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Building your Mobile App: Budget, Planning and Best Practices


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Presentation by Philippe Dumont, Board Member @Mobile Marketing Association at TheFamily Meeting - March 2016 on how to best develop and maintain a Mobile App

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Building your Mobile App: Budget, Planning and Best Practices

  1. 1. Building your Mobile App: Budget, Planning and Best Practices Philippe Dumont @phil_du CEO @AzetoneMobile Board Member @ Mobile Marketing Association
  2. 2. Building your Mobile App: Budget, Planning and Best Practices! • Get your objectives right • Build your Mobile App brief • The right budget for the right development • The 4 phases of your development cycle • Overview of development technologies you can use
  3. 3. « Experience is the hardest kind of teacher. It gives you the test first and the lesson afterwards » Oscar Wilde
  4. 4. Setting the Stage: Today’s Mobile Platforms iOS Android Windows Company Apple Google Microsoft Market Share (Global Installed Base) 15% 81% 3% Market Share (France Installed Base) 23% 64% 9% Languages Objective-C, Swift Java C#, .Net Common APIs accross smartphones, tablets and PCs No Yes Yes Typical App Submission delays 7-10 days 24 hours 1-2 days App Check and Validation Prior to posting on the store Post availability Prior to posting Developer registration fee $99 per year $25 per year One-time $19 set-up
  5. 5. What does it take to build a Mobile App? • Your initial plan: • The reality: I have the best idea! We have an App for that! I have the best idea! ?
  6. 6. Why is that? • An App is more than just a few lines of code • An App is more than a website • An App is both a boon and a curse • The day you decided to build a Mobile App, you effectively decided to become a Software and Service Provider!
  7. 7. Mobile App Unique Benefits • UX and UI capabilities • Access to device capabilities • Offline Access • Push Notifications • Ease of (re)use • App Store and customer ratings
  8. 8. Mobile App Unique Constraints • Development cost • Users need to download the App • App availability and agility • Maintenance costs • Customer reviews & ratings • App discovery (ASO…) • App instrumentation
  9. 9. Top 10 Reasons for App Rejections (Apple) 1. 14% More information needed 2. 9% Apps that exhibit bugs will be rejected 3. 6% If user interface is complex or less than very good, Apps may be rejected 4. 5% Apps that contain false, fraudulent or misleading representations or use names or icons similar to other Apps will be rejected 5. 4% Apps with names, descriptions, screenshots, or previews not relevant to the content and functionality of the App will be rejected 6. 4% Apps that require users to share personal information, such as email address and date of birth, in order to function will be rejected 7. 4% Apps or metadata that mentions the name of any other mobile platform will be rejected 8. 3% Developers are responsible for assigning appropriate ratings to their Apps. 9. 3% App names in iTunes Connect and as displayed on a device should be similar 10. 3% Multitasking Apps may only use background services for their intended purposes: Source Apple 2015:
  10. 10. Get Your (Business) Objectives Right • Build revenue stream? • Hint: Paid downloads are dead (except few games) • In-App purchases: OK • Advertising: Getting there, but do it the right way (native…) • M-Commerce: Very serious trend • Mobile-To-Store: Retailer El-Dorado • Mobile-In-Store: In progress… • Build customer loyalty? • Optimize costs/streamline service? • Other? (???)
  11. 11. Building your Mobile App brief • Analyze where you stand now, Strengths and Weaknesses • Analyze your market and your competitors • Analyze your customers and their behaviors • Identify customer needs and pain points • Set key objectives and KPIs • Define App positioning and key features • Identify resources and select platforms, tools and technologies • Define Budget, Timeline and Methodology
  12. 12. TestingDevelopment UX / UI Conception & Design Analysis & Planning The 4 Phases of your Development Cycle Maintenance
  13. 13. UX / UI Conception & Design • Why is it important? • Because it ultimately drives user retention, engagement and ratings (ie 70% of your ROI!) • What it delivers • Makes your App optimally usable across all devices and technologies • Makes it easy and quick to get things done • Makes your service and your brand credible • Makes your App competitive • Builds user engagement and trust • Builds user satisfaction and recommendation
