small business mobile appsThe ratio of good apps to bad apps is simply horrifying, isn’t it?

While a few excellent, well-made, five-star apps bubble up from the depths of the development world each day, they are surrounded by a sea of . . . well . . . NOT five-star apps. In fact, if there were negative stars, plenty of apps that would max out on negative scoring for wasting time and creating more problems than they solve.

So, assuming you don’t hate humanity, and you want to create a good app, what should you do?

Well, we have a few simple tips. We’ve done this a hundred thousand times approximately, so we have a sense of what works and what doesn’t (okay, that’s a stretch, but our app builder has been used to create over 100,000 apps and we know our stuff when it comes to app creation). Keep these guidelines in mind, and you probably won’t go very far wrong.

Probably.

If your mobile website already exists, start fresh on your mobile app

Mobile app users don’t necessarily want the same things as mobile website users. Your core functions may stay the same, or they may change drastically. A mobile app can give you the chance to start fresh.

Begin with a blank canvas: what do mobile app users want? How can you give it to them quickly? How can you streamline your offering? By thinking through these questions, you’ll make decisions about what features matter most, which is key to a good mobile user experience.

The little screen doesn’t have a lot of room on it. Instead, the best way to design an app is to focus on a single function and create everything around that. Obviously, this won’t be ideal for every app, but one thing is almost always true when it comes to the mobile experience: less is more.

Be easy, be quick

Your app should be simple to understand and speedy to use. At each screen, available options should be limited and clearly presented so that navigation is straightforward. People have been trained to expect ease of use and lightning-speed from digital solutions. On mobile devices, this impatience is brutal. If things are unclear or take too long to load, your app won’t make it.

Value should be clear

In our opinion, everything on mobile revolves around simplicity.

Thus, the value your app brings should be very easy to understand and enjoy. Don’t hide the ball by burying your best offering in a pile of secondary functions, and don’t expect users to spend a lot of time getting acclimated to your app. Deliver your value front and center, then design everything around it.

If users get lost, your app will be, too.

Study up, read feedback, and evolve

Apps are alive. After launch, it’s critical to see what tabs and functions users prefer, where and when they use your app, how long they use it for, what actions they take, and more. It’s also very valuable to check out user feedback. If users are upset, they’ll tell you exactly why, and you’ll have your work cut out for you.

Make the necessary changes, and then continue to measure and evaluate your app as you go. Over time, it will eventually do just what users want it to do.

If you don’t get that right, nothing else really matters.

A parting thought

Basically, all of this advice about boils down to putting the users first. Your own goals are obviously important, but if you focus on them too much, you’ll actually hurt them, because your app will suffer. Take care of the users, and they’ll take care of you.

End of story.