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How do I know what my app needs? Part 1

As you may remember from a few months ago on this blog [link], you know that having an app is an essential element of building your company’s presence and reaching your customers directly. But, how do you know what your app really needs? What information do you need to take your idea for an app and make it a reality?

It is a little bit more complex than it seems because it requires a lot of time and compromise. No worries, today I am going to take your through the five phases of the creation process. You will see, when you are working with experts like us, everything is pretty easy. It makes it clear and simple for you, your investors, and the stakeholders involved in making your app a reality.

PHASE 1: DEFINITION

First of all, you need to define your idea. Thus,the most important questions to answer are: What is your app for? How will it help you and your customers?

It is important to describe your ideas, and write down all the relevant information – really anything that comes up – in a document dedicated exclusively to the project. This will make it easier for the team to understand what you need when it comes time to develop your app. Be as specific as possible. Include all your ideas.

We recommend you consider the following aspects:

- Document version: It is amazing how many times an idea can change. It is best to keep track of all the elements and changes in one document, so that whoever has to read it has the latest and most recent version of the project.

- Introduction: Start your document with a small summary of what you need your app to do.Your key questions: What do I need? Why? What for?

- Background: Describe the problems that this app should help solve. Key question: How will this app offer a solution to a need?

- Objective: It is very important to define what you expect to accomplish with your app, and how precisely it will solve your problem (background). Key question: How will this help/benefit the company/the customer?

- Scope: Don’t forget to define the scope of this app. Key questions: How far does this app have to go? What are the development phases? Which features does it need to have now? Which can be developed later?

- Describe the features: A feature is a section of the app, or part of the system that fulfills a specific task, and delivers a particular result. This is why it is important to define each function of the app in detail. Your key question: Which tasks will my app carry out?

- Technological requirements: It is essential to define the technological requirements in order to develop your app. Key questions: Will you use exclusive hardware? Who is the target audience? Who will analyze the results? Evidently, it is very important to cover all the necessary parts (mobile app, web admin, backend, hosting), and specify the external systems you would like to use, such as online payment systems, mobile notifications, SMS integration, maps integration, etc.

- Design requirements: Please definewho will take care of the design and graphic elements of your app. Many people do not know that it is very important to determine how your app should look. Designers are not “magicians”. They can perform wonders with the right set of instructions and a clearly defined vision. Remember:"You do not get a second chance to make a good first impression." Your design and image are very important to your potential clients. Do not doubt allotting a part of your budget to this important aspect of your app. Experts, like us, can recommend a design scheme or designer so your app makes that excellent first impression your users expect.

- Budget: It is very important to define the maximum budget you can assign to the creation of your app. Quite often, the budget is not enough for everything your app needs from the beginning. But, don’t worry! You can always divide the process into phases, or even versions. You can release a first version of your app, and then continue developing it, or adding features once you have a higher budget. If you have no idea what it costs to develop an app, you can lean on your development team for a realistic estimate, and make your current budget clear so they can base their estimate around it.

- Business rules: Please consider all the different rules and/or standards that should apply to the different features.

- Risks: Finally, define whether there are any risks in creating your app in order to anticipate them, address them, and avoid them!

All of the above is the first part of a complex process that helps us discover and define what we need for our app. In our next post, we will discuss the remaining phases in the development cycle of an app.

If you have any questions or you want to get a quote of an App, we can help you.

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