This post will only be helpful if you ever come across a great app idea and you seriously want to build it into a great product. But a great app idea is only a single step in the app development journey that takes thousands of steps and a multitude of twists, turns and crevices.
So, after the initial excitement of building an app is over, focus on the most credible ways to build an app that survives and grows as a digital product. Through the rest of the blog post, we will explain the key steps to shape a great app idea into an actual app product.
Work on the app idea itself
An app development project begins with the idea. First of all, you need to check whether the app will solve any problem of the intended users. Every app offers a solution for a real-life situation or demand of the user. For example, a travel booking app can help users book tickets, hotels and sites. On the other hand, a game app addresses the demand of the players for a unique gaming experience.
Consider how your app serves the users’ interest by addressing a problem with a solution or fulfilling a demand. Now when you have given the nod to the idea, it is time to validate the app idea by evaluating the market demands and viability of such an app compared to other similar apps in the market.
First of all, consider how many people need such an app and whether they can find the app helpful for their real-life contexts. Secondly, consider the competitive apps offering similar features and benefits. Think whether your app provides a better solution to the user problem than other apps or provides more ease of use than others.
Give flesh to your app idea with a business plan and design.
Now that your app idea is validated through market and audience research, it is time to give flesh and blood to the app idea by coming with a well-articulated business idea and a precise design wireframe for the intended app product.
Just create a rough sketch of the app screens by using pencil and paper. Alternatively, you can also use several great app wireframing and design mock-up tools for the purpose.
After coming with the wireframe design, come with a detailed business plan for the app. Here are the critical aspects of a business plan for an app idea.
- Create a user persona: Consider all the key characteristics of the ideal user of your app include the demographics, age group, gender, preferences and taste, digital habits etc. and create a user persona with all these attributes.
- List the app features. Create a comprehensive list of all app features and list them on their priorities.
- Describe the unique value proposition (UVP). Consider the key value proposition that describes your app best as a marketable solution and accordingly describes the unique value proposition (UVP) of your app.
- Select a monetisation avenue: Since your app has to earn revenue to survive as a business, you need to pick a suitable monetisation model. There are several options such as paid or premium apps, free apps with gated features, freemium apps, in-app ads, sponsorship, partnership with other apps, and others.
- Select OS platforms: Do you want to build a native app for one platform at a time? Well, for native development, it is advisable to target one platform at a time. Depending upon this, you need to hire an Android or ios app development company. In case you want to launch your app on both iOS and Android, go for cross-platform development.
Now that you have almost decided everything from the app concept to the design to feature set to monetization and target OS platforms, it is time to come to the most realistic part, investment or fund. Remember, even when you hire remote developers for reducing development costs, still you will need investment for the project.
Building apps is expensive, and even a basic app may require up to a $10k budget. On top of that, at least 10% of the development cost needs to be allocated for app marketing. You should figure out the required fund value accordingly.
As for approaching investors and generating funds for the app project, you can opt for crowdfunding, angel investors, partnerships with other apps, sponsorships and self-funding. Some of the most sought-after investment platforms for app projects include AngelList, Crunchbase, Gust, Kickstarter, Indiegogo and others.
Develop an MVP app
Now, last but not the least important piece of advice will be building a Minimum Viable Product (MVP) app featuring core features and user experience attributes that define the essential value proposition of the app product. This will reduce the initial development cost to a minimum while keeping all options open for future value additions through updates.
MVP development approach will also give your new and virgin app product safeguards against unwanted market risks. In case the development went wrong, the app product doesn’t need to go through deep course correction resulting in draining of resources. The MVP app is loaded with essential features; it is open to change and value additions requiring no significant investment.
So, here we are after shaping an app idea into a fully marketable product. Of course, we only described here the traditional and time-tested methods. You can also opt for the DIY route by using the ready-to-use builder tools to develop your app.