Ten tips if you’re ordering an app

Claes Magnusson is the principal at Malmö Yrkeshögskola, a college that provides training in app development and mobile e-commerce. This article is taken from our publication ”App app app app app”.

  1. Start with yourself. Get yourself an iPhone and a new Android phone. It’s only when you’ve used your device everyday for several weeks that you realise what you might be able to do and how you might be able to use apps in your business. 35% of all smartphone users use an app before they have even got out of bed. Once you’re doing that too, you’ll get the picture.
  2. Start quickly and simply with a first version. It doesn’t matter that much what it contains, as long as you create it and publish it. Then you can gather experience and continue on with the next version. Apps can be changed and added to quickly. Don’t spend months or years on discussions trying to create the perfect app before you start building it.
  3. It’s better to make one app with five work extremely well than to create an usable high-tech monster with 500 functions. Never overestimating the expertise of your users is a good rule of thumb, but nor should you underestimate their curiosity.
  4. Work as far as possible with cross-platform solutions that let you build an app then expand it for several different solutions platforms and phones.
  5. Create apps quickly and effectively. No-one is going to win any prizes for well- structured source code so it’s better to spend your money on graphic design and particularly on getting business into the app.
  6. If you are going to order an app to be made for you, just go by what your developers can do and are able to show you. The best app developers are often not the big mega groups with hundreds or thousands of consultants. The most successful app developers are recently started small companies with efficient teams,.
  7. These days there is no value in ideas. All you have to do is ask any large crowd and you’ll get hundreds of people saying “I’ve got an idea for an app!” But none of these ideas matter at all. The only winner is the one who actually does it.
  8. Think about your business. What new business opportunities will emerge when your customers can suddenly communicate with you wherever, whenever and however they like? Think about it, ideally taking the long-term view, looking 10, 25 or 50 years ahead, and you’ll be heading in the right direction.
  9. Think ahead. What will happen with your app and your business around the app if and when mobile phones get ten times faster? If screen resolution becomes ten times higher? If they can store ten times more data? If they go 3D? If they can be used as ID or a wallet?
  10. App development is a business opportunity, not a religion. Forget what it says on the phone, or what the experts say, or what the newspapers say, or the latest technically hyped abbreviations. Follow the money.