Lessons from an Indie App Developer

On January 10, 2012

Lessons from an Indie App Developer

It's been four months now since I left my last job and made the decision of creating and publishing my own apps for iOS platform. I knew even then that the journey would be tough and I will have to overcome a lot of obstacles in my path. But what I didn't know was how strong i would emerge as a person and how much knowledge I would gain as a software developer from these experiences.

So here I am, sharing with you the most important lessons that I have learned:

Believe in yourself, but be prepared for criticism
I mean a lot of criticism. There is nothing in this whole world that people enjoy doing more than criticising others. These criticisms will come from all directions - from your family members, your friends, and practically anyone you meet across the street. NEVER stop believing in yourself even if others won't. Be Firm and continue enthusiastically with your goals.

Good programming skills aren't enough to make a great app
Apart from good programming skills there are other things that are equal, if not more, important like designing, testing, promoting your app, supporting your app once it's published. Read the next few points to know why these are important.

Your app must have a great design
And by Design I don't mean just the way your app looks. Designing includes the way your app works, the transition between different screens, how easily can you access the most important features, the feedback mechanism, and the simplicity and intuitiveness of the app that makes the user automatically know how to use the app.

Test your app rigorously 
Test your app as much as you can and with as many people as you can. To ensure great quality spare no efforts in testing your app. Your app may crash under certain scenarios; Some features may not work as intended; The UI may not be as user-friendly as you think it is. You can know these things only after letting others test your app.

Promote your app to potential users
This is extremely important because even the best app in the world is worthless if nobody uses it. Others can know about your app only if YOU tell them about it. Once your app becomes popular you may not need to promote it anymore, but at the earlier stages you should promote as much as possible.

Great apps must have great support
Reply to your customers ASAP addressing their issues. Whether they like or dislike your app, make sure you respond to them politely. Your customers should feel that their concerns are taken seriously and that they are very important to you.

These are some of the basic tips that every indie App Developer must focus on. I would love to explain in detail each of these tips, but I think they deserve their own post.

Would love to hear your thoughts on this.

Image: MacBook writing (Håkan Dahlström) / CC BY 2.0

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