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Is Your App High Risk To Warrant A Minimum Viable Product (MVP)?

Deciding on whether to develop a minimum viable product or a full-fledged app can be difficult. As an appreneur, you’ll need to take a hard look at your project and determine whether an MVP is worthwhile. Below, we provide a few handy tips to help you make the right decision.

1. Determine Whether A Minimum Viable Product Is Right For You

In many cases, it’s usually smart to develop a minimum viable product instead of a full-fledged app. And this is often the way to go if you’re a startup that needs to stick to a budget and mitigate risk. However, it’s also likely that an MVP may not be right for you in specific cases.

If you’re developing something simple, such as a to-do list or note-taking app, then consider if an MVP is the sensible choice. After all, an app with such limited functionality and scope already fits within the confines of an MVP. But there’s a difference; an MVP can be scaled into a larger project at a later stage after testing the market.

2. Are Your App Ideas Truly High Risk?

You could position your startup as an innovator and trailblazer that makes unique apps. And if you’re indeed creating new and unique apps, then it’s likely that your risk is higher too. In that case, you’ll want to develop an MVP to test your app ideas and appeal to investors.

But if you’re not veering away from the well-trodden path and playing it safe, your app’s unlikely high risk. Furthermore, it will be harder to excite users with an app that’s not much different than existing alternatives.

3. Why You Should Implement Good App Design

A side benefit of developing an MVP is that it helps your team hone their app design skills. And a few areas that will improve include the following:

  • Gaining a better understanding of the product and the resources required to complete it
  • Accelerate the team’s understanding of the client’s needs and enhance iteration and delivery
  • Significantly reduce time to market (TTM)
  • Gain a competitive advantage over rivals entering the same market

However, developers need to understand what they’re trying to achieve with a minimum viable product. They’ll need to build a vertical slice encompassing emotional design, usability, reliability, and functionality. And never a horizontal slice across only one of these key elements.

4. How To Develop An MVP Successfully

As we mentioned earlier, an MVP is the sensible choice when embarking on a project that’s high risk. So, you’ll want to tackle it in a manner that leads to a successful outcome. Your minimum viable product should be a usable product, even with its minimal functionality. It should never end up as a demo, feel incomplete, or be meant only to gather feedback from users.

Furthermore, your team should be capable of using the right tools for making and releasing an MVP. They should implement analytics and a robust feedback pipeline for gaining insight into user engagement and responses.

5. Consider The Costs Of Developing An MVP

Depending on the size and complexity of your MVP, it can cost between $25,000 to $100,000. That’s a significant amount of money that could go towards your advertising and marketing endeavors instead. Therefore, it’s vital that you’ve done marketing research and determined what pain points you’re addressing before embarking on your MVP. Then, ensure that you build a community around your app and that you listen to user feedback.

Given the challenges and amount of work required to complete an MVP successfully, it’s best to work with a professional studio. Contact us today to learn how NS804 can help you develop an engaging MVP with brilliant app design.

7 Steps To Build An Android MVP App

Are you sitting on the fence of whether or not to build an Android MVP? Given the global proliferation of Android smartphones and other devices, it makes sense to support the platform. But it’s also a platform that’s harder to develop for than iOS, making some developers balk at the thought. While Android development does have its fair share of quirks, it’s still worth supporting in the long run. Follow these 7 steps to build an Android MVP app and reach users around the world.

1. Why You Need An Android MVP App

The market for Android apps is dynamic and ever-growing. Unlike Apple’s tightly locked iOS ecosystem, Android is truly open. While most users download their Android apps from Google Play, that’s not the only choice available to them. Popular Android digital storefronts such as Amazon AppStore, Aptoide, and GetJar are several good alternatives. And smartphone manufacturers such as Huawei and Samsung have their brand-specific app stores, namely: Huawei AppGallery and Samsung Galaxy Apps.

Also, the Android platform makes it easy to sideload apps, allowing users to download and install apps from any source, including directly from the developer’s website. Undoubtedly, all these storefronts give developers ample opportunities to leverage their apps and grow their respective audiences further. Moreover, these storefronts make the perfect testing ground to try out new app ideas.

What all this means is that you should be developing an Android MVP if you’re targeting this platform. An MVP will allow you to reduce your costs and risks by focussing strictly on essential features. Then, you can test the viability of your ideas on a variety of markets and audiences. And once you receive feedback and analyze all relevant data points, you can then iterate your app MVP accordingly.

2. iOS MVP Example Takeaways

While Android’s a platform that every app developer should consider supporting, we have a few takeaways regarding iOS. From recent findings, iOS apps have higher engagement and retention rates. Furthermore, iOS users buy more purchasable apps and spend more on in-app purchases than Android users. And from a developer’s standpoint, it’s usually a faster and smoother process to develop and test iOS apps. Thus, iOS is better suited for creating an app MVP in most cases.

