A Helpful Guide to Keep in Mind When Developing Mobile Applications
Designing a new mobile application from scratch is not an easy task to undertake, especially when there are already hundreds of thousands available to users in cyberspace. Having an idea for an app is the first step in the development process, but how do you know if the idea is worth pursuing? Here are three important questions to ask yourself to determine the viability of your app idea.
Does this concept solve a real problem?
Consumers use apps to make their lives easier. Think about the apps you have on your phone – you probably have a banking app, Uber or Lyft, and a music app like Spotify. All of these apps solve some sort of problem for the user. Take Uber for example: their use of technology, crowdsourcing, and innovation has transformed the way we get around, which has long been a pain point for many people.
Remember, one of the best ways to approach ideation is with your problem-solving hat on. Great apps solve a problem that users may have and entertain them at the same time. This is the most fundamental way of coming up with a good idea, and if you can answer yes to the question: “Will this make people’s lives easier?”, you’re in good shape.
What solutions already exist for this problem?
You’ve come up with a great idea for an app that solves a real problem in people’s lives, but does this solution already exist? Begin researching. Learn everything you can about how people deal with this problem in their daily lives. You may find that there are a few apps already out there that are similar to your solution. It is hard to come up with a completely original idea, but many factors can set an app aside from others that may be in the same “category”.
If similar apps already exist, don’t give up. Determine whether or not your idea has a distinguishing element that makes it stand out from the rest, whether it be superior user experience, enhanced design, customizable abilities, or even external app integrations. All of the existing apps similar to yours will become your direct competitors, so it is necessary that your solution stands out in some way.
On the other hand, if no similar solutions show up during your research, that could be a good indicator that this problem has not yet been solved. This is an ideal situation, as you have no obvious direct competitors.
Is this an ongoing pain point?
It is important to determine whether or not users will use your app on a regular basis, as a viable app requires returning users. Apps can clutter people’s phones, so users often only keep the ones that they use on a regular basis, whether that be daily, weekly or even monthly. According to Statista, “about half of the smartphone users in the US do not download even a single app in a month.” Therefore, it is becoming more and more important for apps to provide a form of utility to keep users coming back for more.
Designing. Polishing. & Designing Again
Efficient functionality and a clean design go hand in hand when developing an app. It is not one or the other. Don’t think you have to sacrifice visual aesthetics in order to achieve efficiency. A happy medium is possible. An element that goes into efficiency is a focused feature set. Narrowing down the features you will offer users is a good way of preventing a complicated design. Efficient functionality, a clean design and a specific set of features all play a part in achieving visual simplicity. The key to a good app is making the complex look easy. In most aspects of life, experts make things look easy; this statement also applies to app design. Be the expert of your mobile application.
Have a great idea for a mobile app? Feel free to reach out to Haneke Design. We are a firm that specializes in engaging users through the Internet of Things, and we want to bring your brand to life with a dynamic, high-end presence that will be rewarded with customer loyalty and engagement.