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7 Steps to Success with a Custom Mobile App


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Why you should have a mobile app for your business.

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7 Steps to Success with a Custom Mobile App

  1. 1. ==== ====For tips on mobile apps check this out. Why you should have a mobile app for your business ====If youre already using a mobile phone app (smartphone app) for your business, then youre likelyable to appreciate the power of mobile apps. Whether youre using an app to view YouTubevideos from your corporate channel or Twitter to communicate with potential customers, appshave become more significant with businesses. Even custom apps for businesses, apps that arebuilt specifically for a business or enterprise, have found a definitive niche. However, going downthe path to creating an app for your business is fraught with peril. There are some basic steps youcan follow to help ensure your success with a customize mobile phone app.The steps to Success are:Begin with the end in mindUnderstand how your app will be usedClearly document your app before its builtDocument your distribution strategyResearch and research the developerTest the application before and after distributionPerform a post-mortemIm a seasoned professional in the Information Technology sector. Ive spent years working withthe Systems Development Life Cycle (SDLC) and appreciate the nuances needed for successfulfull-scale program/project implementation. Although I truly believe that many of the SDLC stepsshould be followed for mobile app development, I also realize that many companies dont have thebandwidth or the financial resources to fully implement an app for smartphones based upon theSDLC. A new app developed under a detailed SDLC project framework can cost an enterprisethousands of dollars and a significant investment of resource time. Since many of our small andmedium-sized businesses may want mobile apps but need to operate in a leaner fashion, thesteps outlined here can serve as a starter plan.When you begin with the end in mind, you can and should visualize the end result as completelyas possible. This means do your research and look at existing App Store and Android Marketplaceapps. (You may find an app that has already been created which matches your needs 85% ormore.) Make a list of the features the app must have and a list of the features the app shouldhave. If youre artistic, go ahead and sketch the apps look and feel so that you can convey to adeveloper what is desired in the User Interface. This whole exercise should not take too long. Youwill revisit this document again shortly.Solicit the input of others and consider how your app will be used. Is it for customers to useexclusively? Will it be a B2B tool? Will it be something prospects will use as an adjunct to yourbusiness or perhaps a value-added feature or service? All these considerations are important.
  2. 2. When you have a clear picture, add this to your working document.This document is vital to the successful construction and deployment of your app. You will find thatthe more you put things down the less you forget and the less you have miscommunication withdevelopment resources. This document should include the results from the prior steps and from allfurther steps. Be sure to document everything (even brainstorming notes - you will be surprisedhow useful these can be).Now that your app is beginning to take a real shape - at least on paper - you should consider howits going to be distributed. Lets say youve decided that existing customers will use the app andpossibly share it with others (your prospective customers). This may take a simple distributionmodel: App Store for download and a share utility (like for Twitter or Email) within your app itself.This gives you a method to have a download for your customers (they go to App Store) and amethod for them to share (using Twitter or Email). You may also have point-of-sale (POS) QRscans or information (marketing collateral) for the downloadable apps to ensure that current andnew customers get the information for the downloadable app at the time of sale.Once youve developed a clear app document, youre going to need a developer. If you alreadyhave an in-house developer, then youre work is done - give them the document you have andguide them through the project. If youre running a lean operation, then youll need to find adeveloper to do the work for you. With the search for a developer, you want to make sure theyprovide for you a clear path to the end result (which youve documented), including the distribution.There are plenty of development toolsets that allow you to do most of the development workyourself using App hybridization (also called mash up). These work great for many apps. Youllhave to research the offerings thoroughly to be sure you find your best fit. Dont fall victim to the"cheapest" on the development side if you find that the ongoing support or even the distributionhelp is non-existent.Once the development is completed (and during), youre going to be testing the app. Test the appwith the target audience in mind. Put yourself in their position and run the app through thegauntlet. Distribute your app and run through the tests again.Now that your app is on the market, assemble your team and figure out what went right and whatwent wrong. Document what things you want in any update to the app (this seems to be anongoing process for many). Also, stick with your marketing plan for the app and be sure itspromoted properly. An app that is unused turns into a hole into which you pour money and time.If you follow these seven simple steps, youre more likely to generate a successful implementationof mobile apps for small to medium-sized businesses. If youre looking for a far-reaching andcomplex app, then youre likely to need more of a formalized SDLC model to achieve success.Take the time to document and follow each step completely through to the projects completion.Youll be amazed what a mobile app, properly built, can do for your firm.David Pratt is a creative consultant with iDesign Mobile Apps, a smartphone applicationdevelopment company located in Nevada and North Carolina. Smartphone users can takeadvantage of technology by using smartphone apps which help them improve their lives. Mobile
  3. 3. apps and mobile web solutions can be discussed with the experts at advantage of an EzineArticles referral special and get a one-hour consultation on Deployingsocial media and mobile technology for your company. Contact iDesign for details.Article Source: ====For tips on mobile apps check this out. Why you should have a mobile app for your business ====