And to give you a brief idea about what this entails, let’s go over an iOS MVP example. NS804 developed Brew Trader, which is an app aimed at craft beer enthusiasts. The app helps them track down fellow aficionados located nearby and trade bottles in an efficient manner.

To develop this app, we set out to make our MVP ideation as simple as possible. While we initially listed down plenty of cool ideas, we eventually narrowed these down to the most relevant. The Brew Trader MVP ended up with three screens: a map showing bottle locations and the latest offers, a user profile, and a messenger so that users can DM each other. We built this MVP using the modern Swift programming language and by implementing a view controller design pattern.

3. Start With A Clear Purpose

One lesson that the above iOS MVP example offers us is that having a clear purpose is vital. As we’ve already revealed, Beer Trader is a simple and incredibly focused app. And that’s what defines most of the best and successful apps in the marketplace.

Before embarking on Android MVP development, you’ll need to ask yourself what problem you’re trying to solve. Ideally, you’ll come up with a no-frills solution that solves this one problem exceptionally well. Never try to solve many problems in your MPV, as it will lack direction and suffer feature creep.

4. Define Your Audience

We’ve mentioned how Android’s wide variety of storefronts make it easy to target a large audience beyond Google Play. However, audiences vary widely from storefront to storefront, and they all have different expectations. For example, Amazon AppStore users are more accustomed to purchasing apps and games in particular. But that’s not true for Aptoide users, who predominantly seek free apps without any geo-restrictions. On top of that, Google Play’s audience is incredibly diverse given the popularity of the platform.

So, what’s a busy Android developer to do? As always, you’ll want to keep things as simple as possible. Don’t try to target all these users and stick to one or two app stores initially. If you’re developing a premium app with in-app purchases, it makes sense to target Google Play and possibly Amazon AppStore users.

But you’ll need to narrow down your target audience even further. Perhaps you’re creating a VR architectural visualization app that depicts Brutalist architecture. In that case, you’ll want to target architects and designers based in Canada, the Czech Republic, the USA, the UK, Russia, Serbia, and Sweden, where this type of architecture is prominent.

5. Think About What To Scale Back

Scaling back and finding your true minimum is one of the most important things you can do. But you should be careful, as you don’t want your Android MVP to be so devoid of features that it becomes useless. Aim for the least amount of features but ensure that they all work flawlessly. Be sure to implement or retain all core functionality relevant to your app and avoid or remove any fluff. While there are no guarantees, most users will find such an app valuable.

6. Create A Detailed Explainer

Clients, users, and stakeholders will want to know what your app MVP is all about. This presents the perfect opportunity to create a detailed explainer. Carefully lay out your plans, even if they don’t all make it into the MVP. Also, consider adding a roadmap so that your audience knows what you have planned in the months ahead. And use video, especially if your MVP relies heavily on graphics and other visual elements.

7. Design The UI and UX

You’ve worked hard on creating the logic for your app, so don’t skimp on the design work either. Ensure that you’re following best practices and guides aimed at Android developers. As you go about building your user interface (UI), consider how your app bar, bubbles, dialog windows, menus, pop-up messages, and other UI elements work together. Ultimately, you want a clean and cohesive UI that flows naturally. And look closely at engagement and usability, as these correlate with your MVP’s user experience (UX).

8. Choose Your Language

A key benefit of Android development is that you can choose from several programming languages to create your project. Most developers will probably go with Java since this is the official language of the platform. However, in recent years, Kotlin has been gaining popularity since it’s similar but easier than Java.

For game developers, C++ is an apt choice, especially when optimal performance is essential. But Unity that uses the C# language has become a popular option amongst cross-platform and mobile game developers. And for simpler 2D games where performance isn’t a big concern, JavaScript and LUA are valid options.

9. Create A Testing Group

Try to create a community that backs your app as early as possible. Even if you only manage to gain a small following early on, these users can be invaluable. Entice them with competitions and insider early access initiatives to test your app. Then, set up a robust feedback pipeline so that these users can conveniently share their thoughts with your team. Keep track of all this feedback and ensure that your team makes the necessary iterations. Finally, always thank and credit your users for all their contributions.

In Conclusion

Developing for Android can be a challenging yet rewarding experience. However, it’s possible to overcome the more challenging aspects of the platform by following these 7 steps. Contact us today to find out how NS804 can make your next Android app simply amazing.

