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7 Tactics to Build an App Without a Technical Cofounder: Part 3
Now it’s time to separate the necessary from the unnecessary, all in search of the best user experience:
Consider the Platform
When deciding which platform (or how many), the key is iterate only on the most profitable platform. By iterating your app on only one platform, you will be able to transfer it to other platforms later as a finished product instead of something that still needs improvement.
Case in point: very early on, MTV released an app for the iPad. Though the iPad audience was limited, this proved to be an advantage as the app was tested and iterated on the iPad before moving to the iPhone and Android. It was only later, once the app was polished, that they spread it to other platforms.
In this way, MTV only went through the iteration process once, and the total cost of development was reduced immensely.
Don’t Take Shortcuts
There are shortcuts, and then there are crippling mistakes. One such crippling mistake is not taking the time to write the right code from the get-go.
Be wary of things like cross-platform frameworks. Though they are touted by some developers, every shortcut has its cost and in this case, it's that apps built on these cross-platform frameworks usually have terrible interfaces.
For example, Fox News launched an html5 app instead of a native app. Now, they’ve had to shell out tons of extra cash to improve the code, work out bugs, and fix browser errors – all of which also results in a poor user experience.
The only time you'd want to use an existing framework is if you are creating a shoddily-made test project. With this in mind – do not use an existing framework unless you want it to run like a shoddily-made test project. If you want a truly compelling product, take the time to launch a native app.
Remember, the user won’t have as much time with your app as you and the developers do, so its design should be simple and intuitive.
The Inaka-made Whisper app doesn't have a setting panel at all, for example, and it’s been downloaded millions of times. On the other hand, another Inaka client was adamant about implementing dozens of switches on the settings page. They launched and did terribly, and to this day, the settings page still gives them issues.
Users don't necessarily want to use a million settings; they just want to use your app. Have a good concept, and then make it as simple as possible.
Even after all the code has been laid, there’s still a lot of buzz to create, a lot of notifications to push, and a lot of reviews to read. A lot of the legwork is yet to come. If you're ruthless about stats and push notifications, your app is more likely to succeed.
The Learn Spanish app, for example, allows users to buy courses within the app. The founder spends a large part of his time focusing on what users are doing and how he can bring them back. How, you ask? He segments his users with an anyalytics tool and focuses on driving traffic to the app and site. (Remember the analytics tools we told you about in Part 1!)
After all, you have your perfect app. Now you just need to get it to the people who will want it most.
And there you have it! You don't need to have a technical cofounder to build an app; you just need to know a bit of the basics:
Know the Tools
Know the Iceberg Model
Determine the Relationship
Consider the Platform
Don’t Take Shortcuts