Nothing is perfect on the first try, but most companies building and deploying mobile apps expect first attempts to match idealized expectations. It’s no wonder that apps have a 90-day retention rate of just 1.89 percent — both users and companies often abandon their own creations once it becomes apparent they aren’t exactly as advertised.
The solution to app abandonment and user frustration? Prototyping. It’s the mobile development equivalent of “try, try again.” Companies need to see how critical components of their app come together before spending on development, implementation and support.
Here’s what you need to know:
Prototyping comes before full-on app design and implementation, but there’s a step prior to prototyping that can both reduce development lead times and improve long-term outcomes: Strategy. First up? Find a problem you need to solve, then brainstorm how a mobile app could help solve it. Specifics are key — catch-all applications are never as good as their niche counterparts, and it’s difficult to measure ROI for apps without a specific outcome in mind.
With a solid app strategy in place, it’s time for rough outlines: What features are must-haves for your app? What’s the basic look? How will users interact with your application, and what’s the downstream engagement plan? You don’t need all the answers here, just start asking questions to create a design framework for your mobile application.
Won’t Someone Think of the Users?
With a basic strategy in place, you’re ready to start prototyping. The goal here is to create an app mock-up you can show to staff, stakeholders and select customers to solicit their feedback and refine your vision. You can streamline this process by putting users first: Think about how they’ll interact with your application from start to finish. Are there any areas that are confusing or frustrating, little hiccups you hope users will simply “overlook”? They won’t. Find and address these potential pain points during the prototype stage to save yourself a headache later.
Now you’ve got a prototype. It’s not attractive or intuitive, but there it is. The temptation? To wait just a bit longer, polish certain features or install new options. The problem? You’re losing valuable time that’s better spent getting feedback on your app and moving into production. Put in the time, do the work and then set your prototype free.
Want to handle app prototyping in-house? Our starter tips can help streamline the process. Want to boost speed and specificity? We can help. SnapMobile’s app strategy and prototyping services are always free of charge — you’re not committed until you’re happy with the prototype and reserve a place in our build schedule.
Building a great app takes practice, perseverance and patience; get the app you want by prototyping what you need. Ready to get started? Talk to SnapMobile.