Building an App: Last Minute Checks

So, you’re committed to building an app. You’ve had the great idea, you’ve thought about how it could work, you’ve started considering development routes and you’re eager to get the ball rolling.

But, don’t rush it! You only get one chance at a first impression, and don’t forget that you’ll be competing with over 2.2 million mobile apps on the App Store alone (and counting). So, before you rush into turning your new app idea into a digital reality, make sure you tick off everything on our last-minute mobile app testing checklist…

Understand Your App's Target Audience

Can you summarise your app in a couple of sentences? Clearly defining what your app needs to do, and understanding how your audience will use it, is fundamental at this stage. Consider the app's demographics, geography, user experience and the devices being used. If you aren’t sure of who you want to download and use your app, how will you be able to market it to them once it’s live?

Also ask the question: Is my app a vitamin or a painkiller? More often than not, an app that addresses customer’s pain point will be more successful in acting as a need rather than a want.

The App Market is very competitive

What’s going to make your app stand out? To answer this, you need to have an in-depth knowledge of apps similar to yours on the market. There is always a competitor, even if they aren’t doing exactly the same as you, so the answer of “my app is TOTALLY unique” just won’t cut it. You’ve got to make sure your app is either bringing something different to the table or doing the same, but better.

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Is Building an App the Best Solution?

Sadly, 80% of mobile enterprise apps are abandoned after their first use, so it’s important to decide whether you even really need an app. If something can be done equally well on a mobile site then is the additional investment, time and programming really worthwhile?  Sure, you’ve probably done a fair bit of planning already, but there’s no shame in changing your mind at this stage. Far better to decide against it now than waste more money and time in the development process.

Building Your App To Deadline

Whilst Mark Zuckerberg, Bill Gates and Elon Musk might all agree that you need to rush to launch your brilliant idea before anyone else does, you also need to make sure you have a realistic time frame to build your app. The perfect example of this (surprise surprise) is Pokemon Go! - an app full of animations, in-app purchasing and all these AR features, that understandably took a long time to be developed. However, Niantic were still able to launch their app at the start of the summer - a clear indication that they meticulously planned their timeframe.

Don’t forget to factor in extra time as well. The mobile application testing period, debugging process, and registration for the App store and Google play are bound to take longer than planned, and it’s far better to have too much time on your hands than not enough. 

Budgeting for your apps killer features

A simple question: do you have enough money to see this project through? Developing an app is both a financially and time-costly process, which varies largely depending on how simple or complex the idea of your app is, and your chosen app developer. It’s crucial to figure out a budget for the whole process; launching, marketing, post-launch maintenance etc. Furthermore, Apple takes 30% of your sales revenue – is this something your business can really afford?

Does your app support your Business Objectives

How can your app support a higher level business goal? Could it help you drive customer engagement, increase productivity, efficiency or automation? If you clearly define the app’s broad worth as well as it’s specific one, it can help mould the idea of your app and guide how you’ll proceed once it’s live

How will you Update/Maintain your app

In the excitement of a new app idea, research and build, the post-launch plan is often neglected. Yet this is intrinsic to app success, and you need to construct a strategy to reflect this. Marketing – both organic and paid – is key to app promotion, user engagement and retention, but you also need to think about monitoring performance with data and analytics (yes, even before you have built the app!). The short-term may be exciting, but the long-term focus is sustainability.

Find out more about the important of updating and maintaining your app in our guide.

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measuring the Success of your app

Success should not be one distinct achievement or goal, but should consist of a series of steps over time. What would you like finalized this time next week? What changes are you hoping to have made by month one? How many people do you want to have downloaded your app by the end of month two? Create milestones and use them to keep you – and your team – focused. 

how will you Monetise your app

Are you planning to monetise what you’ve created? If so, how? There’s a wide selection of models to choose from, so think carefully about which method will best suit the ethos and goals of your business. Just remember to keep the user at the forefront of every decision you make – after all, they’re the ones who’ll be using it.

what are the Risks of app development

At every level of this app testing checklist there are, inevitably, risks – but one thing is certain. It’s always better to start early in identifying and minimizing the risks. For instance, think about the risks of working with the wrong development partner, or not building a desirable app, or the contrasting risk of unsustainable user growth. Also the risk of security breaches, exceeding your budget, restraining yourself to a single platform… The list goes on! Make sure you’re aware of potential risks before diving in, and if you really aren’t sure of what these might be, speak to a professional.

Feeling confident with all of these last-minute checkpoints in mind? Then that’s the green light! Let the app building process begin. Good luck!