Appszoom for Developers

How to save time and money in app development

Posted by Ben Dickson on Jul 12, 2016 12:00:00 PM

Time and money are two things you can never have enough of in the development of mobile apps – or any other kind of software for that matter. You’re always short on budget, behind schedule, and afraid of the next bump or obstacle that lies in ambush ahead.

Much of time and budget deficits in app development have to do with the unpredictable nature of software development in general. You don’t precisely know what your target audience and end users want, especially if you’re building something totally new and without precedent. In fact, the users themselves can be as clueless as you are about their requirements and will only know what they want when they see it.

There you have a “chicken and egg” problem again. How do you build something you don’t know?

Naturally, some of the design decisions you make in the early stages of app development will be based on assumption. Some of those decisions will be way off mark and eventually culminate into something that deviates considerably from what the users want. At that point the only way to steer back on the right course would be to restructure, redesign (or sometimes abandon and restart the project, if you have the heart left for it), which means the project will require more time, more resources, more budget, and a helluva lot of more nerves.

One solution to save time and money in app development is to push design changes and corrections as early in the development lifecycle as possible, where implementing them will cost much less, both in time and money.

But how can that be achieved? In this post I’ll share some development and management tips that will help you to mitigate risk and save time and money in app development.

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Topics: Insider

How to develop a successful mobile game

Posted by Ben Dickson on Jul 5, 2016 12:00:00 PM

Building a mobile game is very tough, and not necessarily from a technical perspective. 80% of games aren’t even seen by users, and though you might be very fond of your latest mobile game, a reality check might prove that others don’t think likewise. In general two factors define the success of a mobile game:

  • Revenue: Money has the final say in this business. After all, unless you’ve spent hundreds and thousands of man-hours for social and charitable objectives, if the game doesn’t generate revenue, it won’t be able to sustain the continued endeavors of your studio.
  • Lifetime: Only a game that continues to engage users in the long term can be considered a success. A game that falls into the abyss after an initial sharp rise in popularity is not a successful one.

Even a high app store ranking cannot be considered a success factor if it doesn’t generate results in terms of the abovementioned metrics.

So how do you make sure your hard work and efforts actually generate the satisfactory results you desire? In this post I will share tips for developers to improve the chances of success for your mobile game. There are several caveats to good mobile game programming, especially if you have a background in programming games for other platforms, such as PCs or consoles.

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Topics: Insider

4 places where you can promote your app for free

Posted by Ben Dickson on Jun 28, 2016 12:00:00 PM

There are a lot of different channels that can help you to increase exposure of your app and grab the attention of potential users.

In this post, I give you a high-level view of different channels and how they can be used to promote your app.

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Topics: App promotion

How to encourage users to return to youR app

Posted by Ben Dickson on Jun 21, 2016 12:00:00 PM

The mobile app journey starts with user acquisition. Part of the challenge is getting users to actually install your app on their device. It takes a lot of effort to keep a competitive edge over hundreds of potential competitors and to convince users to install your app instead of the other contenders.

But as I said, acquisition is only part of the challenge. The rest of it is to actually nudge users into returning to your app after they install it. With so many different apps and games installed on their smartphones, users are bound to forget about your app if it doesn’t offer any convincing incentives. And an abandoned app is just as bad as a non-existent one.

User retention is a vital element in the success of an app. It helps generate revenue (depending on your app’s monetization model), but it also helps generate crucial feedback on the usability and performance of your app, and give you insights on what’s working in your app and what needs to be improved in order to make it a better product.

Therefore, in tandem with running campaigns to generate installs for your app, you need to improve retention and inspire those who download your apps to return and become frequent users. Here are a few tips that can help you do so in a non-invasive manner.

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Topics: App promotion

How to find social media influencers to advertise your app

Posted by Ben Dickson on Jun 14, 2016 12:00:00 PM

App marketing is a dynamic process. It involves a lot of different disciplines and requires many skills, which evolve and change as you go through the different stages of your app’s growth. No single strategy will cut it, and you always have to look for new methods and tactics to spread the word about your app and grow your audience.

