Having a detailed strategy when building a mobile app is just as important as making any other high-investment product.
A detailed, complete, and actionable app development strategy can provide great support to everyone involved.
Whether you want to build an app that your users love or provide better direction for the design and development team, or even if you just want to wow the investors, an app strategy strengthens your purpose and goal of creating the app in the first place.
Why you need a mobile app strategy?
Building an impactful mobile app requires a lot of planning, just like most of the other complex projects.
Do you think Elon Musk would have built the spaceships by joining a couple of engines together and hoping that it’ll work?
Probably not! All the successful entrepreneurs will tell you that the more time you spend on planning and working on the strategy, the less time you have to spend on actually building the product.
You are investing valuable resources in your app. Hence you would want to do anything necessary to make it a success.
A detailed mobile app strategy enables you to envision the app and design it before you get to the development stage. This works as a roadmap for your team to build a product that generates the internet of potential users, has a substantial market, and actually works.
You sure can build an app without a strategy, but it may be tough to deliver a meaningful experience and produce a product that lives up to the initial vision of the app.
A Step-by-Step Guide to building an Impactful Mobile App
Identify a problem or get an app idea
The first step is always the idea. If you already have a plan for your mobile app, you can jump to step two.
A lot of times, people know that they want to build an app, but they don’t have an idea to go with. What you really need to be looking for are problems, and they are everywhere!
Impactful apps provide a solution to one of several problems. Most of the time, people maybe aware of this need or problem, and sometime they might not even know.
This is why your job is to observe. Companies like Uber and Lyft did precisely that. They were one of the first to identify a problem, and now they are a part of our everyday life.
Similarly, you want to look for a problem that affects daily life. Once your list is ready, then think of app ideas that can solve these problems and shortlist the one that you believe the most in.
Start building your mobile app strategy
Working on your app strategy is an ongoing process. It starts once you have your app idea and you keep on improvising it even after your app is live.
However, at this point, you need an app strategy that helped you build an impactful mobile app. Here are a few factors that you have to address to develop your mobile app strategy.
- Identify who your target audience is and try to understand their perspective, what is important to them, and what they seek in a meaningful app. Find out whether they are more likely to use Android or IOS devices.
- Clearly define your goals and priorities when building the app. Is the app a new source of revenue generation? Do you just want to make the app as an add-on to your current services? Are you going to charge your users? Make sure you know what you are trying to achieve with the app.
All these aspects together will help you define the pre-development app strategy, and this will give direction to the entire process.
List down the flow, features, and functionality of the app
Now that you have your app idea, you know who your target audience is, and you know what you need to achieve with your app, now is the time to figure out how your app will provide value.
As you put down your app idea on paper, your app will start taking shape in your mind. Make sure to document the list of app features, and the flow of how users will navigate the app, and don’t shy away from details. This will be very helpful for your app designer and developer to understand how you envision the app and your expectations.
Recognize the core feature of the app
As an entrepreneur, it’s very understandable for you to want to include every possible element in your app. But, often, people don’t want one app with several lousy features, but they want to use a sophisticated app that may only offer one feature.
Look closely at the list of features you put together in step three and look for that one or maximum two aspects that offer the most value or that are necessary to solve the problem. Don’t include the add-on features in the first version, because at this point you are not sure how your audience will react to them and they will just increase your initial development cost.
Go with the design-first approach
Building an app costs you tens of thousands of dollars, and the development-first method can end up becoming a very costly mistake. If you make your app first and then find out that it’s not something your users want to use, it means investing more time and money on redevelopment.
Some entrepreneurs also believe that because they only need a simple design, so it makes sense to just focus on development. However, the design is more than how the app looks. It is more about how your audience experiences the app.
The design-first approach helps you build a clickable prototype or minimum viable product. It will give you a clear idea of how your app will look and how users will navigate through the app. Besides, this gives you an option to make timely changes and save your time and money on redevelopment.
Take your potential customers onboard
Did you know there are 2.57 million apps available to download on the Google Play Store and 1.84 million apps on Apple App Store?
Yes, people are increasingly using mobile apps for various purposes, but the massive competition makes it difficult for entrepreneurs to make their app stand out in the crowd. It is most likely that there already will be apps that offer the same or similar service as your app. So, how do you make your mark?
Once your prototype is ready, you should be engaging with your potential customers. Build a landing page and ask people to sign up or an email campaign. Once you find a group of people who would be interesting in your app, ask them to use the prototype and gather their feedback. They are the real users of your app, which means no one’s feedback is more important than theirs.
