Stage 1. Clarifying the Vision
If you want to develop a mobile app and you’re probably very excited about your idea and want to bring it to reality ASAP. 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.
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 the purpose of the product?
- What is the overall vision for the product?
- What current problem(s) does it address?
- Will this product refine or improve a current business function? Will this product create a new business function?
- What is the product’s business or monetization model?
- Is this app being built from scratch, or are there existing assets that can be incorporated?
- Is this project attainable?
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. Below, 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.
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 till when?
(e.g. 15.000 users after 1 year)
- TARGET GROUP — the users and the 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.
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.
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. See an
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 Innopolys.
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 been confirmed also by App Owners.
We wish you great results and an app which will rock the world!