A comprehensive guide for an idea become mobile app
One usually tends to have a feeling that getting a mobile app installed on the phone of the user and then making it a success is all about a good app idea. Well, that is true but not entirely because there are a plethora of things involved. What starts with just an idea has to be very efficiently executed to make a fully operational app. While there are multiple steps that the entire app making goes through, the things do not end there. Once the app is made, testing begins, post the testing and once the team is convinced that the app is good enough, it is launched.
Now, one would say that basic marketing should be enough but unlike Google’s world of SEO and PPC, app marketing is a different ball game altogether. Plus, this domain is relatively new and hence to find someone with the necessary expertise is tough.
What we want to say here, in short, is that taking an app idea and converting into a business idea isn’t easy, but it isn’t impossible either. All one needs is to have the right expert guiding them throughout the process.
Why This Blog
At Vibeosys Software, we have been helping startups convert their app idea into a full-fledged revenue-generating business model. We do get a lot of questions about the ideal approach. Having worked on multiple apps now, we felt that it would be a great idea to put all of it together in one place so that, whoever searches, knows at least the basics well. As a mobile app consultancy, that was the least we could do. So, read on to know the key points one needs to understand in order to make their app idea turned into a successful mobile app.
With the kind of information that the internet has on it, each and every one of us has an idea which we feel is worth the money and could turn into a great business idea. The optimism is good but sometimes we tend to become naive and touchy about it. One needs to understand that not every idea is or has to be good. There is a reason why so many startups fail. Also, it is not always about filling in the need-gap or providing what the audience would want. Steve Job’s dialogue about “You tell them what they want” sounds good because Apple is successful now. But, it does not necessarily fit in for the supremely dynamic global markets. Hence, the very first step towards making an app idea a reality is to discuss it.
The very first question becomes to answer- Why do you want to build a mobile application?
It is very important to know the answer to the question because the entire foundation for the process will be laid out on this. We have found, in our experience with multiple startups that most teams aren’t clear on this note. There is just a vague idea of what they would want to achieve. As an entrepreneur, one needs to understand that it isn’t just about making the app today. One also needs to be sure of what would happen in the future. How would one react if things go wrong or a competition springs up?
Ideally, if you know the answer to these questions, you should be able to sum it up in one sentence. If you cannot, then you probably need to think it over. Which brings us to the next and probably the most crucial stage about Researching.
Research The Market
Having worked with so many early-stage startups, we understand that to have an answer about why the app is needed isn’t as easy as it may sound. A lot of research and understanding goes into it. Ideally, a good mobile app consulting company can help you at this phase but you can do it yourself too.
Two important takeaways from this stage would be-
- The answer to why the app
- A set of features which the app should have
Let us discuss the bit about Research along these lines
There is always a vague idea about why an app is needed or why a team of people are required to develop the app. Detailed research entailing all the possible literature and study of other similar apps or solutions/websites in the domain can help one get a fair idea of what is already there and what more could be added. It doesn’t have to be about understanding the additional value add item. Through such research, one can also learn about what did not work for others and what are the probable audience’s preferences. Such insights can be especially important to finalise the Do’s and Don’ts for the mobile app’ features and launch at a later stage.
In addition to this, one also gets an idea of the features that are being used most by the audience and the features which are hardly used ever. This can help one plan out the entire structure well.
Brainstorming over the App Idea
Once an idea of the probable feature set has been drawn, the next question is about how all that needs to be put up into an app. This is where the brainstorming starts. One needs to understand that there will be n number of ideas but to have them all in one app would be tough. Hence, this stage is all about discussing what all features will have to be launched in the very first stage followed by the subsequent upgrades.
Now one may ask, why plan for upgrades when one can put in all at once. Well, this is a very strategic move given how things do not end at just the app install. One needs to plan out for the app stickiness too. Upgrades aren’t always about performance, they are about ensuring that the app stays and hence this point needs to be included during the brainstorming session too.
Now, while deciding the feature sequencing as to which one needs to be launched at which stage, an ideal way would be to consider the risks associated with not having one. The ones which have the least risks involved given their absence are usually deprioritised.
Finally, there will be just so many suggestions about what to do and what not to do. Not to blame anyone but in the digital age, with such easy access to information, almost everyone is an expert. You need to filter out that noise thus. No matter what one says, the primary goal and functionality of the app cannot be changed at a whim and there should be no deviations from that. The side benefits can be leveraged upon but that would come later.
