Mobile app development has changed the world in more ways than we can count. They have introduced so much comfort and accessibility in our lives that living without them now seems impossible. Mobile applications not only changed our lives but also changed how we do business. Today, most companies, big or small, have some kind of customer-facing mobile application. With their apps, companies can reach a far wider user base, increase their sales significantly by constantly being on their customers’ mobile phones, leverage new technologies to obtain critical data and use it to make better policies, etc.
But mobile applications are not being used by businesses exclusively. In fact, mobile app development has led to the birth of many new companies where the app is the product or the means to provide a service, such as Uber Eats and Tinder.
According to the data posted by Statista, the global mobile app revenue will be around 613 billion U.S. dollars by 2025. Furthermore, there are 3.48 million apps registered on Google Play Store, while Apple App Store has 2.22 million apps! These numbers, coupled with the fact that the business interest in mobile apps from emerging startups is only ramping up in the post-covid era, clearly predict a bright future for the mobile app development industry.
But it is such a vast industry, and there are so many decisions to be made and pitfalls to avoid that newcomers often find themselves completely lost. And if you are thinking of developing a mobile app, then with the help of our expert mobile app developers, we have created the perfect mobile app development checklist for you.
- To build a successful mobile app you first need to define your app and its scope.
- Market research is a vital part of the process and offers valuable data for project planning.
- Different apps have different userbase and so you must find out the target users/demographic for your app and build it in a fashion that appeals to them the most or solves a key problem for that particular group of people.
- Pick a monetization strategy that works best for your business plan. If you offer a service, for instance cab booking or food ordering, then your app can be free to use. But any other type of app can follow one of three monetization strategies: In-app purchases, in-app advertising, paid service apps (premium accounts).
So without wasting any time, let’s dive in!
Table of Contents
Checklist for Mobile App Development
Find the Hook of Your App
Before starting your mobile app development journey, the biggest question you should ask yourself is: WHY MY APP?
What is that one service I’m providing, one thing, that one feature that will attract users?
In short, you need to find the hook of your app. On the surface, it sounds straightforward enough. But, coming up with an original idea is not that easy these days.
In the previous section, we talked about how densely packed the mobile app market is. There are millions and millions of apps on major app stores, and thousands more are being added every day.
From shopping and music streaming apps to an app like SMTH (send me to heaven) that tells you how high you just tossed your phone, any app you can think of already exists.
So when there is very little scope to do something completely original, you have to look at the apps similar to yours. You have to look at your competitors and figure out how you can improve on their apps. What is it that they lack? Is it a feature? Is it a good UI?
What can I do to improve their app, or what is that one feature their users wish they had?
The answer to these questions will become the hook of your app.
There are so many apps in the market, and most have a loyal user base. So to pull those users towards your app, you need to give them something amazing that they can’t find anywhere else.
To find the hook of your app, you can:
- Study the apps that are similar to yours.
- Come up with a list of things that you feel the apps lack.
- Try to find a pain point, an imperfection in their apps that you can fix.
- Communicate with their users and try to learn what more do they want from an app like that.
Conduct Market Research
Once you know what type of app you’re making, you’re ready for the next step. Mobile app development is a ruthless industry where new apps come and go every day. So you need to know what you’re getting yourself into.
Study the top apps in the market that are similar to yours. See what they are doing and learn why their customers love them so much. Competitor analysis can also save you from making the mistakes that they made. Check the comments section on your competitors’ app pages. Users are more than eager to share their grievances in the comment section, and you can learn a lot by reading those comments. Talking to the customers and taking interviews also help in learning more about your competitors.
Find out who Your Target Users
Not all apps are meant to be used by everybody. Different people love/want/need apps of different types. Or there are certain things that should be kept in mind while developing an app for a certain kind of user base.
For instance, an app for senior citizens should be, first and foremost, easy to use. That means no unnecessary pop-ups or infinitely expanding menus. The key features should be easily accessible. The UI should be soothing, and the font size should be big enough that people with weak eyesight can also use the app.
On the other hand, an app designed for people in their mid-twenties can take more liberties with complexities and UX. It can also have a rich UI with flashy fonts and icons.
Read More: How to Develop a Mobile App?
Many apps fail because they cannot understand their target demographic and their needs. So while trying to figure out your target user, you should know:
- Their age group, gender, and geographical location.
- What are the essential features they would want from your app?
- What are their biggest pain areas?
The information will help you design an app and fill it with the features that your users will want. This will do wonders for your popularity in the market and help you reel in customers faster.
Make a List of the Essential Features
While developing a mobile app, you should make two separate feature lists. The first list should be of all the essential features. These features are your USP and should get most of the development time and budget. This list is used while building your app’s MVP (minimum viable product).
The next list should be of additional features to enhance the user experience. These features don’t usually appear in MVPs. But a full-fledged mobile app must have as many features as possible without overwhelming the users.
Make a Business Plan
If you are making an app for internal use in your company or any other organization, you don’t need to think about business plans and marketing plans. But if you want to make money with your app, you need a sound business plan before going forward with this checklist.
