Sourcebooks Apps 101 - BEA 2012


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  • Walk you through the beginning of the process A LOT of fun – explode content and ideas way past the boundaries of the printed book Like the most fun elements of book publishing times 100
  • The first step in the process – can’t stress it enough – is research While “market research” may sound daunting and EXPENSIVE, it doesn’t have to be. At the very heart of research is a simple concept:
  • It’s just that simple – ask questions. Lots of them and honestly listen for the answers
  • “ Throughout the development, use the Application Development Statement to decide if potential features and behaviors make sense.”
  • SO SPECIAL: 600k apps in Apple App Store, 400k on Google Play, 70k in the Microsoft store. Why will your stand out? GOALS: Are you trying to make money on the app or is it designed to market another product or service where the money is made?
  • Book apps: 50k+ Cooking? Lifestyle category 48k Great reference tool? 32k BESTSELLING:, WHAT DO YOU HAVE? This is an expensive process, and understanding your own competitive benefits is paramount. Otherwise, what’s the point?
  • RATE: Honestly survey the competitors and do your best to rate yourself. Resist “my baby’s not ugly.”
  • RELATIONSHIP: Map out the top 25 in the category and look for a theme amongst prices and a relationship between price and rank. Use to figure out how high each rose in the rankings and look for relationships there. FACTORS: What drives the prices up (or down): content, functionality, brand awareness?
  • FREE: Please pay attention to this. If there are great, free apps, you’ve got to be really sure that others will pay for it. FREEMIUM: Giving away a basic app and charging users for additional content or functionality
  • Example of people who discover power points
  • REFERENCES Choose folks that you can communicate with – time zones, communication styles, online/collaborative project management - Offshore firms seem really enticing – time zones, language, cultural differences COST: Entry level would be around $10k and a more elaborate app would start around $50k
  • A developer is somebody who knows how to manage the whole process Do you have your own design team and production department? Maybe that’s okay.
  • According to a survey released earlier this year, the average cost of a Top 100 iOS is less than $1.50. If you are thinking of an app that is more than $5, you should have a very good reason!
  • Perhaps the most difficult leg of the process
  • Why are wireframes so important? User Experience – we have all experienced bad apps – apps that feel cheap, bizarrely-designed, and clunky. I would suggest that nobody sets out to design a bad app but that they are more than likely the product of great intentions paired with bad planning. Steve Jobs put it this way:
  • Wire frames give you a simple (and inexpensive) way to get a tangible grasp on an app’s functionality and to test out your vision on others. Create the wire frames, show it to power users, listen, adjust, repeat. At some point, you’ll arrive at a structure that is worth taking to design. My grandfather was a wood worker, and he drilled into me from a young age: measure twice, cut once – don’t waste wood. As will be discussed in more detail, app development is expensive, so use this low-cost tool to get it right before you start spending money.
  • Sourcebooks Apps 101 - BEA 2012

    1. 1. APPS 101: BUILDING APPS Chris Bauerle Director of Sales and Marketing
    4. 4. QUESTIONS: The Product• What is this app (elevator pitch)? – Application Definition Statement
    5. 5. Application Definition Statement A concrete declaration of an app’s main purpose and it’s intended functionality - iOS Human Interface Guidelines
    6. 6. QUESTIONS: The Product• What is this app (elevator pitch)? – Application Definition Statement• What is its key functionality?• Why is it special?• Who is going to buy it?• Why do they need it?• What are my goals?
    7. 7. QUESTIONS: The Competition• How many similar apps are available?• What are the best-selling apps?• What are their features (content & functionality)?• What makes them special (design, content, functionality, longevity, name)?• What do you have that they don’t?
    8. 8. QUESTIONS: The Competition• Of very similar apps, how would you rate your potential app?• What functionality is required by the category?
    9. 9. QUESTIONS: Price• What is the price range in the category?• What is the relationship between price and sales rank?• What factors impact price?
