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Don't Fall into These Application Development Pitfalls: Tips to Focus Your App Development Process

Application development refers to the act of developing a computer program or collection of programs to carry out the many operations needed by an organization. Boosting productivity and automating operations is achievable with the help of applications. The process is divided into five steps: gathering requirements, designing prototypes, testing, implementing, and integrating.

The most common mistakes in app development are:

  1. Not following best practices and coding standards

  2. Not using version control

  3. Not testing browser compatibility

  4. Not using optimized media

  5. Improper security measures

  6. No responsive design

  7. Improper error handling

  8. Improper logs to identify errors and debug

  9. Not validating user input

  10. Not writing reusable code

  11. Device incompatibility

  12. Improper planning to use libraries and plugins

  13. Not considering UI/UX compatibilities

  14. Not considering backward compatibilities

  15. Avoiding data backups

  16. Improper caching techniques

  17. Improper SEO optimization

  18. Unoptimized websites for localization

  19. Not testing for performance under a heavy load

  20. Improper application behavior testing

  21. Not following browser guidelines

  22. Not understanding the problem statement

  23. Overcomplicated code structures

  24. Improper code documentation, and many more.

Following best practices and paying attention to details are vital to the app development process. Many developers make common mistakes that might result in lackluster performance, security issues, and dissatisfied users, as I did early in my career. In this blog post, I’ll discuss common app development mistakes to avoid.

Not following best practices and coding standards

To ensure the app is functional, maintainable, and scalable, developers must adhere to a set of best practices and coding standards. Lack of knowledge or time constraints are two of the main reasons why best practices and coding standards are not followed. This may result in poorly written code that is difficult to understand and maintain for other engineers.

It can also result in performance problems, security vulnerabilities, and glitches with various operating systems and devices. So, proper logs can help identify application behavior and proper error handling practices can help identify bugs, and criticalities faster and more effectively. This implies a consistent naming convention, avoiding hardcoding, using version control, and implementing security measures.

Related Mistakes:
  • Improper Logs – Identify application behavior

  • Improper Error Handling – Identify bugs and criticalities

  • Improper Naming Convention – Maintain well-written, readable code

  • Improper Code Structure – Readable, maintainable, scalable code

  • Excessive Libraries usage – Scalable, Robust, Lite

Not testing browser compatibility

To ensure an app works properly on various browsers and devices, browser compatibility testing is crucial. Improper testing can cause broken features and a poor user experience. To ensure that the app operates correctly for everyone, it is important to test it across a variety of browsers and devices. This can be helped by tools such as Sauce Labs or BrowserStack.


Related Mistakes:
  • Improper usage of libraries

  • Responsiveness Handling on Web Browsers

  • (Firefox, Chrome, Safari)

Not using version control

Tracking updates to the app's codebase over time is easy with version control. It allows team members to collaborate and maintain features and versions of the code if needed. Without version control, managing releases is particularly challenging, which makes it difficult to roll back or debug issues. Version control should be a top priority for developers to integrate into their development process to enhance collaboration, track changes, and enable CI/CD.

The functionality and user experience of the app can be impacted by optimized media, making it essential for app development. However, if not followed, it causes slow loading times, poor user experience, and greater bandwidth usage.


You can improve app performance, reduce server costs, and boost engagement and conversion rates by reducing resolution, caching media, and reducing the size without compromising quality, compressing photos and videos, using web-friendly file formats, and compressing images and videos. To ensure that the app is productive and user-friendly, using optimized media should be a top priority during app development.


Related Mistakes:
  • Not considering UI/UX compatibilities

  • Not using proper caching techniques

Improper security measures

Deferring proper security measures while building apps can have disastrous effects on users and developers. Vulnerabilities can be exploited by hackers leading to data breaches, compromised user accounts, and stolen personal information, all of which have severe reputational and legal consequences. As a result, you must pay maximum attention to security during the development of apps by setting up effective authentication processes, encryption for sensitive data, and regular vulnerability testing.