In addition to this, various app monetization models will also have to be discussed at this stage. This is essential because the layout will eventually be decided basis that. So, one will have to decide over whether they will want to have in-app banner ads, in-app purchases or collaborations or any other monetization model deemed necessary for the said domain
Dedicated brainstorming sessions help you with that and the outcome is the final feature set which now needs to be wireframed as one enters the design and development stage.
This is the stage where once the features have been decided, one starts working on how the layout would look like. While one can say that they would directly go for development but more often that is not, that isn’t a good idea.
A wireframe lays out all the probable app designs and views at the same time giving an idea of how the app would look while being used. In addition to this, a wireframe also helps with laying out the workflow for the app too and hence if there are any deadends or blockages, those could be avoided too.
Making a wireframe is less expensive and less time consuming when it comes to making iterations. The same, when done during the development stage, would be really time-consuming plus would potentially burn a hole in your pocket.
This is the stage where we strive to build the minimum viable product in order to validate the concept of mobile app development. This is better and an earlier stage as compared to GTM testing or focus groups because it makes sure that when your app finally goes live on the app store, it has all that the user could probably need. The approach towards concept testing usually involved three major steps and the evaluation is done to check for the first impression, the ease of navigation and overall satisfaction.
The First impression stage involves the users being asked to list out the tasks that they feel the mobile app will help them accomplish. A detailed wireframe of the mobile app is then shown to the audience and things like what stood out, what they didn’t pay attention to, would the functionality be enough for them etc are talked about.
The next stage involved understanding the group’s path that they follow across your app. The outcome of this is the amount of ease of navigation that could be experienced by the users and the features which they prioritised over others. These two things combined will give an idea of what features should be placed right at the home page and what should be relegated to other pages.
The final stage is about getting the opinion of the focus group in general. This will entail asking them about what they think about that app, how likely are they to install it, will they want to recommend this app, do they actually feel the need for this app, which other apps will they deprioritise if they want to install this app on their phone in case of limited phone memory etc.
The ultimate result of this stage for startups are amazing. Some of early stage startups stop at this stage. As it helps them to showcase their product for the venture capitalist. In case the idea is powerful and find good funding then they continue. This is common in silicon valley startups and now common in India as well. We at Vibeosys Software help startups at every stage, to validate their idea with various in house tools.
Mobile App Development
Once concept testing is done, the next question is about developing the app idea into a full-blown mobile app. The key questions that come in the initial phase of this stage are about the budgetary requirements and selection of the platform for mobile app development. This again will have a lot to do with the target segment that is being selected or the geographies too for that matter.
The development platform selection will be a key decision to make because a lot of choices about the developers to use, the overall budget, the mobile app development guidelines, the timelines for the launch, the kind of monetisation models to be used will depend on it.
A lot of such things will have to be keyed in before the mobile app development process starts. Also, we would advise you to lay strict but achievable timelines during this phase.
The next question that needs to be answered is, how does one prevent their mobile app from failing? Well, that is what beta testing is for. Beta testing creates a simulated environment to test how well your app would perform under the given conditions. It helps one avoid any kinds of bugs, low system performance, feature malfunctioning etc among other things.
There are multiple automation testing tools available in the market which can help developers test the app or website well.
While one could do manual testing as well, our suggestion would be to go for a combination of manual as well as automated testing to be extra sure.
Go To Market Strategy
The last and final thing about making your mobile app idea a success is to have a strong go to market strategy. A good mobile app consulting company will help you with that. The importance of this stage is that, no matter how well you develop an app, your go-to-market approach is finally going to decide the number of installs the app would see and how long would it be able to sustain.
The strategy, if we have to give an overview would list out first your target audience, then the modes of communication to be used, the kind of marketing budget that would be required, the type and frequency of upgrades, the advertising platforms to be used, the collaborations and review groups to be required and any other kind of offline marketing steps that would be required.
Such a plan would also clearly lay out the necessity for any business collaborations should that be required. We mention this in specific because a lot of mobile app consulting companies tend to miss out on this, but you should always remember that it is easy to piggyback on somebody else’s success.
This stage would also talk about how would one raise funds the mobile app. One needs to understand that the mobile app will not start monetising and generating revenue immediately but the kind of expenses that would be required for the maintenance and upkeep will have to be required. Thus, one will have to have some kind of funding. Ideation and finalisation of the pitch presentation would thus be a key thing to work upon.
So, this was a lot on what an ideal mobile app consultancy should offer you so as to take your app idea and finally convert it into a successful business model. We understand that some of you may have concerns over the idea getting stolen. Hence, always sign an NDA before disclosing it to any third party.
All that being said, at Vibeosys Software, we are always happy to help. And remember, we are just a call away.