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The Most Common User Interface Design Mistakes to Avoid

Heather Vacca - Wednesday, May 24, 2017
The Most Common User Interface Design Mistakes to Avoid

When building a mobile app, there are user interface design mistakes that you want to avoid. User interface has to do with both the appearance of the design and the placement of the elements within the design. In other words, it’s the parts that users can see. If your app doesn’t provide clarity or is found to be confusing, users aren’t going to use it. Worse yet, it can scare users away from anything that your brand develops.

Below are the most common user interface design mistakes to steer clear of when building your next mobile app.

Poor Color Choices

It’s recommended not to use the “wrong” colors in your design, but what exactly are the wrong colors? This is a vague topic, albeit essential. When deciding on color, choose hues that match your brand and audience. Keep your mobile app color scheme clean and consistent, meaning that you use the same colors for the same functions. Also limit your use of different colors, as you don’t want to overwhelm the user.

Too Many Words

Apps are meant to be streamlined, so overcrowding the interface with too many words will chase users away. Use as few words as possible, and include visuals when conveying your message. If you need to explain something or share information, break down the text in bullet points with subheadings.

Poor Performance

One of the main reasons why mobile apps are overtaking websites is because they are faster, more streamlined and highly personalized. Don’t let fans down by giving them an app that has performance issues. Of course, no app is perfect, so leave a way for users to contact you if they are experiencing trouble. Fortunately, you can easily update your app to fix most performance problems.

Too Many Clicks

Another thing you want to avoid on your app is too many clicks. Users should be able to get the information they want quickly and efficiently. Websites can be frustrating because users have to click on multiple pages, fill out forms, update contact information and more. Apps are simple and intuitive, allowing users to accomplish what they want in a few clicks or less.

Invalid Code

Thanks to XHTML and CSS, you don’t have to roll out an app that has a glitchy appearance. Have control over the look of your app and how it functions in all situations. If a user has to download extra software just to view your app, they probably won’t use your app at all.

Excessive Advertisements

Some advertisements are OK. You have to make money, after all, and users expect that free apps are going to come with some ads. However, the excessive use of advertisements can destroy the user experience. You might lose sales and customers, and your app can end up looking unprofessional.

Many user interface design mistakes can be made when building an app. To avoid them, start thinking about navigation, messaging, color schemes, etc. during the design phase. Put yourself in the user’s shoes as you imagine using the app. The better UI design that you have, the more users will trust it, leading to increased conversions and sales.

Finding the Right Niche for Your App

Heather Vacca - Saturday, May 13, 2017
Finding the Right Niche for Your App

To build a profitable app, you must have a niche audience that is willing to download and use your app. Finding a niche is not the hard part. Rather, it’s finding a niche that is rewarding and worth your time.

Many app developers will create an app for Android or iOS based on what they enjoy, but this can be a huge mistake. It’s best to do a market analysis and research what your target audience would like to see from you. As you set out to develop a successful app, take the time to find a niche that is going to value and appreciate your app. Below are some tips to get you started.

Discover What People are Searching

During your brainstorming session, find out what people are searching for in the app stores. A keyword analysis tool will be useful. Pay attention to the specific words used, their context and search volumes. It’s helpful to put yourself in the user’s shoes so that you can envision the words and phrases they would type into the search box.

Start with Small Niches

People trust apps that are from reputable developers. You probably do, too! That’s why it’s a good idea to start with a small competitive niche to prove your worth. If you’re able to be successful with a small but worthwhile community, you can work toward growing your name. Once your app lands in larger and more competitive niches, people will recognize you.

Gather Ideas from Past Apps

Another way to find a niche audience is to browse through outdated apps that were once popular. Sometimes, app developers abandon apps even though people need the services. If you can include all of the previous features in the app, plus add new functionalities, you’ll win over the user base that the previous developer built up.

Optimize Your App Page

Your app page is like a landing page because its role is to convert users. And you only have seconds to do this. Explain in one to two sentences what the app does and why someone should download it. Your screenshots should give users an idea of how your app works, what it looks like, how it can be customized, etc.

Focus on Profitable Niches

Before creating an app, factor in time and availability. The last thing you want to do is waste thousands of dollars on an app that only gets a few downloads. Focus on niches that require less time and are easy to please. Negative reviews can sink your app, especially if you ask people to pay for it. Even a $.99 app can draw a lot of criticism. To avoid the wrath of negative reviews, be available to receive feedback by giving users your contact information.

