10 Must Ask Questions Before Designing a Mobile App

April 22, 2015 | Raj Srivastav

10 must ask questions before designing a mobile app
10 must ask questions before designing a mobile app

Sitting down to design a mobile app is a big step toward moving into the mobile market. Working with a mobile app design and development company is your best bet to come out with a great app concept with a sure path to launch. Here are some questions that are important to ask yourself and your mobile app design partners.

Do you want Android or iOS?

Smartphones and Tablets are dominated by iOS and Android operating systems. Android has the most abundant user-base by a huge margin, but iOS apps have much higher average revenue generation. Ideally, you want to be on both, and you might even throw Windows into the mix, but for most new apps it is a good idea to start with one and expand from there. Once you’ve worked out how the app works on one platform, its just a matter of replicating that on other platforms and making the necessary app design tweaks to fit the operating system.

What’s your niche?

Apps are most successful when they target a specific niche of customers. Trying to attract everyone is likely to end up attracting no one. You can expand your reach over time, but when you are first making an app you need to have a target market to base your decisions around so that you can focus on how to design an app for that audience.

What’s your monetization strategy?

Are you going to follow the trends of the app market with free downloads and in-app purchases? Can a non-free app work? Or do you have a unique plan for monetization? Some apps even willfully avoid monetization in order to prioritize user acquisition, which is fine—but it needs to be deliberate. Monetization is important, even for visionary entrepreneurs who are more interested in changing the world; you need money to return what was invested in development and expand from there. How you monetize will be unique to your business model, and there is a lot of flexibility there. The only advice I would give is that free apps have a clear advantage in today’s market since “free” encourages people to download risk-free.

What’s your Minimum Viable Product?

When building an app, “minimum” is a great word to keep in mind. Apps are supposed to be small, fast, simple-to-use tools. There are exceptions to that, of course, but they are typically extremely well-established apps which have grown in capability over time. New apps can’t come out of the gate with too much complexity or users will get lost in the myriad of features. It’s better to slim down the app to the few key features that define it and build an app that does fewer functions but does them very well.

Where is your development partner located?

This has an enormous impact on price, so it’s important to understand what you gain and lose from looking at development partners around the world. The basic question comes down to local or overseas? Local companies will likely be more expensive but easier to communicate with, while overseas companies will be cheaper, but time zones and language barriers can add frustration. It’s not always so clear-cut, of course. SDI has multiple app development offices in the U.S., Australia, U.K., and India, which curbs the communication pains while keeping development costs low.

What are your design goals?

Mobile app design is exceptionally important. Design encompasses the aesthetics, the information architecture, the modes of interaction, and more. Before embarking on the app design, you should create a list of what goals you want to fulfill so that when the right designs come across your desk, you’ll be able to recognize them. Here are a few things to think about, and of course any good app design companies can help out here:

• Looking and feeling modern and familiar is absolutely necessary for giving a great first impression and hooking users.

• Do you have existing business ventures which the app is related to? Be sure to design the branding of the app to connect them visually.

• Try to arrange the flow of the app so that users accomplish their goals in as few steps as possible.

What are the infrastructure and backend costs?

Some apps make significant use of cloud services, or server hosting to facilitate logins, storage, notifications, and other functions. You may also need to pay for a license for a third-party API or SDK that enables a key functionality. The prices may even increase as you gain users and your backend demands to scale up. Even Apple charges an annual $99 fee for your developer account, on top of their 30% revenue share. It’s important to understand these costs before you start.

Can you implement any social media integration?

Social media is an easy way to growth hack your app, and several big social sites have developed APIs and SDKs which make it easy to tie your app to social media. Would your users find value in easily sharing the app to their social accounts? Can you log-in to a social account to speed up the onboarding process and take advantage of existing social networks? Simple interactions like these can be very valuable.

What are your growth goals?

The point of any startup or mobile business expansion is to drive growth. There are many different ways you can measure growth with a mobile app. To name a few:

• Downloads

• Signups

• App store ranking

• Active users

• Transactions

• Revenue

• Partnerships

• New customers

You should determine which goals you prioritize, because it will inform the design process and help give the project a clear direction. It will also help you know what kind of analytics you want access to for measuring your success.

What is your release process & schedule?

You may or may not have a specific launch window you are aiming for, but regardless you should have a plan for how the launch will proceed. You’ll need to prepare the app store page, which means having an icon, title, description, screenshots, and details about the app. If you’re launching on iTunes you’ll need to await approval from Apple before you can go live. Will the mobile app design company you work with be able to supply assets or help you go live? Launching is already stressful enough by nature, so make sure you get the answers you need to avoid any potential problems.

Whenever you’re ready to start!

Get in touch with Software Developers India when you’re ready to start the conversation. Take a peek at our pricing, case studies, and talk to a mobile strategist to get a personal quote—call 408.805.0495 or leave a message for us online and we’ll get back to you soon!

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