May 25 2020

“The Only Thing That Matters Is Getting To Product-Market Fit.” — Marc Andreessen, American entrepreneur & Co-author Of Mosaic”

Surviving in the tech-driven landscape has become daunting for everyone, including entrepreneurs. Intuitive mobile apps have emerged as one of the most effective tools for positioning your venture in the marketplace and staying ahead of the curve. 

However, according to a research, roughly 1 in every two apps installed gets uninstalled within 30 days, and in 2019, the average app loses approximately $33,000 a month due to uninstalls.

What could be the reason for people to uninstall apps this quickly? Well, among many other reasons, one of the major ones is an imperfect onboarding experience. To bring more users to your app is easier but retaining them is daunting! 

Earlier, the process of developing an influential mobile app was much simpler because of less competition. The lifecycle of app development began with ideation and gradually moved to design, development, and gets concluded with user testing. But this process has evolved immensely over the past few years. 

Nowadays, the marketplace has become quite competitive, and to cope up with the dynamism, it’s mandatory to cautiously plan for the entire app development lifecycle right from the ideation stage to conceptualization to finally getting the product-market fit!

The app development stages like ideation, design, testing, etc. are the commonly discussed concepts, but the idea of product-market fit is not. You might have heard about this term many times, but what does this mean in real sense?

What’s Product-Market Fit?

Image Source: Medium

A product-market fit is a state when your app is positioned in the right market and can fulfill the specific needs or solve the pain points of the end-users. To begin with such an app, you need to answer these three questions:

  1. Who is your target user?
  2. What are the pain points of your end-users?
  3. How are you planning to fix these problems to add value for your business and, most importantly, for the end-users?
A product-market fit is a state when your app is positioned in the right market and can fulfill the specific needs or solve the pain points of the end-users. Click To Tweet

Why Do a Product-Market Fit Matters?

Anyone can make a mobile app, but if that doesn’t have any commercial value, that would be of no use. When developing an app, reaching the product-market fit is extremely important because, ultimately, everyone’s motive is to earn profits. And, that can’t happen with an app that is unable to make money.

How To Take Your App Idea From Conceptualization To Product-Market Fit?

You need to begin with planning the application lifecycle management, which is the process of leveraging the available people, process, and tools for making the right decisions about handling the lifecycle of your app and take it from conceptualization to deployment successfully. 

Image Source: SMC Solutions

Let’s explore the fourteen hacks which can help you take your app from the ideation stage to product-market fit easily:

1. Identify for Whom Are You Going to Build & What?

The first step in developing an app is to figure out a problem you want to solve with the help of your mobile app. For doing research, you can:

  1. Determine the niche in which you would want to create an app.
  2. Evaluate some of the successful existing mobile apps in a similar domain and understand the objectives they are trying to achieve.
  3. Identify your target users and the issues they are experiencing.

Before beginning the app development, be clear about what precisely you want to build because, due to lack of vision, the end product can get hampered.

2. Is Your App Idea Unique?

It’s of no use if your mobile app will be a replica of hundreds of them already available on the app stores. Behind an out-of-the-box mobile app, your idea should be unique and searching for such an approach can be done by:

  1. Checking the relevance of your app idea through queries in search engines. Looking for what people are searching for will give you a sneak peek into what’s trending and which app idea would be the best.
  2. Connect with some of the key influencers in your niche and consider what could be a unique angle for making an app.
  3. Research thoroughly about the market segment that you have cherry-picked for building an app to give you an idea of your audience’s behavior patterns, preferences, and interests.

3. Do You Have a Precise User Persona for Your Mobile App?

Based on whatever insights you have got through market research, the next step for you should be developing a user persona to identify different types of users that might use your app.

Image Source: Interaction Design Foundation

Creating a user persona will help you in:

  1. Gain an idea of who can be your prospective and future users.
  2. Understand the target users’ preferences and pain points in a better manner.
  3. Identify the best app marketing plan for better positioning and promotion of your idea in the app marketplace based on which you can choose the best lead magnets to promote your mobile app.

4. What Is The Scope of Your Mobile App?

Now it is the time to make a detailed record of all the functions and features you want to incorporate into your mobile app. It would be great if you start documenting things like:

  1. Design elements
  2. Specific business requirements
  3. Functional and non-functional requirements
  4. A rough user experience design. 

At this stage, you might feel overwhelmed with so much to integrate into your mobile app, but your aim should be to incorporate only relevant features and eliminate the unwanted ones.

5. How About Prototyping The App Idea to Get The Blueprint of The Development Process?

[su_quote cite=”Tom Wujec, Author & TED Conference Speaker”]Prototyping is the conversation you have with your ideas. [/su_quote]

Once you identify the core things like the app users and features, you can use various app prototyping tools to create a mockup of your mobile app.

Mobile app prototyping is an iterative process that helps developers to keep a tab on the app flow, provide video feedback, and improvise for quicker development and seamless user experience.

Image Source: Net Solutions

You can use any of the best prototyping tools such as Invision or JustInMind to help you create the Minimum Viable Product (MVP), which will be a shortened version of your future app and includes only the core functions.