Finding the right niche for your app takes time. The more prepared you are, the better app you can build. You’ll know exactly who you’re reaching out to, what their expectations are and how to optimize your app accordingly.

A Beginner's Guide to the App Market

Heather Vacca - Wednesday, April 26, 2017
A Beginner's Guide to the App Market

If you’re an app developer wanting to get your app out to the public, you already know how difficult this can be. With millions of apps in the app store, the market is highly competitive. Getting the traffic and rankings you need to succeed is a challenge in itself. However, by optimizing your app and marketing it to the right people, you can build a core of followers that will expand over time.

All app developers have to start somewhere. Below are some tips for beginners who are ready to deliver their app to the masses.

Release Your App Early

The first step in entering the app market is to work with the right team of app developers who won’t just build you a great app but ensure that it works well, too. The app should be released early with its core features so that people can test it out before it’s officially released. Not only will you get an idea of how your app is working, but also you can build initial buzz around your app. When the official release date arrives, you will have a user base that is excited to try all the features.

Distinguish Your App

The next step is to separate yourself from the other apps in the app market. There are two effective ways to do this. The first is to create an app that has unique features. This can feel unrealistic, but dig deep into the services you offer and how you can add your own twist that is exclusive to your business. This gives you an edge as you enter the app market and connect with highly targeted audiences.

Select Initial Users

Another strategy that works well is exclusivity. You can roll out your app to certain regions or by invitation only. This would appear to limit your growth, but in reality, the tactic works well. It creates hype around your app and develops good user relationships with a niche audience.

Optimize Your App

Optimization is also important when launching a new app. To optimize your mobile app, think in terms of SEO, as it’s not really that much different. Use the right keywords in your title and the description so that when people search for apps in this niche, yours will come up.

Include Social Sharing Options

The last step is to include social sharing options so that you gain more exposure and give users additional ways to be engaged. For example, if you create an app that’s a game, you can give high-scoring users the option to share their high score. If you create a fitness app, encourage users to create a profile and connect with others in the community.

The app market can appear intimidating, but it’s all about finding your space. As you receive feedback from your users, you can make updates as necessary. This will improve the functioning of your app, show that you take users seriously and grow your community of followers.

How Mobile Apps Have Altered Traditional Industries

Heather Vacca - Wednesday, April 19, 2017
How Mobile Apps Have Altered Traditional Industries

According to the most recent statistics from Pew Research, 95% of Americans own a cellphone of some type, and 77% of Americans own a smartphone. It’s apparent that these digital devices are integral to our lives. They’ve changed the way we live, communicate and get things done. Industries that used to exist primarily in the physical world have been permanently altered. As we continue to move forward in mobile technology, we can expect to see additional industries be disrupted.

For now, let’s take a look at which industries have been most affected by the integration of mobile apps.

Mobile Payments

You no longer have to worry about carrying cash on you. Heck, you don’t even have to worry about carrying a credit card! More apps are featuring mobile order-and-pay - such as Starbucks - that allow customers to place an order on their phones and pay at pick up. Paying through a mobile device is fast, easy and secure, and some apps even let users to keep track of past orders and coupons.

On-demand Transportation

Uber and Lyft have dramatically changed the way transportation is done. Both have experienced massive growth since their inception, and for good reason. Users can get a ride close by, and most agree that it’s a better experience than riding in a taxi. The cars are clean, the drivers are friendly and the rates are cheaper. On-demand transportation has become so mainstream in suburban and urban society, it’s now being integrated with other services such as food, delivery and dating.

Education

From the time a child can press a button or swipe a screen, they can start learning on mobile apps. Educational apps are available for kids and adults of all ages, and they focus on a wide variety of skills. Want to learn a new language? Teach your kid Common Core math? Hire a tutor for an hour each day? It’s all available through mobile apps. Educational apps also have built-in tools that track progress so you know which skills to work on.

Communication

You probably don’t know your neighbors very well, but that doesn’t matter! With access to the entire world through Facebook, Instagram, etc., you don’t need to talk to anyone face-to-face anymore. Mobile apps have changed the way we communicate with others. Thanks to messenger apps, people no longer have to write letters, make phone calls or even text. It's possible to connect with others in a fast, efficient manner and share emojis and stickers to convey emotion.

Mobile apps are convenient, stable and secure, which are just a few of the reasons why people love them. Many can be used offline and have the potential to be customized to the user’s needs. As we see more apps be introduced, industries will continue to be altered - for the better!