Social media platforms are one of the main channels where you can market your app and acquire audience. There are a plethora of networks, each fundamentally different from the others, having its own characteristics, features, audience and ethics. For instance, you can never use your Twitter posting and engagement tactics in LinkedIn and expect success.

However, what all social media platforms have in common is the difficulty and arduousness of building up an audience. It takes a huge amount of effort to build the right follower base in any of these networks and start engaging the right audience.

A shortcut to social media success is to engage and connect with influencers and leverage their success to guarantee your own. Finding and engaging the right people can help you tap into their vast audience to improve the visibility of your app and brand, and accelerate your social media growth rate as well.

In this post, I will share a few tips on how to find the right people in different social media platforms.

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How to measure the lifetime value of an app user

Posted by Ben Dickson on Jun 7, 2016 12:00:00 PM

You hear a lot about lifetime value of user when reading about mobile app marketing. LTV is one of the most crucial metrics for measuring an app’s success and can make the difference between an app that rakes in millions of dollars and another that doesn’t make a dime. Knowing the lifetime value of your users can help you to determine the health of your app, to estimate the loyalty of your customers, and to forecast the growth of your app over time.

Lifetime value can tell you how much each new customer is worth, and how much you’re spending to acquire each new user.

But how do you calculate the lifetime value of your users? That is a question that remains a mystery to many. Calculating the lifetime value of users can become a tedious and difficult task.

In this article, I’ll try to help you solve this riddle by breaking down its complexity into much more tangible and manageable parts which can be measured individually.

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3 obstacles that can hinder the app development process (and how to avoid them)

Posted by Ben Dickson on May 31, 2016 12:00:00 PM

The software development lifecycle is rife with unpleasant surprises for the unwary.

There are many things that can slow down the process – or stop it altogether – or take it into unwanted directions. Things like defects, project deadlocks, and energy spent on unneeded features can cause delays in the development cycle - affecting the quality of the product, increasing project risk, and delaying your app's launch.

In this article, I will iterate some of these pitfalls and offer guidelines on how to avoid them.

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How to avoid failure in app development projects

Posted by Ben Dickson on May 24, 2016 12:00:00 PM

Many challenges are involved in running a mobile app development project. Defining a finite list of mistakes and pitfalls to avoid is simply impossible. There are too many moving parts, too many differing aspects and too many unexpected turns and twists that can and will come up in the course of developing and releasing your app to be able to predict everything.

Nonetheless, there are some challenges that are common to all types of app development projects. In this post, I will introduce you to some of them and explain how you can avoid or overcome them.

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How to test your app on a tight budget

Posted by Ben Dickson on May 17, 2016 12:00:00 PM

Anyone with the least bit of professional software development experience will tell you that you should never underestimate the value and importance of testing your program. This is especially true of mobile apps, which undergo a sometimes-painful vetting and examination process before being published on major app stores.

But hiring a fully-qualified QA team to test your app and squeeze every last bug, inconsistency and UI/UX issue out of it might not be within your budget range, especially if you’re an indie developer. But does the fact that you can’t afford a full team of professionals justify not testing your app thoroughly?

I’m sure you already know the answer to that question.

In this article I will show you a few tricks that can get help you get quality user testing for your app, at a very low price.

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How to grow your app’s email marketing list

Posted by Ben Dickson on May 10, 2016 12:00:00 PM

You’ll hear a lot about email marketing having become passé, a thing of the past, a tool to ultimately avoid… You’ll also hear a lot about how mobile push notifications are your salvation and can bring you tons of downloads, leads, and customers (which is true by the way).

The truth is, email marketing has been put to so much ill use that it has fallen from grace, like many other things (banner ads anyone?). But anything done wrong can turn into a disaster, including mobile push notifications. Push notifications can become intrusive on their own, especially since smartphones are extremely personal devices, and users can quickly get annoyed when targeted with untimely and irrelevant ads, and subsequently turn off notifications and block you out forever.

Placing your bets on any single medium to reach out to your user makes it easier to lose touch. So you should value every channel you have to connect with, and engage, your potential customers. That includes email lists.

Fact of the matter is, email lists are far from dead, and if used properly, they can turn out to be one of your most effective – and favorite – app marketing tools. In this post, I will show you how to grow your email list and put it to good use.

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Topics: App marketing

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