14 Questions To Ask When Starting A Mobile App Project

14 Questions To Ask When Starting A Mobile App Project

Before you start your first mobile app development project, there are certain questions that you must ask.

Updated on :
November 27th, 2020
Twinkle Kalkandha
Twinkle Kalkandha
Product Strategist

To build a mobile app, all you need is an idea. The ever-growing app market is brimming with applications for almost every utility and action that you can imagine. The idea of having a mobile app is quite novel because applications can draw a huge amount of money if it clicks well with your target group. In fact, as per Statista, the global mobile app revenue generated in 2018 was estimated to be $365 billion. In less than 5 years, the figures may cross the trillion-dollar mark. But with so many apps around, have you considered asking thyself, why do you need this app?

We are sure you must have that this inquisitiveness is what will stop you from jumping ships and focus on developing a mobile app that the world needs. Questioning is a very important aspect of mobile app development. When you finalise it down to a project from the pantheon of mobile application ideas, you advance towards your journey as an appreneur.

Here we’ll discuss what are the essential questions you need to ask before venturing out on your mobile application development journey.

Q1) Will my application highlight and solve pain points?

As we started off with the mention of the ‘idea’, your prognosis should be able to identify any possible pain points for which are not being covered by any other application. That’s one side of the coin, the flipside is about solving those points. The idea behind your app is to highlight predicaments and users should be able to use it to put an end to them.

Speaking of pain points, finding a problem may not be that arduous. Your idea may be pertaining to an issue. You may find other apps that centre around solving that issue. Every application has something missing which you need to identify or there might be a certain pickle that’s collectively snubbed by all the apps that you have checked. If you are able to identify that, you’ll advance with long strides.

If you want your business to earn money via the application platform, you should be able to answer these two questions, ‘why do I want to create an app for my business’ and ‘is the application the best platform for my business to solve problems’.

The important thing is to validate your app idea because you need to ensure that people are in actual need of what you’re offering.

Q2) Does my app have a market?

This is one of the priority mobile application development questions that you need to ask before starting out on your app venture. When you’re trying to build an app for a thriving market, that means you’re competitive and believe that your product will give a tough run for money to your competitors. Of course, you need to be sure that your app’s USP has at least one value proposition that no other app is offering. The next step is to find out possibilities in which your app should be able to perform equally and eventually better than the existing products.

The second type is to create a market with your product. This means that there’s either no existing competition or that niche doesn’t have many buyers. In such cases, you’ll have a difficult time validating your app because you’ll ride on uncharted waters. For example, Facebook, Twitter, GrubHub, PayPal, Amazon, etc.

Even if it takes time to recognize your buyer persona, you just need to gain the momentum for once and that’ll create a domino effect of successes.

Q3) Who is my target audience

This part comes with identifying the pain points for your app. Your app has to target at least one specific group in its nascent stages who can distinctly identify with it. Identifying the target audience requires surveys, sampling of data, analysis, etc. This is a must on your to-do list.

Once you have found your target audience, there will be certain factors you need to ensure you’re traversing in the right direction. This includes finding out how your app solves their problems, why a mobile app is the best way to solve that, can a mobile responsive website easily fill the void, etc. You also need to find out which specific devices/platforms your target group is using. The demographics of Android and iOS users also need to be carefully considered. These factors later come in handy while you’re working on App Store Optimization (ASO).

Q4) How should I allocate my budget

app development costs

Budget allocation for app development costs gets more interesting with time. There is no fixed amount per se, the motive remains to get maximum benefits with minimum spending. While preparing for the app, to ask questions related to the range that you want to settle, keeping in mind your financial conditions is very important. You should also define the scope of work. That way you can have an idea on how to allocate funds for different facts like research, competitors, primary features, minimum viable product (MVP), etc. All of this should be carried out in due process before your product is market-ready. If it’s your first app, it’s like a game of dueling cards with your app partner where both sides hesitate to show their cards. One has to reveal a budget, after all, that’s the game otherwise, your project will be lost in the abyss. Avoid potential red flags, as the more you snub, the chances of the project dwindling increase.

Your final cost of creating an app can only be known when your project is laid out end-to-end; meaning– you have to know it inside-out. Your business plan is the backbone of your project and having a strong business motive with a well thought out plan will be incomplete without effective mobile app monetization strategies. The design, the look, the features, the approach, the overall vibe, should be quite clear in your head. Unless you have convinced yourself, dueling will ensue at every step. Remember, ‘you’ are the one investing money.

Q5) Have I done effective research for market competition

As previously mentioned, creating an original app with no direct competitors in today’s world is almost impossible but that doesn’t mean we are deprived of newer concepts with every passing of time. That’s how your approach should be–originality in concept. The competition will exist.

To get the nitty-gritty of things at hand, register yourself on an adversary’s app and notice each and everything that the app has to offer. Do a SWOT analysis of the app and write down things that need to be worked upon.

Another way of maximizing market competition is to peruse through app reviews. Whether via app store listings or Google searches, you’ll get to know all the reviews that have been posted for your competitors’ products. Scrutinise each one carefully, especially the negative ones as they will be genuine concerns audiences face. Reviews impact mobile app branding, so let reviews that highlight specific issues govern your decision-making for the application.

Q6) What objectives will I achieve through my app

mobile application ideas

Every app has certain objectives which it wants to achieve. The intrinsic objectives depend on the industry, market and audience but there are a set of basic objectives which you should strive for when you start your app development process. They are:

  • Awareness
  • Productivity
  • Communication
  • Interaction
  • Loyalty
  • mCommerce

Until the time your app is running, these 6 should be the bulwarks of your app firmly attached to the foundation.

Q7) Will all my requirements be met?

