Mobile App Roadmap Express
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Mobile App Roadmap Express

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By 2015 more people will access the web from their smartphone than from their desktops ...

By 2015 more people will access the web from their smartphone than from their desktops
and laptops . Smart mobile devices are accelerating the rate of change in the business landscape. Mobile isn’t simply a new tool, but a new platform that is fundamentally changing the rules of how we interact with our customers and launch new products and businesses. Mobile as a platform is putting more power than ever in the hands of consumers. It is also making the workforce more seamlessly mobile; putting them closer to clients and in the markets you serve.
Mobile as a platform is creating amazing opportunities for growth and commerce. Whether you’re a decision maker at an established organization, large or small, or someone with an idea for a mobile app, you must understand mobile platforms and the fundamentals of app development. Doing so will allow you to articulate a way forward, a roadmap, for your own mobile platform opportunities. If you don’t you will be shut out of the most effective communications channel of our time, while your competitors recognize that this is where your customers are migrating.

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  • The Mobile DifferenceMobile is a new platform with two factors that differentiate it from other marketing channels. These factors are:Ubiquitous mobile consumption, andNative hardware capabilities.One of the greatest differences of mobile marketing is the very ubiquity of access. People consume information in their car, walking outdoors, in their office, sitting in front of the television, laying in bed, etc. The ability for marketers to reach their customers during such targeted moments in their lives, and quickly, is a tremendous advantage. The advantage of companies to provide employees continuous access to timely data is also a tremendous boost to any sales team.Built into smart devises are touch control, mapping/geo locating, watching and recording video, taking photos, connecting to the Internet, pushing notifications, SMS and making phone calls. These features can be optimized to do almost anything you can imagine and are traveling in the pocket of your customer when not in their hand. Couple this with people’s enthusiasm for participating and a whole new opportunity for direct communication and customer service, and your opportunities seem endless.The mobile platform provides the best of other communication platforms including; television, radio, newspaper, publications and desktop computers combined into small devices that delivers content quickly, anytime…anywhere.Custom Web and Custom Native AppsThe popularity of social apps such as Urban Spoon and Yelp, combined with app games, productivity tools and the aggregation of information has opened marketer’s imagination to the possibilities that apps offer for promoting their brand. Typically, the revenue model for this first generation of apps is advertising or purchasing the app. A custom app, to promote a brand needs a different model. It can be very costly, so the value to your organization has to be significant. Because of the uniqueness of the new platform there are additional considerations in the planning of an app to get the most benefit. A mobile app is software that is optimized to be read, and interacted with, on a smartphone and other smart devices, like tablets. This paper will provide you the roadmap necessary for creating a custom app for your organization, business or idea that will bring value, designed and developed efficiently, and will be found and enjoyed by your audience.
  • Back to Marketing 101 - Who is the Audience? Who do you want to use your app? Answering this question is one the most important steps in creating a successful app. Your decision to build an app (or not) will be based on your target audience. Learning the demographics, psychographics, and persona of your audience will provide the information needed to understand what mobile devices are being used, where they are used, why they are used, and how they are used. Knowing the mobile device that the target audience is using is only part of the information required. As the name states, mobile allows people to use apps anywhere, so understanding how the app would be used will help to understand where it will be used as well. This information is important to ensure the app can function well in its operating environment. For example, if your app heavily relies on audio the user must be in a place where it can be heard.
