In today’s digital world, businesses need to reach their markets via multiple channels. As consumers are inseparable from their smartphones, a mobile web application is now an indispensable component of any omnichannel customer experience.
There are many moving parts when planning and developing a successful web app. Here are the top 7 things to consider:
1. Define the Objective
Start with a highly specific objective, which will help you determine the features, functionalities, and user experience of the app.
First, clarify the major outcome you want to achieve (e.g., a marketing goal or the actions you want users to take) then you can work backward to define the steps required in the development process.
2. Understand the Users
Validate your idea to make sure that there’s a demand for the app and the market isn’t overly competitive or saturated.
Use survey, focus groups, or paper prototypes to discover the target audience’s challenges, desired outcomes, and preferences or habits (e.g., devices) before proceeding into the development phase.
3. Research Your Competitors
Find out what other apps are on the market, how they work, what users like about them, and what the common complaints are.
You can then define your unique positioning by developing features to fill a gap in the market or improve upon existing products so the app can stand out from the competition.
4. Involve UX and IT Early
After you have identified the requirements for the app, involve UX and IT teams as soon as possible to ensure that the user interface can be supported by available technologies.
For example, you should consider the technology infrastructure for a multi-channel solution, how to architect data delivery, how to manage API, and compliance with security protocols.
5. Finalize the Technology Stack
Last but not least, define the set of languages, frameworks, and database management system for building the application (e.g., HTML, Laravel, Ruby on Rails, MySQL, Apache.)
The choice of the technology stack can impact the usability and functionality of the web app, so make sure that the selection can support your MVP as well as the roadmap for future releases. For example, PHP is a hugely popular coding language with a multitude of developers who are experts. PHP frameworks like Laravel have even been created to better service this ecosystem. Choosing developers who are experts in Laravel and PHP is a great direction for most web app projects.
6. Launch an MVP (Minimally Viable Product)
Instead of developing all the functions from the get-go, build a minimally viable solution with the key features to use as a foundation.
An MVP is a fully functional app with the core features. It allows you to enter the market quickly, gain access to actual users, and gather feedback so you can refine the functionalities and develop new features that meet the needs of the market.
7. Design a Roadmap For Multiple Releases
The release of the initial version is just the beginning. As you gain traction and incorporate user feedback, plan to release updates and new features at regular intervals.This will not only help your app stay relevant but also re-engage users with new functionalities over time. A new release every 2 to 3 months is typically frequent enough to keep users engaged without bombarding them with too much information.