So You Want to Build a Mobile App
Understanding the best approaches when building or hiring a company to build your Minimal Viable Product
As a follow-up to an event we had a few years ago, we recently hosted a crowd of entrepreneurs, developers, and business analysts at our Special Edition: Kick Back and Code Meetup titled “So You Want to Build A Mobile App”. We sought to help our audience understand the best fundamentals and approach to use when building or hiring a company to build a “Minimal Viable Product” (MVP). A MVP app has just enough features to satisfy early customers and provide feedback for future product development. Many entrepreneurs use the MVP app to solicit additional funds from prospective angel investors.
Our attendees walked out with the following important lessons:
- Know your product, your audience, and your market
- Understand current technology trends
- How to choose between Local vs. Offshore Development Team
- How to identify a technical partner for the development of your app
Throughout the evening, we provided an overview of mobile development approaches to help our audience understand how to build their “Minimal Viable Product” (MVP). We encouraged our audience to own their product by understanding the details of their app:
- List Your App Requirements: Features and everything that the app should do
- Draw your initial wireframes — how should the screens look?
- What is the expected user interaction?
- What is the user experience?
- What do your customers really want?
- Research your target audience and their needs
We also covered:
- Backend end terms for data
- Common app terminology: Hybrid Mobile Apps, Progress Web Apps, and Native Mobile Apps.
Do your research and stay engaged! Interview your customers to understand potential pain points and gain insight from the people that will actually be using your app. The interviews are also great for developing the user personas for the User Interface and User Interaction Design (UI/UX). User personas focus on the goals, behavior, needs, and interests of your users. Everything discussed with your customers helps you to understand the cost of building your app.
Finally, we covered what one should expect if seeking a mobile development team. We advised people to consider Agile project development as it encourages adaptive planning, early delivery (at the end of a review) and continuous improvement for the development of the app. There are many agile processes out there: Scrum, Extreme Programming, Kanban, Lean Development, Feature-Driven Development, and many others.
When using an Agile Methodology like Scrum, project deliverables are delivered in timeboxed increments called sprints in 1, 2, or 4 weeks. There are goals on what will be created during the sprint as well as a plan that aids in the development of those goals. Rapid and flexible responses to change are the hallmarks of agile development. Costs are also easily managed as customers’ needs are prioritized. Features that are implemented and the actual time to implement form the costs. This value-driven approach is especially important for those who are considering offshore options, as there are a few drawbacks with code delivery and project expectations.
You have to own your app. Your product is more than an app and you want your vision to be achieved. Just by beginning with a few of these small tasks can save you a lot of headaches. Your selected developer/development team should be your partner, who brings your app idea to fruition.
Slides for the presentation are available:
Check Us Out
We regularly host meetups about the technology we like to use, so stop by our Meetup page or Eventbrite and sign up. If you’re interested in talking or hearing about a topic, let us know!
Blast From The Past
We have blog posts for other past meetups. Read them!