Android App Development and the Customer Journey

Android App Development and the Customer Journey

It doesn’t matter what industry your business operates in, what demographic your customers fall into, or how you choose to engage with them: the customer journey and how users interact with your brand is what will make or break your business.

Not only does the customer journey refer to the purchase process for users, but it includes the means through which they find and interact with your brand – including how you make them feel, and how you position your brand as a solution to their problems or needs.

But let’s be honest for a moment. With so many platforms, social networks, digital touchpoints, and marketing channels out there, knowing what to focus on can be tough – especially when it comes to both enticing and nurturing new and existing customers.

That’s why, when it comes to android app development specifically, it’s important to not just understand how the customer uses your app, but where, why, and for what purpose.

In this article, we’re considering the role of your app from installation through to conversion and the way users interact with it – starting with the android app development process and how the app supports your customer’s overall journey.

What is Android App Development?

An app is, in essence, a portable version of your website – capturing the most important information, nurturing your target audience, and providing an accessible platform through which they can engage with your brand.

In many cases and for many businesses, android apps offer users additional benefits and bonuses, such as exclusive discounts and early bird access to new products and services, giving the app extra weight within the customer journey and tapping into the increasing importance of customer loyalty.

In addition, android apps can help to increase revenue, enhance your brand image, make your business accessible to a broader audience, and can increase the productivity of your business.

Android Development: Designing your app

The process of android development follows a systematic approach, covering these core points:

  1. Define what the app is supposed to do – what is its purpose, and how do you want users to use and engage with it? For example, will the app be another shopfront or is it purely for engagement purposes?
  2. Clarify the user journey – that is, how do they find the app on their android, and what is the installation and sign-up process like?
  3. Develop the app – this is where you get to bring your platform to life for android users, using tools such as android studio to develop the correct code, utilise the right programming language, and deliver a customer interface which supports your business proposition.
  4. Test the app – using both internal and external testers to isolate and identify issues, which can be rectified prior to launch.
  5. Beta testing and user feedback – as techies, we love getting feedback from the end use so we can see the app in action and learn what can be adapted and improved
  6. Launch – the exciting bit!
  7. Analyse analytics and improve – this is a rolling process which never really ends, with businesses across all sectors constantly returning to the android development stage to improve their app.

Technical Considerations

Apps for devices which run under the Android operating system are generally developed within Android Studio, which is compatible with the Android software development kit (known as SDK) which makes creating and programming an app easy and efficient.

Aside from supporting the creative process for designers, Android Studio supports every step of the app build and rollout process – allowing code to be compiled and tested before being released through Google Play.

Google Play is the official method for distributing Android apps to end users, enabling staged gradual app release and the sharing of beta app versions during the testing stage.

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Why Should You Focus on Android App Development?

The customer journey, also referred to as the user journey, considers how users engage with all touchpoints along the way.

In the case of android users specifically, it looks at how they use the app – following their journey from the first moment of awareness to how they find the app, whether they download it, and then how they install and use it on their android device.

We tend to find that users come to a website or mobile app with a specific goal in mind and need to be able to accomplish that goal quickly and easily – else they will lose patience. This instantly tells us that navigation and an accessible design is of the upmost importance when it comes to app development – and that constantly referring back to and assessing the layout from a user perspective is key.

And that’s not all. With competition so high, and app development now more prominent than ever across businesses in all industries and sectors both globally and across the UK, businesses need to create an app which is not only functional and user friendly but also enticing, attractive, and beneficial in all manner of innovative ways (yes, we’re talking deals and discounts).

Because of that, one of our biggest pieces of advice for businesses looking to create and launch one or more android apps is to constantly bridge the gap between designer and end user.

Yes, the design and customer journey on the surface is key, but you also need to dig deeper and consider what will draw users to your android app and keep them coming back.

What’s Important to Customers?

Understanding the complete customer journey, from awareness to installation and regular usage of the app, is key to producing an excellent customer experience.

Creating a customer journey map can help you and your design team to visualise how users engage with the app and execute their intended action. It will also help you to understand every point of contact you have with your customers – no matter what it is they want from the experience.

Simple Interface – aka a simple, user-friendly experience

The Android User Interface (UI) refers to the visual components that make up an Android app. Buttons, text boxes, images, and other graphical elements are included in this, and make up the visual part of the user experience – driving their experience and, in many cases, drawing them in or putting them off completely.