They will tell you everything you should know to proceed with the development process. Make sure you listen to their feedback and act on it accordingly to build an app that people want to use.
Find your mobile app developers
You want to look for and collaborate with an Android or iPhone app development company that has a fantastic design team and tech-savvy developers.
Take your time when looking for your mobile app development company. Go online, go through the company’s portfolio, and check their client’s feedback and their credibility. If you like what their previous or existing clients have to say about them, and they have created the kind of app that you want to build, then you have found the right team for your app.
Don’t forget that you want your app development team to integrate the feedback you collected from potential customers. This is the best time to improvise and adjust to build an app that delivers a meaningful experience.
Launch your app
Now that your app is developed and tested for quality and possible bugs, it is time to launch your app. Your app development company will also guide you through registering the app on the app store(s), depending on your app strategy.
However, as we mentioned earlier, the competition on the app store is on the peak, which means you need an app marketing strategy and an App Store Optimization strategy. You want to make sure that your potential users know about the app, how it adds value to their life and your apps are easily visible and accessible to the right audience.
Gather feedback and be ready to improvise
You will hardly see any app on the two major app stores that are operating in the first version. There are several reasons why entrepreneurs and businesses continuously update new versions of their apps, including:
- After sometime of launching the app, it is common to notice some bugs or glitches in the app that require revision.
- Most entrepreneurs use tools like Flurry and Localytics to keep up with their app analytics. They help you track app downloads, how users are engaging with the app and the retention rate of the app. They tell you what is working for the app and what isn’t and need adjustments.
- As some time passes and more people use your app, you start receiving more feedback. Your customers’ usage and behaviors will give you more insights on how to enhance the app experience.
- With time you also have to keep up with changing industry trends and app standards to ensure your app continues to appeal to your users.
Upgrade and repeat!
Building and running a successful app is an ongoing process. As you continue tracking analytics, gathering feedback, and monitoring the app usage and users’ behavior, you will automatically realize what your users want from the app. And now, your job would be to upgrade the app, make adjusts, add new functionality, and improve the user journey of old features. This means publishing the second version of the app, then the third one, and another one.
You want to make sure your app continues to stay top of the line and highly competitive in the store app, and this means lots of updates and improvements.
Why having a detailed app strategy is the perfect approach to build an app?
Firstly, it’s methodical, it considers the highly competitive global market, and it works!
Entrepreneurs have made apps on instinct without a strategy, and some of them have established a detailed plan first and acted second. Having a strategy helps you stay ready for all the possible challenges that you might be facing, it ensures you consider risks and incorporate a specific flow of the process that ensures every action and investment is backed by reason and logic.
Secondly, your app strategy ensures your potential app users are also part of the app development, which highly increases the chances of building an app that they love. App development is a relatively expensive investment from your side, and you would want to take every step that brings you a bit closer to building an impactful app, which exactly what an app strategy does.
How your mobile app development team affects the success of your app?
No, you cannot just hire any mobile app designer and developer and just get started. For some entrepreneurs finding the right team can take a lot of time, and that’s okay. There are many app development companies around the world, a lot of them are probably really good at what they do, but they all are not necessarily the best option for you.
It is significant that you are clear on what you want and how you want your app to turn out. Working with a development team is a very collaborative task. There is a lot of back and forth happening, whether it is asking for your feedback on the design or testing out the beta version of the app.
Hence, make sure you take your time and look for a company that works as you do and who understands your vision more than anything else. You also want to make sure the team has experience of working with technologies, tools, and programming language that your app would require. Finding one company that matches your expectation in every department will take some time, make sure you plan for it.
The final thought
There is a lot that goes into creating a successful app.However, it all comes down to how well-designed and thorough your app strategy is. It will help you cross-check things that are most significant and that are also easy to ignore, like making sure your app is built to solve an actual problem your real users face. A good strategic plan will guide you in making informed decisions and follow a step-by-step guide that gives you more control over the results. Hence, make sure you start right and build an app that organically makes your mark on the app stores.
To give you a little background info, I’m one of the leading writers of Tekrevol LLC and BuzzFlick, TekRevol a digital solutions company for startups and enterprises and BuzzFlick is a pioneering firm that delivers all types of 2D animation videos for brands. From corporate videos to explainers, if it’s related to videos, we can get it done. Our articles have been featured on renowned platforms, including Forbes, Inc., YEC, adobe, UXmatters, and Business.com.