Path to successfully launching your app
In car manufacturing there is widely used term known as preproduction. The car manufacturing industry has been weaving magic for more than 100 years. It is safe to safe that most manufacturers understand their craft and that there are standards that have been set in place from start to finish. These set standards have ensured the process of launching each model of new car is efficient. There are a lot of failed car manufacturers, who had grandiose dreams, due to the effects of deviating from the industry practices.
Such is the same with so many app platforms that have been created and eventually died on the app stores. If you are looking to build an app or SaaS platform then there will be some gold in this article for you. We have created a 9 step process that has helped our team of 82 developers launch over 300 apps for our clients (hyperlink – articles). In this article I will cover the MVP process.
The app creation process
After dreaming of the app, then putting pen to paper you will need to seek business guidance. An app can be an extension of an existing business or the product itself. Either way, it is important to understand the following –
- who it is for,
- how to monetize,
- how to market it appropriately,
This allows you to create a brief for the developers to understand the vision you are looking to create completely and then develop a prototype. Once completed, the prototype allows the development team and you understand the full cost of development of the app, time to create the entire app and any obstacles.
It is at this point that you can now develop your MVP.
The MVP creation
It is essential to prioritise which functionality elements from the prototype to launch first. These elements allow the business to focus on elements that will allow an easier entry into the market. This is what is known as a Minimal Viable Product (MVP), sometimes referred to as Market Viable Product.
This is a standard process of launching your app and gives your test users the ability to use the app under controlled conditions. This will give you the ability to get quick feedback from the control group that is succinct and easy to share with the development team.
Testing and Feedback
By launching the MVP with the control group, it gives the development team the ability to set a time to test the feel and ease of use. This allows for specific tests to be conducted by the focus group. This will form the Beta test group.
Specific questions can be asked of the group and any issues will be experienced as the testing is being conducted. Therefore, you can get real-time issues and feedback which can be relayed in one concise document after the testing period has ended. If there are small issues that arise after the testing has ended it is easy enough to add to the list of issues already being resolved.
The alternative to running a focus group is just to let random people download the app and give feedback when they want or feel necessary. The problem with this is that this is a very disorganised way to conduct the testing. Results are not real time and if you are like me, then you will note that sometimes life gets in the way. I may experience something now and forget it later if something more significant happens. This is typical with people especially as we all have different standards depending on the websites and apps we already like and engage with on a regular basis.
This is also a very slow way of conducting the process of beta testing and will add time to delay the launch of the app. It will also add frustration to the process of development and become costly if you have to give feedback in dribs and drabs.
Getting it right for the End User
The reality is that when creating an app, you face the challenge of users letting it take a spot on their home screens. The UX and UI must be primary in design and testing to ensure when downloaded, it is welcomed with open arms and doesn’t gather dust. The app must be easy to navigate, seamless in operation and possibly fun or packed with resources to get them using it as often as possible.
Getting the testing right the first time, is pivotal to the long-term success of your app. Users expectations continue to be raised daily by the apps they already engage with. Therefore, they may not be a second or third chance to launch it and grow your following.
The MVP when you run it correctly will allow you to test on every device, at a controlled time, under different conditions and with varied user types. This will help to ensure that it will meet the most stringent of user requirements when promoted to the target market.