Major Steps In Planning For A Mobile App
Major Steps In Planning For A Mobile App
Are you planning to build a mobile app? Here are some major steps on how to plan, build, and monetize the next big app in the market.With over 6.3 billion smartphone users, it’s clear that there’s a demand for mobile apps. But although the market is huge, for every app you use, thousands of others never get kicked off. Some got off the ground but couldn’t appeal to their audience, while others couldn’t find ways to monetize and sustain business growth. Although several factors make your mobile app more or less likely to succeed, a good plan sets the proper foundation for success.
Why You Should Plan for Mobile App Development
Consumer and business apps have a 99.5% and 87% failure rate, respectively. The odds don’t look great, do they? But the same study showed that poor planning is the biggest reason for failure when undertaking a mobile app development project. Not just any plan, but proper planning, analysis, and clearly-defined goals.
A lot goes into this, but here are major steps to follow when planning and building a mobile app:
Understanding the Idea
The first step in your planning stage is understanding the feasibility of your app concept in the current market. It’s important to answer questions such as:
- What is my app’s purpose? You cannot gauge your app’s success without a goal. Understanding the objectives will help you determine the metrics and KPIs that you’ll track.
- What are its use cases? This helps in the software development phase.
- What will be the core functionalities before launch? This helps in prototyping, wireframing, and preparing a product roadmap.
End-User Research and Competitor Analysis
Understanding your app’s target audience is crucial to its success. A report showed that nearly 80% of mobile apps are abandoned after their first use. And the reason is that they’re not a good fit for the user. You need to understand who the users will be, their interests, needs, and the problems they face. Getting this in-depth understanding of your target audience helps you create an app tailored to their expectations and needs.
Also, there are chances that you already have competition. It’s crucial to conduct due diligence on your competitors and browse apps that are similar to yours.
How do they solve users’ problems? How do they attract their users? What are their users’ (your potential users) complaining about? Answering these questions will help you understand the gaps your app needs to fill to effectively differentiate your solution.
Design and Wireframe
The wireframe is a digital sketch of your app’s interface, layouts, and core functionalities. It is a low-fidelity mockup of the various screens in the user journey and flow.
It’s important to prioritize a simple UI when creating your mobile app design. A modern and intuitive dashboard or interface facilitates better interaction between the user and the app. Strive to create an intuitive product that users can learn quickly and use to achieve their goals with little or no instruction.
In addition, it’s important to create wireframes for iPhones, iPads, or Android phones and tablets to ensure your app can be deployed successfully on multiple devices and form factors.
Figma, InVision, and Adobe XD are good wireframing tools that are available.
Preferred Technology and Platform
Countless factors come into play when choosing your preferred platform. With Native mobile app development, your app is built with native languages like Kotlin for Android app development and Swift for iOS app Development. This not only allows you to gain access to platform-specific features but improves your app performance considerably. Since Native apps are built for one particular platform and compiled using its core APIs and programming language, they’re faster, more responsive, and provide better UI.
Cross-platform apps, on the other hand, are built with a single code base to work on multiple platforms. If you have a big budget or don’t intend to expand beyond your chosen platform, native apps are a good option. Otherwise, you can utilize cross-platform app development technologies such as Xamarin, Flutter, and React Native to speed up app development and save costs, albeit such apps may fall short in several areas when compared to native technology.
Funding for the App
App development costs differ based on what you’re trying to build, functionalities, and even the platform. Although bootstrapping is a popular choice, partnering, choosing a co-founder, raising donations, and angel investors are funding alternatives for app development. The latter takes the burden of the capital in return for an equity stake in your company.
App Development and Testing
This is the stage where the app is developed. It’s important to plan your app development approach, whether waterfall or agile. Agile app development is cost-friendly, faster, and allows for seamless collaboration between teams, making it the best choice. It can be smarter to first develop a minimum viable product (MVP) with all your app’s key functionalities that solve the users’ pain points. It’s a great way to meet the audience’s core needs while getting feedback that you can integrate into new features. Also, before releasing the MVP, you must test on the right people to get quality assurance. It’s okay to test prototypes with the team at the early stage of development. However, when you’re nearing the completion and developing robust prototypes, you should test them on a representative sample of end-users to gain the most beneficial insights.
Before you launch your app, figure out how you’ll make money from it. One alternative is to use a freemium model, which allows users to get a taste of the software before paying for the premium version. Other app monetization strategies include email lists, in-app purchases, advertising, sponsors and partnerships.
Create a marketing strategy for your app and pre-launch hype.
This is something very important to making your app a successful one. You need to do the marketing preparations like ads, branding and pre-launch events etc.
We need to create some hype around it and the end users must be aware of the app even before it launches in the app store. Your efforts will increase exponentially in the long run if you start the marketing early.
Create a plan for app store optimization(ASO)
This will help the end user to find the app in the app stores easily. Over 60% of apps are discovered through search in the app store. There are some best practices for giving content in app stores. You can make it visually appealing, explain the app features, and mention search tags for more reachability.
App Store Optimization (ASO) is something you can plan for the final stage of the app’s development, you can design the look and feel of your app in app stores.
Ensure the app’s security
Poor planning of the execution stages, lack of market research, and a lack of clearly-defined goals are why your app could fail. After planning for all these, it’s time to launch. However, your app development never stops. Maintaining and improving your app is important to ensure it meets evolving customer expectations and stays competitive.