6 Questions You Should Answer before App Development
As interest towards mobile devices doesn’t show any sign of decline, entrepreneurs and top-managers are eagerly searching for the developers to bring their app idea to life. They believe that this mobile solution would extend their business and bring new customers. But let’s not make haste! What you should understand that none of the successful apps in the Stores were built without a good strategy prepared in advance. What about a kind of ‘guide to build an app’?
Before hiring the development team to work on the app, you’ll want to make sure you’ve answered these 6 questions:
1. What devices and platforms should I develop for?
Most entrepreneurs come across the same questions when taking a decision on app development.
Should I start with iOS or Android version? Or should I develop both? Is it worth dealing with Blackberry and Windows Phone these days? While answering to these questions your main focus should be on your target audience.
The latest Gartner report confirms (once again) that Android and iOS are responsible for 99.6% of all smartphone sales in the fourth quarter of 2016. While Windows and Blackberry are continuing their fall from the cliff peak. We wouldn’t recommend you to count on the latter two platforms unless your audience is the genuine users of these devices.
Go there, where your audience is.
Go for iOS first, when
• you’re planning an app monetization (iOS users have proved to spend more per app and generate more revenue);
• you’re targeting the USA, Australia and some European countries;
• you’re tight with time (iOS development is faster than Android one)
Go for Android first, when
• you deal with Android device audiences;
• you need features that are not supported by iOS;
2. How long and how much would it take to build my app?
In 5 years we at ElateSoftware have been developing mobile apps, we quite often face the situation when client’s expectations about development time or cost don’t coincide with reality. It doesn’t their fault, as the estimation of a development process is a complex task.
In order to detach the estimated cost and terms of your app development, you should take into account the following key factors:
• App development agency size and type;
• Technical complexity of your app idea:
The more features an app has, the more it costs. Nevertheless, the value of each function is not equal.
Read also: How much would I pay for app development?
• Design complexity;
• Number of mobile platforms and OS you’re going to develop your app for.
3. How make money with my app?
Have you thought about a monetization strategy for your future app? If yes, have you decided about how would you carry it out?
The first thing, you might like to decide is if your app would be free to download or would require some money for it. Let’s have a look at their distinctive features:
You want to monetize your mobile project, but don’t like the idea of paid apps? Then, you might address to the following monetization models applicable to your free app:
• In-app purchasing
• In-app advertising
• Paid subscription
• Freemium model
Believe it or not, but world’s top-earning apps are available for free.
4. Have I evaluated the competition for my app?
A comprehensive investigation of the market of similar apps might save your wasted time and money.
The evaluation of the following points will help you to understand a potential competition around your future app:
• Web presence: have a look at the online presence of your competitors. It will help you to detach your major competitors and not;
• App functionality: identify the core functionality of the apps from your niche;
• Users’ reviews: read what the users think about the apps of your competitors;
Understanding your competitors’ product and their market advantages might prevent you from going head-to-head with a competitor on their strong points. It is also a useful method of learning from the mistakes or ‘successes’ of others.
5. What will make my app special?
Usually, all apps might be divided into 2 groups:
1. apps with a unique value, that the users have never had before (such apps, as Pokémon Go and MSQRD were an outbreak in mobile app industry);
2. apps with the functionality similar to those that already exist (that’s why there are hundreds of reader/fitness/calendar/etc apps)
Read also: How to create successful app?
If you’re planning to develop an app like “………………….” (insert necessary), focus on a specific feature your app will receive. Take a solution that already exists and make it better, safer, faster or easier. Be convinced to make the difference and not make clones.
6. How to protect my app idea?
We’ve added this point based on the common requests we and our colleagues receive from the clients. Most entrepreneurs believe that the signing of a non-disclosure agreement (NDA) will be a guarantee that no one else can take their app idea and launch it before them. The truth is far out from reality.
We covered this topic in one of our previous posts, where we discussed what an NDA is and does it makes sense to request one.
In the end…
If reading these points, you’ve understood that you don’t have the answers to all the questions, don’t feel bad. It’s very rare that a company approaches us with a clear vision of the pre-development process.