7 Lessons we learned from iOS development

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7 Lessons we learned from iOS development …

7 Lessons we learned from iOS development
by PixoMobile cofounders: Robert Mao & Haitao Li

More in: Technology , Design
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  • 1. 7 lessons we learned from iOS development Robert Mao &Haitao Li Co-Founders of PixoMobile Seattle iOS Developers Meetup 9/25/13
  • 2. Who we are  Robert Mao: Co Founder of PixoMobile. Former Microsoft Research guy, serial entrepreneur, worked in China, Europe and USA. (rob@pixomobile.com)  HaitaoLi: Co Founder of PixoMobile. Former Microsoft guy, developed Internet Explorer, Windows 7 and Windows 8. (haitao@pixomobile.com)
  • 3. Our apps - PhotosPro - Featured by Apple as “New & Noteworthy” - Widely reported by media and review sites - Peak download per day: 120K - High daily active users App link: http://pixomobile.com/photospro/
  • 4. Our apps - Levitagram - Reached #2 grossing photo app in US Store - Remain on top chart since today - Widely reported by media and review sites App link: http://pixomobile.com/levitagram/
  • 5. Our apps - PoshLight - Our latest app in the AppStore App link: http://pixomobile.com/poshlight/
  • 6. Our apps - FaceCraft - In review, coming soon… App link: http://pixomobile.com/facecraft/
  • 7. Most app developers‟ #1 headache… “No one uses my crappy little app !”
  • 8. What we did it right  Focus on data analytics  Fast execution  Not staying focused while staying focused
  • 9. Data, data, data!  App analytics  Google Analytics  Focus on the user retention  User interaction path, is it as you expected? Drop off rate?  Real time analytics is very valuable  Crashlytics  You can‟t fix every bug  AppAnnie  Know your number, know your competitors number even better  Find hype vs reality
  • 10. Fast, fast, fast!  Fast iteration  2 weeks development cycle  Limit everything in 2 weeks, seriously!  What if the goal is too big for 2 weeks?  Cut features! K.I.S.S.  Is it the right thing to do?! Cut the whole thing!  Can you guys seriously FINISH EVERYTHING in 2 weeks?  NO. : )  YES. : )  Lack of resource is your biggest advantage to compete with big players  Other things need to be fast  Your code need to run fast  Bug fix  Customer support (User Voice)
  • 11. Lesson #1 - Product  Build something your users want to buy not just get interested  Don‟t listen to your users (especially early adopter, professionals) … observe them  K.I.S.S - Don‟t add up features.  Your idea is not original (enough)…  AppAnnie data  AppStore reviews
  • 12. Lesson #2 - Naming  Which of those app name sucks less?  Photos Pro  PhotosPro  PhotosPro: Photos App Reinvented  Levitagram: levitation photography for dummies.  There are so many bad named apps in the store, include some „famous‟ apps  Bad naming patterns  Common words  Single word  Meaningless word
  • 13. Lesson #2 - Naming  Naming strategy  Name after popular app or not?  Unique + meaningful  Do appstore search AND web search first  Our naming process  Brain storm 15~20 names (eliminate obviously bad names)  Vote to eliminate to ~5 names (purely personal taste)  Ask „experts‟ to decide for us from name candidates  Our experts:  Kids  Female friends
  • 14. Lesson #3 - Design  Icons  Are app icons important?  YES, very important  How much does it cost ?  For us: $5 ~ $29  Is it worth spending X dollars to ask someone design for it?  NO. Unless you have a great designer friends/partner, or you have too much money to spend  Is it worth bidding on sites like 99 designs?  No, you get what you paid for : )  What makes a good App Icon?  Unique  Easy to remember  Not ugly
  • 15. Lesson #3 - Design  App design  K.I.S.S  Try no to reinvent the wheel  Try the best to follow standard UI guideline  Our practice (may not work for everyone)  Prototype with real code. Sketches only, no mockup, all real code.  Implement multiple designs and pick the best.  Reuse the design (and also the code)  Don‟t listen to „experts‟, „professionals‟ or even „users‟, instead observe user behavior from analytics  Experiments and analytics on everything
  • 16. Lesson #4 - Pricing  Don‟t be afraid to ask users to pay  Always think of building a paid app even you want it to be free.  Benefits of not being free  You can make money  You can use „free promotion‟  You can get free deals from promotion sites  You can stay in top chart much longer  0.99 vs 1.99 vs 2.99 vs …
  • 17. Lesson #5 - Promotion  Most paid promotion are useless  Paid review sites  Paid „expedited‟ review sites  Small but focused app review sites can be 10X more effective than big name media (use your time wisely)  Don‟t promote it too early (or it‟s wasting time, money and resource)  Some focused app promotion sites are extremely effective (however they are very expensive!)  But we get it all FREE!  If you have a great app, they will come to you!  Build long term relationship with partners
  • 18. Lesson #6 - Growth  Retention, engagement is the key to the growth  Without retention, promotion won‟t get you the growth  Design a product for growth  Build the viral loop
  • 19. Lesson #7 – User engagement  Don‟t set the user expectation too high  Always under promise and over deliver  Your name, description and screenshots could make a difference  Review matters, esp. for paid apps  Engage users from all channels  User voice, email, facebook pages, instagram…
  • 20. Bonus lesson  Nothing happens as planned “No one uses my crappy little app !”
  • 21. Thank you! Visit http://PixoMobile.com for our latest apps and updates!