If you have an original idea for an app and you’re 100% sure that there is a demand for it, then there’s a chance that it will be successful. The app doesn’t even have to be original; all it needs is to be better than its competition. Proper execution is important, however, and you must perform a thorough market analysis before you start. You then need to look at things you could improve and determine how you can make your app stand apart from the rest. Let’s take a look at a few things you need to consider before designing an app.

What’s the Business Model?

You can’t build an app without learning how the app business model works. For instance, you can’t assume you’ll be successful in a space dominated by freemium apps with a paid app, especially if your app doesn’t have anything special. You also don’t absolutely have to go with an average mobile app. You could also go for a SaaS app instead and make money from subscriptions or build a web-based app for Chrome or Explore. So, try to look at as many business models as you can and don’t be rigid.

Is My App Even Needed?

The next thing you must do is assess if there’s a need for the app in the market. This is something you should look at whether you want to build an original app or a clone of a popular app and make improvements. Building a copycat app ensures that there is demand in the market, but you have to ask yourself why people would pick your app over the competitions’. If you can’t answer this quickly, this usually means that your app brings little to no value to the space.

Should You Design the App In-House or Outsource?

People are often torn between having people on their team design the app or working with a third party, but unless they have real experience with coding and building apps, it is usually better to outsource the whole project.

With that being said, a bad developer will do just as bad or even worse than someone inexperienced, so choose who you work with carefully. Go on reputable freelance platforms like Freelancer and Upwork and look for people who have a solid track record building apps like yours. Then you can start asking questions and collecting quotes. Be wary of anyone who gives you unrealistic quotes and time frames. Make sure that you don’t pay more than 30% for the project upfront and see if you can make payments based on benchmarks. Also, check how interested they are and if they’re asking questions. If their answer is yes to everything and they don’t ask for clarifications, it may be a sign that they’re disinterested and will botch the work, so beware.

How Good is the User Experience?

User experience, or UX as it is referred to in programming circles, needs to be a priority from the start. This is where having early adopters and multiple rounds of beta testing before the app goes live will help.

Hire a team of testers and try the app yourself to see if you like the experience. Look at how smooth it is, how easy it is to navigate, how good it looks, and how efficiently it accomplishes its main goal. Gather as much feedback as you can and act on it. Then test and retest the app by making small incremental changes until you have a polished final product.

Designing an app takes time and proper planning. Make sure that you have all your ducks in a row before getting started and leave nothing to chance.

Siobhan Harmer is a video game, coffee and travel lover from England. Although she is the human equivalent of a sloth Siobhan sometimes writes things, most of which you can find on her blog There You Are...

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