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The Worst App Development Advice We Have Heard

Manpreet Kour

App development is already a tricky business, with so many tips and tricks and useful guides to provide beginners with. While looking into app development in the UK for students, I came across some posts that students had been asking for advice for projects and assignments, some of the suggestions were great but then I saw some others that were less than useful. It’s hard to get anything right the first time but if beginners are being provided with false advice then it’s just going to be misleading and leave people rather confused, in fact some of this advice has come from “experienced” developers which is even more worrying so I’m going to share with you the worst app development advice we have heard and hopefully clear up any misconceptions.  

1. It Doesn’t Matter What Platform You Design For, It’s All The Same

I have seen people who claim that it doesn’t matter what platform you develop for because you can just port it over and it will work and behave the same when this is not true. Each platform whether it be android, iOS, windows phone or web all have their own designs and processes to take into consideration.

If you create a web based app and then port it over to Android then it isn’t going to behave the same or look as good as it does on the web. You need to take into consideration each device and their allowances, design processes and realistically what can be done on them, something that looks good on iPhone 7 isn’t going to look the same or behave the same as it would on a Nokia Xperia.

2. If There’s Already An App For It, Then Don’t Create Another

This one is one that bothers me personally more than it should because, if this were the case then we wouldn’t have as many apps and probably wouldn’t have as great quality apps as we do now.

If this is the case, then we shouldn’t have all the apps on the store that we do now, there are many similar apps and yours can do just as well or maybe even better.

This is how apps evolve and become better, different developers with different skillsets come up with an idea even if it’s already been done and create it to their ability with their own designs which may turn out better than what is already in the stores.

Having different types of the same app allows users to compare the apps and allows developers to grow and change to better their apps, so just because it’s already in the store doesn’t mean you can’t create your own.

With over 2.8 million apps on Android and 2.2 million on Apple store, how many do you actually think are the same? There are hundreds if not thousands of the same types of app that make up the app store, so not every single one of them is going to be a different app that hasn’t been done before.

3. When Getting Reviews, Start With Your Friends

It is true that your friends can give you some great feedback but that's just it, they are your friends so how do you know they are being genuine?

Yes, there are friends who will be genuine and just tell you the truth straight off the bat but most of your friends feel a loyalty towards you and will be dishonest to avoid hurting your feelings if your app isn’t all that good.

On the other hand, even if your app is great they may give you a review that's over the top just because, again, they are your friends and feel a sense of loyalty to you.

4. It’s All About The Product, Your Users Are Just Too Fussy

I have said it many times, your users are your biggest critics and listening to them is very important. They will let you know what is wrong with your app, any bugs they are experiencing and how to make their app experience better.

You need to keep in mind that alongside whatever reason you created your app that a percentile of it was for the users! No users = no app success.

5. Keep The Price Fixed, People Will Still Pay!

To a certain extent this may be true but in reality no. Not everyone will pay a fixed price for an app if they can get one that does the exact same with the same features or slightly better features for free.

An example of this I have seen is with gaming apps, Candy Crush is a free to play game with in-app purchases and there was a rip off on the store a while ago that was £3.99 with in-app purchases, which one do you think users downloaded most?

You need to do your research beforehand and see whether a fixed price app will work for what your app is being used for.

6. Forget Wireframes, You Can Do Great Without Visuals Or A Prototype

Wireframes are your blueprint, they let everyone involved know what is going on and how the app will look and function, it keeps everyone on the same page. It is an important step in the development process and a step that can’t be skipped otherwise it's just going to lead to a lot of confusion and wasted time.

7. Find A Cheap Development Team, It Will Pay Off Anyway

This isn’t exactly sound advice because let's be honest, you get what you pay for. If you hire a company that is willing to create your app for hundreds then it’s more than likely you are going to get a mediocre app at best.

Not all apps will end with a significant payout, for some people they literally make pennies and no more. A good app with great marketing and a head start can start from 10 thousand upwards, to cut this cost you can opt for free marketing methods etc but price all depends on your needs for your app.

Don’t depend on your app coming around and covering all of your costs and making a profit for you, as a general rule of thumb whatever you pay for your app then double it and that's what you can expect to pay yearly for maintenance, updates, changes etc and it’s not guaranteed that your app will be successful enough to cover all of these costs.

8. Forget About Marketing, A Good App Will Succeed Anyway

Marketing is very important, otherwise, how are people going to know about your app? If you market your app correctly then people will download it and it will become more known, if you don’t bother with marketing then a few users may find your app but it's unlikely you will build a large user base.

Some Sound Advice

If it seems strange or wrong to you then it probably is, the best idea is to find a good company and then ask for their advice as most genuine companies will steer you in the right direction towards your app being a success rather than give you flawed advice. Your chosen development company will want to see you succeed just as much as you want your app to succeed and they will do everything they can to help you do so.

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