The Best Apps for College Students

Heather Vacca - Monday, March 27, 2017
The Best Apps for College Students

According to a 2015 McGraw-Hill Education report, 77 percent of students said that mobile devices helped improve their grades. Sixty-two percent of students said that technology allowed them to feel more prepared for class. Not all education apps are created equal, however. Only some are effective at helping students succeed in college, especially when it comes time to suffer through all-nighters and midterms.

Below is a collection of our favorite apps for college students in 2017. We’re sure you will find them to be a good use of your time as well!

Evernote

For years, Evernote has been one of the most popular note-taking apps, and it keeps getting better. The interface proves helpful for college students, as it allows you to take notes, attach files, set reminders and organize to-do lists. The app also has a camera feature, making it easy to save any photo or document. Free users get a maximum limit of 60 MB per month.

Dropbox

College students save and send tons of files, and many of them get lost or misplaced. To streamline these important documents, Dropbox lets you store and share up to 2 GB worth of photos, videos and docs. You can also add notes to any of the files, a feature that comes in handy when working on group projects.

Thanks to the recent partnership with Microsoft, it’s now possible to edit Microsoft Office files on your mobile device and save them to Dropbox.

My Study Life

Ditch the traditional paper planners and replace them with the My Study Life app. This app lets you keep track of your workload across all devices. Manage your college courses by week or day, keep track of projects in the cloud and receive notifications about upcoming exams. The ability to color code makes at-a-glance calendar checks even simpler.

Mint

We all know that college students aren’t the best financial record keepers, but Mint helps out with that. This money-management app helps you create a reasonable budget, track your spending habits and calculate your credit score. By knowing where your money is going, you can set budgets that you can stick to.

Sleep Time

Despite what young people think, pulling all-nighters is not a healthy way to live. Getting sleep is important during college, and the Sleep Time app can promote a better sleep cycle. Sleep Time uses sleep science research to analyze your sleep stages. You are carefully woken up based on these cycles, and the app can determine how caffeine or stress affects your night. It also takes the place of an expensive fitness tracker. Double win!

Chegg

The Chegg app provides information about textbook sales and rentals, saving users up to 90 percent off traditional book prices. Additionally, the Chegg Tutor app connects you with live tutors who are happy to help answer questions on your assignments. Both apps require you to be a member, which costs $14.99 a month.

With a wide range of mobile apps, college students can stay organized, keep on top of their grades and manage their finances accordingly. You’re already on your smartphone all day anyway - might as well take advantage of the useful apps that are out there! If you’ve got an idea for a mobile app in any situation, contact a trusted mobile apps developer today!

The Rise of Mobile Commerce

Heather Vacca - Monday, March 13, 2017
The Rise of Mobile Commerce

Mobile commerce has been on the rise for years, and it continues to get bigger. The U.S. Department of Commerce reported that online sales in the United States totaled $394.86 billion in 2016. That’s a 15.6% increase from 2015, the highest growth rate since 2013. It hasn’t been until more recently, however, that mobile commerce has chipped away at desktop commerce.

Just what is mobile commerce and how does it differ from traditional eCommerce?

Mobile commerce involves shopping through a mobile device or mobile application, while eCommerce is shopping through a desktop or laptop computer. Thanks to a wide range of technological advancements, the availability of Wifi and a growing use of mobile devices and apps, more and more people are using their smartphones and tablets to shop for products and services.

Advantages and Disadvantages to Mobile Commerce

Mobile commerce is becoming the more practical and preferred way to shop online. Mobile shopping can be done anytime, anywhere, making it convenient for users on the go. Commerce sites like Amazon.com have one-click buying options that allow mobile users to buy a product in a few clicks. However, the general mobile shopping experience is a nightmare.

Many users get so frustrated during the mobile shopping process that they end up abandoning their cart. Consider that in the second quarter of 2015, adults in the U.S. spent 59% of their time on mobile and 41% on desktop, but only 15% of their dollars actually go to mobile spending. Eighty-five percent of their dollars go to desktop.

Some of the most common reasons why the mobile commerce experience can be poor include:

  • Small screen sizes

  • Hard-to-enter fields of information

  • Difficult-to-read product descriptions

  • Websites that aren’t mobile optimized

  • Speed due to spotty Wifi connections

  • Less security when entering payment information

Improving the Mobile Commerce Experience

Tech companies and online retailers are addressing the issues associated with mobile commerce, such as by offering larger screen sizes, buy buttons on social channels, one-click checkouts and optimized sites.

