If your company isn’t already considering adding a mobile app to your offerings, it’s time. As of Q1, 2021 54% of all web traffic comes from mobile devices. That is trending up compared to the previous quarters, so don’t be surprised if that figure hits the upper 50s or low 60s by the end of the year.
That’s significant enough to not be avoidable, so your company really should be hopping on the mobile bandwagon as soon as possible.
When you sit down to the first meeting to develop a mobile app strategy, there are certain things you must consider before diving in too deep. Should you ignore these issues, you could wind up with a failed app on your hands, which equates to lost time and money. When the bottom line is affected, those at the top will look down with disdain.
You don’t want that.
So how can you avoid such a problem? You take into consideration a few very crucial ideas and issues that can help make your app deployment a success. Let’s dig in and find out what those things are.
What’s Your Elevator Pitch?
You may or may not have ever heard of the “Elevator Pitch,” but it goes something like this. You have the time it takes for an elevator to reach your target’s floor to pitch the app. How do you distill the explanation of your app into a short enough pitch that can capture the attention of your target before they get off the elevator?
You might think this is a silly exercise, but it does cut to the heart of what your app is all about. When you can create a successful elevator pitch, it means you truly understand what your app is all about—you know what the app will do and how those using it will benefit from it.
Surprisingly enough, the “Elevator Pitch” is harder than you think because you have to fully understand what it is your company does, what it wants out of the app, and why a consumer would want to use it.
What’s Your Concept?
This ties in directly to the “Elevator Pitch,” but it’s a bit more bottom-up. While the “Elevator Pitch” can be used to sell CEOs on your idea, the concept is more to help developers understand what it is they need to do to make this work.
Where an “Elevator Pitch” might be “Our app is an exciting store focused on our products that helps initiate purchases from mobile devices,” a concept might be “A dynamic SPA that leverages both big data and hybrid cloud infrastructure to make it possible for consumers to more easily interact with our website from mobile devices.”
What’s Your Market?
With your “Elevator Pitch” out of the way, it’s time that you fully understand your market. Would your clients/consumers/customers access your company’s online presence from a mobile web browser or a mobile app? Are they primarily Android or iOS users (or a mix)? What’s the age range, education, and economic status of your market? What is the primary location of your market? And what is the technical acumen of your market?
These are all very important questions that you must answer, otherwise, you’ll go into the building of your mobile app blind. This information will not only help your developers design and build the app, but it’ll also help your marketing team market the app. It doesn’t matter how brilliant the app is: if you can’t successfully market it, the app will fail.
What Are Your Goals?
Following in the footsteps of the market, you must know what your goals are. Do you want to monetize the mobile app or is it purely for informational purposes? Do you want to develop an app that will scale to meet global demand? Do you intend on integrating the mobile app with your website or other solutions?
If you go into that first development meeting without knowing your goals, you’ll find a lot of attendees will exit it either disappointed or confused.
What About UX?
UX stands for User Experience and it’s a critically important factor. You could develop the world’s greatest mobile application, but if the user experience is poor, the app will fail. What is UX, then? It’s all about the experience. How easy is your application to navigate? How intuitive is the interface?
You don’t want to design a user interface such that it’s confusing to those who use it. That’s why you should spend plenty of time on UX, so you can ensure anyone who installs your app won’t have to first read a user manual. Keep it simple, keep it user-friendly, and keep it modern.
What Are Your Resource Limits?
This will be an important question to answer, especially as usage of your app scales. If you anticipate a massive amount of users, you’ll have to be prepared for those numbers with your databases, with any required cloud resources, and with the data pipelines involved. If you plan your resources poorly, you could wind up with bottlenecks which will slow down app performance.
If you know your market and know it’s global, having a good handle on your resource limits will make it easy for you to plan accordingly.
What Type of App is Best For Your Business?
You have a few choices here: Native mobile app, hybrid mobile app, or web app. Which you choose will make a big difference in how you approach the development process. This choice could also mean the difference between a well-functioning app and one that causes you nothing but headaches.
It boils down to this:
- Native apps are installed directly on the mobile device and perform the best. However, this type of app costs more to develop because you have to create a separate app for each system.
- Hybrid apps can be installed on devices as if they were native apps, but they run through a web browser. Hybrid apps are developed with HTML5, so they are cheaper to create and still gain a slight performance boost over web apps.
- Web apps are not installed on the device, are cheaper to develop, scale to fit any screen, but don’t take advantage of hardware on mobile devices, so they tend to be the slowest performing apps.
So, if you want the best performing app, and aren’t concerned about cost, go with the native app. If you want the cheapest app that will perform the same on any device and aren’t concerned about performance, go with the web app. If you’d prefer the middle ground, go with the hybrid app.
Don’t rush into mobile app development blindly, otherwise, you run the risk of failing and having to start over. If you’re only now stepping into the mobile app arena, you’re already behind, and losing any time at all isn’t ideal. So head into that first development meeting having considered all of these issues and you’ll be 2 or 3 steps ahead.