Building website applications has to be one of the most fun things to do on earth. Wait, did I just write that? Man I need to get a life… OK, enough of the internal monologues. Seriously, building website applications is fun. But it can also be a nightmare if you don’t approach it correctly. In this spirit of this train of thought here are 5 things to keep in mind when building website applications.
1. Think Long and Hard About the User Benefit
At this point you have a bright and shinny new idea. “An application that will change the world!” you say. But keep in mind; it is easy to get overly excited about something. Especially if you are the one who came up with the idea. When you are creating a website application make sure you ask yourself these questions.
- Why is my application compelling to users?
- Is it compelling enough that I can expect a large user base if it is implemented correctly?
- How do we benefit from building this application?
- Is building this application worth the benefit we will receive?
Time and time again I have seen people jump into application projects without asking themselves these questions. Make sure your application is compelling to the user and provides your company with great benefit.
2. Over Analyze the Project
This point may seem trite, but I promise it will pay dividends if accounted for. Never, and I repeat, never, jump in and try to create an application without a clear set of wireframes and designs that specifically outline the functionality of the tool. Now, this is a little different if you are using an application content management system that you are familiar with. If this is the case you are aware of the limitations of the system and can thus create a prototype by making some basic modifications. But if you are making something from nothing, make sure you really take the time to create a clear and concise vision for what you are building. If you can do this the client will be happy, as they will have a better idea what to expect following the development phase, and you will be happy because you have a happy client.
3. Build it out in Phases
Phased build-outs can make or break a project. Consider this. You have this amazing idea with all the bells and whistles. The way you see it, your application has everything, every feature under the sun. But when you try to add too much to your application project it makes it bulking, it drives up the development costs and the man hours needed to create it. When approaching any web project, especially applications, phases are crucial. Furthermore, if the phase one release sees promise it can give you a compelling reason to coax upper management to support phase two.
4. Consider Integration and Promotion
What does your app do when it’s bored? Does it just sit there on a lonely Internet URL with a sad face? Well it shouldn’t and if you plan correctly it won’t. Today, it’s not about a one shot functionality application. It’s about integration. Your application needs to connect with at least one major social site such as Facebook or Twitter. This can be an easy task to accomplish with the right know-how. By doing this, it will give you app room to breath and more users to interact with.
5. Get something to Market
The worst thing that you can do is spend all that time and energy on an application, only to let the project slip through the cracks and never get out the door. When it comes to apps you’ve got to make sure you get something to market. Push the project until it goes through. Nothing can be that hard to overcome right? I mean it’s just an application…
Website applications are differentiators on the internet. When a business owner visits your site and sees a cool tool it gets them excited and sets you apart for the competition. As an SEO strategy it can stimulate more inbound links and higher rankings. From an eCommerce perspective or as a lead generation strategy it can mean more business. Finally, it can be implemented as part of your overall social media marketing strategy creating buzz and larger communities. Get started on a custom app now with SEO Inc.