To start with, I am a pro App developer (Pro = doing it commercially, for customers, since a decade, running an App development agency since 6 years) and therefore I receive or catch inquiries from App entrepreneurs or enthusiasts, ranging from raw “one liner ideas” to “well defined wireframes” to “SRS” depending upon the background of the client (tech or non tech), their team configuration, and ofcourse their homework on many aspects of app development.
Apart from seasoned and tech. Background customers, I’ve seen almost 50 % or more “first time clients” missing on or neglecting some important aspects of the App business at various levels of their App development campaign. I try to educate them as much as I can, but end of the day it is them taking decisions based on pointers I or anyone else give.
So, as I always do with any little knowledge I come across, I’ve consolidated the list of those “missing aspects” as well that they (App entrepreneurs) shouldn’t miss, and following is the list:-
- App Acceptance Criteria
You are no App tester, but you should at least create your own checklist of “test cases and scenarios” against which you compare the “working” and “performance” of your app before it is shipped to the store and such thing should come into existing before you kick off development and keep updated as development proceeds. Think like a user, bring family and friends as beta testers, create a collaborative sheet and test.
Do this despite your developer does his end of testing. An acceptance criteria shall only bring more efficiency and focus in the development efforts
Search some google, start with Wikipedia, see a couple of case studies and you’d be better than before.
You should know that “Design” and “Coding” are different aspects of development and mostly need different engineers to execute each of those, you must know that “backend” is a web part of the app while App on device is front-end and rarely would a single developer have both the skills and also that 90 % of the apps today are having a big backend component (where a lot of logic stays) so you always ask your dev (a solo or agency) about their approach towards building that.
- Features for Admin Panel
This part is MOST neglected one at all stages (at the time of asking for quotes, vetting proposals, comparing development approaches) and its significance is known only when you get actual users. An web based Admin is a your “management console” which you can use to manage everything on your app (create content, manage users, download reports, handle support tickets, push broadcast notifications, advertisements, see analytics and what not) and it’s not a “default deliverable” unless you specifically ask for it along with features you need in that. So next time you ask for a quote for an app; please also ask what sort of cool features you need in the admin panel and your developer would respect you more for this.
- Business Model
Are you going to charge for the app or would earn from Ads, if you earn from ads then which advertisement platform would you chose? Which one is best suited in terms of your target demography, earnings, long run partnerships and so on. Or would you just increase the user base first and think of possible business models later on? Basically, all these questions should be answered or atleast attended at their end before going forward.
- A Clear Marketing/ Promotion Plan
Plenty of average to excellent information is available on “Marketing hacks for App” over the internet so go through that, be inspired and create a realistic plan for yourself along with Plan B. Your should know atleast a thing or two on “how to create an App buzz” to “app store optimization”, and “landing page promotion” or “getting press coverage” before actually getting busy with things.
- Growth Path and Exit Strategy
Will you raise seed fund after MVP is developed, or would go to investors after getting an X mass of users, or you’ve not thought anything about it yet? For what purposes would you utilize funds, when and how would you exist and so on. It’s not feasible to know everything in prior but atleast being aware of things is not a bad idea.
- Little awareness on Third party services/ SDKs
Although it is developer’s responsibility to educate you about Pros and Cons of any third party services or SDKs to be used in the app (like SDKs for analytics, BaaS, or the payment gateway, or advertisement, or for animation etc); a little study on available options done by yourself using google shall only help.
For example, if you need to get an app like whatsapp done so it is better you already search through available open-source or paid libraries (A library is a ready to use code for a part of functionality, so that you don’t have to reinvent something which is already done and available for reuse) and discuss those options with your developers; gauge pros and cons, future migration ease and go on.
And that much for now, these were the basic but significant ones. 🙂
Feel free to email me with any further questions, or suggestions.