7 top tips for mobile app development

12 min read
October 30, 2023

The global mobile app market size reached $288.98 billion in 2023 and is expected to reach $567.19 billion by 2030.

Getting into mobile app development and getting a slice of that pie is a no-brainer.

But, in such a competitive market, you need to do it right – and that’s easier said than done.

That’s why we’ll discuss 7 key tips for mobile app development that will help you get it right.

Let’s dive in!

Understand your target audience

You can’t develop a successful mobile app without understanding your target audience.

Determining who your target audience is and researching their needs is a key step in the market research process.

Target market vs target audience vs target personas

If you don’t, you won’t get a product-market fit.

Getting a product-market fit is essential if you want your mobile app to be successful – here’s what Resonate’s founder, Davor Culjak, has to say about achieving product-market fit.

But, what do you need to do to understand your target audience?

The answer is product discovery.

It will help you understand what your target audience wants and help you successfully meet their needs.

And you should use both qualitative and quantitative user research methods during discovery, such as:

  • Surveys
  • User interviews
  • Focus groups
  • Social media listening
  • A/B testing
  • Questionnaires

This way, you’ll get a deep understanding of your target audience’s needs and pain points.

And that will increase your app’s chances of success.

Why understanding your target audience is important for mobile app development

The main reason why understanding your target audience is important when developing a mobile app is that it lowers the risk of failure.

If you thoroughly research your target audience, you’ll see if there’s a market need for your app.

And according to CB Insights, having no market need is one of the main reasons why startups fail:

Startup failure reasons

source: CB Insights

That’s why understanding what your target audience wants before launching your mobile app is crucial.

It should be the foundation of your app’s development and will determine:

  • Which features you prioritize
  • How you market your app
  • Your app’s design

And that’s why it should be your top priority before you even begin developing your mobile app.

Prioritize user experience (UX)

Your users’ experience should be the main focus of your mobile app’s design and development.

Like Steve Jobs once said: “You’ve got to start with the customer experience and work back toward the technology, not the other way around.”

You can have the most advanced app but that won’t matter if your users don’t have a good experience using it.


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And the stats back that up, too.

PwC’s research shows that 32% of customers will leave a brand after just one bad experience.

And that number rises to 59% if they have 2 bad experiences.

These numbers go to show just how crucial good UX is to your app’s success.

UX factors

source: UX Collective

So, how do you ensure that your mobile app has good UX?

The key is user research and understanding your users’ needs. We’ve already touched upon that in more detail.

And here’s a key tip – you shouldn’t stop researching your users’ needs once you launch your app.

On the contrary, you should double down and start doing continuous product discovery.

With it, you’ll always be on top of your users’ needs and it will help you consistently deliver a good experience.

Now, let’s discuss exactly why prioritizing UX is important when developing a mobile app.

Why prioritizing user experience is important for mobile app development

The main reason why prioritizing your users’ experience is important is because a good UX can mean the difference between failure and success.

A mobile app with good UX will do better on a range of metrics, such as:

  • Conversion rate
  • Churn rate
  • Retention rate
  • Net promoter score (NPS)
  • User satisfaction
  • Task success rate

And these are just a few of the metrics a good UX can significantly improve.

In simple terms, the better your UX, the more successful your app will be.

Another reason why you should prioritize UX when developing your mobile app is because you’ll get an excellent ROI.


source: UX Collective

For every $1 you invest in UX, you get $100 in return – and those are pretty compelling numbers.

Also, if your app has exceptional UX, it’ll help set you apart from your competition.

And in a market as competitive as the mobile app market, that’s key to your app’s success.

Optimize your app for performance

Optimizing your mobile app for performance is key to its success.

Like Jeff Atwood, co-founder of Stack Overflow, said: “Performance is a feature.”

And if your app has poor performance, it won’t matter how good the rest of its features are and it will fail.

And that’s not just idle talk.

According to Google’s research, 53% of mobile users will leave a site or app if it takes longer than 3 seconds to load.

That also means that your app’s bounce rate is directly proportional to your app’s loading time:

Bounce rate and loading time

source: Appventurez

In short, your users want an app that loads fast, otherwise they won’t use it.

So, how can you optimize your mobile app for performance?

There’s a number of ways you can improve your app’s performance, such as:

  • Compressing images and reducing file sizes
  • Simplifying your app’s code
  • Updating third-party plugins
  • Limiting background processes

These steps will help you build a responsive, high-performance mobile app.

Now, let’s discuss in more detail why that’s important.

Why optimizing your app for performance is important for mobile app development

The main reason why optimizing your mobile app for performance is important is because of your users’ expectations.

Modern users want apps that:

  • Load quickly
  • Respond instantly
  • Run smoothly

It’s your job to deliver that level of performance if you want your app to succeed.

If you do, your mobile app will have better retention and conversion rates.

And that translates to more revenue for your organization.

Also, an optimized mobile app will use fewer device resources, like CPU and memory.

This means that it can run smoothly even on older and less powerful devices.

And that can expand your potential user base.

In short, optimizing for performance isn’t important just from a technical perspective – it directly impacts your app’s UX and your bottom line.

And in a crowded mobile app market, that can mean the difference between success and failure.

Consider cross-platform app development

Cross-platform development is an increasingly popular approach to mobile app development.

And that’s for a good reason.

Cross-platform apps can run on different operating systems while using a single codebase.

This means that your engineers don’t have to write separate code for each platform.

Instead, they just use one development framework like:

  • Flutter
  • React Native
  • Kotlin Multiplatfom

Then once it’s written, they can deploy it on multiple platforms.

Cross-platform development is a good option if you want to get your mobile app to market faster and widen its reach.