There are multiple ways you can make money from your app. However, if you are offering a service like shopping, cab booking, or food delivery, you can skip the following points:
1. In-App Purchases
Many free apps, especially games, let you use their base features for free. But if you want a better experience or make your progress easier, then in-app purchases are put in place. These can be extra health boosts, energy points, avatars, etc.
2. In-App Advertising
Many free apps partner up with other businesses and run in-app advertisements. Users usually have to sit through these pop-ups to continue using the app.
3. Paid Service
There are many paid apps on mobile app stores. Users have to either give a one-time fee or commit to a subscription plan to use these apps. But there are free apps that have paid services as well. They put some much-desired features behind a payment wall. For instance, many apps offer an ad-free experience to their paid users.
Create a Budget
Mobile app development is an expensive undertaking. And not everybody has confident investors backing them up. Such businesses have to be very careful with their money and make sure that they get the most out of every single one of their dollars.
While creating a budget, you must understand that the price of development depends on many factors, including app complexity. More complex apps that require a lot of next-gen techs will cost more. Furthermore, the more features you add, the pricier your app gets.
Another thing that influences the budget of an app is how many platforms you plan to release your app on. There are two big platforms in the mobile industry: Android and iOS. While most apps come out on both platforms, those apps are costlier to develop. The reason being apps for different platforms have to be developed separately. However, instead of creating a native app, you can opt for a hybrid app. Hybrid apps run on both platforms and thus are cheaper. But they lack the user-friendliness and visual finesse of native apps.
Hire a Mobile App Development Company
Now is the time to put all your planning to work and hire a mobile app development firm. Many startups and businesses don’t have the means or the budget to set up their own development teams. So for them, hiring a team of talented mobile app developers with great industry understanding and experience is the best way to go. But not every startup wants to completely hand over the development side of their businesses to a development company. They want to have an in-house development team of their own, but they can’t hire all the resources they need. For them, the best option is to augment their development team by hiring an IT staffing company. Team augmentation companies excel at plugging the talent gap in your company with the right talent. Most of them offer an hourly contract which fits new startups and businesses well.
Before hiring a mobile app development company, you should do your diligence. There are many companies in the market, but you want the one that can develop the best app for you. So before you commit, try learning more about these companies. Read their portfolios and see what type of work they have done in the past. Also, you can get in touch with their previous clients and know their thoughts. Platforms like Clutch can also help when you are looking to hire a mobile app developer. They give you all the information and reviews of the companies so that you can make the best decisions for your app.
Focus on Branding
During the app development phase, you must think about your app’s branding. From your app store icon to your company logo, color theme, slogan, etc., everything must be considered. Even the UI of your app should be in-line with your branding.
Branding is the very identity of your app. It is how your users will recognize you. On mobile phones, nobody reads the app’s name before opening it. They look at the icon. So you want an instantly recognizable icon.
Often, it helps to create the branding of your app around your company’s core beliefs. People love it when the apps they are using have heart-touching stories behind them. So if you have an inspirational story or a story that can melt people’s hearts, then don’t forget to reflect it in your app’s branding.
Make a Marketing Plan
It doesn’t matter how great your app is if nobody knows it exists. Marketing plays a key role in today’s times. Since so many brands are trying to get users’ attention, your marketing plan needs to make your app stand out from the herd. But it’s easier said than done. You need to create a marketing plan while keeping your target users in mind. This will also influence where you market your app. For instance, an app for youngsters can be marketed on platforms like YouTube or Spotify. Whereas an app for people above 40 can be marketed on Facebook.
Also, you need to make sure that you articulate your company ideologies very clearly to your users. Nowadays, people are very picky about the companies they do business with. They want these companies to stand for something; to be socially and environmentally responsible. So make sure you form a marketing strategy that highlights your key features and also talks about the things that your target demographic cares about.
Make a Release and Post-Launch Plan
To play it safe, most companies release the MVPs of their apps first. As we discussed earlier, an MVP has all the app’s core features, and releasing it first instead of a fully-featured app is a smarter move. You can get vital reviews about your app from your users. If your app is making a difference in the lives of your target users, then that’s a great sign, and you can then keep working on your app and get the final app ready.
But if the response to your MVP is not good, you can take the feedback, go back to the drawing board, and fix the core features of your app. This way, you don’t have to invest in making a complete app before knowing that your target users will embrace it. It saves a lot of money and a lot of time.
Once the final app’s been released, you need to provide post-launch support. No matter how skilled your mobile app development team is, your app will have bugs and issues, and you need to work on fixing those once the app’s been released. Also, releasing your app is just the start. You constantly need to release a steady stream of updates to keep people interested in your app. It helps a lot if you have a development roadmap for the future of your app.
Mobile app development is a big undertaking, and it can be daunting for newcomers. And our mobile app development checklist will give you a roadmap that you can follow and create a successful mobile application.
If you are looking for a mobile app development company with a stellar record, cutting-edge technology, and highly talented developers, then Matellio is the right company for you. We have helped companies and startups from a wide range of industries in building their apps. Whether you are looking for native app development or hybrid app development, our experts can deliver top-quality apps that will enhance your business and help you reach a wider user base.
To learn more about our mobile app development services or book a free 30-min consultation, click here.
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