How Much Does It Cost To Build A MVP

Ever wondered how much it costs to build a MVP? We answer that question in more detail below and demystify the process of developing a compelling app MVP. Furthermore, we provide a few tips on some of the pitfalls you should avoid.

1. Why The DIY Option Costs More

You’ve decided to build an app MVP but still pondering whether to do it yourself. You may think it will cost you nothing or very little if you forego freelancers or professional development companies. But have you thought about how much your own time is worth? Do you have the technical skills to build a MVP efficiently and complete it on time? And have you considered all the costs associated with designing, developing, releasing, testing, and analyzing data of your MVP?

A competent freelance developer will likely charge you between $ 4,000 to $ 6,000, while a development company will charge you between $ 5,000 to $ 35,000, depending on the complexity of your project. It’s unlikely that you’ll finish your project at a lower price, especially if you don’t have any prior experience.

2. Why Build A MVP Using Professionals

Even if you’ve built an MVP before, you benefit immensely by working with a professional development team. Not only will you have peace of mind that your project will be completed on time, but your MVP will comply with best practices. However, you’ll need to be vigilant about your user testing and quality assurance (QA) processes.

Ensure that your development team is fully collaborating with you throughout the entire development process. And ensure that they’re regularly testing your MVP and that they’re consistently collecting and analyzing data. The last thing you want is the unfortunate scenario where users lose trust in a technology that seemed promising.

3. How To Scale Back An App MVP

You’re likely targeting a niche market with your app MVP. And users in niche markets tend to be early adopters looking for solutions that solve specific problems. Thus, you won’t need all the bells and whistles to attract these users. Instead, focus on the bare minimum of features that your users will find beneficial to save on development costs.

4. How Long Does It Take To Build A MVP

It usually takes between two to four months to develop an MVP. But it can take longer if you’re creating a more complex application. And in most cases, you’ll spend the bulk of your development time building all your back-end systems. Therefore, ensure that your development team has the necessary skills to handle such tasks to avoid unforeseen delays.

5. Why An App MVP Saves You Money Overall

Developing and marketing a mobile application costs a substantial amount of money. But it’s always a huge risk releasing such an application, especially if you haven’t ascertained if it will be successful. That’s why building an MVP makes sense since it allows you to test out your ideas and gather user feedback at a fraction of the cost of a full-fledged application. If your MVP gains traction and receives positive feedback from users, you can entice investors to help you scale your app.

Contact us today to learn how NS804 can help you build a MVP that engages users and impresses investors.

How A Minimum Viable Product Helps You Identify Opportunities

Building a minimum viable product (MVP) is a smart move. Not only will it help you identify opportunities, but provide valuable insight into what your users truly want. And if you plan your MVP carefully, you’ll complete it successfully while keeping your development costs low.

1. The Minimum Viable Product Is A Powerful Tool In Your Arsenal

Every smart appreneur or enterprise takes advantage of the most effective tools available to them. Such a tool is the minimum viable product, which helps determine whether or not an app will be successful. Since an MVP is far cheaper and quicker to develop than a full-featured app, it’s a less risky option. The developer only focuses on the bare minimum features and tries to solve a problem that app users face.

But even with this reduced cost and risk, it’s vital to treat MVP development seriously. Don’t be self-indulgent with your ideas or implement trendy concepts that don’t align with what’s best for your business. An MVP is supposed to reveal whether users find your app appealing while you gather analytical data and feedback. Moreover, this MVP should diminish fears and concerns from investors and stakeholders about the prospects of your upcoming project.

2. Carefully Plan Your MVP To Reduce Development Costs

Before commencing with your minimum viable product, you’ll need to assess various factors. Firstly, understand what’s best for your business and what your long-term goals are for the app. Secondly, map out how app users will find your app and what pain points they may experience. Thirdly, decide on which features to prioritize based on the pain points and opportunities your target users present.

Use a prioritization matrix to help you determine which features to implement and which to leave out. Implement high impact and high urgency features while leaving out or revisiting low impact and low urgency features. By doing this, you’ll reduce development costs by building an MVP that strictly delivers the bare essentials.

3. Understand The Project Management Methodologies

From the most successful mobile app developers to elite business schools, the MVP has become indispensable. Undoubtedly, it can yield phenomenal results, provided it’s used for the right reasons and not as a panacea. That’s why it’s vital to understand project management methodologies, especially when running a lean startup enterprise. As an appreneur, mobile app developer, or even a business releasing its first app, you should have a handle on Agile practices.

Nowadays, many developers utilize the Agile methodology for delivering their products to app users quickly. But quick doesn’t mean bad, as Agile requires that each developer’s code is tested and passes code review before it’s added to the main branch. Furthermore, the development team will regularly engage the community and deliver updates continuously.

