Given the wide range of companies now considering apps, I thought it might be a good idea to write down some of the common questions we might ask towards the beginning of a conversation.
Have a question we haven’t answered? Leave us a comment or email firstname.lastname@example.org
We hope they’ll help your thinking. If you liked it (or if you didn’t) please leave us a comment.
1. Are you developing an internal company app, or a publicly available app?
Internal company apps will need security features in place to restrict downloads (such as a private app store) and protect sensitive company data. If it’s publicly available, obviously you want to reach as many people as possible.
2. Which platforms should you develop on?
If you’re restricting usage to a small set of people in your company, you may have a preference for iPhone or Android. But apps destined for larger audiences and the public in general will need to be developed across both major platforms for maximum visibility and downloads.
When we deploy an app across iOS and Android, we are actually creating and testing apps which work across all 19 different versions you require to be truly multi-platform.
We have developed an in-house process which makes the conversion process faster and more effective – meaning we can deliver mobile apps quicker, with lower conversion costs. We have our own proprietary development system which considerably lowers the costs of conversion across platforms.
Example: the annual report app we developed for dunnhumby had to be available and workable on every single phone model owned by dunnhumby employees.
3. Are you looking for an actual mobile app or just a mobile website?
It’s easy to confuse mobile websites and apps. Apps generally have a restricted audience or some significant functionality. Mobile websites are simply information websites which are made easier to browse on mobile phones. We can do mobile websites too, but it’s important to understand the difference.
4. Do you need a USP?
If you’re developing an application for public consumption, it has to have a USP (Unique Selling Point) or point of differentiation. It has do something better or differently or more stylishly. It has to be superior in some way, otherwise it doesn’t really offer anything new. There are already many apps out there. Be sure that uniqueness isn’t your only selling point and raison d’etre for choosing mobile app development. It’s worthwhile researching what’s already out there on Google Play and the iTune store.
5. The business case: what will it do and why?
Really there’s a question before this – what do you want to achieve? We ask our clients what kind of outcome they are looking for. Sometimes other routes (such as a HTML 5) might be preferable and cheaper than developing an app.
6. Do you need to monetise it?
In short order, does it need to pay its way? If so, how will it do that? What’s the right price to pay for a download? Should iPhone and Google Play prices be different? Or do you intend to monetise it by integrating an ad platform and offering it for free? If so, how frequently will adverts be shown? And how often will the user return to the app? There are tons of questions to answer here.
7. Where does it get data from or send data to?
More often than game development, we’re asked to build mobile apps for business. There are many uses: for example, helping teams in the field gather data more effectively and accurately; visualising sales and production data in graph forms. Usually applications like this will interface with one of your internal data systems. The IT infrastructure here is important to make sure people have the information they need, when they need it. What systems will you need to draw data from? You certainly don’t have to have all the answers, but it’s a good idea to have an understanding of your company information systems so the app developer can understand which systems need to communicate with each other.
We believe in due diligence and helping you make sure that you’re developing the right thing on the right platform. If you’ve got a project in mind and need a developer, why don’t you call us?
Have we missed a question you’d like to ask?
Email your questions to us at email@example.com.
June 14, 2012 No Comments