“Have an idea for a mobile app? Is it ready for development? Where do you begin?”
When you have an idea for the development of a mobile app, you’ll need to take distinct and defined steps toward making that idea into reality. Before the development process can begin, you’ll need to create a plan. Without a solid plan, you won't be able to adequately explain what you’re looking for to your mobile app developer.
When most folks begin planning their mobile app, however, they feel a bit overwhelmed. There’s a lot to consider, from who’s going to use it to what the final product should look like. As mobile developers, we know exactly what ideas you should have ironed out before building your mobile software.
Here are 6 tips that will help you start planning your mobile app. Take your idea and bring it to life!
1. Identify your app’s purpose.
You may have a great idea for an app, but what purpose will it serve? Defining your app’s purpose is critical to ensuring that your app will provide users with value. In fact, 29% of users will uninstall an app they don’t find valuable (Google), so taking the time to identify your app’s purpose may help to prevent users from uninstalling yours.
Think about it this way: Your app’s purpose should be synonymous with how your app will benefit users.
How will your mobile app benefit your users?
The answer to that question is likely the purpose your app will serve. This purpose should provide your users with either a solution (e.g. social apps make social media easily accessible), entertainment (lest we forget Angry Birds or Candy Crush), or added value to their daily life (think Fitbit) (DabApps).
Note: If you can’t identify a clear purpose for your app, it may be a good idea to reassess your initial idea.
2. Assess who will use your app.
If your goal is to create a mobile app that will be used and turn a profit, you’ll need to make sure there is a viable market for it. To do so, keeping your app’s purpose in mind, you’ll want to identify your target audience. Ensuring that your idea aligns with your target audience’s interests will greatly increase your app’s chance for success.
Once you’ve identified your target audience, the next step is to perform some marketing research. By finding out more about the apps your audience already uses to your audience’s interests and needs, you’ll be able to improve upon your initial idea in a way that your audience prefers.
3. Establish what sets your app apart.
What makes someone famous? They usually have a unique quality that sets them apart—maybe that celebrity is a singer with an incredible vocal range or an athlete who has broken records. Whatever the case may be, something differentiated that person from the other 7.5~ billion of us.
The same goes for your app: Both Google Play and the Apple App Store have over 2 million apps (Statistica), and your app will need to get noticed amongst the many. With your app’s purpose and audience identified, it’s time to iron out what makes your app different from the rest.
4. Define your minimum viable product.
This may go without saying, but you probably already have an idea of how much you’re willing to spend on building your mobile app. This is going to be important to keep in mind for this next step: Defining your minimum viable product (MVP).
Your MVP is, essentially, the bare bones of what you need for your app to function as it should—no less, no more. Less than 0.01% of mobile apps succeed (Gartner), so consider building an MVP that allows you to test your product before you bring it to full scale. If nothing else, it’s a great place to start if you have limited resources.
When planning your MVP, you’ll want to determine the following:
- App type (native, hybrid, progressive web app, etc.)
- Features (e.g. social media integration, an ecommerce store, push notifications, offline functionality, etc.)
- Design elements (e.g. must-haves for UI/UX design etc.)
Be prepared to share these preferences with your developer, as these details are necessary to start building your app.
5. Determine your marketing & assessment strategy.
As mobile app developers, we’ve noticed that many people pour their budget into developing an amazing app but neglect to set aside funds to promote it. The same can be said for most products—if you don’t promote it, no one’s going to know that it’s there.
The marketing strategy for your app will depend on the type of app you are building. If you’re building a mobile app for your business, you may be able to promote your app a bit more easily through your existing website and social media platforms. For entrepreneurs, however, this can be a bit more of a challenge, as you may need to partner with a marketer to promote your app.
With at least a general idea of how you’ll promote your app, you’ll want to also consider how you’ll assess the success of your app. For instance, you may want to measure the number of downloads to the number of in-app purchases. Developing a strategy for assessing success will help to give you an idea of where your app itself or marketing could improve.
6. Select a team to build & maintain your app.
Once you’ve followed steps 1-5, you’re almost ready to start bringing your vision to life. If you’re skilled at writing code, great—you’re probably ready to start running with your vision. If not, you’ll need the help of a mobile app development team.
When looking for the right team, you'll want to consider how their skills and processes align with your app's purpose, design, and features. You'll also want to consider if they offer on-going app maintenance. If you don't already have an IT team on your side, you’ll need a team that can provide on-going updates and bug fixes for you. In many cases, it’s best to hire the team that built your app, as they already know your app inside and out.
Ready to Get Started?
Choosing a team to help you build your mobile app can be a tricky process. You’ll need a team who can understand your vision and goals, so they can work with you to create an app that aligns with your initial (planned and detailed) vision.
With ClikFocus, there aren't really any limits. Whatever app type you’d like to build, we can help. If you want a team that’s experienced, professional, and personable, we’re the team for you.
To make your mobile app development idea into a reality, contact us today.