12 Mobile App Development Best Practices For Developers

Kevin Bryan Silva

Author & Editor

Senior Software Engineer

Published on: Dec 14, 2021 Updated on: May 16, 2024

What if we say that you can build the best app for android or any other mobile operating system (OS) without breaking the bank? That’s possible since integrating mobile app development best practices in cropping up your strategies won’t demand tons of financial investments, hear it from a trusted data-driven analytics company. All you need is in-depth planning, invincible dedication, and a list of development best practices then you’re good to go!

You may be so stirred by this idea but before we get deeper into mobile app development, let’s have a recap of the current status of the mobile market to help you see the importance of diving into this cutting-edge technology. 

Mobile amid the pandemic is critical

At the start of the pandemic and corresponding restrictions, mobile apps and other technologies rose up to meet the challenges of conducting usual activities with limited face-to-face contact.

This spurred and continues to propelr the growth of mobile app development at a frantic pace, as various industires seek to deliver the demands of rising numbers of mobile app users.

With the vast digital transformation, came rapid mobile integration imperative for business survival. However, breaking into the mobile market isn’t as easy as ABC.

There’s building, testing, deploying, and monitoring – a sequential process that needs equal parts effort, time, devotion, and dedication. Get one step wrong, and you could be throwing money down the drain.

And that's barely even half of the story.

To avoid such mistakes along with securing business sustainability, it's crucial for you to understand the software development cycle to plan for an execute your mobile app marketing strategies.

This, we provide you in the best practices for mobile app developed we've distilled from all our years as a mobile app development company, below.

12 mobile app development best practices

If building your own app for your business seems like a pipedream to you, you’re in the right place. As seasoned digital marketing agency, we crafted this list of mobile app development best practices that will help you get over that initial humps of your vision and proceed ahead to execution.

  1. Conduct an in-depth research
  2. Design a strategic plan
  3. Select the development method that befits your goal
  4. Opt for the right platform
  5. Understand how your design components function
  6. Treat security with utmost importance
  7. Build a strong core
  8. Conduct various tests
  9. Prioritize user experience
  10. Get feedback and make necessary improvements
  11. Be mindful of app store development guidelines
  12. Accessibility features and updates

1. Conduct an in-depth research

Having extensive research is one of the mobile app development best practices that you should not let slip through the cracks. You may hone your skills through reading the best mobile app development books or just simply taking note of the following things before setting your planning stage in motion.

  • Don’t overlook financial considerations. Research on the gross and net income trends recently and estimate if the earnings decide the need for a mobile app. Look at the complexity of the cost structure.
  • Identify your customers and discover their needs. Through this, you’ll know the possible customer acquisition channels to use. Plus, you’ll get to determine the expected number of downloads and active users for your app after deployment.
  • Look for the barriers to your entry. Identify your competitors in the niche. You should be able to choose rivals to compare with based on their objectives and goals in the market. Consider companies that are startups or even the top companies. Identify their strengths and deficiencies then absorb them in planning for your own app development.

Catapulting your business and investments into mobile app development requires you to look not only to the prospect outcomes of the project. You have to track everything deeper to help you have mapped out the possible issues you may come across along the way.

2. Design a strategic plan

At this stage, it’s time for you to develop a detailed roadmap of the next courses in your mobile app development. Break down the plan and processes into small and manageable chunks. 

Determine the value of your mobile app to your users. Itemize the features and functions that are unique to your app. More than just mobility and flexibility of use, how could your mobile app accommodate the needs of your users, and to what extent?

3. Select the development method that befits your goal

From your rigorous research, you may have come across the fact that not all mobile apps are built in the same manner. There are native, cross-platform, and web-based mobile applications. In this decision, you’ll have to reckon the resources that you have at your disposal and the nature of your mobile app as well.

Choose the method that corresponds to the programming languages you are familiar with. And don’t forget to check if the method is suitable for the type of app you have. 

Native apps can be great for user experience (UX) but may be more expensive since you’ll need to develop one platform at a time. Web-based apps, on the other hand, is great in offering mobile view without app store restrictions. Additionally, cross-platform apps could be great if you’re targeting more users with a lesser budget.

4. Opt for the right platform

Did you plump for the native route? Then the next step is deciding between the platforms iOS and Android. You can use various software with distinct uses in each of these OS to make certain processes of development easier.

Choosing a platform isn’t the same as eeny meeny miny moe because the truth is, there’s an algorithm even for this small step. This crucial mobile app development best practice singles out your prospective user at a deeper level. There are differences between the behaviors of Android and Apple users that you’ll need to relate back to your research. 

