Steps to developing a good mobile phone app
Designing a mobile application may prove to be more complicated than it seems at first blush. Many of us have found ourselves in situations where we think we have a brilliant idea about a mobile phone application, without thoroughly analyzing all the business and technical implications.
March 13, 2015
Rushing into a decision without weighing out all the pros and cons, will most likely jeopardize your project from the very beginning.
1) The mirage of a brand new idea, or how to get over your egoIt is very tough to come up with a brand new idea, so I personally recommend steering to another focus. I would zoom in on something that is actually useful to your audience, and then see where my competitive edge is.
Most ideas are thrown aside simply because there is competition, but this is simply silly, as competition means there is a market responding well to your idea.Even if your idea for mobile app is unique, you will have to pump a lot of money into growing a market from scratch. Once you settled on a good idea, it’s time to study your competition, see what their strong and weak points are.
Now, there is a general trend going about, where studying the competition is done by glancing at their website. I wouldn’t be shallow about this. Take your time, study in detail, or even hire a specialist to do it for you. Finding your competitive edge is directly linked to understanding your competition.
2) You are going to need a specification document.
Again, take your time and try to be as specific as possible. If you are new to the business, or don’t have web design or programming knowledge, it would probably be a good idea to ask your developer for some advice. Things like design, usability and user experience can make or break an application. While for websites or desktop applications you might pull it off with a mediocre user experience, mobile applications are a completely different story.
3) Once your app is developed, it’s time to test it out.
And when I say test it out, it means defining at least 300 test case scenarios, and running through them at least three times. The first time you will eliminate the major bugs, the second time the smaller, and so on. Be sure to include GUI, business logic and stress test scenarios. Passing these three types of tests is crucial to a stable application.
4) A good marketing strategy.
Bear in mind that the budget for analysis, development and testing is around 25% of what it takes to actually lift your app off the ground. The rest will go into a good marketing strategy, which is out of the scope of this article. The reason I mentioned this, however, is because there are many stepskippers out there who think they save money by skipping out on steps 1, 2 or 3. What's sad about it is that, most times, they end up uselessly throwing out 75% of your budget on step 4.
Ionut Popescu is Business Development Manager at MBM Software