Most businesses know the potential value of a mobile application, be it in terms of adding a new sales channel, leveraging the promotional value, or offering unique services.
There are many other reasons why companies elect to have a mobile app developed, and equal for all of these projects are the underlying core values and ideals behind it.
Even though most business owners are aware of the benefits and upsides to having their own native app, we regularly come across clients that only know they want an app, not what that app should do, or what problems it should solve.
At Nodes, we hear new pitches for apps on a daily basis, and have come to depend on a set of questions for anyone not 100% sure what exactly their app should contain, how it should be designed, and even who the target users are.
If you’re considering going the route of having an app developed, consider answering the below questions first, or at least use them as a basis for defining your concepts and rough outlines as to what the app should include.
- What is the purpose of the app?
While this might seem simple and straightforward, a surprising number of people haven’t thought out specific details or functions. Other than wanting an app because it’s “in”, or because the boss says so, coming up with real, concrete reasons for developing an app, and designing the app to fulfill those reasons is paramount to any successful project.
- What’s the market situation like?
Depending on what the app’s purpose is like, whether it be for commercial gains, or for help with the enterprise structure, it can be important to define the current market for competitive apps already existing. This doesn’t have to do with monetized markets however. When developing an enterprise app, it could be seen as a wise move to have an internal correspondence or dialog with the employees going to use the app, asking what they’d prefer to see in the app in terms of functionality and other valuable insights.
- Which platforms should you develop for?
This is a question we get to ask less and less, since most of our current clients and potential customers are aware of both Android and iPhone being equally important to develop for. There are still however a certain market for developing applications for just a single platform however, especially on the enterprise level, where companies often provide employees with phones, and thus can control the platforms in question.
- Is there a minimum viable product?
Sometimes, it’s possible to do away with much of the bloat and clutter surrounding an app, by first developing a prototype, or an MVP that acts as a proof of concept, and costs much less than a fully featured app with all the bells and whistles. It’s important to keep in mind that an app is not a static piece of software, it can be, and should be, changed from time to time.
Mark has been developing for the web since 2001, always with a penchant for open-source technologies such as PHP. Since 2010 he has been working full time with app development, these days being employed at Nodes, a leading European app agency. He also regularly contributes to WordPress and other open-source projects.