Build an App Development Strategy
Looking to launch a mobile app? Regardless of the type of app or the platform you’re targeting, you need an app development strategy. Think of it as an action plan that will help you ask yourself the important questions before the actual development begins. Here’s how to build an app development strategy, step by step.
Step 1 – Define the Objective of Your App
Start with answering “Why do I want to build this app?” It will help make everything clearer. Use brainstorming to generate ideas if you have to.
When answering this question, consider the following key points:
- The purpose of the app
- The problem that it tries to solve
- The business and revenue model behind your app, if any
- The name and branding for the app
During this stage, of you app development strategy, it’s also important to factor in your budget. If you have a set budget for your project, you may have to adjust some of your expectations to it.
Step 2 – Do the Market Research
You’ll be able to build a more relevant app if you take the time to understand what similar apps are already out there and what their strengths and weaknesses are.
You also need to know the latest figures related to your market and any predictions that may influence your app development. Market research will also help you gather data about your target audience.
Depending on the depth and scope of your app, you can do market research yourself or hire a specialist firm.
Step 3 – Define the User Persona
Seeing the app you want to develop as a potential user would can give you a better understanding of your app. And help you set up realistic objectives, too.
Create a user persona—or the target user you have in mind for the app. If you target a broad audience, consider creating several personas. For each persona, define the following.
- Their age and gender if relevant
- Mobile usage habits including preferred operating systems
- Their preferences
- Other apps they are already using
- Income level (for commercial apps)
Step 4 – Determine the App Development Tech Stack
What platforms will you launch the app on? Will you launch it on several platforms at the same time or do that gradually? What programming languages and frameworks will you be using?
These are the big questions to ask at this point. If you are outsourcing app development, you may want to sit down with the developers and discuss your tech stack options.
At the end of this step, in your app development strategy, you want to know exactly what type of app you will be building (native app, cross-platform app, hybrid app, progressive app) and the tech that will power it.
Step 5 – Create a Minimum Viable Product (MVP)
The MVP is the most basic version of your app that you can launch to reach your goals. Think core functionality over extra features and bells and whistles. You can progressively add more features later as updates.
Both your objectives for the app and the user persona will influence the MVP. So, it’s important not to skip the steps above to create a realistic MPV.
An MVP is important because it can help you optimize development time and costs. It can help you launch the app faster and make the most of every dollar you spend on it.
A successful MVP does all the following:
- Has enough functionality to provide value to users and make them want to try it and continue to use it
- Features a polished design even if this is only a simple interface
- Provides an intuitive user experience
- It’s free from hiccups and any bugs
Step 6 – Define the App Development Timeline
How long will it take to build the app? App development can take months, so it’s important to have a timeline you can use to keep track of progress.
This timeline may depend on the development methodology the development team will follow. But even so, it’s good to set clear and realistic deadlines early on.
And with that, your basic app development strategy is ready. Good luck!