The Art of Developing a GREAT App
March 12, 2015
“How do I develop a killer app?”
Being in this industry for the past few years has given me the opportunity to hear and respond to this question many times. It’s a fun question, because there are so many potential answers.
Instead of talking about all the different art forms that exist in developing an app, I’m going to focus on the commonalities that I believe are intrinsic to all successful app projects.
You may have heard the saying that ideas are just a multiplier of execution. I certainly agree, but having at least a decent idea is still a key factor, as without one the rest of the steps just aren’t relevant.
When considering any app idea, try asking yourself these questions:
- Does it solve a problem?
- Does it fill a need?
- Does it fulfill a want?
Bonus points for ideas that meet more than one of the questions above!
A strong guiding vision of the project
Developing even the simplest of apps is still a BIG undertaking. Furthermore, creation of the app is just the first step. That’s why a strong guiding vision of the project as a whole is critical to it’s success. Never be afraid to say “No” or cut features that take the focus away from your core vision. Your goal in creating a great app isn’t to make everyone happy, it’s to make the users you are focused on happy.
Identify and UNDERSTAND your audience / niche
Once you have the idea and vision, the next step is to identify your audience and niche. After you identify who your audience is, it is your job to understand everything about them. What they like, where they eat, how they react to changing circumstances, what type of TV they watch. Heck, even what time they wake up in the morning. Understand who your ideal user is, as well as who it isn’t. This should become a core part of your guiding vision and at least a weekly discussion point for you and your team.
Execute. People, people, people!
I mentioned earlier that ideas are just a multiplier of execution. Execution is where the magic happens. With a clear vision and a good understanding of your audience the next step is to turn your dream into something tangible. Many people make the mistake of trying to do this step all by themselves.
Here are 3 reasons I’ve found that you should never do that:
- If you try to execute everything yourself, you will become muddled in execution and lose site of the overriding project vision.
- Very few people have the skillset to do everything exceptionally well. Sorry to burst your bubble, but you probably don’t either.
- A great team will offer invaluable input that can take a product from good to great.
So find a great team and get to work!
Now your app is complete. You can finally relax. The hard work is over… right? WRONG! The hard work has just begun.
Whatever you spent to develop your app, plan to spend at least that much to market it. You might have the greatest product in the world, but without the proper marketing and messaging to tell the masses about it, you will likely be the only one who knows about it at all. The odds of creating a smash hit without spending a single dollar on marketing are about as likely as winning the lottery. Really, you’d be better off taking the money you spent on developing the product and “investing” it into the lottery…
The moral? Make sure you have a marketing budget to tell people about your great app.
Never forget this. There are times during your journey you’ll be tempted to give up. Don’t! Just remember: It’s possible.
I hope you found this blog helpful and it has inspired you to make your vision for the next great app a reality! We’d love to hear your thoughts on this, or what great app ideas YOU have in mind to make life easier. Comment below or send us an email!