We’ve all launched a mobile app, only to be met with prompts to update the app to the latest version. So it’s rather curious that so many companies and organizations are surprised when their developer explains that software and mobile app development is a long-tail process — not a one-time deal. In fact, continual improvements and regular updates are a crucial component of a strong mobile app development strategy.
The most successful individuals and businesses alike are constantly sharpening the axe. Perpetual improvement gives us something to strive for, driving growth and advancement. This is true for businesses, individuals and even for software and mobile apps. After all, if you’re not working toward something bigger and better, you’re stuck floating in stagnant water. So how do you make sure that your app doesn’t suffer from stagnancy? That’s where a continual improvement strategy comes into play.
Mobile App Updates vs App Improvements
It’s important to differentiate between app updates and improvements. App updates typically refer to modifications that are made in response to changes in technology. The tech sphere is always evolving and changing, so your mobile app needs to be updated regularly if you’re going to keep pace and maintain compatibility.
External third-party changes can prompt an app update, including:
- Operating system updates;
- Discovery of new security threats and malware;
- Updates to third-party platforms integrated with the mobile app; and
- New devices and hardware technology.
App improvements are a bit different from updates, as this term generally refers to modifications such as the alteration of existing features or the addition of new functionalities. These improvements usually follow analysis of existing user habits, comprehensive focus group sessions and market research. App improvements may also arise in response to user feedback, which can be extremely valuable when combined with the analysis of heatmaps and other user data / analytics.
Why Do I Need to Perform Continual App Updates and Improvements?
App updates and app improvements are critical for maintaining a dynamic, user-friendly mobile interface. Updates will allow your app to remain secure and fully-compatible with operating systems, hardware and integrated third-party software amidst an environment of constantly changing technology. A mobile app that runs smoothly will be free of the glitches and flaws that can rapidly alienate users.
Mobile app improvements, on the other hand, represent an opportunity for growth, evolution and advancement. In the case of enterprise apps, these improvements often reflect the company’s growth, expansion and evolution. User analytics, heatmapping and other data sources can deliver volumes of valuable information on precisely how people are using the mobile platform. Comprehensive analysis of this data can lead to some key insights such as:
- Identification of UI components that need changes to improve UX;
- Features that can be expanded or modified; and
- New features or functionalities that can be added.
Analytics and other user data can speak volumes to those who understand how to interpret those metrics. But direct user feedback is also an extremely valuable part of the mobile app improvement process. User focus groups, market research and feedback from actual users are great sources of information on areas where an interface can be expanded and improved.
Integrating Continual Improvements as Part of a Mobile App Development Strategy
Both enterprise apps and public-facing applications can benefit dramatically from continual improvements as a key part of the mobile app development strategy. Think of a software platform or mobile application as a dynamic, ever-changing entity that’s constantly growing and changing.
It’s never too late to sharpen your axe. Similarly, it’s never too late to begin making regular improvements to a mobile app or software platform. In the world of technology, stagnancy tends to be the enemy. Dynamic apps are generally more engaging in the long-term and the best platforms will reflect the company’s goals, growth and evolution. Users are also more likely to stick with an app that’s constantly being improved and expanded, provided you’re making gradual changes.
In fact, gradual change is key to a successful mobile app development strategy. That’s because humans are, by nature, creatures of habit. As such, sudden and dramatic change can be jarring, prompting some users to abandon an app entirely. A continual app improvement strategy aligns well with gradual or phased roll-outs for new features.
When possible, roll-out feature / security updates at the same time as modifications that are made as part of your continual mobile app improvement process. This minimizes the number of app updates that users will need to navigate. Additionally, consider adding new feature tour “bubbles” or other familiarization tools to help users become acquainted with more involved functionalities or features.
Choosing the Right Software or Mobile App Development Company
To keep your company’s mobile app fresh and current with continual improvement as a key part of a good mobile app development strategy, you’ll need a reputable development partner who can help weigh user experience with the desire to constantly advance. Success requires a fine balance and that’s one of our specialties here at 7T. We’ve earned a reputation as a top Dallas mobile app development company, with a reputation for developing dynamic mobile apps and innovative software platforms, from CRM platforms and ERP development, to Snowflake data solutions.
At 7T, our development team works with company leaders who are seeking to solve problems and drive ROI through digital transformation. We’ve earned a reputation as an innovative Dallas software development company, as 7T integrates cutting-edge solutions into virtually every project. We’re here to deliver collaborative, multi-phased software development services to clients in all business sectors.