At the outset I have to say that I LOVE talking to people about apps that they want to build, I could do it all day long. There is however a lack of understanding about how to go about taking an idea and making it real so here are a few of my most important pointers to get you started.
Rule 1: Begin with a Pencil
Truly one of the best ways to begin is with a pencil and a piece of paper. Write down some ideas about what the app should do, who would use it and most importantly WHY they would use it. If you have a picture in your head about how you think the app could look, sketch it (If not don’t worry too much, this can be developed later). This will start to form the framework that you can discuss with us to develop.
Rule 2: Understand the Business Case
By yourself or with our help I insist that you know how you will make money out of the application. I am a big believer in making money from the work I do and I assume that you are the same. The business case will help to guide not only marketing plans etc, but will very often influence the design and the features of the application. If you intend raising funding from another source then this step is a must. They will not fund you without it.
Rule 3: Know your Market
Wow, have I learnt some big lessons on this one. If you have a vague idea who you are going to market to but have not yet developed the market or even put together a plan on how to connect with them, you are going to have an issue. The best app in the world will die a slow death on the shelf if no-one knows it is there so please, please, please put at least as much effort into marketing as you will into the rest of the app. Cost wise, whatever you spend on building the app you should be spending 50% – 100% of that on marketing and connecting with your future user base. Additionally, don’t wait until your app is complete before you engage. The earlier you connect, the more interest you will be able to generate which ultimately increases your user base.
Rule 4: Build what is Most Important
Build the core of the application and make sure it does that very well. It is easy to get carried away with all the extra features but if the reason why people download the app is not slick, you won’t have repeat users. Getting the first version right will keep your costs and effort focussed which, if you have your business case right, will start to earn you money to help pay for the add-on features that you want to bring in.
Rule 5: Everyone must Win!
This is critical so I am going to say it again: everyone must win. When you design the app you need to make absolutely certain that you understand how the end user, your investors, your advertisers, other involved parties and yourself are going to benefit. Not only will this add value to your sales pitch and your marketing plan but it may very well influence the design of the application to make sure that everyone wins in the end.
Rule 6: There are lots of other rules
Building an application is about building a service, a game, a user experience and a sustainable business. There are a lot of other things you will have to do to make it successful but this article is about how to start. If you get these right you are 98% further than everyone else who has an idea but does not know where to begin.
So get in touch with us and let us help you to make your app a success.