4. Your MVP Will Let You Know What App Users Want

Once you’ve released your minimum viable product, your users will start using it and give their feedback. Of course, you should be encouraging reviews and be engaging with users on as many channels as possible. You should also set up an analytics pipeline to effectively collect and analyze user data. All this information will let you know if you’ve created an MVP that’s worth scaling into a full-featured app.

And while developing an MVP may be less risky, this doesn’t mean that you should attempt it alone. For the best results, partner with an experienced development company that will help release your app within budget. Contact us today to learn how NS804 can assist you in creating MVPs that will appeal to new users.

Why You Need A Digital Marketing Plan To Promote Your App

Digital marketing is one of the most effective ways to promote your app in a crowded market. And it starts with a carefully drawn-up plan that contains all the strategies to help you reach your audience. Below, we provide a few handy tips to help you build your brand the right way.

1. Have A Digital Marketing Plan From Day 1

Months of hard work creating your app should eventually lead to returns that justify its development. But how certain are you that this will happen? If you’ve developed your app without a marketing strategy, then your chances of success are murky. After all, the app stores have a plethora of quality apps in almost every genre and niche imaginable.

But if you’ve drafted a digital marketing plan at the start of the development cycle, you’ll likely release an app that gains traction with its target audience. The marketing plan will help you attract, convince, and convert customers. Furthermore, it will contain all the strategies to attract these customers and how you’ll segment your marketing campaigns.

2. A Digital Marketer Will Identify The Best Ways To Reach Your Target Audience

If you’re an appreneur that wants to build your brand, you’ll need to work with the right people. Ideally, you’ll either have a digital marketer on your team or work with a company that offers marketing services. The marketer will draft a document that outlines your marketing plan in detail and contain the following:

  • List all relevant business goals
  • Detail the strategies to achieve these goals
  • Digital channels to use to reach your audience
  • A comprehensive plan of the development cycle
  • Budget considerations
  • Milestones and roadmap

Furthermore, the marketer will conduct a SWOT analysis of your company relative to its competitors and the overall market. This process will help identify the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats that your company faces.

3. Don’t Neglect App Store Optimization (ASO)

Your digital marketer may have suggested that you produce YouTube videos and do content marketing to reach your audience. However, this doesn’t mean that you should neglect app store optimization (ASO). Why this is so important is because the app stores are where your audience is.

For the best results, compile an app store optimization checklist, utilize app store SEO tools, focus on top keywords, and study your competitors. And don’t forget to design an engaging icon, use stunning screenshots, showcase your app with videos, pick a catchy app name, and encourage user reviews.

4. Build Your Brand On All Relevant Platforms

It’s always a good idea to push your app to as many platforms as possible. While the mobile app market is large and lucrative, don’t focus on Android and iOS exclusively. Try and build your brand on all platforms where your app can potentially find an audience.

The web offers budding appreneurs new opportunities, especially with the growing popularity of progressive web apps (PWAs). Furthermore, Apple’s M1 and Microsoft’s SQ2 processors are gradually transforming the desktop space and creating demand for apps that take advantage of these ARM-based systems.

5. Digital Marketing Can Also Benefit Your MVP

Conducting market research is usually the first step before commencing with a minimum viable product (MVP). You’ll want to identify the pain points that users experience and provide them with a solution that solves these. Thus, a digital marketing plan covers these pain points in detail so that the MVP developers can comprehend them. Contact us today to learn how NS804 can help your development and marketing endeavors for a successful app launch.

Build An MVP: 8 Mistakes To Avoid For Success

If you’re about to build an MVP, then you’re going to face several challenges. You’ll want to implement a ton of cool ideas, but you’ll probably pare these down for project feasibility. Then, you’ll have to consider Waterfall methodology vs Agile and choose the right model. And, budgetary concerns may make you spend too much or too little on your upcoming project. The wrong decisions could potentially derail the success of your MVP. Therefore, we’ve compiled this handy list of 8 mistakes to avoid to keep your project on track.

1. Build An MVP Too Complete Or Slimmed Down

Everything in life is about balance, and the same applies to building an MVP. Quite often, developers get excited about making a mind-blowing MVP and go overboard by adding unnecessary features. They waste company resources by spending time on these extra bells and whistles, hoping that they’ll wow clients. But the result is an unfocused product that confuses clients or doesn’t deliver basic functionality as it should. Small or inexperienced teams usually have trouble implementing complex systems with robust functionality.

