How many times have you made a business decision in a hurry, out of the pressure to out win your competitor just to regret it later?
I am sure it’s much more than what you will admit to.
And it’s okay. At one point or the other, every business tends to make hasty decisions that we end up regretting after.
But how much chances do you get to make up when you are in an industry that is full of impatient users?
The industry that is in limelight here is Mobile App Industry and the chances that you get to make up for the launch of an unplanned app is none.
Pre planning an app which would be used by the world even when they have the option to choose thousands other like you, is the most crucial step that you will have to take.
So, how do you ensure that the foundation that you set is strong enough to hold the weight of the element that will decide your businesses’ future?
Keep reading to find out:
Pre planning of the app development process starts with the ideation stage. Before you start picking on the factors that you need to attend to, the first step would be to describe your app’s concept.
To create the basic foundation of your app, you should start with answering the following questions –
- What is your app about?
- What do you expect your app to do?
- How will your app function?
- How will it impart value to the end users?
Tip: Document the idea, to analyze the deviation at the later stages.
Once you have the app idea ready, the next thing to evaluate who the app is for. Defining your target audience will give you a number of benefits, including – help with the app flow and design, marketing strategy, and the need to do app localization.
Knowing who your target audience is, will help you analyze what expectations your users would have with the app.
To find out who your target audience is, these are the questions you should seek answer to –
- What is your user’s demographics?
- What problem is your audience facing?
- Is there an opportunity between their need and the available solution in the market, which you can fulfill?
Tip: You can use forums on Reddit and industry specific platforms to find out about your users’ preference.
While this one seems like a no brainer, but it’s one of the most future deciding elements of an app that should be tackled before you enter the development process cycle. Your study into the target audience will give you an idea on which geographical location your efforts should go to.
But this shouldn’t be your sole criteria behind making this decision. You should also look at the places according to their revenue generating capabilities. There are some regions that are more likely to support your in app payment facility, such as USA while areas like South Asia or Africa are generally more inclined towards freemium apps.
Answers to these might help you settle on one geographical location –
- Where is the majority of your customer base?
- Which area is culturally in sync with your app idea?
- Which geographical location faces the issue that your app is solving?
- What is the economic standing of the region?
Tip: Do a thorough research on your app’s industry news. See what is happening where. Look at the funding similar companies as yours are getting.
While researching your app idea and its prospect takers, I am sure you must have come across apps that are offering similar or offer in the same line solutions that your app plans on solving. It is only after an in depth study of the features those apps are offering, the purpose they solve, the area that they are lacking etc. that you will be able to know what you could do better.
The idea behind this is not to copy the features that they are offering but to merely take insights from what value they are offering and measure it up against the ones you plan on embedding.
Here are the questions that will help you analyze the similar apps, strategically –
- What has made the app successful?
- Why are people using the app?
- What marketing efforts are they applying to promote their app to their users?
- What is the cost of the app?
- Are there any advanced, in app purchase elements?
Tip: Make the app reviews that the similar apps have received, your Bible. Go through them precisely to see how users are interacting with the app and the issues that they are facing along with its frequency.
Once you have all the background study and have a very clear understanding of how the app is going to function and who will be using it, the final step before you start converting the idea into a process that has to be developed, discuss the idea with your team.
Involve different teams in the process – Marketing, Finance, product, Sales etc. to get their views on the viability of the app. At this stage, you can brainstorm and modify elements of your app concept before the development process starts.
The aim behind the brainstorming session should be to answer following questions –
- What is the idea behind the app?
- Is the idea good for the business?
- Is the idea feasible?
- Do you have the resources to make the app in-house?
- Will the idea be beneficial to users?
- Should the app be paid or free?
- Is there any way to better the concept?
Tip: Have all the key people who would be the point of contacts once the app is developed, involved at this stage.
Next, with the concept ready, create a workflow of your app. Creating an app flowchart will help you visualize your app. You should keep the flowchart very clear, simple, comprehensive, and concise, just so that its concept is easily understandable. Flowchart of your app should also include the workflow, concept, and the functioning of the mobile app. It should include the deadlines, budget, steps of app development process, along with the point of contact of each stage and process.
Tip: Try and have a screen by screen wireframe of your app. It will give a next level advantage when it’ll come to measuring how the end product is measuring up to the actual concept.
Once you have the flowchart of your app ready, the next step is to define the MVP. Before you go on contacting a development agency, you should have an idea of the Minimum Viable Product that you will be launching your app with.
The idea behind creating an MVP is that through this, companies get an idea of how their features are being accepted, before they roll out their whole app. Brands like Dropbox, Airbnb, Buffer, etc. started as an MVP and have today become some of the highest revenue generating establishments of the world.
Tip: When deciding on what should be your MVP, give your users a product that is different from what they are used to but still is imparting value to them. Blend minimum with viable in a way that people won’t have to think much before experimenting with it.
With everything from the app concept to its flowchart and MVP now decided, the next part is to look at the dependencies that you have to convert the conceptualized idea into an app that reaches people it was meant to.
Look at the answer to this in form of these questions –
- What are the exact dependencies with respect to getting your app developed and launched?
- Do you have an in-house team to carry on the development process?
- Would you have to outsource the whole project or just a part?
- Do you have the know-how of how to finalize an app development agency?
Tip: While making the decision, keep a close eye on the fund that you are putting into developing the app and the time that is getting invested in it.
Once you have crossed all the stages, the next step is to shortlist and finalize the company that would support you in the process of your app journey. There are a number of questions that should be in your list as you finalize one company, but the most prime ones are –
- How much experience does the company app with app similar as yours?
- Do they have the necessary manpower and technology to take up your app development process?
- What is the time and cost that they are quoting? And is it in sync with the industry’s parameters?
These are the nine stages that should lay the basis of your pre plan process. Look at every stage as the building block of the next stage. Every single step mentioned above is too important to be skipped.
While it can be time saving if you are a new entrant in the industry, there is a way to fast-track the process.
Instead of doing it all by yourself, you can partner with a mobile app development company from the very start. Settle on a company that will help with each of these process, while keeping you on top of your industry.
Once you are done with the pre planning stage of your soon to start app development process, read this checklist for successful mobile application development.
strategies your digital product.