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Feb, 2015

How your app can fail without maintenance and support, PART ONE

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PART ONE

This month we are starting with Part 1 of a three-part series on maintenance and support. Each month we will go over a few important topics that we hope will help your mobile app become a huge success.

So you had a great budget for development and launch, but didn’t bother with a maintenance plan. Why should you? Shouldn’t a great app experience with the customer be enough?

Most everything you purchase requires some kind of maintenance. A home is a perfect example; you need to clean it regularly and from time to time paint, new flooring, plumbing, appliances, repairs and even upgrades — which could be building another bedroom or putting on a screened in porch. A catastrophe could mean putting on a new roof.

The same is true for your app: investing in long-term maintenance is as important, if not moreso, than its development. There will be countless updates, fixes, and improvements to plan for. There is no such thing as bullet-proof, and trying to build the perfect app may lead to money going down the drain in unused features. 

Not only that, but consider that a new trend in your industry could completely change things, so if you are invested in maintenance, it will be much easier to go with the flow.

User feedback

After your app’s launch, count on users being very verbal about what they love and hate. A smart move is to take that feedback seriously, taking suggestions on board for small fixes and updated features. End-user development — making small app releases based on customer feedback — might just keep users engaged and satisfied, knowing that you are listening to them, than simply waiting to incorporate changes in a major release.

Nurturing users by listening and providing free features is crucial for user retention, and therefore, to your app’s success.

Speed

Every time a user has to access the server for information, it can slow your app down. You want to store enough information locally on the user’s device, called caching. If you hadn’t planned for speed in the initial launch and release, it may become very crucial later. File compression may help with speed, as well as having servers local to your users, so access is much quicker.

Metrics and Analytics

To make small improvements in your app, pay attention to user metric tools. Engage your users in giving you suggestions for a new version. Again, involving users goes a long way, and is relatively risk-free. Make certain that you give users a way to opt-out or opt-in to metrics about their usage, so they don’t discover it later, where you run the risk of a negative reaction.

Based on analytics, sometime tweaking elements — even just a color — can mean 2000% increase in performance. For more information about measuring the success of your mobile app, read: http://www.buzinga.com.au/buzz/measuring-the-success-of-a-mobile-app/.

That’s the skinny for this month. Next month we plan to go over Platforms and Frameworks, API Updates and Test Updates. Talk to you then. For more information, call us at 1 (704) 550 2836 or email us at info@sinewsolutions.com.

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