    10. 10. QUESTIONS: Price• How many free apps are available? Are they good?• Is freemium popular in the category?
    11. 11. FOCUS GROUPS• Cheap and easy: TALK to the target demographic (consumers of the type of app you are developing)• Park your desires and beliefs• LISTEN – REALLY LISTEN
    12. 12. FOCUS GROUPS: Topics• Ranking the competition – User experience – Design – Wish list• Price – what is it worth?
    13. 13. FOCUS GROUPS: Topics• Your app – Are your competitive advantages real? – Do they desire your solution? – Is your functionality exciting? – Is your content desirable? – Why will the buy it instead of the competition?
    14. 14. ITERATING APP DEVELOPMENT• Pre-production adjustments based on feedback• Modification of early prototypes• Gather feedback on early “builds” and enhance your product• Listen to reviewers
    16. 16. SELECTING A DEVELOPER• Choosing a developer is largely based on budget
    17. 17. SELECTING ANESTABLISHED DEVELOPER1. Find similar apps that you love2. Identify the “seller” in the app metadata or click on “Developer Website.”3. Send an email – compliments go a long way
    18. 18. CONSIDERATIONS FORESTABLISHED DEVELOPERS• Who are their other clients?• What do their reference say – sales, collaborative relationship, timeliness, willingness to adapt?• What’s the cost?• What priority level will you be?• Is revenue share an option?
    19. 19. SELECTING A SMALL DEVELOPER• Use job boards such or• LinkedIn searches yield smaller firms in specific locales• Post a “job” – LinkedIn, CareerBuilder, Craigslist
    20. 20. CONSIDERATIONS FOR SMALL DEVELOPERS• The same criteria as large developers PLUS• Legal agreements – source code, other IP, vendor terms• Larger burden on reference checking• Resources and knowledge for everything you need and more?
    21. 21. CONSIDERATIONS FOR SMALL DEVELOPERS• Full development lifecycle management vs. simply programming• Will they be around for bug fixes and updates?• Structure payment and contracts to insure you get what you need
    22. 22. On Communication A major consideration for working withdevelopers is communication – are you both interpreting the requirements in the sameway, are you clearly communicating the levelof detail needed by the developer, have youagreed on communication timelines? Strong communication is essential to success. - Lynn Dilger, VP-Technology @ Sourcebooks
    24. 24. START WITH PRICE• The market determines value – not your costs• What do your competitors apps cost?• “This is amazing – it has to be worth more than 99 cents”• Prices can vary based on the marketplace – Google, Nook, Amazon
    25. 25. CREATE A SALES FORECAST• How many do you expect to sell per month? – Why do you believe that? – Sources for aiding forecasting: • Your previous app sales data • Developer projections •
    26. 26. How much will it cost?• How much does the development cost?• How much does the design cost?• How much does the content cost – either upfront or in royalties?• Ongoing updates and fixes• Creating and maintaining support website
    27. 27. Now Build a P&L
    28. 28. The DevelopmentProcess
    29. 29. DEVELOPMENT PROCESS• Finalize the Application Development Statement• Select your development team(s)• Create wireframes• Create the visual design• The “build”
    31. 31. What is a Wireframe? wnA very sim ple, sometimes hand-dra ructure representation o f the functionality and st of your appNo pictures, gra phics, fancy fonts, colors
    32. 32. You’ve got to start with the customer experience and workback toward the technology - not the other way around. - Steve Jobs
    33. 33. WIRE FRAMES
    34. 34. WIRE FRAMES
    35. 35. WIRE FRAMES
    36. 36. OPTIONS FOR CREATING WIRE FRAMES?• Draw them by hand• Use Microsoft Word or freeware from the internet• Use paid software like Balsamiq, Axure, or Adobe Creative Suite
    37. 37. NEXT STEPS• Visual Design• The “Build”• Metadata• Launch – uploads, marketing, etc.• Iteration
    38. 38. APPS 101: BUILDING APPS Chris Bauerle Director of Sales and Marketing
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