  14. 14. What Makes Airbnb one of the Very Best Apps?
  15. 15. « Simplicity » Anne-Sophie Frenove, Head of Partnerships Airbnb
  16. 16. Development: From “V-Model” to “Agile” • Why is it important? • In a fast-shifting environment (OS, your competition, you - startup…), you have little choice but to go for Agile methodology • What it delivers • Not necessarily “agility” per se… • But faster iterations between (internal) releases • Better visibility to deliveries and fewer risks of delays • Stronger fit between final deliverable and your expectations • FYI different methodologies exist (XP, RAD, Scrum…)
  17. 17. What Makes Uber One of the Very Best Apps?
  18. 18. « Server-side Algorythms »
  19. 19. Testing • Why is it important? • Because your entire Mobile App project will be a permanent Test-and- Learn adventure • What it delivers • User Testing for usability and reliability of your App across all devices, screen sizes… • Virtual (Machine) Testing for performance and crash testing • A/B Testing for usability and conversion optimization
  20. 20. Maintenance • Why is it important? • Your App ROI is unlikely to materialize in less than 1 year and your App will be obsolete within 3 months • What it delivers: • Addresses usage bugs and platform-related issues • Needs to cover some key user feedbacks • Some level of UI changes as well • A (budgeted) plan for major new features/releases is required on top of on-going maintenance
  21. 21. The Right Budget for the Right Development Stages Typical Length Expected Budget Weight UX/UI Conception & Design 3 to 6 weeks 20% Development 1 to 6 months per platform 65% (usually 50% dev and 15% project management) Testing 2 to 6 weeks 15% Maintenance 12-month period 10 to 20% of initial costs Bottom line Simple App: 2 to 3 months 10 to 30K€ per platform Average App: 4 to 6 months 30 to 50K€ per platform Complex App: 6 months++ 50 to 100K€ per platform Prices can vary based on location of resources, capabilities, experience and many other factors…
  22. 22. Technologies: Native vs. Hybrid Pros Cons Native (Swift/Objective C, Java…) • Optimal UX • Maximum platform leverage • Best performance & size • Fewer dependancies • Re-write of code on each platform • Higher dev costs (?) Hybrid Native (Xamarin…) • 60 to 100% code reuse to iOS, Android and Windows, • Compiles natively on mobile OS • Uses C# language • Slower load time • Bigger App size • Uses C# language • Paid license ($25/mo+) Hybrid « Semi-Native » (Titanium Appcelerator…) • Up to 100% code reuse to iOS, Android, Windows if no coding to specific UI • JavaScript with native APIs and UI • Resulting UI can feel close to native • More sluggish UI • More complex development • Need to learn Titanium API • Paid license ($39/mo++) « Full » Hybrid (Apache Cordova, PhoneGap…) • Up to 100% code reuse • HTML5, CSS and JavaScript • Small and simple APIs • App pages run within browser so significant UI issues • Lowest performance • Fragmented landscape for frameworks and libraries
  23. 23. Technologies: Native vs. Hybrid • Bottom line: Spend no more than 60 seconds on this issue, there is no clear winner! • (My) Recommendation: • Don’t make it a project, technology, philosophy or budget issue, make it a resource issue! a) If you have access to capable resources, go for native b) If you don’t, arbitrate based on your resource language knowledge (but always think platform-specific)
  24. 24. Additonal Elements to Consider • Develop your App with a user-centric approach • Don’t trust experts, user groups, panels, your guts… only trust your users! • Au moins 50% de vos hypothèses ne vont pas produire le résultat attendu --Håkan Forss • APIs: Structure how you access your data servers and how to integrate with third-party services/Apps • Opt-in & Privacy: bet on transparency and control to the user • Deep Linking and other App Store Optimization techniques • SDKs: your App will quickly be invaded with tons of SDKs (Analytics, Crash Monitors, Trackers, Push Notifications, Heatmaps, A/B testing…) so choose wisely
  25. 25. One More Thing… It is an App World!
  26. 26. It is an App World… So the World is Yours! Thank You! @phil_du
  27. 27. Some References You May Want to Look at: • Mobile Marketing Association: and • Mobile Marketing Playbook (Global): marketing-playbook/ • MMA Yearbook (France): • Quarterly Mobile Marketing Barometer (France): 4eme-trimestre-2015-infographie • 2016 Mobile Trends (Azetone): mobile-trends-by-azetone