Mobile App Development: Know When to Update or Re-engineer your App

Aug 1, 2017 11:48:09 AM

Reengineering of Mobile Application Development

So, you have launched an app in the market that’s build on a tested concept, could let you gain a  massive user base, generate millions in revenue, and turn out to be a brand that users can trust.

However, after few months of the launch, everything seems to fall aside. Diminishing app installs, low retention rate and slowdown in aap's acceptance are concerning you.

You turned up the trumps initially, but your app is a dead duck now.

What went wrong? What’s affecting the app? What is that you have overlooked?

While many of us struggle to find the reason behind it, we skip one of the obvious but surely the overlooked aspect of mobile app management. And that is continuous improvement.

Certainly, your app needs an update. But, does it need to be updated, or you completely need to re-engineer it. Before you make a conclusion about the type of mobie app development that needs to be done, you have to scrutinize the app and figure out what’s wrong.

Here is what you need to check in a mobile app if it is falling from the grace.

Understanding the Root of Problem is Important

  • Performance issues are impacting the user experience

A number of factors contribute to the overall performance of a mobile app. For instance, the load time of the application should be or less than 2 seconds, the app should consume less smartphone battery, it should not be more than 100MB (Android) in size etc. are some minor but certainly, the important elements of mobile app performance.

  • Bad UI/UX is affecting the retention rate of app

A great user experience and an enhanced retention rate goes hand-in-hand. If your existing mobile app is dumped by users or they have less interest in, then a bad UI/UX can be considered as one of the obvious reasons. Usability issues, confusing navigation, inattractive UI, improper color scheme etc. are some of the major put-offs in a mobile app.

  • New technology/development model adoption

Technology surprises us with its evolvement. Who knew, JavaScript used for client-side development on web would be one of the preferred technology for mobile app development.

With introduction of new technologies and their benefits, they are bringing more opportunities and stability in a mobile app. Frameworks like Xamarin, Ionic, React Native are giving more power to cross platform app development. However, these technologies come with few downsides as well.

For example: Hybrid apps handle animations with less fluidity, UI is not rich as that of native apps, and is less preferable in scenarios where user input has to be frequently accepted. But of course, they are a cost-effective development model, offers low maintenance options, and ability for cross platform development.

Considering the limitations of a development model/technology over another can end up with the need to change the development model of an app.

  • Changes in server side technology are required

Shifting from CMS to framework, changing the entire platform (say Shopify to Magento), change in the technology (say from PHP to Node) are some of the scenarios that exemplify the need to update or re-engineer an app. Understand if your existing mobile app have any such requirements and then act accordingly.

  • Mobile app needs to support a new version of OS

Suppose, your mobile app supports Android V5.x and its no support to the latest OS is making it lose the potential customers or users. Upgrading to a new OS can offer new set of features and functionalities of the app, alongside giving it a wider reach.

Take a Strategic Approach for Improvement

Performance: In the plan to improve the existing app, it is important to make a list of pain points that needs to be fixed. When the list is shared with the outsourcing partner or the in-house team of developers, they can recommend the best fixes for the issues. This may be as small as working around the API or as big as making changes to the server side technology.

ALSO READ: 7 Performance Metrics to Check in an App before Launching it

UI/UX: To understand what’s not working in the app, you can use mobile app analytics tools. These tools analyse user behaviour with the app, estimating where the app actually lags. Once done, a list of key points can be maintained that highlights the of elements of  improvement. 

In the process to improve the UI and UX, designers ensure that the app design is blended with human psychology, a demography study is done, user requirements are studied. This is then converted into a design that compliments the business, impresses the users, and retains them.

Development Model: Hybrid and native mobile app development models have got their own advantages.

If you already have a native app for Android, go for hybrid when:

  • You want a cost-effective development model
  • Low maintenance post app-development
  • Reusable code for Android and iOS apps

If you already have a hybrid app, opt for native when app when:

  • You want a rich UI and overcome the limitations of a hybrid app
  • You do not have any cost restrictions and offer the best features and functionalities to the users

Before any of the development model is chosen over another, it is recommended to do a thorough study of their cons, pros, and then come to a conclusion.

Server Side Changes: If you believe that your app requires some server side changes, the recommendation is to contact a technology expert to comprehend the requirements. For example:

  • If there is change in the API signature, the app will need to have change in the URL pattern and parameters. Say, the login page of the app currently uses PHP at the backend that has the URL xyz.com/login/authenticate. When it’s changed to Node, the URL changes to xyz.com/login/validate.
  • If there are changes in the API type, then you might require to move from SOAP to REST protocols.

Because the requirements has to be grasped and worked up on professionally, it is definitely a good idea to choose a mobile app development company over a freelancer.

Upgrade OS: When upgrading from one OS to another, it is important to analyze the difference between the existing OS version and the latest OS. If the difference is less, upgradation will be simple, take less time, and would call for cost-effective model. On the other hand, a large difference between the two models will make development cycle long as there would be change in design, features, server side technologies, and a lot more. When version upgradation is the requirement, ensure that you only consult professionals for the job.

Challenges you may Incur:

Possibly, your app would have to undergo complete overhaul. In that cases, you might need to overcome the following limitations:

  • Will your Users Pay for a Whole New App?

In scenarios where your app is being re-engineered or re-structured, or a new functionality is being added for which users have to pay, take a strategic move.

Make the app available free to download and use for a limited time period. Later, you can adopt any of the mobile app monetization strategies to earn through it.

  • You will have to bear cost for two apps maintainence

When you have another app created, there should be two teams available to look after them. One that maintains the previous app and another that works on the newer one.

When you are working on a newer one, make sure that you choose Agile model for app development. It follows an iterative approach for development, giving real time progress rate of the app.

Conclusion:

Once your app is updated or re-engineered, make sure that it undergoes thorough testing and is released to a segment of user base to get the feedback. An updated app brings in new opportunities and new ways to reach the targetted users. Make sure that you make the most out of it with the best by choosing the right outsourcing team for mobile app development

Topics: Mobile

Archna Oberoi

Written by Archna Oberoi

Content strategist by profession and blogger by passion, Archna is avid about updating herself with the freshest dose of technology and sharing them with the readers. Stay tuned here as she brings some trending stories from the tech-territory of mobile and web.