This is something that you absolutely must establish at the outset. If you’re building an app, for instance, which you want to do X, Y, and Z, then it is important that you are aware if the team can only accomplish X and Y or Y and Z.

When you try to answer how to create an app for my business, it usually wades into the above question.

So ask, in no uncertain terms, whether or not it is feasible for the team to deliver exactly what you want. This will avoid future disappointments and will open up a communication pathway for alternatives to be discussed.

Q8) What is my business model/Why do I need a Business model

The above question(s) is very critical when you’re thinking about commencing business with your app, in fact, it is one of the most indispensable questions that you will face. Your project completely depends on your business model. It’s like the motherboard of a system. It won’t be possible to progress without it. The business model defines what thou shall gain from your mobile app and how you shall achieve it. It gives you direction. The following are the different types of business models to opt from while you develop your product:

  • Branding: It is one of the foremost models adapted by companies to work on brand improvement. The key objective is to procure company merits or an increase in brand reputation.
  • Partly fulfillment: The app that you are creating is a portion of the entire chain of services your business offers. Basically a part of the company’s services.
  • Advertising: This chiefly helps in generating Return on Investment (RoI) through advertising practices. This comprises in-app advertising as well.
  • In-app purchases: This is for a freemium app, meaning the downloads and basic services will be free but will be charged for additional services.
  • Data collection: It consists of the zero-cost download feature and data accumulation of the app users.
  • mComerce: This is like an e-marketplace within your app. To be precise, it’s an online shopping portal with its app version.
  • Audience acquisition: Apps under its umbrella are free to download. The intention of this model is to target a particular set of audience and help in creating a humongous customer base which can be used for various purposes. Social media giant Facebook is a striking example.
  • Affiliation: Apps are downloaded for free. The profit is acquired via a commission linked to each sale.
  • Subscriptions: The subscription period of the user determines the download and usage statistics of the application.
  • Low-price downloads: The primary goal is to hawk abysmal downloads for selling purposes at subsidized rates. The base price is € 0.99 ($1.17) and the apps to effectuate Roi for a long-term basis.
  • High-price downloads: Unlike the low-price, this model has determined targets that are eager to pay a high-price for the app.
    Without a clearly defined business model: The intent is not to earn profits, but rather to offer a stable, friendly app that helps the user to have cherishable experiences.

Be it the key partners, primary activities, distribution channels, app monetization strategy, fiscal objectives, key resources, value propositions, customer segments, et al, a business model comprises everything.

Q9) What makes my app so unique

Competitors’ analytics teach you about their faults and strongholds, and you try to bank on the gaps their products have. But there’s also something special about your app which you might’ve developed from those gaps. It could be anything, a new feature or remodelling of existing features in a more modern and revolutionary way. Make this special attribute your app’s trademark and use it to pitch your proposal. It’s necessary to have something that brands you as different and may be better than your adversaries in the industry. It should be something that will instigate your users to use your app multiple times a day.

Q10) What kind of a team do I require for a smooth development

The development aspect is very important as it’s continuous. Your app is basically programmed via codes that app developers create using a particular language. Your job is to ensure that you hire a development team with the right combination of skilled app developers, testers, designers, architects and project managers. As you know native and cross-platform app development is entirely different, therefore, you need to ensure the team dedicated to build your app has been deployed as per the needs.

Once your mobile app idea is ready, your next step is to hire a development team that can bring that to life. If you find an on-shore team, that’ll be great, but if you need to outsource a digital partner, look up for the ones which have a proven track record in the industry. The mobile app experts you hire shouldn’t only be skilled in creating your products but they should also be specialists in mobile app marketing as well. You should also ensure that your app is getting ample maintenance and support.

Q11) Will there be a single release or multiple releases?

Whether it’s native or cross-platform, this question is important in both cases. Another thing to find out is with a feature roadmap, is it feasible to concentrate on MVP as the version 1 release? Meaning, does it have to be a heavy hitter with all intended features on every platform since day 1? The important thing is first there needs to be an MVP release. In today’s scenario, it’s something without which app owners don’t release their app. If you decide on having an MVP release, you can chalk out a plan with the app developers on the app development budget for the particulars of your release.

Q12) Which features are the extra/unnecessary?

The features that are on your app should be of absolute importance because quite a number of times (especially in the case of maiden apps), people go overboard with features. That’s why it is important to find out what features are not mandatory and need to be canceled, to make the app less cumbersome and to the point. This also saves you a great deal of money which you can spend on other important requisites.

Q13) Do I have a strong wireframe?

mobile app development

 

Wireframes are like stylesheets for an app where you visually conceptualize the structure of your app. It’s a 2D model of your app’s interface. When the wireframe of your app is developed, it represents a schematic blueprint of the layout where you can observe the flow between different screens, the navigation and the utility of the app. It lets you observe your thought process. You might’ve seen a blueprint of a house plan, it’s quite similar to that.

Q14) App design Ergonomics- Why is it important?

This is one of the aspects of mobile app development which is less focussed upon. App design ergonomics is about the economy of elements displayed on the app. The diagrammatic structure, the composure, the placements, everything needs to be taken care of. If you think about it, ergonomics can be the most vital subset of the entire development process. Although you will get to see only after the product is developed, the basic architecture is carved out before the development phase.

On a parting note:

As an app owner, it’s your duty to be aware of each small and big development that is being done in your app project. Questioning is very important for each phase of your project as it also leads to experience. You should also be working closely with the app development team and never fail to interrogate whichever aspect you find new/complicated. Despite every effort, pitfalls will occur but as Einstein said, ‘Never stop questioning’; an app can never be successful sans a curious mind.

Next up

Looking to start a new business? We have sieved through a list of good app ideas that can help you find your next venture option successfully through a mobile app.