However, it’s not a good idea to build an MVP that’s too slimmed down either. While it makes sense to keep things simple, this doesn’t mean that it should be too basic unless that’s what’s specified by the client. Ideally, you want to create an MVP that delivers all core functionality in a near-flawless manner. But you also want to implement the user interface (UI) & user experience (UX) to make your MVP feel complete. Ultimately, you want the MVP to give the client a clear picture of how the final product will look.

2. Choosing The Wrong Methodology

Developers are a passionate lot, especially when it comes to their favorite programming languages, tools, and methodologies. You’ll catch them feverishly debating the Waterfall methodology vs Agile on Stack Overflow, Quora, or around the water cooler. You may even have a hotshot developer on the team that’s eager to dive into an MVP agile project. Thus, it’s easy to be swayed by popular opinion of which methodology to adopt in your upcoming MVP.

The best course of action here is to consider all benefits of the Waterfall methodology vs Agile. Moreover, you’ll have to decide on which model suits your MVP the most. If you need to get deliverables out to clients quickly, then we recommend the MVP agile approach. But if you’re working on a larger or very defined project, then it’s better to apply the Waterfall methodology. Keep in mind that it’s difficult going back and making changes after commencing or testing a project with Waterfall.

3. Build An MVP That Costs Too Much

We don’t recommend that you skimp on costs to build your MVP. After all, you want an MVP that’s of reasonably good quality. But don’t burn through your entire budget, as your project may prove unfeasible in the long run. By working with an experienced developer, such as NS804, it’s possible to determine costs beforehand and avoid nasty surprises along the way. Moreover, a competent developer will deliver the MVP on time, implement best practices, and meet expectations.

4. Spending Too Much Time On Research

It makes sense to do your homework before building your MVP, but don’t overdo it. One of the reasons you’re making an MVP is to determine its validity in the marketplace. Ultimately, it’s your target audience that will decide if your project is worth scaling into a full-fledged product. Researching too much will also give you plenty of ideas, which may tempt you to apply all these in your MVP. Overloading your app with too many features will make it harder to develop, maintain, and scale.

5. Building An MVP Without Understanding Your Audience

One of the biggest mistakes you could make is building an MVP without understanding your audience. If you’ve never released an app before, you may think that all users will find your MVP appealing. But when you eventually launch it, you’ll come to the harsh realization that few users bother to download it.

Now, why does this happen to so many developers?

In most cases, they’ve failed to do market research to understand who their audience is and what they want. They’ve cast their net wide, hoping that they’ll attract a large mainstream audience. But that’s now how the app marketplace works! Users invest their time in highly-popular apps such as Evernote, Facebook Messenger, and Signal since these provide the features and functionality that people find valuable. Thus, only incredibly talented development teams with massive marketing budgets can compete with the above offerings.

Before embarking on MVP development, it’s critical to think about target market segmentation. Moreover, it’s necessary to ask several questions such as: Where does your user live? What’s their demographic group? What’s their general attitude or outlook on life? What hobbies and interests do they spend their money and time on? And what life stage are they currently in?

Also, it’s vital to understand the differences between a target market and a target audience. It’s’ easy to confuse the two terms since they often have overlapping meanings. Succinctly, a target market affects every aspect of an enterprise’s decisions relating to its product, pricing, and sales processes. But the target audience will only influence the enterprise’s marketing and messaging endeavors.

6. Using The Cheapest Option Possible

You’ve decided to forge ahead with your MVP agile project but noticed that your input costs are mounting. With months still to go before your MVP is out the door, you decide to cut costs. You let go of several key developers in your team and hire cheaper contractors from abroad. Furthermore, you forego unit testing in the hopes of reducing your time to market (TTM) and overall costs. And, when you finally release your MVP, you discover that it’s a buggy mess plagued with problems.

Choosing the cheapest option almost always leads to unsatisfactory results. That’s why we can’t stress enough how important it’s to work with an experienced developer when building an MVP. Not only will a team of professionals help you craft a professional MVP, but they’ll also ensure that it’s budget-friendly.

7. Striving For Perfection

You should complete your MVP within a reasonable amount of time. But don’t rush it out the door, as its quality will likely suffer. Instead, focus on building an MVP that showcases its core functionality and avoid adding any unnecessary features. And don’t waste resources on too much spit and polish, which is better suited for your final product. You’ll meet your deadlines and goals if you keep your app as simple as possible and not try to make it perfect.

8. Promising Something Impossible To Deliver

You may be working with a phenomenal marketing team that’s ready to set all your social media channels on fire. You’ve handed over marketing materials and screenshots of your MVP, hoping the marketing team to build an enormous amount of hype. But have you thought things through about how you’ll be conveying your message to your target audience? Are you sure that your MVP will meet expectations, or are you overpromising? If your app doesn’t live up to the hype, then you risk damaging your reputation.

