App development is a complex process, so the earlier you start in preparing for it, the better the end product will be.
Engaging in a mobile app development project takes time, effort, and resources. You need to be sure to maximize the project’s value in order to ensure you get a positive return on investment, which means thorough preparation before even engaging with a potential app developer. Without thorough preparation and planning, you may be asked questions or run into issues that hold up the project and prevent its success. So without further ado, here are the 5 steps you should take, and decisions you should make, before embarking on mobile app development.
1) Find Your Goal
Finding the overarching goal and key reason for why you’re about to develop an app is absolutely crucial to success. This goal does not have to be measurable (we’ll get to that later), but needs to express the simple reason of why you believe your company needs an app.
Are you looking to increase brand awareness, optimize customer engagement, or improve internal communications? For your app to be a business solution, you have to define the problem first – every step in the process will be guided by it.
2) Define Your Audience
Your developer will help you go into depth about the implications of your app’s target audience and what that means for your app. But you should go into the process having at least a general idea of who you are developing the app for.
Throughout the mobile app development process, this decision will have major implications. Features, and even the platform(s) on which you develop the app, all hinge on whether the route you’re going on matches your audience well enough to accomplish your goal.
3) Gather Your Resources
In addition, you should know exactly what resources you have available throughout the process. Budget, of course, plays a major part: the amount of money you can commit to the project will determine the scope of the app you are developing, and setting a range as well as a limit will streamline the process.
But budget is not the only resource you need to consider prior to embarking on an app development journey. Time and personnel matters just as much, as anyone involved in the process will likely spend significant time that cannot be spent on their regular, daily and business-wide function. Knowing the available time and money commitment going into the process is crucial.
4) Determine Your Involvement
Once the developer gets to work, how involved do you want to be in the app development process? Our clients have varied wildly in their desired level of involvement. Some like to receive daily updates and progress reports, while others take a more hands-off approach.
As you might imagine, this question is closely related to the resources you have available. Available time resources may constrain your involvement, but you do need to be sure that you have time available for feedback and testing to make sure that the end product matches your goals.
5) Set Measurement Benchmarks
Finally, it’s never too early to start thinking about how you will know that your app is a success. How long of a timeline makes sense for you, and how will you know that the app is successful after it’s available to your target audience?
Once the development process begins, it will be increasingly difficult to set a timeline and benchmarks. That’s why you should try to set it as early as possible, helping to ensure that you can develop an app that meets and exceeds all goals you have set for it.
App development is a complex process, so the earlier you start in preparing for it, the better both the process and the end product will be. The above 5 areas give you a good overview of what you need to start thinking about sooner rather than later to maximize your chances for success. For any other questions about app development or to get started, contact us!