Mobile & Web App Development Process – Stage 2 – Clarifying the Vision
Learn how to clarify the business vision of your app and discover why it’s so important to do it before you start the app development process.
If you want to develop a mobile or web app, you’re probably very excited about your idea and want to bring it to reality as fast as possible. You can already feel the success in the air and can imagine the thousands of happy users loving your app. We love this kind of passion in our Partners, but – we have to say it – that is not enough.
We are cheering your plan on, but want also to help you check if your business concept and strategy have the potential to win the market. That’s why we’ve written this article.
What you need to do is clarify your idea. Don’t rest on your laurels if you have an initial vision which seems very cutting edge. Don’t be a boiling frog, but rather a smart strategist who combines pioneer spirit, youthful zeal and a rational, clear-eyed attitude. This is the key to your app’s success.
This article is a part of the series Mobile App Development Process – 7 Stages You Need To Know which covers the following topics:
Before you start development, you should first ask and answer yourself a few questions. You can do it by yourself, with your team, or with the software house: your choice. It’s entirely up to you, your time and your money.
Whatever you decide, you can be 100% sure that there will be a moment when these answers have to be found, otherwise, the team won’t know what product should be created. Ask yourself:
- What is my overarching goal?
- Who are the final users of my product?
- What problem does the app solve?
- What benefits does it generate for its users?
- What will make it better / different than my competitors’ products?
- Which features are the most crucial in the app?
- How can I measure the end result to determine if the goal has been met?
If you know these answers, this is excellent! Yet it’s simply not enough to have them in your mind. Write them down and confront them with others – talk to people from your team, employees or just your friends. They should understand what it is about.
On the other hand, if you don’t know these answers yet – don’t worry. In this article, we’ve listed the best tools which can help you to answer the above-mentioned questions and clarify the idea of your app. Trust us – it’s worth taking time to do this before you start product development. Otherwise, you and your development team will feel just like this:
Below, you will find 5 tools that will lead you from a general idea to more detailed descriptions of your app.
We know them not only through theory but also through experience. We use them during Product Design Workshops, which we lead for our clients who want to prepare with our experts for their app development.
Product Canvas is a strategic product planning tool that allows you to see the whole picture regarding your product on just a single page. It consists of the following parts:
- NAME – the name of the product
- GOAL – your overarching goal
(e.g. Creating the prettiest audiobook app on the market)
- SCALE – how big is your market? How may users do you want to have and by when?
(e.g. 15.000 users after 1 year)
- TARGET GROUP – the users and customers with their needs. Personas (mentioned in more detail shortly) are a great way to describe the target group
(e.g. 18-45, both female & male, living in big cities in Europe and the United States, busy or lazy, like reading. Again, you can also use Personas here)
- BIG PICTURE – the desired user experience (UX): the user journeys, the product functionality, the visual design and the nonfunctional properties.
- THE NEXT BIG THING – the goal of the next iteration and specific actionable items required to reach the goal. These items are ordered and may be captured as detailed User Stories.
A well-prepared Product Canvas results in more effective work because both you and your development team know what you want to achieve.
Personas are fictional characters created to represent real final users of your application. They illustrate your customers’ goals and behaviors, help put yourself in their shoes and determine your users’ roles, goals, challenges, habits and more.
At the end of the day, Personas have an enormous influence on your product’s success. Why? I like how Britt Armour defines it in her article:
User personas are valuable for everyone during the development process in order to increase the quality and efficiency of their work. A persona increases product quality because it directly addresses the end users pain points and fixes problems that they currently experience. Understanding and meeting a specific groups of users’ needs will ensure that the app is a success.
Narrowing in on a specific set of users will yield higher download rates and more importantly, it will maintain the engagement of the users.
Now that you know why Personas are such a great tool and highly helpful in preparing for Mobile or Web App Development, you can read this article on how to create them.
Event Storming is a workshop format for quickly exploring complex business domains, invented by Alberto Brandolini. It is a great way to share understanding about business objectives and product goals. What’s more, it helps to discover gaps and obstacles in the project plan.
The goal of Event Storming is to create a business model of the app that can be used during development. These results are expressed in sticky notes on a wide wall. You can see an example here.
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User Journey Map
A User Journey Map is a visualization of the user flow through your app. On the basis of the User Journey Map, designers can create wireframes and a clickable prototype of your applications.
The Prioritization Chart is a powerful management tool that helps you to use your time wisely. It helps you decide which features are the most crucial in creating your MVP (Minimum Viable Product), based on each feature’s importance and complexity. There are many templates which you can use. Here, you can see an example which we use at Droids On Roids during Product Design Workshops.
All the knowledge we shared above comes from our practical work with our Partners. Having this conscious preparation for app development is crucial for success – this has also been confirmed by App Owners, who took part in our Product Desing Workshops, during which we used all of the above-listed tools to clarify the vision of our Partner’s idea. We wish you great results and an app which will rock the world!