How to plan smartly when developing a mobile app

How to Plan Smart When Developing An AppHave you ever heard someone say, “I think I’ll just develop this app real quick”?

Didn’t think so. Developing an app isn’t something you can just crank out. Theoretically you could – but it certainly wouldn’t be a chart-topping application. Developing a successful app takes careful planning and analysis. David Tucker, in Mashable, recently pulled together a list of things to consider when developing an app. Here’s a look at the highlights:

  • Agree on goals for the program.
  • Understand your target users.
  • Identify a minimally viable solution set.
  • Plan for multiple releases.
  • Balance your users and your business.
  • Know what is out there.
  • Bring your IT team into the discussions early.
  • Decide on a technology you can live (and grow) with.
  • Plan to analyze.

Many of these considerations closely tie into app testing, especially planning for multiple releases. Tucker says:

“Statistics show that many users will re-engage with your application when new features are added. Spread key functionality across the first handful of releases to keep your users engaged.”

In a perfect world releases would only contain new functionality, but the majority of the time releases are put in place with fixes to bugs and other issues. The hard part is getting to the root of any present issues before you’ve lost any users. Through real world testing developers can discover any bugs, patch any them, and release a new version of their app so any current users don’t drop off or uninstall the app out of frustration.

Another extremely important consideration is ‘planning to analyze’. According to Tucker:

“The final step in the process is determining how to measure success. With a morass of potential features, devices, platforms and technologies, success can be challenging to define, but it will affect your ultimate strategy. Consider the following questions.

  • Will this increase our transaction volume and, therefore, revenue?
  • Will this increase customer adoption and retention?
  • Will this increase our brand recognition and loyalty?
  • Will this decrease our costs?
  • How many people do we want using our app?
  • How do we want to integrate the solution with our social media program?
  • How will we integrate with our existing analytics tools”

However, defining and tracking success after you launch your app is just as, if not more important. Tracking what users think of your app’s privacy, content, elegance, etc. can not only give you an idea of what users think about your app – but it can help you frame your app updates and new releases. Through regular analysis you can maintain and boost user engagement, furthering your app’s success. Overall -when it comes to mobile apps – the planning never truly ends.

How do you plan for mobile app development? Share your best practices in the comments section.

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