App development: 10 keys to launch a successful application
Developing a mobile application may mean hitting the ball out of the park for your company, but it may also a painstaking failure. What should an app offer to be successful? Here are the main tips for your mobile strategy.
Developing a mobile application may mean hitting the ball out of the park for your company, but it may also a painstaking failure. Both opposite ends are too close to each other. Out of the more than five million applications published for Android and Apple, for example, most remain inactive and potential users are totally unaware of their existence. And those which are downloaded will have lost over 70% of users by the first trimester.
So, before putting a new product up in the app store, there are two concepts to be taken into account in the path to success. First, the idea or solution interpreted by the app must add value to all that is already available in the market. Next, a comprehensive strategy should be considered for the period after the app is rolled out so it will become known on a massive scale and not fall off the radar and lose usefulness in the short run.
Ten keys for launching an app
#1 Set up a goal
Having a good idea is not enough to guarantee the success of a new app. Rather, it is just the beginning. While it is true that the present context plays in our favor, in that we can handle our daily routine with our smartphones, any new application should provide a solution and service to the already existing universe. The app's defined purpose and mission will determine the success or failure of the mobile strategy.
#2 Needs assessment
Are there any applications out there covering the same needs? What does my audience need? A competitive and user requirements analysis is the validation step that will prove the existence (or not) of a market and demand. For instance, Google Keyword Planner can be used to research the number of people looking for your service or a landing page can be created which on a first stage measures audience interest.
#3 The blueprint
It is crucial to put the idea for the app on paper, even if it is a basic sketch: pointing out its main functionalities should be enough to start validating it with collaborators or partners. The most important thing in this regard is to provide a visual of the main app features so that the programmer can have a first glimpse of the idea.
#4 First conclusions
By this stage, enough information will have been collected to make a SWOT matrix (strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, threats) and have an initial analysis prior to development. This is the time to revise any concepts before moving on.
#5 Pricing plan
Choose the plan that fits your needs: free download from the beginning, subscription model, initial download fee and/or in-app purchases. At Awkbit, we suggest offering free download at first to build your audience and then upgrading on demand. This is unless you are trying to reach a specific market niche, in which case the most suitable option would be the subscription model.
#6 Begin the design process
Now is the time to start developing the app, but this does not only imply working on its aesthetics but also on the app's functionality—what the user roadmap inside the tool will be like. The process of creating a prototype is called wireframing: wireframes can be made by the creative team or with an online tool.
#7 Test the prototypes
Ideally, the developed wireframes should be run through critical examination, from people we know well and who can provide professional insight. The people who will test the first app mock-up should be carefully selected. This is the last review stage before going into production.
#8 Building and new tests
Once the application's functionalities have been defined and tested, further steps can be taken: build the back end, design skins (graphics) and define the necessary databases, required log-in information, storage solutions, and so on. Before putting the app out into the market, everything needs to be tested again.
#9 Marketing and communication strategy
It should be based on your target audience and their needs. Where to begin? Pick an easy name to remember. Set up a landing page and start collecting e-mails that you can turn into downloads at release time. Claim and leverage your accounts in social media. You can drive users from Facebook groups, blogs and forums. This is a great way to create a buzz even before your app launches.
#10 Launch the app and make it visible!
Android enables launching the app and performing the checkups afterward. IOS reserves the right to review and approve the application before it is launched. It is time to make your app visible following the established marketing plan.
At Awkbit, we provide a set of resources to collaborate with your software development and launch. Our services include web and mobile app development, as well as the building of customized eCommerce platforms, supported by Content Management Tools, CI/CD, Automation and DevOps practices. Get in touch.