Lessons Learned from our First App

My Brother and I have released our first app since starting our company The Tucker Brothers.  Going through the process of creating an app on our own has been an interesting experience.  We have worked on iOS app before, but for other people.

Creating our own app was fun, but had some new challenges.  I think one of the biggest challenges was to wait until the app was ready.  We had a working version of the app well before we submitted to the app store, but we decided to have some people test it out.  We look for areas of the app that were confusing, or did have a good flow.

We would then sit down and talk about how we could make the user interaction easier.  The hardest part of doing this was that we both were excited that we were going to have an app out, and we didn’t want to wait.  Our patience paid off however as we both feel like the app we did end up sending to the app store is way easier to use than the first functional version of the app.

I don’t mean to say that we did everything perfect.  In fact, with our next app there will be a couple of things that we do differently.

  1. We didn’t have a very good website ready for our app, or a press release either.  This made it very difficult to market our app.  Other than posting on Facebook, and asking friends and family to do the same, we were not ready for any other kind of marketing push.
  2. We didn’t provide an easy way for users to give feedback.  This is important because user feedback allows the user to feel like they are part of making the app better.  It also allows us to know what parts of the app are still hard to use.
  3. We didn’t include a way to gather analytics on how the app is used.  We thought that we had set up TestFlight to gather this data for us, and even had a privacy policy that mentions that we collect anonymous data, but it didn’t work.  We now have no idea how often the app is used, or which pages are used most.  We will be fixing this in an update.

Overall I feel like the launch of our first app was a success.  We have a stead stream of downloads and I feel like we created a quality app.  I look forward to writing more apps, and I am sure that I will learn new lessons with each one.

If you are interested, here is a link to the app that we created.  It is called 72 Hours App and helps keep your 72 Hour emergency kits up-to-date.

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