Has it ever happened that you were lying on your bed and you had a brilliant idea for an app? You believe it to be the next big thing. But there is a small problem. How to convert the concept into a full-fledged mobile application. And will it be successful?
If the above statements sound like a situation you have been through, then continue reading. While there is no sure shot way of getting your application to be successful, certain pointers can help you to navigate the process. Before you start burning money to design your dream application make sure you cross check with certain guidelines.
Pen down the idea – Identify the problem you want to solve
Write down the key points of your application. The aim here is to get a clear perspective of your concept. Jotting down your ideas on paper will also give you a clear explanation of your thoughts. List down all the features that you want to integrate within the app.
Before you pitch the idea to your investors, it is advisable to get a grasp on what you are offering.
The logic is simple: if you cannot explain your idea to yourself, then it will be quite difficult to convince others about it.
While reading your document ensure that it clearly emphasizes the problem that you want to solve. If your writing matches your thoughts then you are on the right track.
This step will also allow to find flaws and scope for improvements and subsequently lead to a better product.
Define the Target Audience
Identify the people who would be using your app. You cannot a product that offers something for everybody. That would mean adding too many features to please everybody which will subsequently lead to a cluttered product. Not to forget that it will be an application developer’s nightmare.
Narrow down the audience from the population. Segment them further to the most fundamental level. If you cannot determine who will use your app, then you need to contemplate on this issue.
Market Research: Competitor Analysis
With the advent of technology, there are applications for almost everything. Now that you have established the problem your application will solve; it is time to look at the existing competition. Identify what services are being offered by current applications, their customer reviews, and trends. If they are lagging something then add it to your features list.
Conducting extensive ground research will aid in the process of identifying the target audience. You can create or join communities working for the resolution of the same problem. This will help to develop a deeper understanding of the problem faced by people.
Where’s the Money?
What determines a successful business idea from others is its ability to generate money. If you can figure out a way to monetize your application, it is a stepping stone to the success of your idea. Most common money-making techniques are – sharing user data with 3rd party vendors, in-app ads or subscription fees.
Branding: Distinguish your Product
Your application must have its own unique identity. It must be distinguishable in the crowd. Branding would start with giving a name to your product. The color scheme, design layout of the application must be given due consideration. They will be crucial to develop a positive perception amongst the target audience.
Branding is a way to establish your presence in the market. Build anticipation for your product before it is officially released. A great example of branding is how movie studios release the logo and posters for upcoming films even before the shooting starts.
Prepare the blueprint
It is time to design a rough sketch of what your actual application may look like. Don’t sweat on making it neat and crisp. Instead, it should be a framework that your application developers can work around.
Even if you don’t have any experience to design an application blueprint, a pen and paper sketch would suffice. Just make sure it is a true reflection of your idea and thoughts. The blueprint must highlight the key features and functionalities of the application.
Also decide whether the mobile app will be for Android, Google or both.
Once the blueprint is ready, contact vendors specializing in mobile application development. Get various cost estimates for your app. While shortlisting, don’t show towards the cheapest bidders. Instead, identify the potential of every individual vendor you visit. You are not only selecting a developer but a partner who will bring your ideas into reality. You should be more concerned about how much interest the vendor is showing in your product.
Asking questions is a sign of interest. At the same to ensure that your communication is crisp and clear mention the tiniest details. Since they are experts in mobile app design be open for feedback.
Once you are through the shortlisting process, send a request for quotations to the vendors regarding estimated costs, time of development. Select a vendor who checks all the checkboxes in your selection criteria.
Be proactive during the Development Stage
Once the developers start to work on building your application, work closely with them during the development stage. Ensure that you are getting weekly updates on the progress of work and match them with the estimated timelines. Regular progress tracking is an efficient way to streamline your costs and quality control.
During the development stages, there might be unanticipated issues that might result in design changes. It is advisable to sit with the development team and try to find workaround the situation. Don’t be rigid or stubborn as that could lead to the creation of an inferior product.
Post completion of the development stage, conduct a trial run of the application. You can involve the user communities that comprise your target audience along with your friends and family. Testing is also done through automated processes. The purpose is to identify shortcomings like random glitches, problems in UI (user-interface) designs or any other shortcomings.
Take note of the feedback from beta testers and incorporate them into the final development cycle.
Launch the App
It’s time to showcase your idea to the whole world. Spread the word about your application through social media and blogs.
Pay attention to customer feedback and try to incorporate changes as soon as possible. This helps in customer retention.