Posted in Design
Did you know that there are around 500,000 iPhone apps available with new ones being launched every day? This just means that, naturally, one should be cautious about investing in a new app development project. At the same time, it would be crazy to ignore the business trend. According to Forbes Magazine, over 80% of mobile phone users prefer mobile apps over mobile websites. In 2014, mobile apps dominated the mobile industry generating 86% of mobile use. American IT research firm, Gartner agrees and adds that by 2017, approximately 269 billion mobile apps will have been downloaded. Yes, consumers love apps but they are quite picky over which ones to use and they don’t always stay loyal to apps if something new comes around.
For insurance on app development, you can take these steps rather than leave everything to chance. In spite of the growing demand for apps, the risks have not diminished and failed apps are piling up.
Step 1 Research the Demand
If you’re planning to do your version of an existing app without offering something better, don’t take on the project. Your app should offer value, increased efficiency, or be something new and innovative. Creating a new app just because business experts says mobile apps is the direction to take is being simplistic and wasting resources. Better to do extensive research and come up with one amazing idea rather than try to mimic what is already in the market.
To critique your app idea, ask yourself the following questions: 1. Is there a need or clamor for this app? 2. Does it offer a solution? 3. Is it simple or is it too complex? 4. Is an iOS app the best fit for the target market? 5. Are you experienced and/or properly educated to take on this kind of a project? 6. Do you have a Mac and the iOS developer program? Do you know how to use these? Are you aware of the Apple guidelines?
Step 2 Do you Have a Winning Team? Do you Have Capital?
Thinking of a startup? Great! But before you board this train, accept that you cannot do all things on your own. You will need help and you should be able to assembly the best team possible preferably people with experience, training, and unquestionable honesty and integrity.
A dream iOS mobile app team should include experts on UI and UX design, design concept and strategy, iOS architecture, iOS development environment and framework, web engineers and programmers, integration development, testing and QA people, and a project manager handling finance and administration. There is no hard and fast rule on the number of experts for a dream team and you can assign multiple tasks to one person. However, take not that the general rule on team size is that the more you members you have, the more difficult it becomes to manage.
There are many issues with running a startup but one of the biggest would be funding. Too many new businesses spend their capital quickly leaving very little cash reserve. Thus, if you decide to go ahead with the project, take the budget and funding very seriously. It’s so easy to be generous when you have a big budget until you realize that your budget is down to the wire and you still have a long way to go.
However, just as too little money can ruin the chances of the project’s success, too much is also bad. The more investors you have, the more complex your accountability becomes. It can get very difficult especially if your team members are as committed as you are to pushing out the product on time.
Step 3 Where is your Location?
There is a reason why Silicon Valley attracts the kind of businesses it does. It’s the same reason why fashion tends to gravitate towards certain cities like New York – the people, infrastructure, and surroundings are conducive to the business concept. Location is still important. It’s not a “do–or-die” situation but it helps tremendously if you are working in an area that promotes and encourages app development. It doesn’t have to be Silicon Valley. Other places that are similar and not as expensive as Silicon Valley include Boston, Denver, Seattle, and Austin.
Step 4 Know the Law: Intellectual Protection and Other Related Laws
If you are going to invest time and ask money from investors, create a team, and discuss your app concept with others, you better prepare to protect that idea from being stolen or copied. According to the law, property rights do not automatically transfer from the developer to you – assuming you decide to outsource the app development. You should also protect yourself from third party infringement in case the code is plagiarized by anyone connected to the development of the app. There has to be a legal document transferring ownership rights and code from the developer to you. If you are the developer, there should be legal documents to protect your idea like confidentiality agreements, share agreements, or partial ownership.
Step 5 Create your Wireframes
Wireframes are screen shots of your iOS app. This will give you a better idea of the development cost and time it would take to finish the project. You need to know these in order to assess financial feasibility and to control the budget once the project has started.
Step 6 Get Feedback on The App Concept and Wireframes
It’s always a good idea to solicit feedback and comments from people you respect in the app development business. Choose them wisely. They should be experienced, updated, and honest. Not only will you get closer to a streamlined design concept, you can also get technical advice. Keep in mind that two of the reasons for a failed app are technical glitches and a delayed load target. Google’s ideal load target is 1 second.
Step 7 Take Criticism and Feedback with an Open Mind
It’s harsh to hear that your efforts are not good enough or that there are errors in your proposed project. Best advice is to take it all in but don’t necessarily believe them 100%. Go back and study your work. For those comments that are legit, fix the mistakes. Hundreds of successful apps have gone through this process and come out better products. In fact, many apps turn out very different than the original concept because of adjustments that were made during the development process.
Finally, don’t rush the planning and strategizing pre-development stages. The time and work you allot studying these will pay well during the development, launching, and marketing stages.
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