Mobile App Approaches: 3 Ways to Prepare for Development

Why should you invest in mobile app approaches? Because mobile apps used to be the new thing. Now they’re like underwear; almost everyone has a drawer full.

For years, Statista has been tracking the growth of apps in the Apple Store.

As of July 2019, there were 3.06 million non-gaming apps just waiting to be downloaded to mobile phones.

Perhaps “waiting” isn’t the right word - most of these apps aren’t sitting still.

According to Smart Insights, 90% of the time Americans spend on their cell phones is spent actively using apps.

It’s a crucial time to develop with the best app approaches

As the Creative Director of an app company, I often see people building applications incorrectly.

Simply looking to cover the basic need assessments alone won't cut it.

With that said, you shouldn't jump into getting an app developed without the proper feedback regarding overhead costs.

The good news is that we’ve learned a lot from rolling out all these software options over the years.

The bad news is the competition now is the most it has ever been.

That is to say, you better not miss a beat - or your app might flounder.

So, what mobile app approaches should a developer or entrepreneur consider before building and marketing a new app?

Of course, the first step in app development is having the idea.

But how do you know if the idea will hold water in an already saturated marketplace?

All budding app entrepreneurs should go through a product validation exercise before the build.

With that said, we suggest a multi-step planning approach that will take time on the backend, but ultimately save time (and money) on the front end.

Identify the demand for the app.

Google Keyword Planner can help you determine the volume of people who are searching for what you’re trying to sell.

In addition, you will also be able to see the competition for your targeted product keywords, which will indicate its “hotness” (or not-ness) in the market.

Shopify blog contributor Nimi Kular suggests using Google Trends to search for a more global portrait of how your product may do long term.

At Squareball, we have standard market validation and business analysis procedures that entail interviewing/job shadowing along with testing several use cases via a prototype to the parties involved.

Identify competitors and their mobile app approaches

Starting with a simple Google search, you can look for your direct competition as well as crossover competitors that use some of the same relevant features of your app.

SimilarWeb can help you deep dive details like website traffic, organic and paid keywords, as well as social referrals.

For example, how long have these competitors been in business and what kinds of social media followings do they have?

All this data will help with the direction you should take your potential app in.

Wireframe It

Map the features, flow, and user experience of the app.

How will users navigate it?

How will you track downloads or other analytics on the backend?

This mapping process will help you eliminate irrelevant functions that will bog down the app.

Remember, if your initial offering is successful, there will be version upgrades.

Going to market with a lean and mean version will also save you money in the long run.

Product validation is a necessary first step on the road to app development.

If you’ve completed these validation steps, you’re one pitch closer to knocking it out of the app park.

Keep in mind that this is just the beginning of a process that stretches across research, pre-testing, launching, feedback, and new feature introduction.

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