The First Three Steps that must be Followed when Starting any Mobile App Project

May 20, 2022

By: John Tomblin, Senior Solutions Architect
Mesa Bizz, a division of Sofvue, LLC
Printed with permission of Sofvue, LLC and the author

Did you know that, according to Statista, The average adult spends more than four hours on their mobile phones every day, 88% of that time using apps.

With all that usage, along with the fact that a new mobile app is being pumped into the marketplace every 8 seconds, it’s no wonder why people spend so much time using apps. Ten years ago, people spent 10% of their day using apps and 90% making calls. Today, it’s the exact opposite. Today’s tech-savvy customers expect out-of-the-box apps along with the best possible experience from the UX/UI developed through their mobile app development companies. In addition, consumers demand ease of use, advanced features and of course, value.

So, how do you ensure that your mobile app meets your target audience’s expectations? By following these steps!

The First Three Steps

While your mobile app development strategies can vary wildly depending on your company’s business goals and economic factors (size, goals, user journeys, industry segment, customer types, etc.), these steps apply to every project, regardless of size and scope.  The steps include (1) Analyzing User Requirements and Market Demand, (2) Defining the User Experience and (3) Building your MVP or MSD.

1. Analyzing User Requirements and Market Demand

To have any chance at success with your project, the first step toward making your mobile app successful is understanding what your target audience expects. Are you building an e-Commerce or m-Commerce mobile app, or maybe you are building an enterprise mobile app for your in-the-field sales teams, or maybe you are a plumbing services company, and you want to create an automated service app for your plumbing and sales staff? Whatever the solution, you must analyze user requirements and market demand. This will help you tailor your app to the specific requirements of the end-users.

Here are some tips to analyzing user requirements.

* Information Gathering: This step should involve gathering background information about your target audience and how they will interface or consume the mobile app. This often includes internal interviews with company staff, stakeholders and management, but can also include surveys sent out to vendors and customers for direct feedback.

* Needs Identification: Once having completed gathering user requirements for your target audience, you should identify what your user’s want. “Need to have” versus “want to have”, are, in the software sector, two very different things. It’s critical that when conducting surveys, holding focus groups, conducting interviews, and talking with employees and staff, that you are specific in determining whether the requirement is a “want” or a “need”. A failure to make these distinctions can have a significant impact on development time, costs and launch.  

* Requirements Validation: Once needs and wants are identified, it’s time to validate and refine the project’s requirements into a succinct set of programming and use-case scenarios. For these sessions, it’s important that you include your mobile app development vendor to take advantage of their expertise.

* Categorization of Requirements: This step involves categorizing user requirements into key needs, wants, usability requirements, and organizational requirements, putting them into their respective “buckets”, and then deciding where the lowest hanging fruit is and then putting a development plan in motion and going to work.

2. Defining the User Experience

Given the number of apps being released each day, the User experience has become increasingly more important, and is often the determining factor of whether an application succeeds or fails. If your app is confusing or difficult to use, you’ll see high uninstall or abandonment rates. As a result, regardless of your application type, you will need to ensure that your app provides the best possible User experience for every user, which requires investing the time and energy into creating a solid UI/UX design.

Here are some tips to help you improve the user experience of your mobile app:

* Minimize cognitive load.

* Eliminate any possible friction points during task completion.

* Enable and follow JavaScript polyfills to maximize current web technologies against older browsers, to the masses.

* Ensure that every individual element, such as images, frames, and videos, are organized and optimized in a perfect ratio.

* Fix the width size so everything can be output correctly, whether viewing the app in landscape or portrait mode.   

3. Building your MVP or MSD

There are many ways to create a Minimum Viable Product (MVP) or Master Scope Document (MSD). Both can be created using three different mediums. These include “paper”, “digital display” or “prototyping”. Yes, you heard it correctly. We still use whiteboards and even a plain piece of paper to sometimes chart out user journeys with applications, and it works just fine. Southwest Airlines was conjured up on a cocktail napkin in Dallas, Texas. If it can work for them…it can work for you. Digital Display involving using some type of wireframing tool, whether online or off, to create wireframes, and in making a choice, you have to look at whether you need “low-”, “mid-” or “high-fidelity” wireframes. The scope of MVP’s and MSD’s are well beyond this article, and yet, this is often the most misjudged and misunderstood aspect of mobile application development. Before venturing down “the path”, you need to talk with your Mesa mobile app development company to hone in on (a) what type of wireframing is needed, (b) in what capacity it’s going to be used to sell to stakeholders or investors and (c) what it is going to costs. Prototyping is the third option. It’s the most expensive, it takes the longest to complete, but as you’ve likely guessed already, it works beautifully. Nothing sells better than putting a stakeholder in front of a computer screen and allowing them to use a working prototype of the mobile technology before writing a single line of code.

Wrapping Up

Turning ideas into working technology takes time, energy, resources and most importantly, patience. To be successful, you must not only know the rules of the game, but the steps, and deciding to follow them, and when following the steps discussed in this brief article, whether for Android, iOS, or the Microsoft mobile platform, your chances of success rise exponentially.   

When considering a mobile app development company for your project, consider Mesa Bizz. We have clients right here in Mesa, as well as clients across Arizona. Give us a call at 623-845-2747, and ask to receive our company history, letters of recommendation, case studies and also be sure to ask us about launched, working mobile apps for clients right here in Mesa, Arizona.  


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