7 Questions You Need to Ask Before Developing a Mobile Application

Mobile apps are now dominating a large chunk of our media time. According to research, mobile users are spending as much as 12% of their time browsing on a mobile device. This translates into 87 hours per month or 1,044 hours a year.

So if the target market has gone mobile, it’s also necessary for businesses to have a mobile presence. However, it’s not limited to large enterprises, even 67% of small businesses in the U.S. have developed a mobile app.

While the race might be on to get the app to market, there are some things that you have to first consider before you start developing your app. This is important because it will have a direct impact on your final costs and the overall success of your application.

So what should you know before developing a mobile application for your business?

What will get your target audience to download the app?

How do you stop them from abandoning it? Let’s take a look.

1. What Problem Does Your Mobile App Solve?

A successful mobile app more often than not solves a problem. This is a critical step as you need to provide your customer base with some tangible benefits for using the application.

These benefits can come in the form of enhancing productivity, saving time, improving certain skills, or even improving their overall customer experience.

The bottom line is that it has to provide some real value to the end user. This approach will also help you develop a clear profile of the target market.

2. What Are the Mobile App’s Specifications & Features?

Once you’ve clearly identified the problems you’re hoping to solve with the app, you can decide on its specifications. When you extensively detail the app’s specifications it will help develop a clear vision on the best way to move forward.

By clearly identifying the features and going into extensive detail, you can easily determine the best platform (Native, Hybrid, or Web App) for the app, its necessary features, and a rough estimate of the budget.

If you don’t engage in this activity, it increases the risk of things going wrong during the development process. You also have to imagine what the user interface (UI) will be like and what the end user experience (UX) will feel like.

It will also help to ask questions about how it will be designed and what the layout would look like. Some of the major functions you have to consider include the following:

  • Interface page with registration and login options
  • Specific characteristics of the UI
  • Seamless incorporation of social media platforms
  • Geo-location
  • Push notifications
  • App synchronization
  • Data cashing (offline)
  • Incorporation of app reviews and ratings
  • Payment gateways
  • Seamless collaboration with the app server
  • Supported languages
  • Secure data storage
  • App maintenance protocols
  • Analytical tools

3. What’s Your Revenue Model?

Mobile application development costs money, so unless your business has plenty of extra cash to burn, you have to start thinking about how you’re going to monetize it. The right revenue model for the app will heavily depend on the type of app and its target audience.

Some of the different mobile app revenue models include the following:

  • Premium model
  • Advertising-driven model
  • Pay-per-download model
  • Subscription model
  • Freemium model
  • In-app purchases model

At this juncture, it’s important to note that the revenue model that’s chosen is in accordance with the app. For example, if you’re hoping to monetize the app through in-app purchases, these have to be highly attractive to entice the customer to spend.

4. Do You Have Enough Resources to Handle Inbound Traffic?

Once the app is ready to go to market, you have to be prepared to handle the potential influx of new users. This means that the business needs to have the necessary resources to handle significant inbound of traffic and still deliver an enhanced UX.

When releasing the mobile app, the company’s website and social media presence should also be updated to ensure that everything’s in synch. Reputation will play a significant role in the success of your app, so the company will need enough finances to ensure that everything is up to date.

5. Who’s Going to Build Your Mobile App?

When you’re thinking about estimated budgets and finances over the long-term, you also have to think about who’s going to build your app and who’s going to maintain it.

If you have deep pockets, then you can choose to develop and maintain the app in-house. This approach will come at high cost, but your business will benefit from significant control and direction over the project.

While it provides the opportunity to take a hands-on approach to the mobile app development project, it also comes with the downside of being more expensive and time-consuming. The alternative is to outsource the app development project nearshore or offshore which can be highly cost-effective.

On the plus side, with all the communication and project management technology available today, you can still exert significant control over the app development project. However, these decisions must be made in accordance with the app taking into account possible regulatory concerns.

6. Who Are Your Beta Testers?

Let’s face it, you’re not going to build a perfect app right away. Developing a successful mobile app will require significant testing and tweaking.

Beta testing also enables you to get feedback from your target audience. This will help you figure out if you’re actually achieving what you set out to do and will increase your visibility in the app store.

The best way to do this is to go back to your market research and target market. However, before the app is released for beta testing, your QA team needs to eliminate all bugs in the system (including device specific bugs).

This step in important as it can help you quickly identify anything important that might have been completely missed during the project’s planning and development cycles.

7. How Will You Market Your Mobile App?

When you start thinking about developing an app for your business, it’s also important to think about how you will market it once it’s ready for launch. App stores are crowded marketplaces, so it’ll certainly be a challenge to get noticed.

While success will depend on several variables, asking these questions early can help reduce risk when it's time to release your mobile app. It can also help you ensure that the resources you allocate to this project is money well spent.

Are you looking for a mobile app developer like Intersog for your next project? We can help! Tell us about your project now!

IT Storyteller and Copywriter
Andrew's current undertaking is big data analytics and AI as well as digital design and branding. He is a contributor to various publications with the focus on emerging technology and digital marketing.