  • Creating the IdeaAn app is a personal experience that should engage and interact with the user. Personal engagement with a wide variety of users can be hard to achieve. In the new Steve Jobs biography, Jobs knew they were creating something special with the iPod because the whole team wanted the device for themselves. On the other hand, you are not the audience. These attitudes are at odds, but in a good way. When you start brainstorming, pull together a team that has some diversity in their perspectives. The ideal team consists of an app developer, graphic designer, user experience (UX) expert and a marketing professional. If you are developing an app, get friends and colleagues in your business network to fill these roles.Begin the session with a lot of post-its and a big wall. Make sure everyone understands the goals and objectives. Now, have everyone privately write 3-5 broad concepts for the app. Post the ideas on the wall, grouping similar ideas. Together start with the most popular idea and develop it. Think about functions native to mobile devices, (touch, phone, email, geo location, camera, internet...) taking advantage of these tools. No idea is a bad idea at this stage. Don't get too caught up in technology or minutia - that will be worked out later. Now repeat this process with one or two other broad concepts that were popular. By this time everyone will be exhausted so go back to your office or home office and let the ideas ruminate for a day.Isaacson, W, 2011, Steve Jobs (Unabridged) Walter IsaacsonNow, let's start drawing! This sketching process helps develop a concept concretely, where everyone is seeing a similar vision. It is also a good exercise to start the simplification process. Keep in mind the following:The screen size of the smartphone or tablet is an important factor.If the app is for an Apple product someone should know the graphic guidelines. For example, they only allow five navigation buttons on the bottom of the screen.Source: “Mobile Apps Put the Web in Their Rear-View Mirror,” Flurry, June 20, 2011.When and where the app is going to be used is another factor. People typically use an app when they are: 1) micro-tasking - quick bursts of reoccurring tasks, 2) location - taking advantage of the location, using the app longer using more social, geo, audio, video and photos features, 3) bored - looking for distraction or a mental journey. Where the app is used is critical. Key considerations include: 1. at work - avoid audio, 2. outside in cold - user will be wearing gloves, 3. no Wi-Fi areas - expensive for intensive web based apps, 4. audio in noisy locations (buses)Who is using the app (remember your audience!) is important to consider. Limitations like poor eyesight (or bright sunshine) and manual dexterity could be an issue.The most important point to focus on in this stage is to simplify. Focus on the basics. Too often people build a skyscraper only to find people want a cozy pub. Start simple and let customer demand drive future versions. This will ensure you are using your budget responsibly, building something people want and most of all complete it while the idea is fresh and relevant.
  • Technology and BudgetNow, let’s come back down to reality and think about technology and budget. They really need to be grouped together at this stage in order to make the best trade-offs. Apps can be built in three different formats:Native Apps: A native app is developed specifically for the targeted device(s). The code can live on the device and doesn’t need Internet to operate, such as the app Angry Birds. A native app can be a richer experience, it is faster, has access to all the features of the device (not all devices have the same tools) such as calling, photo, video, email and push notification to name a few. These apps are updated through the various app markets.2. Web App: Web apps are just as the name infers, the app lives on a server using the Internet to deliver the app to the mobile device. These apps can look just like a native app because they are designed and optimized to work on mobile devices. For example, The New York Times app is a web app. It is designed to be Push Notification is when you receive messages without searching them out. For example in the game Words with Friends you are notified when it is your turn. Technology and BudgetNow, let’s come back down to reality and think about technology and budget. They really need to be grouped together at this stage in order to make the best trade-offs. Apps can be built in three different formats:Native Apps: A native app is developed specifically for the targeted device(s). The code can live on the device and doesn’t need Internet to operate, such as the app Angry Birds. A native app can be a richer experience, it is faster, has access to all the features of the device (not all devices have the same tools) such as calling, photo, video, email and push notification to name a few. These apps are updated through the various app markets.Web App: Web apps are just as the name infers, the app lives on a server using the Internet to deliver the app to the mobile device. These apps can look just like a native app because they are designed and optimized to work on mobile devices. For example, The New York Times app is a web app. It is designed to be Push Notification is when you receive messages without searching them out. For example in the game Words with Friends you are notified when it is your turn. Technology and BudgetNow, let’s come back down to reality and think about technology and budget. They really need to be grouped together at this stage in order to make the best trade-offs. Apps can be built in three different formats:Native Apps: A native app is developed specifically for the targeted device(s). The code can live on the device and doesn’t need Internet to operate, such as the app Angry Birds. A native app can be a richer experience, it is faster, has access to all the features of the device (not all devices have the same tools) such as calling, photo, video, email and push notification to name a few. These apps are updated through the various app markets.2. Web App: Web apps are just as the name infers, the app lives on a server using the Internet to deliver the app to the mobile device. These apps can look just like a native app because they are designed and optimized to work on mobile devices. For example, The New York Times app is a web app. It is designed to be Push Notification is when you receive messages without searching them out. For example in the game Words with Friends you are notified when it is your turn.