Prototyping tools have many perks, but the key ones are:

  1. Identify the gaps and tweak the app flow to get better usability.
  2. The liberty to choose from a variety of templates and UI stencil for making your wireframe more authentic.

MVP will allow you to collect honest feedback from the users in the early stages of application development. It will help you to incorporate the specific demands of your users in your mobile application and create a development plan for your app.

Creating an app prototype will give you benefits like:

  1. Evaluate your app idea.
  2. Better user experience.
  3. Facilitate seamless collaboration between the app design and development team.

When creating a mock-up or wireframe for your mobile app, keep your target audience in mind, and explore different design layouts to turn your app vision into a reality.

6. Decide In Which Way You Want to Swing? (The Approach: Web, Native, Or Hybrid)

After creating an MVP, you need to decide which approach you would want to take for building your mobile app: Native, Web, or Hybrid! The best thing is to consider the following aspects when making the final call:

  1. Budget
  2. Time limit
  3. Specific business requirements

Along with these specifications, remember that each of these categories has its qualities such as:

  1. Native apps deliver the best user experience but are platform-specific.
  2. Web apps operate seamlessly on multiple platforms but aren’t that powerful as the native ones.
  3. Hybrid apps are the combination of the features of both native as well as web apps, and these apps are easy to build in comparison to the other two.

Whichever approach you choose, keep your specifications and preferences in mind. Also, consider your capacities and don’t try to over commit otherwise in the future you might have to face burnout.

7. What If Your Wireframe Fails? So, Why Not Test It?

You have your MVP ready with you, that’s great! But, now it’s the time to test the same to get insights and improvise on the loopholes. 

Image Source: BrowserStack

The process is called usability testing and is an integral part of the entire app development lifecycle as it tells you about:

  1. How will end-users interact with your mobile app?
  2. How will the users perform certain functions through your app?

The testing phase is crucial because it gives you a chance to learn what’s wrong with your wireframe and fill the gaps to make the end product perfect in every sense.

It’s possible that during the usability testing, you might gain new insights, and some hidden loopholes can emerge about your app based on the feedback provided by the stakeholders and the users. Work on those suggestions that could significantly impact your end product and refine your prototype accordingly. 

8. Is It The Right Time to Start Building Your Mobile App?

After finalizing the app prototype, you can start with building the mobile app either with the help of a professional app developer or an online app builder. Both the options are great and have their pros and cons, such as:

  1. Going with an app development company will need some investment. You will have access to experts who can execute your app idea well by understanding your specific business requirements.
  2. App building platforms like Kony or BiznessApps are pocket-friendly and give you the freedom to control every aspect of the app development.

Whether you choose to hire a professional app developer or leverage an app builder, the only essential thing is to do research and pick the one that looks the best to you!

9. It’s High Time to Define The Look & Feel of Your Mobile App, Right?

The design or interface of your mobile app is of prime importance, and hence after getting the foundation of your app built, you must pay attention to its design. Ensure that the navigation and other design elements like icons, buttons, etc. are designed correctly to provide end-users with a seamless experience.

An intuitive mobile app designed by keeping end-users in mind is essential because:

  1. It gives end users a seamless onboarding experience.
  2. It keeps users engaged with optimum usability.

Your app design could be the game-changer for grabbing more end-users, so while evaluating the design elements, keep their needs and preferences in mind to come up with the best layout for your mobile app.

10. Do We Need to Test The App Again?

Now, your mobile app is ready, and hence the version needs a reality check! At this stage, you need to test the functionality and user interface to ensure that your app is operating seamlessly.

You can take help from the tools like Pixate and Proto.io for adding clickable links into your app and ensuring that it’s functioning well. Based on the results, you need to rework on the loopholes and fix them for giving the final touch to your mobile app.

11. Are You Ready for Beta Testing?

Beta testing is the phase when your mobile app will be tested on live platforms to check how it performs. There are two major platforms Android and iOS, and you can choose the one according to your convenience and specifications.

12. Have We Reached The Deployment Stage?

After your mobile app passes the beta test successfully, you can upload it to the app store and wait for the users to download and review the same. Keep in mind that both the app stores Android or iOS have their terms and hence read the terms carefully before uploading your app.

Bonus Pointers:

13. Why Not Keep A Tab On App Analytics?

After uploading your mobile app, you should have an idea of how it’s performing, and for this, you need to monitor the metrics for which there are tools like Google Analytics and Localytics.

Keeping an eye on your app’s performance is essential because it helps in:

  1. Gather accurate data to serve customers in the best possible manner.
  2. Gain insights into issues like churn and retention.
  3. Drive personalized marketing.
  4. Get ROI on every aspect of your app’s performance.
  5. Track your content marketing plan.

14. How About Improving Your App Based On The Results Of App Analytics?

The mobile app landscape is quite dynamic, and the preferences of end-users frequently change, making it even more important to keep refining your mobile app. You can incorporate new features and eliminate the unwanted ones based on the data that you have gathered through analytics and as feedback from end-users.

Time To Wrap Things Up!

These fourteen steps might seem simple, but they can help you take your mobile app from concept to product-market fit quickly. If you follow these steps, building an intuitive and money-making mobile app will become a breeze for your business!