Before any other good investment, there is a lot of questions you need to answer. The rise of Mobile Apps is unprecedented in recent history. People operate using these application on various form factor to get by and get through life. A train commute of an hour is bearable when you have the latest “Swing Copter” loaded on your device. But just before you jump on to the mobile app craze bandwagon, does your business really need a mobile app?
Here are a few thoughts we have crafted if you have considered building a great one.
Ask yourself, what do yo wish to achieve by taking the mobile route?
Write down your objectives and see how apps from various industries addressed those challenges. Lets take for example, if I wanted to have a search feature on my application, I would look at how Google made it easy in their app to make search something natural & intuitive. If you look closely they only have a search bar and a submit button even though they have hundreds of other businesses under their hood.
Look through each objective/feature and see how to make it the best experience for your use. The best designs are often learning from others and upping that a notch.
Check out your competition
See how your competitors are doing and addressing it. May be you are the only one in town who is in the laundry business but that doesn’t mean you are safe, a kid could drop in tomorrow without a storefront and steal all your business with just a Facebook Page and a contact form! See how people in the same business are innovating around the world, from Manhattan, Paris, Mumbai, Hong Kong…etc. This not only give you a perspective of your business globally but also see what is next in your businesses future.
Find what you need from the internet….like duh!
We often find inspiration from Pinterest by following concepts produced by other User Interface designers. Keep a small library of these designs in your stash and ask yourself why did you like them. Is it the color choice? Simplicity? Sooner you will have answers to how you wish to see your application that solely addresses your business needs than create another “Me too!” app.
Design your experience
You may not be well versed in Adobe Creative tools or know the ABC’s of design but designing always begins with a pen and paper. Draw out each screen and show what you wish to see in each one of them. Have a flowchart done on how the user “flows” from the first screen to the last. This not only helps you think through but also helps the developer you will be hiring understand your philosophy and reasoning behind each interaction.
Remember, details are everything! The more details your have from color scheme to button layout, the better it is.
Find your Robin
Get a good developer. Why? because they are the ones who materialises your ideas! No point having an idea which isn't technically feasible. A developer needs to be good in three main areas;
Understanding your business
Technical skill is below my list because there are plenty of them out there but having a developer who is good in communicating and understanding your business is a goldmine. That is why our developers at Plan D invests heavily in ensuring our developers are top in their communication skills, language proficiency and go miles ahead to really understanding your business.
No matter what you build, you got to do End to End testing. As you get your first build from our developers, imagine yourself as a user of your services and test the app. Anything that you feel uncomfortable, list it down and bring it up to our assigned Project manager. Keep track of the progress on these issues on subsequent builds.
I hope that you have enjoyed this candid post on what goes into making a truly world class mobile app and if you have any questions, feel free to drop me a note here and I will be more than happy to help you out.