Whether you’re considering building your app to streamline internal workflows, customer experience or creating an entirely new experience to answer the needs of your audience–getting your mobile app design right is crucial.
In our discussion today, I’d like to show you how, with a bit of knowledge and understanding of the development process, just about anyone can turn their idea into a reality while keeping development costs down.
- Brainstorming your ideas
- Why launch with your minimal viable product? (MVP)
- Good app design starts with wire-framing
- What is UX in app development?
- How much will it cost to build my app?
- What is the best platform to develop your app?
- Can app developers steal your idea?
- How do I get users for my app?
- Choosing your development company
Brainstorming your ideas
Start by brainstorming by identifying the problem your app is going to solve and the possible scenarios in which someone might use your product. Once you have identified what you are solving, create personas that represent the individuals likely to be interested in your product. Personas should reflect the robust customer data you’ve garnered over time or thorough research identifying the problems or needs of your audience.
The best way to get started is to start writing ideas down; anything goes, get as many thoughts on paper without trying to validate them, let your creative side rule the session. If you are comfortable using online tools, there are many tools to help you brainstorm and organise your thoughts.
When you have exhausted all your ideas, start grouping those ideas together; if you’ve used post-it notes, it’s easier to group and visualise things. As you group your thoughts, it’s time for a little critical analysis to filter any outlandish ideas but don’t over analyse things too closely just yet.
Brainstorming can be done as a group or individually; if you brainstorm alone, make sure you bring others in as a team to help critique and validate your ideas. Regular brainstorming and problem-solving sessions as a team are crucial to creating a viable product that meets the needs of your target audience.
Why launch with your minimal viable product? (MVP)
One of the best ways to get your product out to your audience quickly is to release your minimal viable product or MVP. The MVP is a lightweight version of your idea solution with enough features to attract early adopters while also validating your product idea during the early stages of the product development cycle.
The benefits of the MVP are numerous;
- lowers initial development costs
- quicker time to market
- consumer validation and feedback
An MVP is a positive way to get your product to the market quickly; it enables you to start addressing the needs of your target market while fine-tuning your product and gauging market acceptance.
Good app design starts with wire-framing
Nothing could be more accurate than the adage–great app design starts with wire-framing. Wire-framing is the process of creating a visual representation of a website or mobile app that shows the content, layout and the different interactions.
Wire-framing focuses primarily on layout, user interface and experience and is devoid of colour. It’s essential in the early stages of design not to get sidetracked with final appearances and stay focused on functionality.
What is UX in app development?
User experience starts in the wire-framing stages of app development. UX refers to the interactions a user has with an application or website and includes things like your app’s design, usability, the information architecture of your app, how well your app meets the expectations of its target audience, etc.
Be sure to scrutinise your app design by factoring the entire user experience, such as;
- Ease of onboarding
- Reduce unnecessary user input
- Usability–the ease and how users interact with your app
- Visual flow–glanceability of your app
- Quick and efficient search
- Assure users their data is secure
- Personalisation–ways users can personalise their experience
- Visual appeal.
Usability aside, your app must be visually appealing; choosing the right typeface and colour palette for your app is essential. Consider using icons instead of text for menus and other UI elements as they can look more appealing to users.
How much will it cost to build my app?
In Australia, the average cost of hiring a new mobile app development team is between $25,000 to $85,000. Keep in mind that the cost of creating a mobile app can vary greatly depending on the length of your project and the type of app you’re building.
The more functionality you include in your app directly impacts development time and cost, and the reason why we recommend only including the essential features of your product and leave the bling for future releases and updates.
Online app calculators like Oozou‘s Estimate My App can give you an excellent idea of the cost of implementing each app feature. Another option is selecting an offshore development company, which can significantly reduce app development costs; however, be wary, do your research and where possible, go with recommendations from other developers who regularly offshore their development.
What is the best platform to develop your app?
Android is a mobile operating system developed by Google. It has more than 70% of the global market share for smartphones. The iOS operating system developed by Apple Inc. commands more than 80% of the US market share for smartphones.
Native apps are platform-specific, more efficient and deliver a higher level of performance, whereas hybrid apps are essentially web app encased in a native app shell.
Hybrid apps offer portability across multiple platforms, are cheaper and quicker to deploy to the market but cannot compete with native apps on performance.
Rocket Lab is located in Sydney, Australia and serves businesses throughout Australia and has extensive experience in building hybrid and native apps of all sizes.
Can app developers steal your idea?
Yes. Be extremely careful when sharing your ideas with others, make sure you sign a contract or (non-disclosure agreement (NDA) before hiring anyone to build your app. In addition, have a lawyer check the contract before finalising it.
How do I get users for my app?
It’s essential to have a clear marketing strategy to promote the launch of your app. Some ways you can get the word out quickly to your target market are;
- Existing customer base
- Email marketing
- Social media marketing
- Social media contacts
- Search engine marketing
- Content marketing
- Affiliate marketing
It’s vital before you start your development cycle; you have a solid understanding of how to market your app and a clear path to profitability.
Choosing your development company
The first step in launching your app is to choose a development company that you trust. Do your due diligence, ensure your preferred developer has an untarnished record and a history of delivering what they promise. Ask for examples of apps that they have previously developed, and talk to people who have used them.