  • Remember, keep it simple; you are testing terms, navigation, and concept interest. Five to ten people is an optimal number of testers because you usually will see the same pattern with more testers. Use this information to make the necessary adjustments. You can even adjust the app during mid-testing if you are experiencing the same problem with the first couple of people. For example, if you have a "More" link and nobody is looking at it, change the name and see what the new response is.Refine the drawings and retest if needed. Once you feel that you have a good foundation, you are going to use these sketches for the specifications (spec) document. I like to organize the screens in PowerPoint, giving each screen a page. Organize it in logical flow, like you would hope the user might navigate the app. Each page will contain a screen title and number, a simple graphic showing a screen and a Use Case. Use Cases describe how each screen will be used. For example, "When the user selects the link named CONTACT US the user will see this screen. This screen contains an email address that will open the default email program. The email program will pre-populate the subject line..." These descriptions should be all inclusive. Using this technique the development team can accurately spec and price the project. The more detail provided the closer the quote. This is a great time to discover the problems in the interface; for example, a dead end in the navigation where the user cannot get to the next screen base on their location and they are caught in a loop. This is when you are living the app and really getting all the details worked out.This spec document is also great for upper management to understand the app before you get too deep in the process. Everything to this point has been relatively inexpensive, the steps going forward are going to be using a big part of the budget, be very thorough.
  • The DesignWhen starting with the design, the designers will use the specs built for pricing and add graphics. Photoshop is a great tool for this (or the software services mentioned earlier in this document). Using a phone graphic template (iPhone is best because the standards are so particular) as the base art, be sure it is the correct size/proportions so the design graphics can be built over it using Photoshop's layering capability. Some text and graphics can be rendered using programming and some you will have to provide. The more that can be done with programming, the faster loading time will be. Using programming to generate the text will make updates easier in the future.Once the design layouts have been completed, the designers will replace the simple line drawing on the PowerPoint spec, but will keep the Use Cases. This document will become the master wireframe. This document is used for final approvals and as a development guide. The graphics in these Photoshop files will be used to "slice" the graphics for the build, meaning that you will need to crop pieces of the design to give to the programmer. It is important to work in an organized and detailed manor all through the design process so there is no need to check every pixel or start over again. Remember, every pixel counts. Some programmers prefer to do these themselves so they can get what they need and only what they need. Every pixel downloaded can slow the app, a gradated bar does not need the whole bar cut the width of the device, just 2 pixel wide and the correct depth, programming will take care of the rest. Make sure the developer and designer work closely together in the slicing of the graphics. If the app is a native app for more than one device, the screen sizes will vary. Again, the developer and designer should work closely together. The IconThe icon that will live on the opening screens of the users’ device deserves extra attention. It is an important part of the brand that is seen every time the user looks at their device. The colors need to stand out and the symbol needs to be appropriately recognizable. There are only 12 characters available below for a name, so the icon needs to carry the rest of the brand. Put the icon on a sample screen with other apps and test it to see if it can be found easily and that it makes sense and differentiates your app.The BuildThe sliced graphics, wireframe, color codes, schedule, contract and retainer have all been sent to the developer. You’re well on your way! However, before going any further, plan a proofing process. Here is a good set of guidelines:Proof every UI (user interface or the screen design) before programming is applied.Schedule proofing of different functions or modules as they are completed throughout the build.If you have a simulation program on your desktop test the apps functions, if not TestFlight (testflightapp.com) is one of free testing service available that will allow the testing of the iOS functionality.Test everything and provide the developer a detailed description, with screen captures of the problems, if available. Remember, developer time is expensive and several ‘back-and-forth’s’ gets expensive. One thorough test will usually take care of 95% of needed fixes. Once these fixes are implemented make sure to test EVERYTHING again. Fixing one thing can often break another thing in the programming world. If everything is working well on the simulator, the app can be downloaded onto a real device for another round of real world testing. If all is well, it is time to post the app for public download!
  • DistributionThere are several ways to distribute apps:iTunes StoreAndroid MarketBlackberry App World Windows Phone MarketplaceEnterprise or web serverGetJar and other independent distribution storesFor the stores you will need to be registered as a developer. Currently, Apple charges $99 (which your developer probably paid to obtain the developer tools), Android is $25 and the others vary. Once approved (this can take months with Apple so start early) you will have access to online forms to fill out. Images, different size icons, description of the app, categories, and price (if charging for the app) will be required. While pricing is still in the early stages the standard strategy is to offer basic functionality for free to maximize downloads and your user base. Then offer a premium level for anywhere from 99 cents to $30 a year to your install base. You will upload an APK (Android Applications Package) for Android and a SDK (Software Development kit) package for Apple. Android apps will be live for download in a few hours. Apple will review all apps before releasing it in iTunes. Typically an approval will take 10 days, but a developer who doesn't understand Apple's requirements could take months to get approval. Apple will keep sending the code back with general instructions until it meets their requirement. I have heard horror stories of yearlong delays. The last option allows apps to be distributed from a web server. For Android this is pretty straightforward and the web developer should be able to set up the server for downloads. For Apple, you will need a special Enterprise license; again this process can take months. If you are going this route you should start the process early. It will cost $29 and your company will need a DUN numberMarketing PlanThe marketing of the app should be planned well before the completion of the app. There should be a pre- and post-release marketing strategy. Pre-release marketing could include building relationships with bloggers whose audience overlaps with your app’s user base, as well as bloggers who review apps. Research where you can upload the app for distribution, iTunes and the Android Market are not the only option. Some of these stores charge so you may need to add this expense to your budget. If the app is built around an area of interest that is broader than just an app, start a blog and start building content that the users may want to download or follow. Build a fan base using social media and start building an email list.This is the time to look for public relations individual/firm. They can research the right publications to be featured in and start building some excitement. Once the app is built, perhaps you offer an exclusive for influential writers who get to do the first reviews. Once the app has been released then start using the network that has been built using social media, further search engine optimization, an email campaign, a micro website or splash screen/site with a lot of keywords to help user find your app through search engines. Monitor the ranking and comments in iTunes and the Market. Be responsive to technical and usability issues when planning updates. 

