“Success doesn’t just happen. It’s planned for.” – Anonymous
This is so true.
But, it is not just about planning; it is actually about effective planning. Building mobile apps is not easy and it often takes more planning than you anticipated.
You may think your app idea and planning are rock solid, but you may come to realize during the development stage that you did not consider the key items. You may also find that is too late to go back to start from scratch.
So, in this article we have highlighted nine points that you should include in your discovery phase itself and use as a checklist to ensure foolproof development.
Let’s take a look at them.
1.Write Down Your Goals
It may sound like a silly point because you are already aware of your goals.
But, even though the goals may be obvious to you, they may not to be obvious to those who are working under you to develop the app.
They may not have a clear picture as you have. So how can you expect them to develop the app like you want them to?
You should thus write down and clearly define what makes your app a success in the eyes of the stakeholders.
If needed, you can even refer back to the document later on to see if you are on the right track or need to make a shift.
2.Define the User Personas
You may already know who your target audience is.
However, having generic knowledge about them will not help much. There are already tons of apps out there in the app stores, so how can you make a difference?
You need to write down the target user personas on paper. The user persona is nothing but a well-defined profile of a potential user or buyer of your product.
Include answers to the following questions to understand your user personas:
- What problem are they trying to solve with your app?
- What devices and platforms are they using?
- What actions will they take within your app?
This will help your entire team to be on the same page and will ensure that they are addressing the needs of the target users during the development stage.
3.Plan the Monetization Strategy
Your job does not end with the development. So, the next important step is to plan the monetization strategy.
But, choosing the right strategy is a daunting task.
So, you should not delay the planning of the monetization strategy. If you have a clear plan in advance, it will help you save both time and money before and after the launch.
It will also help you test whether or not your potential users and buyers align with your strategy in any way.
4.Address Even the Smallest Details
When you look at the big picture, you will often time end up overlooking every nitty-gritty crucial detail related to the app development.
And these may appear as roadblocks in various stages of the development. Therefore, it is important to address such details in advance.
It could be:
- Your operating system compatibility targets;
- How the server hosting will be handled; or
- Whether the app will be designed for localization.
5.Focus on App Security
You must have seen how the number of security breaches has increased the past couple of years. So, your users will be more careful than ever before. Any indication that there are security issues with your app may lead to all your effort being in vain.
Therefore, you should have a stolid app security process in place. Consider all the sensitive information that will be entered and stored in the app.
If you or your team knows about it before beginning the development, it will help you mitigate the risks and save you from any potential security mishaps or data breaches.
6.Identify the Project Risks
You should identify the project risks that may throw off your project timelines in advance. This will help you have a backup plan in place that will enable you to take prompt action when something goes wrong.
Here are a couple of project specific factors that you should address:
- Backend setup or coordination
- Regulatory hurdles
- API integrations
By addressing these prior to getting started, you will ensure a flawless recovery when any critical events arise.
7.Have a Marketing Plan
Having a proper marketing plan before development will set you up for long-term success. If you plan to do pre-launch marketing, ensure that you also make the strategy of post-launch marketing at the same time.
More than 60% of app downloads come directly from an app store search. Therefore, it is important that you figure out the factors that will increase your app store optimization in advance.
Planning the marketing initiatives inside and outside your app early will put you on the path for sustainable downloads.
8.Plan a Release Schedule
Your plan should have a release schedule that coincides with both pre- and post-marketing efforts and your development timelines.
Having a well-thought-out plan in place with the launch dates defined will help both your development and marketing teams. This will be especially useful if you plan to develop a multi-platform app.
This will give your designers and developers a clear picture of the project deliverables within a timeline. Also, it will help your marketing team to set customer expectations and build a relevant marketing plan.
9.Define the Offline Capabilities
Do you plan to make your app accessible even without an internet connection?
If yes, then you must write down the offline capabilities of your app to deliver exceptional performance.
The things you should consider include:
- The number of records needed to be kept offline;
- The total size of the data that needed to be kept offline; and
- The total number of data fields you will need to search within.
This will help both you and your development team to embrace the best solution going forward.
So, what strategy do you have in place? Do you have any questions or points to add here? Please feel free to leave your comments below and thanks for reading!