Are you thinking about building a mobile application? What a great idea! Nowadays, mobile app development seems to be common and sounds “easy”, especially given all the self-service tools you may find over the web. However, you’ll almost always be needing some expert professionals to help you in the process. But what is even more important before starting the project, is to do some ground work on your side, even before contacting a digital agency. This ground work has not to be underestimated! Coteries Lab is specialised in mobile app development. We regularly meet people with an idea of building an app. When we start discussing their project, we often notice that they have not thought about of many important aspects. As we want to help you in your development process and help you to launch your project, we listed different questions you should ask yourself. And find an answer to each. So that we can build the best app for you and your customers! These questions will help us both go in the right direction, understand your idea well, and help you build a successful and efficient mobile app!

General information about your project

Understanding the essence and the goals of your project or your business is essential. It will also help us set up the project scope. The more we know about your idea, the smoother the design and building process will be. With, of course, a better outcome (a better app)!

  1. Can you summarise the purpose of your mobile application in just a few sentences?
  2. What is the real deadline?
  3. Are there any risks associated to your mobile app (what  could go wrong)? If yes, which ones?
  4. What are the business objectives of your mobile application?

Your customers and competition

It is important to know exactly who you want to serve with your mobile application, and who is involved in the project.

  1. Who are the target users?
  2. Who are the key stakeholders?
  3. Are there competitors (direct or indirect) to your app?

Finance and revenue model

Your budget will influence (massively) what can be developed. Maybe, we could start with a MVP (Minimum Viable product) with basic features to test the interest for the app? Or we can also directly build and launch a complete version. In ideal world, the needs of your customers define the version of your product. But in reality, your financial capabilities will most probably limit the scope of what you can develop: you have to prioritise the wanted features and… take decisions! You should also think about your business model (who will pay, generate revenue from your mobile app).

  1. What is your budget for the design and development?
  2. What is the monetisation strategy for the app? You may launch a free application, but somehow, someone has to pay to finance it (sponsors, advertising, etc.)
  3. How will your customers buy?

Technical features

These are the serious questions. The technical aspect of the app is really important and it’s maybe the hardest to answer if you’re not in familiar with the development. But don’t worry, if you don’t have an answer yet, we will be glad to help you and explain you!

  1. Which features and functions do you want to include in your app?
  2. What does success look like at each stage of the process?
  3. Is there any flexibility to have multiple releases (publishing several versions of the app)?
  4. Which features are “Must have” or “Nice-to-have”?  List the “Nice-to-have” features in the backlog.
  5. What are the key underlying assumptions?
  6. Where is it going to be hosted and who is going to maintain it over time?
  7. What are the data points that your clients will need to get from the app?

Design

The design may be the easiest aspects to consider, but it… it’s not! It may be the trickiest part of the project. Between what you have in mind, what we understand from your idea and then what is feasible to develop (within timeframe and budget), there can be a huge gap. Before doing any technical development, we advise and hugely recommend to design the full User Experience (UX). Usually, we do a “Design Workshop in 7 days” to design it  (sometimes less, sometimes more, but 7 days is most of the time the “right” number).

  1. What design considerations/constraints do the mobile app have to work within?
  2. Are there other apps liked by your clients that can be used as inspiration?
  3. What is the user journey and experience?

Promotion of the App

Your mobile app is now ready to launch. But… the job  is not over. Post-development, you need to promote it and get users to download the app, sign up (if required), use it and why not, buy!

  1. How is the app going to be found when it’s ready to go live?
  2. How about the post-launch phase? Do you have a plan to continue generating downloads, to learn & to improve?

Last advice, if you think about creating a new business (and you would like to include an app), you should always start with the Value Proposition Canvas and then the Business Model Canvas. These tools will help you in the creation process (design thinking) to have a clear picture of your overall project. As stated above, we can support you with our Design Workshop, which will give you all the basic necessary outputs to create a web or mobile app. Finally, when you are ready to enter the development phase, we have designed a Development Sprint package for you. Based on the specifications of your project, we will estimate how many sprints will be required to reach your objectives.

Do not hesitate to contact us for more information 😉 22-Questions-Mobile-Application-coteries-lab-lausanne