The Secret to Building a Successful App

Let’s be honest — designing an app is fun. It’s fun for us, and it’s exciting for you to think about how customers can engage with your products, and to think about new ways to make your mobile presence stand out from the rest. We’re just as enthusiastic about app development as you are, but before we roll our sleeves up, there is one simple question we want you to remember while you’re brainstorming: What is the outcome that you’re aiming for?

The dog wags the tail

When you decide to build an app, you make that decision to help you achieve your business goals. To do that successfully, every feature in your app should bring you closer to where you want to be. And that means building on your understanding of your products, your industry, your customers, and ultimately, how all of those things come together to make your business thrive. And thinking about these questions can be just as fun as building the app itself.

Where to start?

It starts with the basic questions that underpin your business strategy: What do you want to achieve? How do you want people to feel about your brand? What keeps customers coming back to you? But to build the best app, you need to dig a little deeper than the basics.

If you’re in the business of selling kitchen products, it’s not enough to say that you want to sell more stuff. Your goal might be to launch a new product line. You might want people to feel that your brand represents an important way for customers to save precious time in the kitchen. And perhaps your customers keep coming back to you because they value your high quality products and attention to detail.

Where does the app come in?

With your business strategy in mind, you can start asking additional questions: What are the most important actions that the customer needs to take in the app? What kind of user experience do you want your customers to have? What is the purpose of each feature you want to include in the app?

Using the kitchen product example, if your goal is to launch a new product line, the most important action you want customers to take might be signing up for a mailing list so you can notify them of special offers. However, if your main business goal is to clear out stock of older items, the most important action you want might be having customers browse through the “clearance section” of your website. For user experience, if your brand is all about serving a high-end niche market, you’ll want the app interface to reflect that in a way that’s different than a brand that positions itself as more rough-and-tumble. Both can be high quality, but the design elements will be different. And for each feature we add, we want to know how it will contribute to your goals. If features don’t bring you there, then the app won’t provide the value you need it to. Even worse, it won’t resonate with your customers.

So what’s the secret?

Building an app is about more than just technology. It’s about building your business. That’s why the best app designs are outcome driven. Starting the app development process with your business strategy in mind will help your app, and your business, be successful.