Ishan Khanna explains his customer driven development approach for building highly successful Android apps

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Data is the key to any business’ success today; in fact, building apps without insights into your app and customer behaviors is one of the biggest mistakes a business can make. Especially when it comes to apps that operate in a highly competitive space. You have to know what is working well for you correctly and quickly.

Nailing these aspects of the product life cycle has proven successful time and again for numerous market leaders that operate today in different sectors such as ride hailing, food delivery, edtech, online travel agencies, and dating, among others.

A bit about Ishan Khanna first

Ishan is a well established Android expert and an engineer who has spent nearly a decade building mobile products for some of the largest tech companies and open source organisations in the world.

At Mifos initiative, a non-profit organisation, he built a native Android solution for field officers that was capable of working in offline mode. “This was my first ever original open source contribution to organisation of such an enormous impact. The fact that your code has the potential to changes the lives of billions of people on this planet is humbling,” says Khanna.

After establishing himself in the Android industry through his open source contributions, he went on to make a dent in some really popular apps like Inshorts, Booking.com, and Tinder, to name a few.

Importance of data driven development

Data-driven development is the process of basing your decisions on data rather than on assumptions. This approach can be applied to any aspect of your business, from product development to marketing to customer service.

When it comes to product development, data-driven development means using data to determine which features to build and how to prioritise them. For example, you might use data from A/B tests to determine which version of your product is more effective.

Data can also be used to optimisze your conversion rate and maximise revenue. In the case of Android app development, data-driven development can help you track user engagement and identify ways to improve the user experience. By making data-driven decisions, you can ensure that your resources are being used in the most efficient way possible.

According to Ishan Khanna, only 1 in 10 experiments actually become a winner if you’re aiming to achieve at least a 90% statistical significance. “There were a ton of experiments I implemented at Booking which didn’t yield the result I wished for, however each one of them presented an interesting insight into our customer behaviour which helped us craft our next experiment. However some that did become successful brought in massive revenue uplifts as well,” he says.

Decrypting the process

To date, the approach that a lot of product and engineering teams use to define roadmaps is purely based on the hunch and bureaucracy, which is a recipe for disaster as Khanna claimed in his talk titled ‘Customer driven development – what, why & how’ that he presented at Droidcon Berlin in 2019.

Most android engineers don’t really know what their customers need. It takes a great level of instrumentation, profiling and analysis of the metrics to be able to hypothesis solutions.

After you’ve successfully established a pipeline to collect metrics, segment and profile them, only then should you go after one primary key performance indicator when trying to add new features to your android apps.

In his talk, he also provides a framework for crafting a successful hypothesis each time you want to craft an experiment for your android application. As Ishan claims: “An experiment is successful if you either earn from it or learn from it.” It is truly rare to find such android experts who have such an in-depth experience with successful experimentation at such a large scale.

Final thoughts

There is absolutely no doubt that A/B testing powered approach to android development gives your company a revolutionary insight into your customer behaviours that are extremely crucial for your business and long term success. Using the solutions proposed by Ishan Khanna can help your product become a great success thanks to the compounding effect that this iterative approach offers.



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