There are 5.2 billion mobile users in the world and a study by Flurry found 86% of all time spent on mobile devices is now happening within apps. In 2015, Europe experienced mobile app use growth by 58%. So from these figures you may well be persuaded to consider developing a mobile app for your business.
Developing a mobile app can bring gains in improved productivity and help meet customer expectation in real time. But before you commit to developing a mobile app, you need to write a detailed brief to ascertain the viability of any future investment in time, effort and money. This will involve some careful planning and preparation.
Top 10 tips to create a mobile app brief
1. Why develop a mobile app? Assess your need to develop an app, conduct a competitive review to support your decision, find out what are the alternatives out there, how can your app do better? Can you justify the potential financial risks and maintain its sustainability long-term.
2. Who are your target audiences? Consider who will be using the app you develop, understand their persona profiles and map out their personalised preferences for the use of the app. Their demographics and type of buying segment they fall in to will shape the user experience they expect to receive too.
3. What do you want the app to achieve? Outline a clear proposition and specific objectives for what the app will achieve, its benefits to your audience when they expect to access it, will it solve a problem or satisfy a specific need?
4. How and where will the app be used? Will it be used on the move, in a fixed location or a specific setting – this all determines the development of the system requirements and the design, how it will look and function. Plus, remember any specific regulations or Kitemarking that you may need to abide by, particularly if you are in healthcare.
5. What features will you require? Identify if your app will need to be optimised for the App Store, determine which content features will satisfy the audiences immediate needs and which features can be rolled out over time to respond to requests to improve and update the app over time.
6. Which device or operating systems/platforms? Whether it is Apple or Android, the operating system will impact on the delivery time; consider your existing audience smartphone ownership, what devices do they use?
7. What content will go into the app? Ensure the content is relevant to your audience; consider how the content will be updated in real-time and how it will appear on the screen, this needs to be clearly, plotted out, designed and developed,
8. What design ideas do you have? Design must reflect your brand, landscape and portrait modes vary, so screenshots can guide you here in your planning process; keep the design simple so it is clearly understood. Remember user testing and refinement, ensuring industry standards are compiled by whilst ensuring it loads quickly.
9. Database integration required? Find out if you need a database to integrate into your app, investigate who owns the data to ensure there are no hidden costs and ensure that associated hosting issues are resolved, who is providing and what do you need hosting to do, checking if there any security compliance issues too.
10. Do you have support? Put in place feedback support for your customers to listen to their needs when launched, plus allow for ongoing design and technical support along with resources to conduct associated monitoring and control of analytics.
Of course the mobile app will be just one part of your digital offering, so ensure it is fully integrated into your other channels, particularly social media activity and ensure your wider digital plan outlines your promotional and pricing strategy for the app.
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