In Conclusion

Building an MVP is a rewarding but often challenging process. However, it’s possible to make the process a lot easier by avoiding the 8 mistakes we’ve covered above. Contact us today to learn how NS804 can make your next MVP a roaring success!

The Toolbox of The Appreneur

The Tricks Of The Appreneur Trade Start With The Tools

Every trade has masters to look to for exemplary work. However, an important aspect to keep in mind when admiring these great achievements, is where those masters began. They certainly didn’t start their journeys creating masterpieces. In most cases, the greatest successes have modest and humble beginnings. Simply learning any trade takes years, and mastering a trade is a whole different story. There is hope, though. For instance, Malcolm Gladwell theorized that it only takes 10,000 hours of intensive practice to master any skill. In other words, practice does make perfect, even for an appreneur.

Before anyone masters anything, however, the fundamentals need to be conquered; and this is true regardless of industry, practice, or trade. In the context of appreneurs, though, it means reaching a deep understanding of the tools and resources available that will guide your application development process. From data to the complexity of the app stores, pitching investors, and much more, let’s start filling your appreneur toolbox so you’re prepared for your first day on the job site, so to speak.

The Importance of Learning The Appreneur Tools

It might seem like a no-brainer, but it’s worth mentioning that there is real value in developing a deep and meaningful understanding of the tools used by appreneurs. By taking the time to learn and understand these various tools you’ll have the wherewithal to set out on meaningful app-development projects. Learning these tools will also help prevent you from making the same mistakes as others before you. The app market is a relatively tricky one, and starting with a comprehensive knowledge base gives you an immediate advantage.

One of the most valuable aspects of having this knowledge is the mistakes it helps developers avoid. For instance, creating a relationship with and utilizing these tools helps developers and programmers from creating clunky apps; it provides insight into red flags for which to watch out on the development journey; and it will help you tune into the needs of your consumers and users more easily.

The MVP: Minimum Viable Product

Most app-journeys begin with the ‘aha’ moment. The moment that the great idea was born. However, this is far from the point at which investors are taking a stake, or there’s any sort of buzz about your app. No, at this stage; it’s almost always just you and your good idea.

Enter: the MVP. While this may sound like a deus ex machina, in fact, it is not a most valuable player to save the day – but rather, the minimum viable product. The minimum viable product is an early form of an application that displays its basic functionality, core concept, and some design elements.

Much like a prototype in more traditional markets, the MVP is absolutely vital. One of the main reasons it’s such an important aspect of an application’s journey and development is that it often generates funding. MVPs are commonly the first introduction that investors and other potential partners are going to have to your application. Therefore, developing strong MVPs that garner and accelerate interest is vital to success in app development. The MVP sort of acts as both a teaser and a proof of concept; and it’s no secret that first impressions last.

App Store Data

The next tool to add to the box is data. Specifically, app store data. The app stores are important for appreneurs for a variety of reasons. Obviously, they represent the main marketplaces in which users can actually purchase, download, and discover applications. However, there’s much more to its value for an appreneur than that. For appreneurs, the app stores are rich mines full of data that covers a whole spectrum of categories.

Following the app store from week to week, for instance, sheds light on multiple factors. Firstly, it gives insight into the app store’s algorithm that rolls through and ranks apps. Secondly, and arguably, more importantly, it paints a portrait of user behavior and consumer trends. No matter which market you find yourself in, consumer behavior is one of the most telling elements that helps identify the next big success.

There are plenty of places to look within the app stores to find pertinent and valuable data. One of those places being direct competition.

Learning From Competitors

No one wants to reinvent the wheel. And for good reason. The same principle is why crafty appreneurs take the time to look at their direct competition before jumping into app development, or even MVP development. Since applications are designed to basically be as accessible as possible, appreneurs can use this to their advantage. By downloading and learning the ins and outs of a competitor’s application, you’re able to take notes on what you would improve as a designer or developer in your own version. The learning doesn’t stop there though.

Going a level deeper, examining user feedback, both positive and negative, will provide an elevated level of insight into the elements for which users in your specific niche market are looking. These elements include but are not limited to, functionality, design, the look and feel, the overall usability, and much more.

Taking lessons from the competition will give you and your team insight into features to be sure to include, as well as features that certainly should not be included. This sets your application on the right path, as you’re already taking consumer demands and needs into consideration before you’ve even released your first iteration.

The App Launch

Once you’ve built your all-star MVP that’s garnered enough interest and investment to take your app idea from concept to reality, it’s time for one of the most exciting stages in any app’s life. The app launch. The app launch is exciting for a myriad of reasons, but most notably, because it’s the first time that your application will actually be live on the app stores. Users will start seeing it in their feeds, and with the right marketing plan, downloads will begin in no time.

