Do you have an app idea but just don’t know where to start? Or maybe your company is looking at building a mobile app to compliment an existing web platform? It can be overwhelming knowing how to get the ball rolling with these things, so here’s our handy guide on turning your app idea into a digital reality.
Join us as we explore the benefits of building a mobile app, and our top ten tips on getting started.
Why Choose to Build an App
Deciding to build an app is no mean feat, and you have to make sure you’re in it for the right reasons. At the end of the day, apps are there to provide convenience. If your goal is to provide mobile-friendly, accessible content then an app is usually the right way to go. Additionally apps provide their own form of marketing, allowing you to send push notifications to your users – this is a huge benefit in today’s digital world.
If you’re considering building an app, do your research and figure out what the benefits are for your user.
Ten Tips on Getting Started
1. What gap are you filling?
The first step in any business endeavour is to understand the market you are entering, who you are targeting and what need you are fulfilling. This is often referred to as your value proposition. In short, it means understanding your value to the user and your target audience. Is there actually a need for your product? If so, how is your app different? What purpose do you fulfill? Do some competitive analysis and figure out exactly where you sit in the market.
2. Choosing a platform
3. Monetization strategy
It may sound obvious, but calculating how much your product will cost and how you are going to fund it is an imperative part of the process. Explore any sources of investment, such as business grants or crowdfunding, and get some estimates so you can figure out how you can make it happen. Without the funds, there’s no product.
4. Marketing strategy
Development is only half the battle when it comes to building an app. You aren’t just creating a product, you are building a brand. There are lots of things to think about, from your unique selling point (USP) to your brand name, colours and messaging. Create a clear strategy outlining exactly how you’re going to market your product to the world. It might be worth speaking to some experts and definitely do your research. Effective marketing can make the difference for a successful mobile application.
5. Market research
As well as creating a marketing strategy, you need to find out how your target customer finds your product. Doing market research early on can help predict any roadblocks and make necessary changes to figure out exactly what your user wants and needs. Market research allows you to make decisions based on facts and statistics, instead of basing your choices on guesswork and predictions. Let your users tell you what they think of your brand, and product.
6. Finding the team for you
Every development team specialises in something different so you have to make sure you find one that has the expertise that fits exactly what you need. Not only this, but every team has different values – at GearedApp we pride ourselves on our friendly, approachable demeanour. Look into different teams, and enquire into why they would be best for you. Whenever we have a potential project coming up we create a proposal outlining how we would develop your product – this helps in finding the right match. Viewing a development project from a team perspective helps us to work together and make great results.
7. Understanding your user stories
At GearedApp we work extensively with our clients as a team to understand the not just the features, but the user journeys and stories needed to make their platform a success. Due to our Agile method we go into each project with a flexible approach, open to ideas throughout the process. The features you start with may not be the features you end on, but understanding exactly what you need immensely helps the progress of the project.
8. Building an MVP
Have you heard of the term MVP? We start off with what is referred to as a Minimum Viable Product. Essentially, this is the necessary features of your product, in other words the bare minimum required to meet your client’s needs. Not only is this the most practical solution when on a tight budget, but it works as a clear starting point for any project. For instance, when building a car, your user story (end goal) may be “to get from A to B faster”. Rather than placing all of your tight budget on one feature of the car, such as the tyres, by thinking about your user needs you may decide on building a bike instead. It’s all about meeting the end user’s needs most effectively within your budget.
9. Testing the app
At GearedApp, Quality Assurance (QA) Testing is all a part of our process, ensuring that the app is faultless. However, if you don’t have a QA Tester, have all of your family and friends use the app and report any problems. There may be things you don’t notice that they will.
10. Continual improvement
After building the app, you might think you’re done – that’s it, release it and watch it grow. However, sadly this isn’t the reality of the world. In fact, this is just the start of a long journey. Constant improvement is so important, that without it there’s hardly a point in building an app. Using stats you must constantly evaluate where you sit in the market, and additionally you must ensure you rank high in app store results – This is referred to as App Store Optimisation (ASO). To find out more about boosting your mobile app downloads, read our blog post.
Building Your Digital Reality
Turning your app idea into a digital reality may seem like a mammoth task, however, by following this handy guide you will be on the track to success.
Do your research, put in the planning and your hard work will come to fruition.
Build Successful Apps with GearedApp
Our friendly team of pros will be with you every step of the way, from our initial sit-down chat all the way to product launch. Discover our process to find out more about how GearedApp works.
Get in touch today to find out how we can help turn your awesome ideas into a digital reality.