Think of that ecstatic moment when you knew exactly what you need in your app. Or the moment when you had a great technological breakthrough. The moment when you could visualize very clearly the number of your app downloads and the resulting ROI figure.
Whether your app idea is a migration from the web to mobile browsing experience or a digital version of the latest service in your business – you need a plan. If you are like many individuals who think your app revolution idea shouldn’t need more than a couple of days to ideate completely, then you are on the wrong bandwagon. Often companies take the mobile cross-over too lightly, only to discover months later that their lack of proactiveness has proven too costly. Rushing off the app to the market place should be the last attitude to adopt! Lack of a concrete plan is the shortest way to mismanaging a project that could be fatal for your business. Avoid time and effort loss by looking into all aspects of app planning. Consider walking through the following touch points while your app planning is still in its nascent stages.
While the idea of a shiny new app flashing across the smartphones of your target consumer is an exciting thought, you still have some major milestones to cover. Answer the following questions to conduct a complete analysis of your app need:
- Will we improve our sales (subscriptions, transactions etc.) and hence our ROI?
- Will we have a better customer adoption rate?
- Will we gain better brand loyalty?
- How will the app impact our profits?
- What is the number of users expected to use our app?
- How can we link our mobile platform to our existing social media?
- What analytical tools do we need?
App Goals and Objectives
The best strategy to develop goals for your app is by aligning it with the key performance indicators (KPIs) of your organization. What are the goals of your organization? Are you trying to improve your market share? Showcase your brand? Give a message to the community? Bring them valuable information? Know where you are headed and then create a road map. What is your priority? All values that you want for the organization should be reflected in your app through the app goals. Summon up the stakeholders and have them agree to common app goals. This is where you really start off with your app-building venture.
Analyzing your target audience is perhaps the next crucial step towards establishing clearer goals for your app. Take the goals you created in the first step and match them with the needs, wants, desires and expectations of the target audience. What are the gaps? Create goals to fill these gaps. Remember to factor in the technology used by your target audience. Research into the platforms used by your audience and integrate the app design with your tech research. Focus on user experience. Do they have any language and reading constraints? Remember, simply offering translation is not enough for native language speakers. You will need a local dialect translator to get the right content for your target user.
Also think of culture issues. Build content that is culture-friendly and politically correct. Another great way to optimize your app for the target user is to improve their purchase experience. Try to integrate local payment options as well as international credit card, debit card as well as third-party payment options. Your users should be able to conduct a successful financial transaction with their smartphones alone.
How can you be completely sure that you have created an app that will appeal to your target audience? Filter out a sample of your target audience and spend time with them. Observe them while they are using their smartphones. What are their mundane smartphone habits? How can your app penetrate the mundane routine? Ask them questions. Consult with them their immediate needs and wish lists. You will be surprised how many things you were not able to include with the aid of your team alone. A focus group or a testing group is a very important pre-launch step that uncovers many pitfalls down the road.
Ever heard of rapid prototype? It involves a swift building of a solution, a product or a service. It looks real and works like real, only difference is that it is temporary. It provides a sneak peak at your future app. You are able to touch and feel the app and add better changes based on your tactile senses as opposed to your imaginations. Build your app in such short incremental prototypes and test them out. Test them with your team, the experts as well as the testing audience. Get feedback from all and integrate changes back into the app. You have not only saved yourself time, but also efforts and money by proactively solving potential problems. Another major benefit of this practice is to release the app sooner into the market while ensuring that it is up to the hype.
Do not forget the best-untold secret. Your first version is only the beginning! Users are known to come back to your app as soon as they hear about your latest version release. Once in three months is a great pace for version release. Engage your users with messages and chats and ask them what they would need more in the next version. When you do announce the release of the new version mention clearly the updates. Also make your users feel special by telling them that the changes were based on their suggestions. The goal here is to win a larger customer base while maintaining brand loyalty.
Software House Involvement
Sometimes the above mentioned points blur the read working behind a great app – the technical functioning. Is your team aware of sound data delivery, API management, security, scalability, content aggregation, device optimization, API translation, etc? If no, then you need to select and involve a software house right from the beginning of the app development process. In fact, you cannot go too far in building your app without the advice of a software house. Think about the platforms you want to cover. What tech stack will you use? The HTML framework is more platform independent. You can also learn about many new ideas and popular demands to consider when planning a mobile app with the right software house team.