Must Do Homework Before Building an App
February 9, 2016

Growing your business means meeting consumer demand, one such demand being mobile apps. Right now, at least 80% of consumers now prefer mobile apps over a mobile website. This is due to many factors, one being that last year mobile app use accounted for 86% of total mobile usage, demonstrating that apps have fast become the way we want to get to the internet on our phones.

Given this, it may be time to consider building a mobile app for your business. Before you pick up the phone to call your friendly local app developer, do your homework to make sure you’re getting started the right way.

Define: What is the problem your app will solve?

In today’s on-demand society, consumers are looking for apps that will somehow make their lives easier. We know, we know, of course the very nature of your product/service is something that will improve everyone’s life — but why? And how does that mission translate into a mobile app? There are plenty of ways that mobile apps help improve the lives of mobile users, but what users are primarily looking for is something that increases efficiency by solving a problem.

Differentiate: What is the value that will set your app apart?

Diving into the mobile app marketplace means you’re fighting with millions of others. Unless you can bring a specific value that sets your app apart from the competition, it may not even be worth the cost to build it. Not everything is Field of Dreams in that, “If you build it, they will come.” You need to ensure your app is not only well defined, but has that extra sparkle that makes yours stand out differently to get those coveted downloads.

Design: Simply

Focus on designing the app so it solves the problem simply. We can’t tell you how many wide-eyed entrepreneurs have come to us wanting to build the app-of-all-trades, only to become overwhelmed realizing the complication will subsequently overwhelm users. The more simply you can frame your core concept, the more accessible it will be to your target user. Today’s busy consumer doesn’t have the time nor the patience to fuss with learning a complex application. Design beautifully – but design simply.

Decide: iOS or Android

Although there are cross-platform apps, as well as the possibility of building both Android and iOS right out of the gate, many business owners opt to build on one platform first. Given the fragmented nature of mobile app usership, there are many things to consider in choosing which one is best for your desired outcome. Consider your audience and do the research on if they are more likely to use iOS or Android. These will help you choose the right platform to get started with.

Developer: Who will do the building?

Once you’ve figured out what you’re doing, why you’re doing it, and where it will live, it’s then time to figure out the right team to build it. App developers come in all kinds of varieties, from expensive to cheap, proficient in one platform or another, local or offshore, large firms or small boutiques. After you’ve done your homework and know what you’re looking for, those conversations with potential developers will go much more smoothly, and raise the possibility of coming out with what you’re looking for.

Homework isn’t all bad, especially when it’s for something that will improve business. If you need help figuring out how to get started, we can help.

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