Life is, unfortunately, full of problems. From the smallest annoyances to the most monumental time-wasting experiences, and from drops inefficiency to regular hiccups that slow down our day, there is no shortage of problems, issues, and complications that need to be fixed.
Thankfully, the world is also full of innovative, forward-thinking, and savvy app developers, too. Every day, app creatives and programmers are out there not only solving problems with mobile apps and platforms but also identifying and anticipating problems that can be easily dealt with via an app at some point in the future.
As we increasingly rely on our smartphones and other mobile devices in our working lives, our social lives, and when we’re alone, it comes as no real surprise that we’re also increasingly relying on apps to help us through our day to day tasks. Problem-solving is a key part of the app developer’s job, and it is in the resolution of everyday problems or workplace issues that the app industry truly shines.
In this article, we’re going to be taking a quick look at the world of problem-solving with apps, and how app developers can solve problems and fix issues more creatively, effectively, and efficiently with the apps they come up with. Read on to find out more!
Custom Apps: A Solution for Every Problem
Custom and tailor-made apps really are perfect for addressing and solving a vast array of problems. Almost every single industry out there is currently investing in new apps for speeding things up, improving morale, reaching out to customers, and encouraging engagement in ways hitherto unimagined. Members of the public, also, are using apps to solve a massive range of problems from the mundane – for example finding more efficient ways of staying in touch with friends – to the complex, highly specialized, or location-specific.
A considerable chunk of the app developer’s job is to focus on and identify these problems and to come up with elegant solutions which work for their users, customers, or clients. So long as our minds are focused, our perspectives are clear, and our goals clearly defined, it seems there’s no problem too big or too small to be solved with an app.
Why Are Apps Ideal For Problem Solving?
There are plenty of reasons why apps are making lives and jobs easier all across the globe. Never before in human history has mankind so literally had all the answers at their very fingertips – our mobile devices and smartphones give us the opportunity to access apps built for highly specific purposes wherever we may be. Need a solution for rota management at work while you’re on your morning commute? It can be done in an instant with an app. Need to research something prior to an interview, or find out where the nearest branch of your favorite coffee shop is, or order something in for fast delivery while on the go? Apps provide easy, accessible, and speedy solutions.
We’ve become incredibly accustomed to turning to apps for a whole load of different solutions to a massive array of problems, and there’s one key reason for this: the majority of apps out there in circulation have been constructed and designed with those very problems in mind. As app developers, it is our job to identify such problems and come up with nifty and effective answers to them in the form of custom apps. This level of focus, and this way of working, really does make mobile apps ideal for problem-solving in a hundred thousand different ways.
So, how can we as app developers improve our skills when it comes to solving problems via the apps we produce? Let’s take a look at a handful of steps that should lead to more effective and popular results.
Carefully Identify the Problem
In order to come up with a truly efficient and effective solution, we first need to understand and identify the problem with pinpoint accuracy. When creating an app designed to solve a specific problem, we absolutely have to understand that problem inside-out and figure out where it comes from, how it arises, and what the app user is looking for when it comes to the solution provided.
By deeply understanding the root cause of the problem, the likelihood of it occurring (or repeating), and the sorts of complications it brings, we can make ourselves more efficient and productive app developers. Whether the problem is a specific workplace conundrum, an issue with timeliness or time-wasting, or simply a problem of having too much time to kill (and let’s face it, a huge number of apps out there are designed to tackle boredom first and foremost), the problem itself should always be our starting point.
Research Other Solutions and See What They are Lacking
The chances are, your custom app isn’t going to be the only one tackling any given problem. Even if the issue you’re addressing is extremely niche and relatively unique, it’s likely that there will be similar apps out there doing comparable things and solving similar problems.
All good app developers will know the ins and outs of the apps they are competing against. Our job isn’t to imitate others, it is to figure out exactly what other solutions are lacking, and come up with ways of superseding them. Perhaps you can solve the problem more quickly with your app. Perhaps you can take a totally different route towards solving the problem, or you can try approaching it from a different angle which leaves the user more satisfied.
Essentially, there are two routes you can take from this point, which are:
- To Improve Upon an Existing Solution
Essentially, this involves looking at the solutions which are currently out there on the App Store and finding ways to make those solutions faster, more efficient, and overall more effective. No app is absolutely perfect, but by gaining that deep understanding of the problem and identifying what the solution looks like, you can certainly figure out ways of making existing solutions considerably better for your clients.
- Think Outside the Box to Come Up With a New Solution
Sometimes, the current solutions which exist to address the problems you’re trying to tackle simply don’t do the job properly. It’s likely that other app developers will have taken a different approach to you, or will see the solution in a different light. As such, it’s often a good idea to address the problem from a wholly new angle, instead of trying to improve a solution that already exists.
This approach will help your app stand out from the crowd, and show your users that your app has seen the issue they are wanting to address from a totally new perspective. Your insight and creativity, therefore, will provide an even more satisfying solution which users will jump at the chance to bring into their lives.
Focus on What The Solution Really Looks Like
Sometimes, solutions to a problem come in many shapes and sizes. However, not all solutions are created equal… and often, some solutions are mere gateways to further problems down the line.
Once you’ve identified and understood the problem you’re tackling with your app, you need to really focus on what the best possible solution could be. As with every step in the app development process, you need to either speak in depth with your client, or put yourself in the shoes of your app user, and think carefully about what the best possible outcome actually looks like. From there, plans can be drawn up in order to get to that destination with your custom app.
Test, Test, and Test Again
Once you’ve got your ideas sorted, and have your app underway as a new solution to a given situation, it’s time to test the app in a range of different environments, and with a wide range of different users.
Testing is one of the most important stages in any app creation process, as those outside the development of the app might be able to spot glaring mistakes or oversights you’ve simply been too close to see. Get on the forums, rope in colleagues, friends, family members or willing members of the public or particular industries, and get your app tested.