A well-designed user interface is crucial for two reasons. First of all, a good, simple user interface will increase the user experience and enjoyment of your app. People are unlikely to use it for very long if it is difficult to use or not visually appealing.

Secondly, the user interface becomes part of your Android app’s advertising pull on Google Play and is what will ensure yours stands out against the sea of competing apps.

Ensure there are minimal registration fields

User registration is one of the trickiest aspects of android app design, despite how common it is. Registration is how you establish a connection with the user and can help to speed up potential conversions in the future as well as enable you to get to know them and their preferences on an individual level.

If approached correctly, it can generate huge user retention. If done badly, it can have a direct reverse effect.

Generally, unless there is an immediate reward (ordering a car service or food delivery, for example), users will uninstall an app that requests their personal information upfront.

To make sure this doesn’t happen to you, here are a few tips for creating a successful registration field design:

  • Make it user-friendly with simple fields and a very direct call-to-action.
  • Make password authentication simple and quick – ideally all within the app rather than requiring users to leave the app and open another programme on their phone.
  • Terms and conditions must be easy to read and approve. And remember that GDPR compliance is now a legal requirement in many countries.

Speed & Responsiveness

With the global mobile expansion, user expectations are higher than ever. This drives brands to pursue more features, instil better usability, and create more aesthetically pleasing products and apps.

To put it into numbers:

In short, poor performance on a mobile app is a sure-fire way to drive your customers right into the hands of your competitors.

As such, high responsiveness should be a priority and something you focus on consistently – always seeking to improve page load times and click times.

Make sure the app demands minimal memory on an android device

Memory plays a big part in whether consumers will like your app and – more crucially – whether they will keep or delete it. Given that most Android users use entry-level and affordable smartphones, exercise caution and keep the memory demand as small as possible.

Easy Feedback

Feedback from your customers can help you decide what features to include, what to remove, and where to focus your development efforts. It makes sense to include this in your marketing strategy, whether launching a new product, campaign, or service.

But business owners have one big, unavoidable problem. Customers are at the mercy of Apple and Google when it comes to communication – which makes it harder for you, as a business, to directly contact your users outside of the android app itself.

Your client’s’ data is privatised by these industry giants, making it impossible to obtain feedback in the traditional way. You can’t email a survey to a customer or email list, search for customers on social media, or do anything else that requires your users to sign-up.  You must think outside the box or consider developing a Progressive Web App (PWA) either solely or in addition to you Android app. Customer data from a PWA is more easily accessible hereby making it easier for businesses to interact with their audience.

Asking users to leave reviews on the app is the quickest approach to gathering feedback, with developers able to set up a request for users to easily rate and review their Android experience.

In addition to measuring overall customer satisfaction, Net Promoter Score (NPS) also enables customers to provide more specialised comments.

The best thing about NPS is how simple it is to include in a mobile app. Users don’t need to exit your app to provide feedback, so the procedure is seamless.

The app needs to work offline too

One of the important features of mobile applications is their offline mode. If people are completely unable to use your mobile app in areas with bad network reception it can lead to a poor user experience.

Now that we’ve covered some of the core areas of android app development that really matter to the customer and end user, let’s recap on the most common mistakes we see being made – so that you can identify, understand, and avoid making them yourself.

The most common UX mistakes to avoid

  • Creating a user interface that is difficult to use
  • Packing the app with too many features
  • Ignoring the app’s primary goal and what it is designed to do
  • Focusing on UX alone
  • Too many push updates and notifications
  • A poor first impression and an unsatisfactory installation and/or sign-up process
  • Copying your rivals directly. Standing out is key!

Conclusion: Android App Development and the Customer Journey

By this point, we hope you understand how focusing on the customer journey can not only help you improve your Android app’s features and capabilities but can also boost its overall aesthetic appeal and charm.

Throughout this article we have shared tips and insights into why the customer journey can aid in creating a classy and well-designed company app for Android users – but how you translate this information for your own business depends on your industry and customer demographic. At chilliapple, we develop apps to meet the needs of both you and your customers. We are passionate about understanding the customer journey and our team of mobile app developers work with our clients on both maintaining and improving mobile apps.

Finally, remember that a good app not only enables you to provide additional value to your end customers, but it also gives you the ability to maintain contact with them. It is a fantastic opportunity to engage and communicate with your target markets while also enhancing your own product or services.

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