evolution of the tech & mobile industry over the last decade and half. He has vast experience in project management and leads our operations in the US.

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