5 roadblocks to creating awesome apps

5 roadblocks to creating awesome apps

Counting Crows sang: “It’s 4:30am on a Tuesday, it doesn’t get much worse than this…” Programmers know that feeling all too well. They’ve all been there and done that. After drinking dozens of cups of coffee, looking all blurry eyed after being up all night fixing bugs, checking and adding just one more feature.

It’s the feeling of: There, it’s uploading. The problem is solved and that’s it! But wait a minute, the compiler is stuck. Did everyone input their code yet? What’s “messed up” this time? Where are the testers now?

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The tester finally enters. “Did you call me?” he asks. Of course I did. “Start testing,” you say.  “Wait,” the tester says. “I need to understand what everybody did, then plan the testing, then upload it to the development environment …”

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It’s the same story with any company, of any size, with any form of management. The boss says, “We want an incredible product, without any kinks – and fast!”

So how can you prevent bugs? You can’t, at least not always, but here are five tips to dramatically increase your quality:

  1. It takes a long time to …

One of the biggest reasons users give up on an app is that their “patience” only lasts a few seconds, especially when opening an app for the first time.

You never know what type of network a user is using or its quality, so make sure to develop, in a way that doesn’t require syncing with a server or an immediate signup process (asynchronous). Additionally, make sure to enable immediate access to the app’s main features.

  1. What’s this? The buttons get cut-off …

Cut-offs are one of the main bugs that reduces product reliability. Check it on the smallest mobile device on the platform you’re using, the chances of cut-offs are highest on such screens. You should also test it on the largest device available, since the opposite can happen, and the content and graphics on your app could appear too small.

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  1. What’s this weird translation? I can’t understand it

Mistranslation is without a doubt one of the most embarrassing errors. Be sure to separate translation to different languages from the code, so that you can export, translate quickly, and re-implement.

Pay attention – this is really important: Limit the number of characters when translating, otherwise, the text might spill off-screen!

There are affordable, quick, online services such as onehourtranslation.com, on which you could upload your translation request within minutes and receive a result within hours. Another great translation service to use is unbabel.com.

  1. I launched in East-Asia and users ‘ran away’ – why?

In each culture there’s a color that represents something different. For example, in some Asian cultures the color red means ‘death’ or ‘danger’. If that’s the reason for users leaving the platform, developers can’t know until it’s too late that they’ve lost momentum in that market.

The best way to avoid this type of problem is to conduct a survey of your target market, and ask the questions you need answered to ensure you’re compatible with the market you’re aiming for.

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There are a number of high-quality online services, which are quick and affordable, for receiving feedback from your intended target audience.

  1. Oh, the app crashes on …

There are so many factors we must consider that affect products: the wide variety of devices, different OS’s and their various versions, so many countries and networks, unpredictable user-behavior, etc., all of which we have no control over. The best tip I can offer is to simply check with as many people as possible on as many devices as possible.

A client of ours once checked their app on a pretty-common Android device and found that the app crashed as soon as you purchased it. Certainly a bug worth knowing about beforehand.

There are many quick, cost-effective, high-quality services for widespread comprehensive testing, but if you can avoid these common problems first yourself, you will save yourself lots of time and aggravation later.

Read Next: 7 tips to create awesome mobile app designs

Image credit: Shutterstock

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