Moreover, important are following industry best practices, staying updated with security risks, and constantly improving security measures. App developers may protect their users as well as their reputation, legal authority, and commercial success by giving security a priority when developing new apps.


Related Mistakes:
  • Not validating user input

  • No HTTPS, secured servers

  • Improper vulnerabilities testing

Not validating user input

While developing apps, it's important to validate user input to avoid security vulnerabilities, misconfiguration, and user dissatisfaction. For the security and stability of the app, developers must ensure input validation is a focus during the development process by verifying and filtering user input. To keep an app user-friendly, input validation processes must be checked regularly and updated.


Related Mistakes:
  • Improper security measures

  • Improper Application behavior testing

No responsive design

A responsive design ensures that the app can adapt to different screen sizes and devices. It is still not prioritized by some developers, which leads to poor user experience and lower engagement levels. The app might not be mobile device friendly without a responsive design, leading to distorted layouts, slow loading times, and challenging navigation.


To avoid these issues, using flexible layouts and images, adding user-friendly navigation and interactions, and designing the app to adapt to different sizes of screens and resolutions, boosting user satisfaction, and improving business performance.


Related Mistakes:
  • Improper Caching techniques

  • High Page Load

Improper error handling

The performance and stability of the app can be impacted because of improper error handling during app development. Some developers neglect to give error handling priority, which leads to crashes and unresolved problems. Unhandled errors might cause the app to crash abruptly, increasing user dissatisfaction and perhaps resulting in data loss.


By including brief and clear error messages, elegant error handling, and logging errors for analysis, debugging, and improvement, developers must give error handling special emphasis in their development process.


Improper logs to identify errors and debug

Improper logging practices can have a detrimental effect on performance and makes it more difficult to find and fix bugs. Poor or ambiguous logs that do not offer sufficient details to identify the error's primary cause must be avoided. This might result in extended downtime, dissatisfied users, and potential data loss.


To avoid such issues, app developers should give proper logging practices prime importance during the development process. This includes recording relevant and in-depth information about errors, exceptions, and user actions, as well as structuring the logs for easier comprehension and analysis. The logs should be reviewed regularly by developers to identify problems and identify the impact on the overall application workflow.


The performance of the app, the frequency of downtime, and the user experience can all be improved by developers by assigning logging significance. To ensure the accuracy and effectiveness of the app, it is important to implement adequate logging processes and to review and update them routinely.


Not writing reusable code

Code duplication, lengthier development cycles, and increased maintenance expenses can arise when reusable code is not written during the creation of an app. Reusable code should be prioritized in the development process, however, some developers still do not do this, which results in time- and work coding techniques.


The effectiveness and scalability of the app can be increased, development time and expenses can be reduced, and code maintainability can be increased by giving reusable code priority. To ensure that the app is robust and scalable, it's suggested to use dynamic code structures and follow coding best practices.


Overcomplicated code structure

By not following best practices and code standards and poor application architecture design, the number of dependencies, and libraries, can make code unreadable, unmanageable, inconsistent libraries integration, and bigger deployable package size. It is better to follow code standards, simplify an application/function behavior, break down code into manageable chunks, and start thinking about layers, features, modules, services, and high-level abstractions.

The best practice is to focus on functional cohesion through the Single responsibility principle states that every object should have a single responsibility and that responsibility should be entirely encapsulated by the class. All its services should be narrowly aligned with that responsibility.


Improper code documentation

Poorly documented code means that the documentation might be wrong, misleading, or incomplete. Sometimes, as new versions of the code are launched, an application or a module's behavior might change, and bear little resemblance to the existing documentation Sometimes code is written so clearly and concisely that it needs no documentation. It is important to document application behavior as per user inputs. This can be achieved by, for example, Proper Postman Collection, and Application behavior explanation.


For application development to be successful, it needs to be disciplined and specific. A successful application can be made much easier by avoiding the common app development mistakes listed in this blog post.

 

Let's talk about mistakes. We all know there are plenty in our industry, but which ones have you faced? Share in the comments below and I'll make sure to cover them in my upcoming article.

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