As the market for iPhone, iPad, Android, Blackberry, and Windows Mobile applications heats up, more and more companies are diverting most of their focus and investments towards that “next big mobile app idea”. At Mantra Information Services, we help companies take advantage for growing mobile application market and maximize return on their mobile investments. In our experience, there are several considerations a company should be making before taking their idea to the development lab. In this article we will introduce the five most important points of mobile application development.
1. Business Case: If you have an idea that could make in to a good mobile application, you should first research if another application on same / similar idea already exist. Determine how you can differentiate and improvise your idea. Understand if there is a need for the application that you plan to develop. Besides validating your concept, assess if developing that application is a good fit for your business strategies, direction, and if you will be able to recoup investment in to developing this application.
2. Target Audience: Whether you are developing application for your internal business use, use by other businesses, or use by individual consumers, you should have a good understanding of who your target audience is. That will help making design and technology decisions for your application. If you are targeting global audience, you may also have to consider making your mobile application multi-lingual.
3. Technology Selection: With mobile client applications, you cannot develop a single application that can run on all of the mobile platforms. Each of the mobile platforms is different and run only applications that are developed on the specific technologies. So if you develop an iPhone application, you cannot run the same application on Android, Blackberry, or Windows Mobile platforms. That is why it is important that before beginning application development, you select an appropriate mobile platform for your application. If your plan includes developing application for multiple mobile platforms, make sure that you architect your application properly to reduce initial and ongoing development efforts and costs. Most importantly, determine if you really need to develop a mobile client applications which are platform specific or a mobile website / web application which are more universal and could run on all smart phones.
4. Timing: When there are thousands of businesses trying to tap in to the booming mobile applications market, it is critical that you move forward with your mobile development project in a timely manner. Otherwise, there are chances that someone else may beat you in launching an application with similar concept and could quickly tap in to your potential client base. When it comes to launching a mobile application, right timing is essential for maximizing return on investment.
5. Pricing: Just like any other product, you need to make sure that price for your mobile application is right. Research on the price of other similar apps, determine how valuable is your application going to be for consumers, and figure out your total cost of ownership for building, launching, and maintaining your application. Consider offering your mobile applications for free or at a discounted price for a short period of time to attract more buyers.
Bonus Point: Marketing – After launching your application, it is important to market it and improve its visibility to your target audience. Without the marketing efforts, your application may get buried under the stack of thousands of other applications hurting its revenue potential. Marketing your application on social media sites, search engines, and offering it for free for a short period of time should help increase its consumer base. Make sure to listen to the feedback application users will be giving and incorporate that in to your future development plan.