App development is becoming more and more popular among many people, including some with no programming background. And while it’s certainly nice to see the market booming, it also brings some uncomfortable problems to the foreground, which often aren’t adequately addressed and drag down many people.
Improper design and development practices, such as failing to do proper load testing before launch day, can significantly impact app users. So it’s important to know what kinds of problems you can anticipate on this front if you’re interested in trying your own hand in the app market.
Load Testing Before Launch Is Crucial
“But it worked fine on my computer” is pretty much a cliché joke among developers at this point. And it still happens quite a lot, including on a larger scale, which can cause significant problems for those behind the app. Just because you’ve tested the app yourself before launching it doesn’t mean that it’s ready to face the market. Load testing an app can be a complex process, even if you’re already experienced in the field. So there’s a reason why people pay large amounts of money to specialists who handle this for them.
Basically, you need to make sure that your app will handle any number of users as it handles just one. It might seem simple and straightforward, but the truth is that load balancing can become a very difficult game once you reach a certain number of users. It also depends on the complexity of your app and how exactly it works. Something that interacts with your servers might be okay with a large number of users. Still, a game with an active gameplay that constantly communicates with servers can start to buckle under a load of even a hundred people.
You should also test the app’s behavior in special cases, e.g., when using a proxy. Proxies act as a middle-man between a device and a server, but you can find more information on that by clicking here. As someone once put it, just because you had the idea of WhatsApp before it existed, it doesn’t mean that you’ve missed out on a huge opportunity by not doing it yourself. An app like that requires a tremendous investment into its backend to be successful before it’s even launched. Unfortunately, the number of developers who have access to those kinds of resources is not large at all.
Marketing Starts Before You’ve Written Your First Line of Code
You must also know who you expect to use your app and how. Another common misconception about app development – and product development in general – is that you first build the app, and then you start marketing it to the right people. In fact, it’s quite the opposite. You need to do extensive market research to figure out your target audience, common usage patterns for similar apps, expected user numbers, and much more. Only then are you free to start building the actual app itself, using all the knowledge you’ve collected to direct your design and development.
Otherwise, you might catch a lucky break here and there, but you’ll ultimately be limited by the fact that your app has been developed without an appropriate direction in place. And that’s not something you can just rewind on and redo it. This will essentially mean rebuilding the entire app from the ground up based on the lessons you’ve learned. You know, the way you should have done things from the very beginning.
Security Shouldn’t t Be a Last-Moment Consideration
People are very concerned about their data these days and tend to pay a lot of attention to how it’s being collected and shared. One data breach can be enough to ruin your reputation completely and kill your app for good. It can even happen to large, established companies, so smaller developers should be particularly worried about that. If your app interacts with any kind of data that might be considered valuable to a third party (especially private user data), you’ll need to invest in its security very heavily to ensure that you’re not leaving a small door open somewhere.
Don’t fall for the trap of thinking that you can do this yourself by just following some random online guides. Digital security is an extremely complex topic. If you care about your app’s long-term success, it’s absolutely crucial that you release it without any possible attack channels left open. It can be a steep investment to hire a specialist who can go over the app’s details for you and sort everything out correctly. However, it’s the kind of investment that will repay itself multiple times over once things kick-off and you start getting a lot of attention. Like marketing and fundamental design, security is not something you can work on after the fact. Your entire app must be built on a solid foundation.
If this sounds a bit complex to you, that’s because it is. App development is no joke if you want to be taken seriously in the modern market. The days of releasing a joke app like a pocket torch and striking rich with it are long gone. No matter what your idea is, you can be sure that you’ll face a lot of competition for it, especially from large companies. Being first to the market can give you a small edge, but it can quickly disappear once the bigger companies notice what you’re doing and deploy their own resources to copy your idea. Or worse, undermine it in favor of their own.