Another route for retailers is to develop a mobile app. Mobile apps take away many of the common problems that exist with traditional websites. They’re fast, secure and designed specifically for mobile users.

Many mobile apps can be used offline and be personalized to the user’s needs. This leads to better user experiences while keeping brands connected to customers wherever they go. With the option for push notifications, users can also be alerted for things like new products, special offers and more.

Mobile commerce is not going away. To best serve the needs of your customers and not leave them feeling frustrated, consider building a mobile app and talk about your options with a trusted mobile app developer. In conjunction with a responsive website, you will be able to provide mobile shoppers with a highly intuitive and flawless experience that encourages them to complete their order - and come back again.

Tech Start-Ups Currently on the Rise

Heather Vacca - Thursday, March 02, 2017
Tech Start-Ups Currently on the Rise

Fresh new tech startups are everywhere these days, aspiring to be the next Snapchat or Yik Yak. Of course, there’s no reason why these startups can’t work. Compared to larger firms, smaller companies tend to have flexible work environments and casual personalities, leading to enhanced creativity and innovation. At the same time, the competition for startups is stiff.

Let’s take a look at some of the latest tech startups on the rise and why they might just be the game changers they intend to be.

Getaround

We know how popular Uber and Lyft have become, so what could stop Getaround from, well, getting around?

Getaround is an app that lets you rent cars from other people as opposed to a traditional rental company like Budget. The app has seen significant growth in a short amount of time in terms of revenue and user base. With options for people to earn extra income, plus built-in smart technology that makes the renting process safe and easy, this startup is built for success.

Metromile

Metromile has been operating under the radar for a few years now, but they’ve been busy. In the fall of last year, the company announced that it had raised nearly $200 million in a series of investment rounds while aligning itself to become the next big independent auto insurer.

What makes this tech startup company unique is that it charges drivers by the mile. It’s a great alternative for low-mileage drivers, with fees around $35 a month. The company has even teamed up with Uber to offer personal and commercial insurance.

Stash

When you want to manage your investments via your smartphone, there are no shortage of apps. So what makes New York-based Stash a winner with over 300,000 users?

For one, people like the fact that they can invest as little as $5 to get started. Second, Stash is a great option for people who are just beginning to grow their nest egg. The choices are not overwhelming, and there are a ton of interactive tools that allow users to feel in charge of their investments.

With catchy portfolio options and a focus on the millennial generation, Stash is a feel-good app with plenty of potential.

The above startups are just a few examples of tech companies on the rise. Plenty more are showing their true colors and exciting us for what’s to come. Thanks to these incredible startups, people have more options to manage their finances and generate extra income on the side, two essentials in life that give these apps momentum to grow.

When is the Freemium Model the Way to Go?

Heather Vacca - Friday, February 17, 2017
When is the Freemium Model the Way to Go?

The freemium model makes sense for a lot of businesses. Pandora, Evernote and Dropbox are a few examples of freemium success stories. While the model has clearly worked for some, other businesses haven’t been as lucky. The freemium model is powerful, but it can become a costly cycle of supporting non-paying customers.

In this post, we are going to discuss what the freemium model is and when it makes sense to use it for your business.

What is the Freemium Model?

The purpose of the freemium model is to give away a service for free to acquire customers through word of mouth, organic search marketing and referral networks. As people learn to love your product, they will have the option to pay for a premium version of it. This is how you make money.

The nice thing about this sales model is that you can operate outside a traditional sales-driven marketing strategy. Customers learn about your product on their own time, and you get to relax. You can also gather user data to better understand what features customers like and dislike.

Are There Any Drawbacks?

If the freemium model was always successful, everyone would be using it. The biggest problem is that it can become a costly trap. People might take advantage of the free version and never upgrade to the paid version.

If you choose to go this route, your premium version needs to offer something relevant and meaningful, such as an ad-free experience, extra storage, additional features, etc.

Is Your Business a Good Fit for the Model?

While you won’t know the true impact of the model until you try it, here are some signs that it will be a good fit for your startup.

  • You are confident that your service is at the top of its class. It should be high in quality and stand apart from your competitors’. People will be testing it out - so you can’t drop the ball!

  • People will be willing to convert to paid users. If your service offers value, then your paid version should offer even more. Be ready to list the benefits.

