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10 Questions to Answer Before Developing a Mobile App

So you have a fantastic Mobile App idea and you are ready to bring it to market! What now? One question we get all the time from clients is “What all do you need from me before we can kickoff development?”

You could drive yourself crazy doing research and getting all of your ducks in a row but to make it a little easier on yourself, put some focus on these 10 questions and you should be on the path to a well-built and successful mobile app! Often times development teams will ask you these questions so it’s important you understand your app and are able to communicate it effectively to others as well.

1. Can you briefly explain your app?
This is important for many reasons. Maybe you are pitching to investors or maybe you already have the money set aside but you are explaining it to a development shop, either way it is important you understand the app and what your ultimate goal is in bringing the app to users.

2. Who will be your target audience and users?
This is very important because ultimately you are trying to solve a need/problem for your users. What is that problem and how do you plan on solving it? You need to be able to see the app from your user’s perspective.

3. What assets do you currently have?
By assets I mean documentation that better outlines the app. These can include wireframes, mockups, user stories, feature/functionality list, brand image for design (color scheme, logos, etc.)

4. Do you have a deadline?
Most clients have one big deadline and many smaller ones along the way, which makes Agile Development a perfect match. Understanding when you want your MVP version complete or certain features to be released allows for milestones and goals to be set. Maybe you have a trade show coming up where you will be presenting your mobile app or seasonality is at play and you want to release your app before summer rolls around - it is crucial to know what you want when you want it.

5. What is your budget?
Often times clients expect the development team to tell them exactly what it will cost before they tell them the budget they are willing to work with. This makes perfect sense and seems logical, right? After being on the client side and working on the development side I have come to learn it’s never quite that easy. You need to know your budget range. One thing that helps tremendously with this is having a “Must Have,” “Nice to Have” and “Can Wait to Have” feature list. This will make development smooth and prioritized so both parties know what the MVP version must have and if it looks like budget constraints are coming up then you can hold off on those “Can Wait to Have” features for the 2nd version.

6. Do you have any competitors?
This can be helpful for understanding what sets you apart and ultimately what makes you better than the competition out there. Another good reason to understand your competition is because maybe they are doing something very well and you want to build on that with your app. It is also helpful for the UI/UX build because you can show your development/design team visual aspects you do and don’t like.

7. Will you be building an iOS and Android app in conjunction or at different times?
This will be based on a few different things like budget, deadlines, etc but we do have our own opinions on this very important question. Throughout the development of a mobile app things change. That’s the beauty of Agile Development. You can make changes and you can make them quickly, as not to eat up time and money. Let’s say you build both iOS and Android apps at the same time then you are making those changes and updates at the same time. If you build one before the other then that allows you to master that platform first and work out the kinks. Then when you are feeling like your app is in a good place you can build out the app in the other platform already knowing exactly what you want. There really is no right or wrong answer as to when you develop one or the other but that’s just advice from our experience.

8. Who are the primary Stakeholders?
This is important to understand before working with a development team because it tells the developers who they will be working with on what. Maybe you have a lead technical contact and then a contact for design purposes. This is crucial for the development team to fully understand so milestones can be appropriately met.

9. How will the app be hosted?
You will often hear a few different terms for this topic: hosting, cloud, server, platform, database, BaaS [Backend as a Service], PaaS [Platform as a Service], etc. In a world where users expect apps to not only function but function at a high speed it is important to know how and where you want to host your app.

10. What’s your plan for after the app is released?
Will there be multiple releases? Maybe a MVP [minimal viable product] and then more additions to that? It’s important to understand how you want to release your app and the iterations in which you release. Next comes the research and testing phase. Will you set up a maintenance package with your development team to not only fix bugs but also build out and update features? You must continually get feedback and user testing to make sure your app is meeting your goals. And be open to adapting as you find out what your users prefer.

Now that you have knocked out some of the tougher questions you are ready to start a very important step… Finding a development partner to bring your application to life! Be confident in knowing what you want for your app but also know the development team are the experts and expect guidance from them throughout the lifetime of the project. Good luck and happy app building!

This post first appeared on Flatstack - @flatstack, please read the originial post: here

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10 Questions to Answer Before Developing a Mobile App


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