App maintenance is an integral part of the mobile app development life cycle that many people may not know about. Just because it isn’t common knowledge, however, does not mean that it isn’t essential. On the contrary, mobile application maintenance services are vital to your app’s health and longevity.
If you’ve never thought about what might go into maintaining an app, then you’re probably wondering how to start. Below is a complete guide on maintaining your app and ensuring it’s in the best shape possible.
The 5 Types of Mobile App Maintenance
The complexity of maintenance can depend on the nature of your app. Of course, every app needs regular maintenance, but certain types of mobile apps are easier to maintain than others.
For example, a popular e-commerce mobile app will need more maintenance than an app that only uses basic functions.
It’s likely that your mobile app was built to serve a unique purpose. With that in mind, you’ll want to make sure your app functions just as well after launch as it did before launch. You’ll need to schedule regular app maintenance to ensure this.
As your app attracts more users and you expand its functionality, newer updates are required. This is just part of your app’s growth and doesn’t reflect on the design. Even properly designed and developed mobile apps need mobile app maintenance at regular intervals.
As your mobile app grows and changes, you’ll come across several types of app maintenance. You won’t always perform the same maintenance, and you may find yourself having to spend more money on specific maintenance tasks now and then. This is because each type of app maintenance varies slightly and is used to meet different needs.
To help you better understand app maintenance, here are the different types of maintenance your app may need.
1. Perfective Maintenance
As users utilize your app and new users join, you’ll discover the need for new or changed user requirements. With perfective maintenance, you take into account the feedback you receive and perform some functional modifications.
Perfective maintenance is all about the user’s feedback. You improve the app according to your users’ needs to provide a better user experience.
2. Emergency Maintenance
Even with the best design and development, it’s likely that you’ll run into an emergency at some point. Emergency maintenance is when unforeseen errors pop up, or you need to take care of problems that suddenly appear.
Emergency maintenance covers anything unexpected or anything that requires immediate action. This includes critical and unpredictable problems. Emergency maintenance is unavoidable, but taking care of it quickly can resolve the issue before it gets out of hand.
3. Preventative Maintenance
Just like with preventative healthcare, preventative maintenance is designed to stop a problem before it has the chance to arise. This type of maintenance aims to reduce the risk of errors.
Preventative maintenance also helps improve the understandability and maintainability of your app. When your app is easier to understand and maintain, you automatically reduce the chance of errors and future problems.
4. Adaptive Maintenance
As technology changes and grows, the hardware and operating systems that your app runs on will also develop and change. This means that your app will have to be updated to continue running smoothly. This is called adaptive maintenance.
Adaptive maintenance exists to help your app adapt and adjust to new technology. It keeps your app relevant and capable of running on certain operating systems, even as they change.
5. Corrective Maintenance
No matter how hard you try, minor errors in the coding are almost inevitable. These errors are fixed with corrective maintenance and are often found by user reports.
Corrective maintenance is necessary for every app on the app store. However, it does not reflect poorly on your design. Instead, it focuses on fixing basic faults and bugs that are found in daily app functions.
How to Maintain an App
1. Listen to User Feedback
It is true that some user feedback is just complaints and isn’t very constructive. However, many times, these complaints can point out critical problems with your app.
User feedback guides you in the right direction and tells you what aspects of your app need to be updated.
You should have an easy way for users to send you their feedback, whether this is by creating a dedicated page on the user interface or by having an occasional prompt appear. If your users feel like their feedback will be listened to, they’re more likely to provide positive input that can assist you in maintaining your app.
2. Update Your App Regularly
As your app ages, the functions and features you incorporated will age too. The operating system it runs on will be updated and unless you update your app’s functions as well, you’ll start to see some problems.
Regular updates can help your app in more ways than one. Not only can you fix bugs and stay on top of operating system updates, but you can also add new features.
Even minor changes can help users feel like your app is still relevant. Bonus points if you add a new feature that users have mentioned in their feedback.
3. Strengthen Security and Privacy
Users should feel like their information is safe on your app. Additionally, they also don’t want to go through many app permissions before they can start using your app.
When you create permission pages, make sure you only ask for what’s necessary, or you might scare off potential users.
With fewer permission pages, your users will feel like their information is more secure. Rather than worrying about your app sharing their information with a handful of other services, they can rest assured that their information remains in the app.
Users should always have control over their personal information, and it’s up to you to ensure that.
4. Implement Automatic Messages
Communication is important. When you implement automatic messages, you can communicate with your users easily. Automatic messages shouldn’t sound impersonal though. Your users musn’t feel like they’re receiving a notice or message from an unknown sender.
Users can view automatic messages at any time of the day and from anywhere. This makes regular communication with users more straightforward than ever. It can also provide an easy way for users to provide feedback or even feel like they’re being heard.
5. Assess the Market Constantly
When you keep a regular eye on the market, you have a better idea of user preferences.
Assessing the market can also give you a heads up about what risks are out there and what opportunities you should consider taking. The market is great at telling you what to watch out for and what to take advantage of.
6. Develop and Improve Continually
Don’t assume that your app is perfect just because there aren’t any bugs. If you become complacent in developing and improving your app, fewer people are likely to download it.
An app that isn’t regularly improved isn’t as attractive to users. To help develop and enhance your app, listen to customer feedback, watch the market, and study your competition.
What changes have they made? Is there any feature you can add or adjust to make your app stand out more? It’s essential to be constantly developing and improving your app.
7. Customize the User Experience
Users love to feel like they’re special. If your app provides them with a customized user experience, you’ll create a deep impression.
Customization helps users feel like they’re special and can encourage them to come back again. As their preferences are taken into account, and the app is adjusted to meet their needs, they’ll continue using your app.
Customization is an excellent incentive for users to stick around. If you offer them a custom user experience while your competition only provides a standard user experience, guess which app your users will choose? Your app will undoubtedly stand a better chance.
8. Enhance Customer Support
Your app users need to have a way to contact customer support easily. Even if it’s only a form for them to fill out, customer support should always be easy to find and simple to use.
Accessibility is key when it comes to customer support, which is why you should always be working to improve it.
Customer support doesn’t always have to come in the form of a contact box. You can also include FAQ pages. There should be a way for them to contact you though if they can’t resolve their issue by another means.
9. Adopt a Product-Management Approach
Even though it’s an app, you should still develop a product management process. This will help you understand consumer trends and carry out relevant updates. Adopting a business or market-driven approach like this can help improve ROI and value.
10. Create a Dedicated Mobile Experience
Most people use their mobile phones for various purposes today, so it’s vital to create a dedicated mobile app instead of simply duplicating a web version into your mobile app.
Web and mobile platforms vary greatly, so keep that in mind when creating and maintaining your app. Don’t make the wrong assumption that one format will transfer seamlessly to another.
Maintaining your app does not have to be complicated. In fact, it can be relatively simple as long as you stay on top of it. Apps that aren’t maintained after they’re launched won’t last long. Make an effort to carry out regular maintenance work on your app for the best user experience or you may risk it being removed from the app store.