How do you ensure your iPhone or Android app is well received and obtains those sought-after five star reviews? In my fourth instalment of developing a successful iPhone or Android app, I will provide actions you can take to improve your chances of a successful launch.

Make your app soar to the top!

In previous posts we’ve discussed the vision and goals driving your app, how you will attract users, and how your app will generate revenue. Releasing a successful app is no easy feat and having a plan helps, but if your app doesn’t deliver on its promises or doesn’t perform well it will quickly sink to the bottom of the app store. So how do you ensure your app performs well and meets your users’ expectations?

It’s not surprising that beautiful, easy to use apps that work as intended sell well. On the flipside, having a poorly made app that is hard to use and buggy will ruin your app’s reputation, leading to bad reviews and ratings. Obviously, some expectations are bound to be unreasonable and you won’t be able to make everyone happy, but there are steps you can take to minimize the number of unsatisfied customers.

Make it Easy

How easy is your app to use? You know your own app inside and out, so naturally its design seems intuitive to you, but to others it may not. You would be surprised how different people think, and how people unfamiliar with your app might struggle to figure out how to use it. Usability studies are a great way to learn from your target audience to see how easy the app is to use and where it needs work.

Meet (and Exceed) Expectations

Once people have viewed your app’s description, screenshots, and reviews, they will have generated an expectation about your app. Whether or not this expectation is realistic, they will be unhappy if they download your app and their expectations are not met. How can you know what someone’s expectations are? Unfortunately you can’t know unless they tell you. Having options for users to provide feedback is a good start. Following up with dissatisfied customers might be another option. Lastly, making sure your description is well written and thoroughly tested will improve your chances.

Bug Free

A different way to fail expectations is by releasing buggy software. I get it, no one wants to release buggy software. Although avoiding bugs may seem obvious to you, it’s amazing just how many apps out there are borderline unusable due to bugs. To avoid this issue make sure your developers take the time to extensively test their apps across multiple devices before submitting them to the app store. Furthermore, a number of performance, memory, and usability issues can only be discovered by testing your app on the device itself. So when performing tests, make sure you don’t solely test on the comfort of your computer’s development simulator.

The Importance of Beta Testing

Beta testing is not only about squashing bugs. It is a way to learn more about your users and finetune your app. Because everyone approaches an app with a unique mindset and varying expectations, you will be able to use beta testing to further improve your app’s usability. Also, the way someone else uses your app may be different from how you intended it to be used. This knowledge is important and may help you fill usability holes, as well as reveal new target markets for your app that you had not previously considered.

Generate a Buzz

Once you’ve developed and tested your awesome app, you need to generate publicity. If you have a great app, but slips under the radar you’ll be disappointed. Increase your app’s downloads by generating positive press. Give complementary versions of your paid app to media or popular bloggers in your niche market. In return ask them to review your app. Create interest by having giveaway contests to drive people to download your app.

So, how can you successfully launch your next iPhone or Android app? Learn from your users, and give them bug free, easy to use apps.