App Insights

What do I need to start developing an app?

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To get the most out of your app developers, you’ll need to know what you want your app to do for your organisation. Mostly, this will come from your current business needs, but here are a few things to consider when you want to take your brand onto the app market

1. What do you want to achieve?

The demand for every business to have an app is increasing. As organisations feel the need to put their brand on the Apple and Android app stores, it’s easy to overlook this simple stage in developing an app.

So, before you go any further, take a step back.

What is it that you want your app to do for you? Is it an exciting game to draw in more customers? A pocket-sized guide of your existing content? Or perhaps a way to make your employees more productive? Whatever the end goal, it’s important to have a really clear direction written down from the get-go.

Write down one sentence that sums up your goal for your app. If you have more than one, write them down, but put them aside for now. Give yourself the mental space to concentrate on a single purpose and to clarify how you can achieve your goal.

2. Who are your audience?

You already know your customers well, but your mobile audience can be different. If your app is designed to increase your target market, or introduce your brand to new types of customer, then you might need to do some extra research first.

Some questions you might want to think about are: Do my audience use Android phones? Do they have iPads? Where do they use their phones? and what kind of apps do they already have on their mobile devices?

Talk to people you know that fit into your target audience. You don’t need extensive focus groups to understand how people are using mobile. You can get an insight by asking some of your existing customers about how they use their phones – online surveys can be a great way to gather informal feedback through your social networks.

3. What are you up against?

App users love new ideas and great experiences. Apps will get blogged, tweeted and retweeted if they’re good, so knowing what’s already out there will help you see where you can make a difference. If you have an idea about what else your audience could be downloading, you’ll have a better idea of how to draw their attention to your app instead.

Search the app stores for a few apps that are in the same sector as you. Download a few of them – even the ones that look bad – and spend a bit of time using them on your phone. Time spent researching what’s already on the market will help you identify what apps effectively answer your problems, and what kinds of things just don’t work.

Looking for more advice on getting your app project started? Why not check out our 3 tips for making a great app?