Customer Expectation Levels for iPhone Applications?
Developers uphill struggle
By: Ian Thain
Mar. 10, 2010 11:32 AM
Following on from my last article, which looked at some of the reasons/motivations for iPhone Developers to develop apps (see here), I thought I would look at the customer expectations levels.
That decision was brought on by a great comment that I have seen from a user called bowkomor...
"The passionate developer cares about the software he creates. It's his baby! They rarely care about how much money you make with it, neither do they care to how many clients you sell it. They make it a personal honor to deliver the highest quality (bug free, easily maintainable, well tested, well documented...) software they can. That's what their care about: making the most beautiful software they can!"
Thanks for that comment, as a Professional Software Developer myself, I always have those thoughts close to my heart and I'm sure most of the iPhone Application Developers do also!
For the iPhone Application Developer, you only get one shot on the App Store to get it right or risk bad reviews and no downloads/purchases, so the success of your application will depend on a great user experience and functionality. Every Mobile Application takes a different amount of development effort, according to the complexity of the application and this can be split down between the User Interface design & experience, application logic and storage etc.
Traditionally the actual GUI design Phase has probably been about 25% of the whole project time, but now with the iPhone and the nature of the beast that is the App Store, the demanding iPhone Users and the cool device itself... Apple and developers in turn, are pushing this initial design phase to about 60%. Apple's definition of the design phase, is that it consists of four sub phases focusing on...
iPhone Application Developers put a lot of time & effort into their applications, as bowkomor stated above and this brought me to the subject of my article today... Customer expectation levels for iPhone Applications, are Developers on an uphill struggle? Lets face reality, the developers sell their applications, via the App Store, at a fraction of the cost, than if they were commercial higher value products on a non mobile platform, but still customers expectations are still as high... even for the cheapest of apps!
Is this high customer expectation something new with the success of this great device, or is it the fact that the App Store gives the customer a great outlet, like never before, and brings them closer to the Software Developer than ever before? I would suggest that over 95% of software developers have never been that close to their mass market and maybe it is a bit overwhelming for them.
An iPhone Developer that I follow is John Friend, of Apps In My Pocket, here is a quote from John...
"I'd concur with your angle as you probably know from my interview last week (see here). I think though it's also worth exploring why they are so cheap. I think there are two key reasons:
Thank you John for sharing your thoughts.
I think the App Store review process seems to be a one-way only direction, being customer to developer. I would suggest to any iPhone Developer, that they create a web presence (or developer email) from within their application, where they can address any application related questions from users and take suggestions or enhancements. Also I would suggest on a psychological level, that any reviews/suggestions be taken as positive and to keep the customer at the forefront of their development thoughts.
Let us face it, a happy customer, is one that will come back for other apps, as well as recommending them to friends etc.
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