A Step-by-Step Guide to Planning Your AppJune 08, 2017
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So you have a great app idea? That’s great! So what’s next? How do you develop your app idea into a living, breathing, thriving product? Here’s a simple guide in easy-to-follow steps to make your idea come to life.
Your app plan needs to outline two major sections:
1) specifications, which is comprised of your app goals, target audience, technology requirements, and business plan
- sketch, layout, and design which is the physical application itself and how it looks and flows.
This concise guide makes your app planning easy. Write down your answers, and by the end of this guide, you’ll have a blueprint ready to send to your development team. Let’s get started!
Part One: Specifications
Define your app goals.
1. What is the overall goal of your app?
2. How does your app address the issue or problem?
3. What solution does your app give?
4. If you have multiple goals, prioritise them. Which goals are more important?
Define your target audience.
1. Who are your users?
2. How many users are you expecting?
3. What are your users’ requirements? Why are your users using this app? What do they need to be satisfied with this app?
4. What technologies do your users’ use? Are they Android or iOS users? Both? Will they need to access their account online through a computer?
BUSINESS PLAN GOALS
1. How many clients do you plan to start with? How many new clients do you hope to gain? Over what period?
2. What are your plans to expand this project? What features would you like to add in the future to this project? What other projects would you want to start?
Determine what technology your app will need.
1. Which mobile platforms would you like your app to support?
2. Do you need push notifications?
3. Will your app need to be able to support integration with other websites?
**Part Two: Sketch, Layout, and Design
Turn your ideas into pictures. Putting them down in an organised and logical manner will help you conceptualise how your app will look and work. You’ll need to figure out how many screens your app consists of and what each screen will look like. This will also help with a nice flow to your app for a flawless user experience.
Minimum Viable Product:
Focus on your minimum viable product (MVP) at first. The MVP includes only core features that allow your product to be deployed–and no more! Developing your MVP helps deploy your product so it can be tested for customers’ interactions with the app. It allows for feedback at an earlier stage of development which means saving time and streamlining when certain areas might need tweaks or changes. So design your app will this in mind; features can always be added later. Keep it simple and save yourself time and money down the road.
Wireframes** **are the skeletons of screens. They provide a basic look at the layout and usually are simple line-sketches.
Imagine that you are the user of your app. Typical screens of many apps include splash screen, registration/log-in, tutorial, home screen, and settings. Keep in mind user experience.
The user experience is made up of the user’s perceptions and feelings before, during, and after their interaction with your mobile app. A good user experience means a successful app. Clean and intuitive apps are most successful.
Most popular apps follow a similar pattern. To view a list with examples of successful patterns, visit http://www.mobile-patterns.com
1. What is the first screen you see when starting the app?
Example: When opening the app, the user is directed to the splash screen. A splash screen is usually a logo of the app while the app is opening and launching.
2. How do they start the path of the app?
Example: The user either registers or signs in.
3. Continue the practice through the entire app.
If you get stuck and realise you are missing a function or button to the next screen, make sure you add it into your sketch of that screen.
While working on your wireframes, you should also create a storyboard for your app. A storyboard is a directional graph that indicates how the user can navigate from screen to screen.
The final phase of your app design is selecting a general colour scheme and branding.
After completing these steps, you should have:
- An outline of your app idea, target audience, technology requirements, and business goals.
- A practical idea of how the app will run and rough sketches (wireframes) of each screen, along with a storyboard that shows the flow of the app from screen to screen.
The final step is up to us! Send us your outline, and the sketches (wireframes) and storyboard, and we’ll get to work! Your app can be done in about a month–up to 6x faster than any other company can do!
Contact us to get started by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org. We offer free consultations, and we’re happy to help you during any stage of the process. Our website www.perfectedapp.co.uk has other useful articles to help you during the app development process.