5. Understand how your design components function

In developing an app, there’s a possibility for a crash between the developers and designers. This may result in delays in the working process and might be a cause for the project's downfall.

So, before the start of the coding process, you should be able to create a wireframe that can be both understood by the developers and designers. You can also make use of different tools like mood boards to coordinate all designs, features and functions in the app. Setting out the final look of the app helps you see the eventual user journey and identify the possible pitfalls of the project in these early stages.

6. Treat security with utmost importance

Developing a mobile app means you’re also taking in a pool of user information and sensitive data. The type of information may depend on the functionality of your app but you have the responsibility to treat each and every piece of data with maximum security.

As you start in the development process, it’s imperative to read about the mobile app development best practices for securing your data to protect your users and company. Make sure you’re writing a secure code, encrypting all data, using only the authorized application programming interface (API), and using a high-level authentication. These are some of the best ways to keep your mobile app as secure as tight as an oyster.

7. Build a strong core

From the start of the planning phase, ensure that you’re building a robust core. The core features are the most important element in your app as this is where additional features revolve around. 

Record the main features of your app in an inventory based on the importance of each of its functionality. You can use this guide as a hierarchy of the features that are needed to be implemented first before the other.

You can make use of plugins at the later phases of the development process. Make your own plugin with distinct features that you can call whenever the program needed to. This will help you organize the entirety of the mobile app development process, especially for apps with longer program codes.

8. Conduct various tests

Tests are used to monitor the overall performance of your app. Take note that testing isn’t only done before the app deployment. Mobile app development is a continuous process that requires regular testing to find and fix bugs and catch last-minute errors.

If you don’t have a vast in-house testing team, you can make use of software that is built explicitly for testing. If you’re creating an app for iOS, you can use TestFlight.

It’s a free online service to transparently invite users for beta testing over the air. Beta Family, on the other hand, is great for beta testing both your iOS and Android app.

9. Prioritize user experience

Users come first. You should build an app based on their preferences and needs. Understanding the perspective of the end-users will give you the power to deliver the best experience.

Treat your app’s user experience with primacy throughout the development process. User experience is the determining factor for your app’s success. If the user came back unsatisfied with your app, there’s a good chance of app abandonment or uninstallation.

You can create user stories to describe how a user employs the mobile app. 

10. Get feedback and make the necessary improvements

Satisfied users will stay with you while discontented ones will eventually look for better alternatives. Hence, getting user feedback and having them as metrics for the next changes of your app is crucial in mobile app development.

Listen to the feedback of your users, not just on the performance of the app after deployment, to identify other issues. Ensure that there’s an easy and convenient way for your users to review your app, may it be on social platforms, email, or on your own app.

11. Be mindful of the app store development guidelines

App stores became an ecosystem for multitudes of developers and users. Given the plethora of mobile apps that can be launched, app stores need to implement strict rules and guidelines for each developer to follow. Since they are ensuring that they’re providing a safe experience for their user, you shall abide by their conditions.

So even before the planning stage, familiarize yourself with their guidelines. Some app stores look deep into the safety features of the app, the overall performance, and even design. Acquainting yourself with these guidelines is one of the mobile app development best practices that will help you avoid rejection from app stores.

12. Accessibility features and updates

Having accessibility features in your app doesn’t only mean that you’re making it usable to a fraction of your target audience but also could be a clear identifier that differentiates you from your competitors. Make sure that anyone have the access to your app, even people who have physical impairments.

Features like voice assistance, text-to-speech, closed captions, and keyboard-only navigation are some that you can add to accommodate their needs and be more user-friendly.

Key takeaways

Pitching into the mobile app development can leave some developers grasping at straws.  It’s true that being on top of the cutting-edge technology market could be challenging, but using these mobile app development best practices can help you along the way. Here are some key topics you shouldn’t let slip off your mind.

  • Develop a data-driven strategy and plan. Have extensive research on your target audience, competitors in the niche, and user preferences. Creating a plan that’s based on accurate records can help you develop an app with the right features and functionalities.
  • Think of your users first. They are the stakeholders of your business so in planning for the app, consider their preferences, needs, and even their deficiencies. 
  • Organize each of the app’s features and elements. Build a hierarchy of features that the app must have based on the importance of its functionality. Map them out clearly for both developers and designers to understand and cooperatively work on.

Can’t wait to develop your mobile app or still need more research before digging in? We’re built to assist you with that so shoot us an email, leave a comment, or reach out to our Facebook, X, or LinkedIn accounts.

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