Mark Robinson and Sam Lee, the founders of Class.Travel, sat down with us to discuss how to launch and create apps that users love. The two met over tacos and Mexican beer, and stumbled upon the idea to create Class.Travel, a platform allowing you to easily book hotels.
Both have a background in computer science and have always wanted to start their own companies. Below they share their top ten tips on creating a user-friendly mobile app.
- Foster a pool of qualified users
Find people who are interested in your product or service and really lean on them. Let them offer feedback, involve them in decisions, and keep them posted on news and updates. These people will be your first customers and potential investors down the line.
- Get advice from strangers
Find your audience and use them as a testing ground. Remember it is important to build what people actually want, not just what you think they want.
- Grow your team
Take time to find the right people and build a strong team before building your app. It will save you the scrambling later and ensure you have the right people involved and for the right reasons.
- Code with someone you trust
App design is a big investment, and something you want done well. Make sure the designers are people you trust to get the job done to your standards.
- Functionality > Looks
An ugly app that works well is better than a beautiful app that doesn’t do what it is supposed to. Focus on the functionality first and put time into the design later on down the line.
- Bend the rules
Don’t be afraid to find creative ways around the rules. When Mark needed photos of a New York hotel room for his app, he pretended he was getting married and considering hotel options for his guests. They let him take pictures without a problem!
- Observe your users
What may seem second nature to you, could be hard for others to grasp. Watch your audience use your app and see where they tend to struggle. Use those insights to improve the overall usability.
- Pay attention to analytics
This is another great way to see where users have problems. Maybe something in your coding is broken or directions are hard to follow. Sifting through the analytics will help you to determine where users dropped off and help you to identify problems in the application.
- Create a landing page
Utilize services like those from Launchrock if you need help building a landing page. This will get people to your site and learning about your products or services.
- Build by example
Find apps with similar platforms to yours and study up on how they grew as companies. While it isn’t fool-proof, it can be helpful to follow their marketing approach and improve as you go.
Class.Travel is currently in its third version of the app, and looking to roll out into the US soon. For more advice, watch the full interview here, and let us know what you think @startupsco.