Your business is flourishing and now you want to bring a mobile app to market. You have the customers, the interest, the idea, and now you just need to get the app off and soaring.
But you don’t want to dive headlong into such a complex process that you stumble and fall flat. Here are 5 steps for building your first mobile app:
- Blueprint the idea: Lay it out in a document for both you and your team. Write a flow chart of all the consumer entry points, and be specific about the features the first app iteration will include. Wireframing the app will help your developer build reproduce your vision
- Don’t neglect design: You aren’t reddit. You need to have strong design to complement your app’s functionality. Ensure you hire a developer with a designer’s brain in order to flesh out the app into something both seamless to use and gorgeous to behold.
- Bring analytics to the party: We’ve all heard how Big Data is the new entree on the startup dinner menu. You should add a layer of analytics tool to your app’s back-end so your startup can glean important info about your users and how they navigate your app. Tools such as Flurry are free, but you might want to build something in-house in case these free services go fremium in the coming years
- Test, test, test: There should be hours in your day when you think “Why am I not testing my app?” In beta mode, your app should be played with like a teen with his first Xbox. Find out what works, what’s buggy, what frustrates you, what needs to be cleaned up. Give developers and your staff access to the app and compile all their feedback in a Google Doc. Prioritize what needs to be fixed now and what may be scheduled for the next first update
- Get socially aggressive: But in the good way, like spreading the word on social media with relevant hashtags to your business. Let your audience know an app is on its way, and on launch week double-up your social media efforts to ensure your fans know about the app and how to access it. Look at how Camera+ harnessed Flickr, Facebook, Twitter and email to get the word out about their app. For one, they created a contest for $10,000+ worth of camera equipment by reaching out to their mailing list of about 70,000 subscribers.
We want your advice on building mobile apps. What tips do you have for SMBs launching their first app? Let us know in the comments below or on Twitter via @b2bnewsnetwork
Flickr photo via digiensemble