You hear a similar story from time to time. It’s about an app based on a simple idea that turned out so great that millions of people can’t imagine their life without it. Everything sounds effortless, and you just keep asking yourself why you’ve never thought about it before.
However, such stories often lack a description of the process that led to creating the final product. And a well-defined mobile app development strategy often plays a crucial role in it.
In this article, we will we will look into some valuable yet not-so-obvious tips for shaping your own strategy. It should help you build successful mobile apps in which people are genuinely interested.
What is a mobile app development strategy?
It includes all the crucial information about the app development project and is closely related to the company strategy. After all, a new digital product should help you achieve business objectives.
Mobile app strategy focuses on many aspects, such as user needs, the scope of MVP, the budget, technology, business goals, and the way of measuring progress. It should also describe the mobile application development process and at least a general plan to implement after the launch of the first version of your app.
It’s best when you base the app development strategy on research. Data-driven insights enable you to shape the vision of your product. Using an approach that doesn’t rely solely on intuition will increase the likelihood of success.
Main benefits of creating a well-thought product development strategy
- Reduced risk – thoroughly thought-out goals combined with a carefully selected technology stack and risk analysis enables you to avoid many costly problems in the long run.
- Higher user engagement – when you know users’ needs, problems, and motivations, you can adjust your mobile app strategy accordingly. It allows you to design solutions encouraging them to use the app more often.
- Better product-market fit – creating a strategy requires searching information on user and market research. It helps you create a product that eliminates user pain points and makes people more interested in trying it out.
- Budget savings – when you check and analyze what features are genuinely important to users, you don’t waste money on unnecessary functionalities. You can also optimize the development process, so it would be focused on achieving clearly defined goals.
- Time savings – if the team doesn’t need to spend hours on inessential features, the mobile app development process is faster.
Does it sound like something you’d like? Let us share some tips that might be useful when you’re working on your mobile application development strategy.
Tip 1. Forget the average customer and create user profiles
Why conducting in-depth research focused on your potential users is a good idea? It helps you identify their needs, motivations, and problems. This way, you can tailor your app to meet their specific requirements and create a seamless user experience.
But watch out – it’s almost too easy to lump all info about users together. As a result, you get a persona with a combination of traits and problems that rarely exist in real life. So, what should you do?
Divide your potential users into groups based on a factor that you find significant. It’s called segmentation. It will help you create more personalized solutions that resonate with each group. For every segment, you can prepare a user persona. It’s a profile that represents users from a particular group. It will facilitate planning the implementation of features in the app development process.
Additional info and resources
- Find out more about user research methods and choose the most suitable one for your project.
- You can use this template to create persona profiles.
- Get to know what user segmentation is to level up your mobile app analytics.
Tip 2. Search for inspiration among indirect competitors
There’s no doubt that market research is one of the essential steps in forming your mobile product strategy. And you should definitely start by examining leading apps in your niche on Apple App Store, Google Play Store, and Huawei App Gallery. Analyze their strengths and weaknesses to identify gaps your app can fill. But don’t stop there.
Take a look also at apps unrelated directly to your business. They may have solutions your future users might like, but the competition doesn’t provide them yet.
Make a list of the favorite apps on your mobile devices and invite team members to do the same. Together you can analyze them and discuss the functionalities or design solutions your mobile app users could benefit from.
Let’s say your app is supposed to help pet owners to book appointments with a vet. You’ve noticed that the Notion app has initially pre-filled templates with examples regarding different topics, such as “meal planner”. You think including a similar list in your app could be helpful. Only it would contain examples related to pet health. It could speed up the process of booking appointments.
Tip 3. Consult your ideas with software developers
If you’re not a software engineer, you sometimes may assume that certain features are easy to build, although the reality is different. For example, take a personalized calendar made from scratch. It seems simple, but the truth is that building such a feature is complicated. It takes a lot of time to create it, and it’s more than likely to make a mistake.
The bottom line is that only an experienced app developer can tell you how complex and time-consuming it is to turn your vision into reality. That’s why you need to consult your ideas as early as possible.
You should discuss the features with UX/UI designers and mobile app developers. The team will analyze your plan for a product and estimate the time and cost of its implementation. They might also suggest alternative solutions that would allow you to reach your goals without wasting time and money. The team will then recommend the best technologies that will optimize the development process while ensuring the top-notch quality of the software.
Tip 4. Make sure that you know how to measure the app’s performance
Wouldn’t it be great if you had info about the app’s performance after its release? After all, you should know if your project is a success.
To gain such knowledge, you need to plan ahead.
The development team will ask you to send a tracking plan. It will allow them to add code that enables monitoring certain events in your app. But what events should you track?
We recommend starting with creating the Customer Journey Map (if you still have it on your to-do list). This map clearly presents user actions at every stage of their path. So, you can easily spot the moments when they make decisions that can get them closer to their goals.
Next, look at your Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) and see if the selected actions from the map contribute to achieving your company’s goals. Ensure your ways of measuring the app’s success align with your business strategy. This way, it should be easier to determine what events should be monitored and included in your analytics reports.
Watch out for misleading metrics. For example, a number of app downloads tells more about a marketing strategy rather than UX. The more you know about mobile app analytics, the better. Especially if you’re a product owner. Get to know the basics and use this knowledge when planning a strategy for mobile applications.
Determine your goals
- SMART is a method that can help you formulate your goals so that they are Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time-bound.
Tip 5. Test your ideas
There’s a feature you consider interesting but not necessary even though your teammates find it super-important? Sometimes, finding out who’s right is too complicated, and debates can last for hours. In such cases, we suggest tests with potential users.
Instead of wasting time on pointless conversations, you can ask a UX designer to add a disputed feature to your prototype. Then during tests, the UX researcher will ask participants to perform some tasks on it. This way, you can check whether its implementation makes sense. Testing takes less time than coding. So, even if it turns out that people aren’t enthusiastic about your idea, it wouldn’t be so costly.
It’s a good practice to run usability tests when the UI project is reeady and before writing the code starts. It helps us avoid situations when we work on solutions that we consider intuitive while users find them confusing.
After the product launch, you can also perform A/B tests to see which version of a view or an element performs better.
The software development process in a mobile app strategy – final thoughts
Shaping your product development strategy requires a complex approach. You need to look at it from different perspectives. This process involves, for instance, understanding your target audience and the market and monitoring trends. At the same time, you must focus on unique value and business goals that mobile apps should help you achieve.
There’s also a matter of technology. For example, choosing the operating system and deciding what’s better – two native apps or one app for multiple platforms.
We hope that our tips will make creating your mobile app development strategy easier. If you need some help with this task, write to us. We can help you plan this process, so that the app can bring profit both for your business and potential mobile users.