And it has other benefits, too:

Cross-platform app development benefits

source: AppStudio Canada

But, it has some disadvantages when compared to native app development like:

  • Slower performance
  • Catching up with OS updates
  • Fewer UI design options

Still, it can be a good choice.

Let’s discuss why in more detail.

Why cross-platform app development is important for mobile app development

Cross-platform development is important because it widens your mobile app’s reach.

Let’s say the target market for your app is the U.S.

In Q4 2023, iOS had a 57.11% market share while Android came in at 41.42%.

If you develop a cross-platform app, you’ll be able to reach and target users of both operating systems.

iPhone vs Android market share

And you’ll do it at a significantly lower cost than if you developed 2 native apps from scratch.

With cross-platform development, you only need a single team of engineers to develop your app instead of separate Android and iOS teams.

That will substantially lower your app’s development costs.

Also, cross-platform development ensures your app has a consistent UX, regardless of the users’ operating system.

And delivering a consistent experience to each user is key to any app’s success.

Build a minimum viable product (MVP) first

If you want to make sure your app idea can succeed, it’s a good idea to build a minimum viable product (MVP) first.

An MVP is a bare-bones version of your mobile app with only the essential features.

It will show you if there’s genuine demand from your users for your app.

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source: TatvaSoft

Think of an MVP as the ultimate app idea validation tool.

If your core features resonate with your users, your mobile app will have a much greater chance of success.

And if they don’t, you can pivot without spending a lot of money on development.

With an MVP, you’ll also get a lot of valuable feedback you can use to improve your app in the future.

Now, let’s talk about why building it first is important when developing a mobile app.

Why building an MVP first is important for mobile app development

The main benefit of building an MVP first is that you’ll get your mobile app to market faster.

And if you’re in an especially competitive niche, being first to market with an innovative solution is crucial.

If you spend too much time in development, you risk your competition beating you to the punch.

Also, building an MVP first is more cost-effective than developing a full-fledged mobile app.

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You’ll reduce your initial development costs and save a lot of money if your idea isn’t validated.

Another reason why it’s important is that you’ll be able to create a better long-term strategy for your app after you launch your MVP.

You’ll get valuable, real-world insights that will help you adjust it accordingly.

And that will set the stage for your app’s success.

Get user feedback

If you want your mobile app to be successful, you need to take your users’ feedback seriously and act on it.

Your users want it to be taken seriously, too.

Research by Salesforce shows that 73% of consumers worldwide expect companies to understand their unique needs and expectations.

So, how can you get user feedback?

There’s a number of ways you can gather feedback, like:

  • In-app surveys
  • Feedback forms
  • App reviews

But, what’s key is that you act on the feedback you receive.

And for that you need to create a feedback loop.

Customer feedback loop

source: Convas

Having a feedback loop will allow you to consistently deliver extra value to your customers based on their feedback.

And that’s what you should always aim for.

Now, let’s talk about why getting feedback is important in more detail.

Why getting user feedback is important for mobile app development

There’s a number of reasons why user feedback is important for mobile app development.

One important reason is that it will help you build a user-centered app.

User-centered design

source: Justinmind

And your design should always be user-centered as that’s the best way to meet your users’ needs.

Also, feedback can help you with feature prioritization.

If your users are particularly excited about a certain feature you don’t have in your app yet, that’s a good sign that you should prioritize it.

Another reason why getting and acting on user feedback is important is that it builds trust and loyalty.

And while we’re on the subject, here’s why feedback loops are key for building successful apps, according to DECODE co-founder and CEO, Marko Strizic:

If your users see that you’re serious about their feedback, they’ll likely continue using your app.

And that’s all that matters.

Rigorously test your app

Nobody wants to get derailed by bugs.

That’s why rigorous quality assurance (QA) protocols and thorough testing of your app during development is an absolute must.

Your users agree with that, too – 71% of app uninstalls are caused by app crashes and 80% of users say they’ll give a crashing app 3 tries or less.

So, how can you test your mobile app before launch to prevent that?

There are various testing methods your team can use, such as:

  • Unit testing
  • Integration testing
  • Regression testing
  • Performance testing

And the methods we listed are just the tip of the iceberg.

Rigorous testing will minimize the risk of bugs and improve your app’s UX.

Let’s discuss in detail why that’s important.

Why rigorously testing your app is important for mobile app development

Rigorous testing’s main function is to ensure that the mobile app you’re developing functions properly.

And you can’t go to market with an app that doesn’t work.

Of course, bugs will happen no matter how skilled your engineers are.

Mobile app bug types

source: Shake

However, thorough testing and QA will help you find and fix them before you launch your app.

But, that’s not all.

Where rigorous testing and QA really shine is improving your app’s UX.

A smooth and error-free experience is crucial if you want your users to have a positive experience.

And that’s not possible without thoroughly testing your mobile app.

Top tips for mobile app development: Conclusion

Mobile app development can be hugely profitable and a worthwhile investment.

But, that will only happen if you get it right.

And with our key tips for mobile app development, you’ll be 

To recap, they are:

  • Understand your target audience
  • Prioritize user experience (UX)
  • Optimize your app for performance
  • Consider cross-platform app development
  • Build a minimum viable product (MVP) first
  • Get user feedback
  • Rigorously test your app

If you want to learn more, check out how we build mobile apps and get in touch with us.

Written by

Ivan Trogrlic

Android Team Lead

An Applied Sciences graduate and a true connoisseur of tech, Ivan is a software developer with a genuine love for exploring new technologies. QAs love his code, and his fellow developers always value his input. For Ivan, there is no issue too small to talk over, and no problem that can’t be solved together. When he is not coding, Ivan is usually hiking or playing football. His ideal workspace? Probably a cottage in the mountains, with a serious gaming setup and fast internet connection.

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