Transcript

  • 1. 2/19/12 © EXP 2012 1
  • 2. Me Graphic Design Degree | Cleveland, Ohio 1987 | Worked for CompuServe 1996 | Started a Web Firm 2010 | Launched First App New Mobile Firm | EXP | experienceapp.com Launched 8 Apps | iOS | Android | Blackberry2/19/12 © EXP 2012 2
  • 3. Laying Out Your Roadmap to Success 98 Billion download by 2015 | Average time online 100 min. Ubiquitous, direct connection to consumer Web vs Native vs Hybrid Apps: • Web app built in html and lives, lives on a web server. • Native app different code for each operating system – iOS, Android, Windows… Code lives on the device. • Hybrid is a combination of native and web.Pew Internet & American Life Project7/11/20112/19/12 © EXP 2012 3
  • 4. Identifying a Purpose Who is the Target Audience? •Determine what devise, where used, why usage and how used. What is the Goal? • Customer service improvement • Productivity improvement • Sales support • Marketing platform expansion Source: The Pew Research Center’s Internet & American Life Project, April 26, - May 22,2/19/12 © EXP 2012 2011 Spring Tracking Survey 4
  • 5. How to Start the Process Creating the Idea • Developer, UX expert, marketer, designer Application Definition Statement List All the Features You Think Users Might Like Determine Where Your Users Are Filter the Feature List Source: “Mobile Apps Put the Web in Their Rear- View Mirror,” Flurry, June 20, 202/19/12 © EXP 2012 5
  • 6. Pricing the Project Technology and Budget Web vs Native vs Hybrid Test the Concept Wireframes2/19/12 © EXP 2012 6
  • 7. #4 Full Article Screen November 20, 2011 When the user selects a headline the top bar will read the date posted spelling out the LURIE BESIKOF LAPIDUS & CO. month. There will be a back arrow for the iOS ANNOUNCES NEW MANAGING version. PARTNERS, PARTNERS PRINCIPALS & DIRECOTRS The headline will be displayed without the date included. One Base 4 Building Limited, a general building materials wholesale merchant based in Athlone, Co. Westmeath, has gone into A thin rule will separate the headline from the voluntary liquidation. Brendan ODonoghue, body copy. Director of Corporate Recovery with Russell Brennan Keane was appointed as liquidator of One Base 4 Building Limited. The body copy will have one line of space separating paragraphs. Body copy may contain A tender sale of the company owned assets will hot links to websites, jpgs and email. Except for take place next week. Details and the tender document will be available for download from the email these will be displayed in the app the auctioneers website www.cooney.ieand screen.
  • 8. What the Build Involves Design • Right proportions, every pixel counts Icon • Stand out in the crowd Build • Proofing system2/19/12 © EXP 2012 8
  • 9. Submitting and Marketing the App Distribution •iOS - plan ahead, will need to get approval, $99, iTunes • Android - $25, Android Market, GetJar • Use same description in all markets starting with iTunes Marketing Plan • Social media accounts, content • Record a demo • Launch a web page/site • Pitch to publications2/19/12 © EXP 2012 9
  • 10. Barb Cagley EXP | Cleveland, Ohio bcagley@experienceapp.com experienceapp.com facebook.com/experienceapp @barbcagley Linkedin.com/barbcagley Mobile App Roadmap Report www.mobileapproadmap2/19/12 © EXP 2012 10