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Melanie Grano
 |  March 10, 2017

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AppSheet gives you all the tools you need to create an awesome app. Unfortunately, hooking up your data to our online software and clicking deploy is rarely going to result in success. There’s still a bit of work needed on your end to create an app that you and your users are going to love.

In this post, we’re going to talk about the six app development best practices to follow when using AppSheet and what you should be doing before, during and after app development to make sure your new app is a success.

Plan Before Development

Every great app starts with a great blueprint. This doesn’t just mean how it is going to work; you also need to know what you want to achieve with your app. After all, there’s no point hooking up your data to AppSheet if you don’t have a clear plan in your mind of why you need the app, what you want the app to look like, how you want it to work and how you are going to attract users. Before you start using AppSheet, sit down with a pen and a pad or device and work out your game plan. Sum up in one line why you need the app and what your goal for it is. Keep this sentence in front of you throughout the development journey. It will help to keep you focused on your goal. Next, brainstorm ways of attracting users. Who are you creating the app for? How are you going to bring the app to their attention? Again, sum this up in one line and keep referring to it when you start creating your app as it may help guide your decisions. If you can only think of one or two ways of getting users, check out this article on how to boost your adoption rate.

Know Your Audience

In order to help you to plan, identify your audience and get to know them. Are you creating the app for employees or colleagues? Is it meant to help clients? Who are your target users? Once you’ve defined who your users are, consider the app from their perspective. Are they technical? Will a particular color scheme appeal to them? What do they want to achieve by using the app? Answering questions like these will help you to design the app in a way that is as beneficial as possible to your users.

Make It Clear During Development

All of the best apps on the App Store and Google Play have one thing in common: they are all incredibly simple to use. Follow their lead if you want to create an awesome app, too. When it comes to creating your data and customizing your app, always be guided by one principle: KISS. Keep it simple, stupid. That means keeping the purpose of your app simple, don’t try and achieve too much. Keep the layout clean, don’t add a lot of clutter. Make sure you include clear instructions where necessary. In short, don’t make your app so complicated that your audience won’t want to use it.

Get User Feedback

The beauty of using AppSheet is that you can create an app in hours, not days. This enables you to get feedback and make changes much faster than if you were to use a developer. Don’t worry then, about making your app perfect straight off the bat. Create a minimum viable product and then conduct a limited release to see how well the app will work for your target users. Once feedback is received, you can rapidly tweak the app and iterate whilst you scale. AppSheet makes this process easy by including a feedback form to collect feedback from users. Ultimately, this process of getting feedback and tweaking your app shouldn’t stop if you want it to become as useful to your employees/clients as possible.

Incorporate App Analytics

Make sure you install an analytics platform in your app before you send it out into the world. There’s no point going through all of the effort to plan and customize your app if you are not going to track its success. It’s not just a case of tracking how popular your app is, either. Analytics platforms can help you to improve your app for your users and identify any bugs or issues that may be causing users to delete it from their smartphone. As a Pro customer, you get app usage analytics included free of charge. If you aren’t a pro customer consider upgrading or use a free app analytics solution such as Firebase.

Test After Development

You’ve created your app using AppSheet. It looks sweet and works on your phone. Now what? Test it. Test it again. And test it some more. Test it on different phones with different screen sizes. Test every journey through the app you can think of. Try and break your app. Before you tell anyone about your creation, you should make sure that it works without a hitch. It’s impossible to guarantee that it will work perfectly every time, of course. But the last thing you want to do is to notify your clients of your new app, only for it to crash as soon as they start using it on a different phone.

Take action

Knowing the best way to develop your app is great, but it’s no use if you don’t put it into practice. Take the first step by reading our comprehensive guide on rapid mobile app development. You’ll learn why no-code citizen developers are changing the way they live, work and play. Discover best practices for rapid mobile app development and find some real world examples of how apps built with AppSheet have transformed businesses. Download the guide for free here.

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Melanie Grano

Melanie is a contributing writer for AppSheet. She covers mobile computing, storage as well as the good and bad of tech. Trained as a tech journalist and copywriter, Melanie has loved technology for most of her life and is passionate about the written word.

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