Building an app that would remain relevant for the long run is quite a challenge. The reality is, with continuous operating system updation, changes in the market dynamics, changes in people’s needs and demands, and an ever-increasing app-development competition, many apps actually become quite irrelevant quite quickly. And that is the harsh reality for developers and app-producers in this industry. But this difficulty can be overcome quite decidedly through a Sustainable App Development approach that can ensure the usefulness of apps for the long term.
There is no definite set of instructions for future-proofing apps, but by taking effective steps in the direction of strategizing, creating product definitions, designing and developing apps, you can ensure consistent long-term success.
The following principles for Sustainable App Development need to be followed.
Assess the Real Needs First
You need to build a product that serves the real needs of real people. This means you need to understand the target market, their particular needs, the gaps in existing services and then create or improve apps that resolve those issues significantly or completely. Doing this must precede the app development process as this is the foundation on which the direction of development will take shape. Furthermore, it will make your app more viable and eventually more effective in addressing the needs of your target market that other products – even similar ones – couldn’t.
Always Implement Scalable Designs
This is very difficult to do, but once you have done it, the benefits to reap are profound. Scalable designs enable you to leave room for accommodating new features and make your apps flexible enough to respond to future changes on existing features as well. They do not make initial versions of the app look like they fall short in any way. But they actually enable them to act like a foundation on which to build, rebuild and improve the apps from time to time making Sustainable App Development possible.
To use an example, navigation menu in an app is a common feature that benefits from scalable designs. If a Minimum Viable Product in your business only has a few features now, but there is a possibility of new features being added in the future, then the navigation menu of your app needs to be flexible enough to accommodate the corresponding additional/changed product information as the product evolves.
Gather & Analyze User Feedback
You can enter the market with an app that can only be termed an MVP in order to find out how people respond to it, so that you can assess what functionalities are really popular, which ones need more tweaks, which are the new ones that need to be incorporated and most importantly which are the additions or changes that would ensure evident app usage sustainability in the future. Getting present user feedback and analyzing current usage data is highly important in understanding what users are likely to look for in their apps in the near future. Thus this is a very important principle to follow in Sustainable App Development.
Update & Release Often
Keep your apps updated to keep them relevant in the context of the current needs of your target market and also to respond smoothly to technological changes as they happen. Release the evolved apps at the apt times to make the most impact, so that your customers always get what they want, when they want. Ensure you add value with every update & release of your app, adding new features and functionalities where required. Test assumptions, change your roadmaps if necessary, but update and release your apps often to remain relevant to your customers.
There will always be external factors that might make the journey of Sustainable App Development more difficult than it already is. But if you adhere to the above principles no matter what, then you can achieve sustainable success developing sustainable apps.