App maintenance is a priority that will never cease for busy businesses. Maintenance issues will continuously arise, and as such, it’s beneficial for companies to invest in long-term planning. Our friends over at The Manifest dig deep in to this topic and provide some helpful insight as to how you can improve the breadth of your maintenance capabilities. Below, you’ll find an outline of recommended best practices that you can implement in to your current process.
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When you buy a new house, you don’t spend hundreds of thousands of dollars and then forget about it. You also invest in cleaning it, upgrading it, and making sure it lasts a long time. Your app is the same. As soon as it goes live, your responsibility shifts from developing your app to maintaining it.
How do you ensure you’re doing it right? Here is how you can maximize the benefits of maintaining your app over the long-term:
1. Add New Feature Updates
It’s a good idea to monitor your app in the long-term and find out how users are interacting with your app. This could give you useful insight on what features they are using the most, and which ones they find unnecessary. Adding new feature updates to your app based on user feedback and usage patterns helps retain them and keep them interested. You should also keep a check on your app reviews. Most users tend to leave suggestions for improvements and new features. Use those ideas to add better updates to your app. Adding regular, minor feature updates is also a more cost-effective solution compared to building an entirely new one or updating after a long time.
2. Ensure App Support with New Hardware/Software
Technology never stays stagnant. There’s a new iOS or Android version coming out every year. In terms of hardware, think about how many new mobile devices with upgraded specifications are released over time. If you don’t maintain your app regularly and ensure it is compatible with all the latest devices and operating systems, you’ll start losing your customers. Your users will move on as technology progresses, and your app will be left behind. It’s also a good idea to incorporate the latest hardware features into the functionality of your app, like enabling support for fingerprint logins and push notifications.
3. Keep Your User Interface Updated
Keeping up with the changing styles, trends, and usage habits of your customers is an essential part of your app’s long-term success. And that means always keeping your user interface (UI) updated. The more time users spend with your app, the more mature they get. Your UI needs to mature as well, especially if you want to keep your existing users interested and offer them the best experience. Moreover, if you want to stay trendy and relevant, you need to match your UI with evolving styles and designs.
4. Fix Bugs Timely
If you don’t check back on your app regularly and fix issues in a timely manner, you’ll end up driving users away. In fact, accumulated bugs can also lead to your app crashing and failing for good. They can also multiply your expenses if left alone for a long time. Always keep an eye out for bugs and technical issues and fix them ASAP. Keep track of user feedback and reviews to efficiently address any issues or complaints.
5. Monitor Performance
Don’t forget to follow up on how your app is performing. Keep an eye on loading times, lags, and responsiveness issues. Along with monitoring the technical performance of your app, you should also stay updated with your analytics reports. Know your retention and churn rates, analyze patterns of customer usage, and track your engagement and conversion rates. Monitoring these metrics will help you improve your app, minimize loss of users, and keep the app in its best condition over the long-term.
6. Offer Scheduled System Maintenance
Scheduling regular system maintenance is a good way to avoid missing out on issues or bugs. It also ensures your app is always up-to-date and works smoothly over time. Also, informing users beforehand about the scheduled maintenance sets expectations between you both. This is important if you don’t want to unexpectedly hit your users with a “System down for maintenance” message, which can be quite frustrating.
7. Keep a Check on Licenses
Most apps are built using a licensed technology. Make sure you do your homework beforehand and know if any of your licenses or certifications need to be renewed. The good thing is, this aspect of maintenance is fairly predictable. If you did your research during the development and know what you signed up for, chances are you won’t be unexpectedly hit with sky-high renewal expenses.