15 questions a manager should ask himself to start a great app
1. Who are my app’s users?
Before you start working on the great idea you have, identify the audience for whom the app is being designed. Do they think in the same way as you? Put yourself in their shoes and describe the profile of your user. This is an essential step, even if the app is designed for corporate usage.
2. How they use the app?
Think foremost about the user journey rather than the features. Your product may be powerful but if difficult to use, users won’t be happy with it. Write user stories and describe the interaction of the user with the app in a step-by-step manner.
3. Who are my competitors?
Big ideas are more common than you think. So if you do not already know your competitors, take time to research on them with more rigour. Compare your idea with existing products, note the competitors’ drawbacks and advantages, find the strong points of your product.
4. Is my idea natural?
When some popular product has a drawback, it may be attractive to find a workaround and make things better with your own plugin. A nice idea, but what if a master product is updated? If you intend to create an add-on, rely upon the approved infrastructure only, avoid undocumented APIs and hacks.
5. Why is my app the best?
To be approved by your target audience, your product MUST be the best. It may have better usability, better design, or provide a better solution to the problem it is designed to solve. Compare your product with the competitors, plan and implement your unique features. Avoid apps with too many functions as you couldn’t be the best in everything.
6. How can I get profit?
There are many monetization strategies like paid apps, ads, subscriptions, and many others. Write the business plan of the mobile project and design the app in compliance with the monetization strategy. Don’t hurry to cashing in on your app. Your initial aim is to get more users to your app as they give you more revenue in the long run.
7. How will the app be promoted?
Choose the promotion strategy depending on the type of your audience. Target your ads as accurate as possible and support your ads by reviews and PR articles. Avoid paid installs and reviews as this violates the market rules and does not bring you loyal users. Instead, try to get more loyal users and go viral.
8. How will the app live?
What about long-term plans? Will your app be maintained by users, can you make it social? Sharing tools in the app help it to be on top, even without artificial promotion. The “Like” tool helps users to evaluate the content quality and keep it high on the app list. Think about social tools in your app.
9. What about the environment?
A mobile application is rarely alone. It interacts with the back-end server, social networks, cloud-based services. Do not forget to include the integration works and back-end development in your project plan.
10. Should I care about programming?
As project manager and application owner, you must care for the most important points of the project such as the app usability, promotion and revenues. However, nobody can boil the ocean, so delegate the technical aspects of your app to the software architects and programmers by ordering the mobile app development in the company.
11. Should I care about design?
Design is often a clue to success. It is preferable that you advise designers what you want to get. But don’t insist on going against best practices and human interface guidelines unless it is really unavoidable.
12. Should the app be reliable?
Everybody hates bugs and crashes. But let us face it; it is almost near impossible to fix all bugs on complex software. So apps will crash. While as manager it is important to address critical issues, without distressing the users too much. In parallel, a manager also needs to plan maintaining data integrity and fast recovery after crashes.
13. How many users will be there?
Are you thinking about a social network or a messenger with millions of users? Care about a strong back-end server before you acquire tens of thousands of users and your server gets congested.
14. What is the purpose of my app?
Shouldn’t this question be a first one? We know you already have the concept of your product. But, after you answered all the foregoing questions, wouldn’t you like to rewrite it? Make the concept brief and as clear as possible, it will help you and your employees in further development.
15. Finally, who can advise me?
Let your users advise you. Nobody knows the user’s needs better than the user himself. Include a feedback tool in your app, collect the users’ recommendations, and analyze them to build a roadmap of your product.