  • The cost of duplicating and distributing your product is similar or the same. Thanks to mobile app solutions and SaaS, it doesn’t matter if you create 100 or 10,000 of your product. The cost is the same.

  • Your product is easy to use and understand. People will be learning about your service on their own, so they should be able to educate themselves.

  • You have a wide reach and a large market. Only a small number of people will convert to paid customers, so it’s important to have a large market to work with.

The freemium model has ample opportunity for growth and success, but it won’t work for everyone. If you think it can benefit your startup, than let's get started and make your brand name a household one.

The Perfect Apps to Save Money With

Heather Vacca - Tuesday, January 31, 2017
The Perfect Apps to Save Money With

Saving money can feel like a challenge. How do you keep your spending in check? The old advice of "keep track of all of your purchases" and "skip the morning coffee to save cash!" doesn't always work. Fortunately, it's easier than ever to create a budget and stay on track with it. We have apps for everything, from counting calories to workout routines. No matter your financial goals, you can be sure an app development company has thought of an app that can meet your needs. But exactly what kind of apps are the best to help you stay financially fit?

We all know that twenty-somethings don't have time to create a budget, let alone keep track of their spending. After all, it’s more exciting to spend your free time playing Candy Crush or ordering a pizza on a mobile app. However, the right app can make saving and budgeting feel as easy and fun as playing a mobile game!

There are a lot of mobile finance apps out there. What makes them work?

Mint: Mint is one of the most well-known money-management apps out there. It lets you manage your money all in one place - and gives you reminders so you always pay your bills on time. The clean interface and ability to track all bills and accounts in one place make it appealing to all kinds of users. At Mobiletek, we have years of experience and the enthusiasm to match. We can help you bring your unique finance app into reality, and give it the attention, and interface, it deserves.

Acorn: Tech.co, in an article about personal finance apps, also recommends Acorn. Like the tiniest acorn can grow into the biggest tree, Acorn works like a cashback rewards system: when you connect your card and start making purchases, Acorn rounds the purchase up to the next dollar, and automatically invests the spare change. It's convenient and you don't have to think about it - a perfect tool for Millennials who are looking to grow their investment portfolio, one step at a time.

If your company offers financial services, and want to access the mobile audience, an experienced custom mobile apps developing company can help you develop a customized presence across all mobile platforms. Whether it's an idea for offering tax reminders on Snapchat or tweets about how to save for retirement, a trusted company can help you develop the right idea and make sure it's consistent across all devices.

You've got an app in mind. You know you want to bring it to life, but aren't sure where to start. It will pay to reach out to an experienced custom application development company that will work with you to design the perfect solution that will give your customers a rich and rewarding experience.

The Best Fitness Apps Currently Available

Heather Vacca - Thursday, January 26, 2017
The Best Fitness Apps Currently Available

We all want to stay in shape and there has never been an easier time to do so than now. We have apps that can help us manage all aspects of fitness from calorie counters to devices that keep track of the number of steps we take each day. No matter what you need help with, you can be sure an app developing company has thought of it. But exactly what kind of apps are the best to help you stay fit and healthy?

Charity Miles

This is a very popular free app that allows you to walk, cycle, or run for charity. The app monitors each mile you take, and corporate sponsors pay a few cents each time you complete one. Although it might not seem like a lot, cents quickly add up. You can enjoy the exercise you like while doing something positive, too.

Fit Radio

This radio subscription allows you to choose from countless music options to match your heart rate and to provide a steady even pace for your exercise. You can choose from many different music styles as well as many different exercise options. Have you always wanted to do a Zumba class at home? This app helps you find the right music for it.

FitBit

This app is a very popular option these days. Most people use along with the special device made for the app, but if you carry your phone with you all day, you do not need to necessarily buy the device. This app monitors your footsteps and lets you know what kind of exercises you can do to burn a few calories. You can log in your weight and other pertinent information for the most accurate results.

Jefit Workout

Keeping track of your reps at the gym has never been easier than with this app. It helps you monitor all the reps you do and can even provide recommendations on what to attempt next. The handy calendar allows you to plan workouts days ahead for the best results.

Customized Apps

There are many ways that you can stay healthy and fit. At Mobiletek, we make it possible for you to create the exact app you want for your exercise routine. We work with all platforms, including Android, so that you can create the app you really want to use. Our mobile apps design expertise is one of the best around, allowing you to use your imagination to build the app you want to use.


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