A Kick Start for building a Mobile App for your business
Before you start figuring out how to create an app, you need to first define the reason why you want to create that app in the first place. Without this clarity, your planning will be convoluted, which means your end result will most likely reflect that as well
Your app should satisfy two goals:
Your ideal users’ goal
And your business goal
First, look at your audience. Whenever they interact with your business – both online or offline, regardless of the channel – they get to ask themselves: what’s in it for me? If they don’t see a benefit almost immediately, they will simply move on, and that’s true for your app, too.
It is a very first step, you need to collect information about your current users and content. Ask them what they most want to see in your app before you start building it. Take a look at your site analytics to figure out what the most used features of your site are. Dig through your support channels for the areas that are rough.
Use all this feedback to decide on the few features that are crucial to the launch of your app. A good question to ask yourself is; “Our app will be useless unless”, but be wary of the trap of thinking that every feature is needed.
If you can start minimal, and listen to your users, then you’re on the right path to building an app that your customers will love.
Step I: The KISS formula – Keep It Simple Stupid
Keep your mobile app simple. Even though your website has a lot of features, you don’t need them all in the app. Start simple, focus on a couple of the most important features of your business.
Allow your audience to quickly consume your content, browse your products, or connect with their community. Strip everything else away, and make your app a focused experience.
If you have a membership site, what is the one thing your customers are coming to you for? Is it to watch your videos? Make the sole focus of the app getting your users to the videos quickly, maybe by allowing them to download it locally to their devices.
Do you have a community that loves to interact? Make posting messages and updates fast and easy. Work to reduce the number of taps it takes for a user to send a reply to a comment thread or to find replies to their comments.
The more “features” you add to your app, the harder it becomes for your app users to access the one feature they installed your app for.
Step II: Draft Your Mobile App Functionality & Features
Now that you know what you want to achieve with your app, it’s time to define your mobile app’s scope. This is the time to get creative and write down all the functionalities and app features necessary to accomplish the solutions and results outlined in the previous step.
Some of the features may include:
YouTube or Vimeo integration
Write down any features that will bring value to your app, and make this your guidance throughout the full app development process.
Step III: Create proper Wireframe for your Mobile App
Create niche wireframes & use cases for your upcoming Mobile App. Wireframing is a visual guide that will represent your app’s layout and the flow between the screen without the distractions of visual design and graphic elements. It is the bridge between your raw thoughts and a final product before any of the technical phases begin.
Your wireframing is driven by your use case(s) – the small, specific tasks your users can achieve with your app.
This is your unique chance to:
Understand your use cases and the thought processes behind them
Optimize the number and order of screens to reach each goal
Create multiple screens flows to find which one works best
Save hundreds of development hours later on
There are two ways to create wireframes: offline and online. If you prefer offline, you can simply use a pen and blank paper, or you can use templates
Once done, test the wireframes properly and write answers to the following questions:
After you’ve opened the app, is the access to the main menu obvious?
Can you easily identify all the tasks you can accomplish with the app?
Did you have to tap ‘Back’ for any of the tasks you wanted to achieve because the path wasn’t intuitive?
Were you looking for an option that wasn’t there?
Are there any options you found redundant?
Step IV: Choose a Development Path
Your app’s use cases and functionalities are now mapped out, and it’s time to actually build it!
In this step, you’ll have to choose your development path. It boils down to two core options:
Choosing a programming language to code your app
Using a mobile app building platform to create your app, like BuildFire
This decision will largely depend on your budget timeline.
Step V: Start with AMP can be good
You have probably heard of a minimum viable product, as you build your app you need to keep this concept in mind. It’s far too easy to get starry-eyed thinking about all the cool things your app can do, then try to add them all right away.
But it’s not just a confusing app that is a problem. Scope creep contributes to you spending a bunch of money and time on something that doesn’t meet the needs your users have. The app you dreamed of turns into a black hole sucking up your money and time while it doesn’t get the traction you had hoped it would. In the worst case you never even launch it as you continually add just one more feature.
All set now… you can finally move ahead for building your desired Mobile App
Step VI: Build Your Mobile App
If you’ve decided to code your mobile app from scratch or through a mobile app framework, this is the time to start your ongoing work with developers and designers. You’ll collaborate with them to bring your ideas and wireframes to life, closely monitoring every step to ensure consistency between your vision and the end product.
Step VII: Test Your Mobile App
Once development is done, your app is ready for real-world testing! This step will ensure there are no bugs and the user experience is as intuitive as it was after you’ve created and tested your wireframes.
With custom development of an app, there may be upwards of ten rounds of testing.
Let’s cover two different tests here: internal test and the external test.
Internal testing involves yourself and your team to test the app as if you were the end user. The goal of internal testing is to identify bugs or any user experience issues – simply put, your app needs to work and flow just the way you planned.
External testing involves people who are not familiar with you or your mobile app. The core aim here is to pinpoint any user experience issues and unintuitive steps.
Testing your mobile app may involve the following:
Try the app in a realistic environment, just like it was downloaded on your phone from the app store
Interact with your app to see and feel the experience it provides
Test your app’s features and make sure the layout is intuitive
Implement any feedback and fine-tune the details
Step VIII: Launch Your Mobile App
You’ve reached your final task – letting the world know about your brand new mobile app!
First, you will submit your app to your preferred app stores. For this, make sure you follow all the guidelines that each platform defines and to make the most out of your app store optimization.
Once your mobile app is live in the app stores, it’s time to get the eyeballs on it! There are many ways to promote your mobile app, but we want you to start with these ones so you can get your app in front of the right people – fast.
Email your customers This is the priority: as soon as your app is live, make sure your customers are the first to know. It can be as simple as writing a short email to say that you’ve been working on improving their mobile experience and link to your app in app stores. You can also ask them to reply to your email with any questions or feedback. It’s that simple!
Update your website This is crucial for any potential customers, as well as churned customers, as this will show them the value you’re providing for their mobile experience in case they become your customer.
You can publish a blog post about your new mobile app, or simply place a banner on frequently visited pages (or both!). Don’t hesitate to briefly mention the value and the impact this app will bring to your customers!
Promote on social media
Instead of simply posting the link to your app on social media, you can combine several different strategies for your app promotion on social media:
Post an update about your app on Facebook and Twitter and pin that post to the top of your profile. Ensure these updates convey the value of your app and contain a call to action.
If you are on Instagram, link to your app in your profile URL and mention it in your post captions.
Go to Twitter’s advanced search, and search for your business name mentions. If you are a local business, include your location, too. If your search returns recent enough results, see if you can join a conversation naturally and without sales talk. If any tweets mention your mobile experience or ask questions that your app is an answer to, you can mention your app in your replies.
Hope this article will help you in deciding the right path for the development of your dream Mobile App. You can contact the Digital Business Engine to get more help on this.
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