Before you choose to build an app...
Gain vs Pain
First tool that human (caveman) picked up was stick. Stick gave creative freedom over human hand because human hand was sensitive to variations of nature like hostile temperature, poisonous creatures, fear of darkness etc. Stick was used as support to human body, it helped access to food such as fruits, vegetables, flowers. Stick had utility value as well as negative consequences of abuse of stick. Stick was useful when used to take support while climbing mountain but it can cause bee bites if disturbed bee-hive. Human experienced gain from use as well as pain from abuse.
Fast forward today. Mobile powered with internet has replaced stick. But human being got confused and failed to differentiate utilitarian value vs abusive addiction.
Touchless after sale customer support, remote education, remote dignosis are examples how mobile app helped business accomplish their goals. Social media & short video platforms promoted abuse & compulsive exposure leading more pain for users.
There are numerous reasons why mobile apps are developed and published seeking user download and engagement.
But those are broadly classified in two core business goals.
A] Automate one or more tasks and activities to serve Customers/Employee/Clients
B] Serve one or more parties participating in a business using digital platform
The global mobile application market size was valued at $106.27 billion in 2018, and projected to reach $407.31 billion by 2026, growing at a CAGR of 18.4% from 2019 to 2026.
These are the things you need to know before planning to build an app.
1. Research Why, Whose, What of App development goals/objectives
Narrowing the focus and gaining the exact understanding of target customer segment is key to solve problem or monetize an opportunity. That provides strong foundation to build a successful business. Understand market size of your target industry/segment so you are assured that it is large enough to build mobile app around a lucrative business. Or solve a problem that is of high value for an organization or a department. Mobile app user download and use mobile app due to stronger vision (Why?) and utilitarian value.
2. Plan & prioritize features/functionalities for great market response
Other than understanding pain that customer/clients wants to solve and gain they want to receive, it is important to understand similar products offered by competitors so you plan your unique features or standout claims. Set of features prioritized for great market response that exceeds expectations is the key to mobile app success.
3. Plan returns you expect from mobile app
It is critical to identify, define, plan, schedule expectations or business value, before investing time, efforts and money in developing a mobile app. Mobile app that focus on 'pain' and 'need' than nice-to-have 'want' and 'desire', are usuaully well received by users.
4. Plan Technology Stack and IT infrastructure requirements
It is essential to understand that technology is tool provider for business operation and not vice versa. Always choose technology stack as well as IT infrastructure that provides freedom than lock-in, balance utility vs cost, provide regular upgrades and after sale support.
5. Choose right App Development team
Successfully adopted mobile app is result of great team work. Detailed understanding of market, competition, end-user expectations are result of professional business analyst & user experience / user interface design team members. Translating these findings into high performance, scalable mobile app design & architecture is efforts of artechitect & designers. Realizing mobile app specifications into real-world mobile app is hardwork and consistent efforts of app developers and quality engineers.
6. Forecast/Predict App development cost & maintenence/upgrade budget
Every mobile app being considered to be developed is result of a vision or expression of business owner of business operational process owner.
Strong business case with clearly defined returns from investment of time, efforts and money adds excellent value in keeping mobile app development iniative well focussed meeting business goals. With this understanding it becomes easy to project budget or cost of mobile app development.
7. Mobile app (AMC) maintenance or Product Development life cycle
Mobile app that automates business operation with focus to serve customer needs constant bug fixes, feature change requests or upgrades. Mobile apps that powers platforms serving multiple stakeholders in business life cycle demands series of launches of mobile app versions to establish continuous increase in customer adoption to attract more engagement and long term business value and revenue per user. Such app follows product roadmap due to high cost of defect and priority focus on user experience and quality customer experience.
8. Marketing & Customer/user engagement plan
For successful adoption of mobile app by target users or customer/client base, it is critical to put time, money and efforts in mobile app training, user engagement and user onboarding process. Mobile app need to promoted for financial and non-financial benefits it supposted to deliver.
9. Performance & ROI monitoring through KRA and KPI metrics
Successful user sign-up, sign-in, engagement, trust to input the data, high rating feedback and seeking upgrades/updates are the key activities proves that your mobile app has been received successfully by target users/customers/clients. Identifying, defining, tracking key metrics about mobile data affirms faith in your business goal vision for mobile app and gurantee monetary returns you are expecting.
Taking into considerations these critical things to launch a mobile application will assure you success in your business goal as well as vision for app. Afte all your mobile app is supposed to enrich lives of people you care about and in return they respect you for it by paying attention, dollars and publicity.
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