The app launch isn’t all fun and cocktails, though, as it’s another opportunity for your team to promote the app. After all, you’ve worked this hard to bring it here, there’s nothing wrong with getting a bit hyped up. Taking the time to plan an app launch, even a virtual one in this remote economy, helps push the word out about your app, drives early downloads, and theoretically builds an initial userbase that has a slightly higher sense of loyalty.

Leveraging and Implementing User Feedback

The app launch is in the past, the initial user base is cemented; you’re starting to wonder about what to develop next. Before you jump on that train, though, remember that applications are all about the user experience. User feedback, therefore, is one of the most valuable tools that any appreneur can access once their app is launched. By listening to the reviews that users leave, and giving strong consideration to the feedback provided by users, your team will have the knowledge they need to create valuable updates that don’t nuisance the users and continue to improve the user experience.

A Quick Wrap Up On Appreneur Tools

Learning any trade takes time, commitment, and practice. It’s no different with appreneurship. After reading this article though, you should at least have an understanding of which tools are important to learn, and why they offer so much value. For more information on mobile app development, appreneurship, or anything else app development-related; keep browsing the NS804 content library.

The Ultimate Guide To Creating an MVP for Your Startup

The Ultimate MVP Guide

Put up or shut up. Put your money where your mouth is. Actions speak louder than words. These phrases have earned their place in history by speaking to a commonality in all of us: the desire for cold hard evidence. Because seeing is believing, right? Therefore, these little quips and phrases point towards the importance of business tools like prototypes, product proof-of-concept, or an MVP.

Prototypes, a proof-of-concept, and an MVP are all tools companies use in a variety of ways. Two of the main functions of these tools include investor recruitment and target market feedback. Plus, developing these tools and making use of them will lead to further insights that will help inform the rest of the product development lifecycle.

Understanding MVPs

No, we aren’t talking about Patrick Mahomes possibly leading the Chiefs to a second straight superbowl, for the first time in the history of the NFL. No, in mobile app development, an MVP stands for the minimum viable product. In other words, this is the bare-bones product that your developers build as a sort of shell-demonstration. This demonstrates the core functionality of the application. However, the MVP is still very much a predecessor to the application’s full-blown vision.

Although, that doesn’t always stop the MVP from being utilized. See there’s a whole niche market of app-development where the bells and whistles are just that: bells and whistles. The end-user isn’t so much interested in the seamless UX or the brilliant design; but rather the solution that the application provides. This is often the case when it comes to business-oriented-applications, or industry-specific applications.

In these environments, the end-user may be an early-adopter or a professional simply looking for a solution to their problem, if your MVP contains that solution – the extra functions and features that get added might just be icing on the cake.

While an MVP may sound very similar to a prototype, and they are in many ways, there are a few key differences between the two. The biggest and most obvious difference between an MVP and a prototype is the form it takes. An MVP is always going to be a lightweight version of the application.

A prototype, on the other hand, can come in a whole variety of shapes, sizes, and forms. The most basic prototypes, in fact, are simple sketches. The form your prototype takes will largely depend on a variety of factors. Aspects like your industry-expertise, technical ability, and access to resources.

The Development

While it may seem like one of the first steps in mobile app development, there’s actually quite a bit of work to be done before your firm can tackle the MVP. The very first step in mobile app development is identifying a problem and a potential solution. This is by far the most critical question that needs to be answered at the onset of a mobile app development project.

Without a firm-wide understanding of the problem that’s being addressed and the solution that’s being developed, a whole onslaught of issues will arise. These issues range from miscommunication, to inefficient processes, and misaligned development activities. In other words, one developer might be working on a user-interface that is completely incompatible with the overall solution that’s being developed. Therefore, time, energy, and resources were all wasted, which could have been avoided entirely with stronger communication channels.

Once your firm has identified the problem they’d like to solve, and how they’d like to solve it; then they can advance to the next step of the development process. The next phase in mobile app development, or MVP development is determining the core-features that need to be built into the application. The core features that are selected largely influence both the MVP and the design of the finished application.

This is important to note. The MVP, as mentioned above, is a tool your mobile app firm develops for a wide variety of reasons. Two of the main reasons for MVP development is end-user and target-market feedback, as well as investor recruitment. These are two of the most crucial phases in the entire mobile app development lifecycle.

Feedback and Investor Recruitment

As the age-old-adage goes, “money makes the world go round.” And as sad as that is to acknowledge at times, the practical utility of liquid assets is undeniable. Developing an MVP takes time, money, labor, and resources. Once your firm develops the MVP, however, there’s plenty of opportunity for your team to leverage the MVP into additional investments.

