By 2020, the global number of smartphone users is projected to reach approximately 6 billion. In light of this forecast, if you’re considering launching your own mobile app, you’re making a wise decision. However, before you embark on app development, there are several factors to consider based on your business goals, challenges, and target users. Here are some essential prerequisites to evaluate:
Minimum Viable Product (MVP):
A Minimum Viable Product (MVP) is a test version of your app released in the market to gauge user response. It helps identify any development or marketing loopholes, saving you costs and mitigating market risks. By gathering user feedback, you can optimize core features and make necessary technical changes to enhance the user experience. Dropbox provides an interesting example. They began their market expansion in 2014 with an explainer video on their website, serving as a low-cost and time-efficient MVP. The video showcased Dropbox as an easy-to-use file-sharing tool. It gained 75 thousand subscribers, caught the attention of Steve Jobs for funding, and rapidly transformed from a startup to a $250 million business.
With over 20,000 apps entering the App Store each month, it’s crucial to understand your potential or existing competitors who offer similar apps for their products or services. Conduct a SWOT analysis of their promotional and risk mitigation strategies, strengths, popularity, and assess the scope for your app. Utilize tools like Google AdWords, SensorTower, App Annie, Mention, and Alexa to gather information on their number of downloads, rankings, profits, user traffic, and costs. This analysis will help you plan and improve your app’s ranking after going live.
Have a clear understanding of your target customers, their demographic profiles, and their preferences regarding design, interface, functionality, and performance. Gain insights into their usage patterns, network connectivity issues, and determine whether they prefer iOS or Android platforms. This will guide your decision-making process, whether you should opt for a Native app, Mobile web app, or Hybrid app. Tools like Google Trends, SurveyMonkey, and MyBestSegments can assist in understanding your customers’ needs.
App Layout, Functionality, UI & UX:
Ensure that your app’s User Experience (UX) and User Interface (UI) are well-designed and aligned to provide a user-friendly experience with smooth functionality. Key factors for success include excellent features, fast download speed, low battery consumption, an attractive layout, and minimal crashes. Conduct performance testing to evaluate real-time performance and behavior. For instance, Starbucks used an ambiguous UI where users had to shake their phones to display the barcode for claiming a free drink reward. A more intuitive approach, such as tapping or swiping, could have improved the user experience.
Choosing a Mobile App Partner:
If you don’t have an in-house team, consider hiring a team of UI experts and developers who can create digital applications for web, mobile, and tablets that align with your business objectives and project budget. This systematic approach ensures a robust mobile app that supports your business goals, as your app is an investment in your business.
By carefully considering these factors, you can lay a strong foundation for your mobile app and increase its chances of success in the competitive app market.