On top of leveraging an MVP into additional funding for your firm, or the specific project; an MVP also gives your company a way to conduct market focus-groups. This allows you to garner real end-user feedback on the solution provided and the overall direction of the application. These insights can be used to further inform your team on the features and trends most impactful to the target market, and how to finish the development process.

When garnering user-feedback or running focus-groups, there are a few important things to keep in mind. Keeping these elements in mind can help your team maximize the value that these activities in the development process yield. For example, when running a focus group with an MVP, your team should consider including a basic version of the UX. This will help the focus-group. It helps them understand the flow of the application, how the app presents information to the user, and more.

Running focus groups and testing the MVP in a variety of demographics is a best-practice by all considerations. This practice is important because it will help you and your team avoid common pitfalls in app development. One of the most common traps that mobile app developers often fall into is known as the ‘assumption trap’. This is the ‘trap’ that mobile app developers fall into when they believe they already know what the end-consumer wants.

Avoiding The Trap

Conducting a series of focus groups across a variety of demographics, therefore, is extremely valuable and provides incredible insight into consumer behavior, and consumer wants.

The end-consumer, especially today, has more power than ever before. Between the era of information and technology providing more widespread access to information, and the emergence of a very competitive marketplace, the consumer truly is king. Therefore, taking the time to understand the issues that are most significant to your target-market will benefit you greatly. Let the consumers and customers tell you what they want, then deliver. Otherwise, you may very well be putting the cart before the horse.

Final Thoughts on MVP Development

The mobile app market is booming. Ever since earlier this year when the pandemic was first beginning to rage and the first set of lockdown orders were issued, mobile app usership has boomed. Between March and April of this year, millions of first-time app users were downloading applications, log-times were skyrocketing, and the shift toward the digital age was officially underway.

In such a crowded market, it’s important to stand out, deliver on consumer wants, and offer new and unique solutions. Developing an MVP will help you and your firm do all of this and more. From investor-recruitment, to real-time consumer feedback, developing an MVP is a necessity.

For more information on MVPs, or anything related to mobile app development, visit NS804 today, and get in touch with an expert mobile app developer ready to turn your idea into a reality.

MVP Development: Competitive Analysis and Feature Sets

Developing a Successful MVP

Before developing a minimum viable product (MVP) developers conduct their due diligence to make decisions about the MVP prior to releasing it. That ensures the MVP includes vital features that display the core functions of the app. While there are many aspects to consider, two are especially crucial. Firstly, there is the competitive analysis.

The Competitive Analysis

The competitive analysis is a way to determine the specific competitive advantage of the mobile app. In other words, the comparison of mobile apps in the same market. Mobile app developers find valuable insight from these comparisons. Insights that highlight differences between mobile apps.

These differences then become differentiating factors. Enough of these factors form a competitive advantage. A comprehensive competitive advantage then informs the marketing strategy.

Another important aspect to consider when conducting a competitive analysis is the product-market fit. The product-market fit helps determine exactly where in the marketplace any specific app fits. Thus, leading to important insights that the marketing team leverages into different marketing tactics. In turn, forming the overall marketing strategy.

Feature Sets

Feature sets are also incredibly crucial in the development of a successful MVP. The feature sets of an app are the high-level pillars of what makes the app viable. In other words, feature sets make up the core skeleton of the app.

Another way to look at the feature sets of a mobile app is to define what solution the application offers the end-user. Essentially, what purpose does the app serve?

Defining the feature sets of the mobile app is an important step in the MVP development process for a spectrum of reasons. One of the most crucial is that some to many of the aspects defined as a feature set need to be included, to some capacity, in the MVP.

Moving Forward With The MVP

After determining the feature sets of the app the developer can begin designing and building the core of the application. Once the development process is a little further along, the app will be ready for the competitive analysis. Between these two components, an MVP is born.

While the MVP is being built behind the scenes, the marketing team surely is surely not sitting idly by. Once developed, the MVP needs groups ready to test it. These groups often include early adopters.

After the MVP undergoes testing, and the competitive analysis is complete, a mobile app is ready for it’s home-stretch.

At this point in the process, there is plenty of data readily accessible for mobile app developers to complete the app. Insights garnered from conducting the competitive analysis and the product-market fit. Additionally, extra aspects of feedback offered by test-groups from the released MVP.

Develop an MVP with NS804

NS804 is the mobile app developer of the people. NS804 brings mobile app development services to the everyday person with a good idea. With experience that spans the entire mobile-app marketplace and a team of expert developers and designers, bring your mobile app idea to life with NS804.