If you’ve ever had an idea for a mobile app, you know the frustration that comes from being unable to articulate your idea to others. Where do you start? How do you get what’s in your head onto the screen? Can anybody see what you see? Well, you’re in luck, because we’ve got some tips for you.
Work With the Right App Designers
If you’re reading this article, it’s because you lack the design and development skills needed to create your own app. (If you could do it yourself, you likely would.) Thus the very first key is to find and hire the right app designers to help bring your vision to life.
When searching for mobile app designers, it’s important that you evaluate two specific aspects: technical capabilities and soft skills. Technical capabilities are pretty straightforward. (Do they have the development skills to create a world-class app?) As for soft skills, be on the lookout for mobile app developers who are skilled at listening to the client and asking the right questions to extrapolate the information needed to reflect the client’s intentions.
Think in Terms of a Minimum Viable Product
While it’s tempting to want to develop a complete, full-feature app right away, it’s wise to slow down and be more intentional in your approach. More specifically, you should think in terms of developing a Minimum Viable Product (MVP) first.
An MVP is basically an early version of your app that’s developed with a minimum feature set. The goal is to quickly test your hypothesis by releasing a simple version, gather feedback from early users, and then create a more complete set of features based on what you learn.
One of the benefits of developing an MVP version of your app is that it’s easier to articulate. Rather than explaining every last design detail and element to the developer, you can emphasize the most important features. This streamlines the process and creates more cohesion on the backend.
Create a Feature Set
The first step to explaining an idea is to get it out of your head and onto paper. Terrible at sketching? No worries…a written list of your top features will be fine for now.
“Before doing anything, you should write whatever comes to your mind,” Piyush Jain writes for DZone. “Writing down the feature list on a piece of paper helps you focus on your idea and expand on it. I recommend writing your idea several times and in many different ways.”
By writing down the features you’ve dreamed up in your head, you force yourself to flesh the idea out in words. And suppose you follow Jain’s advice and write each feature out several times and in a variety of ways. In that case, you’ll eventually zero in on the best way to articulate the concept to your app development team.
Try Wireframing and Sketchups
With your features explained, it’s time to work with your mobile app developer on wireframing. This is the bridge between your idea and a functional app. It can be as simple as something you draw in a notebook or as complex as a mock app created using advanced wireframing software.
If you’re still trying to explain your app idea to a developer, you should begin by freehand sketching what’s in your head. Each “screen” on the app should have its own drawing showing features, design, etc.
If your developer already has a clear idea, they can begin using their wireframing solution of choice to bring the idea to life and work with you to refine it before the initial release.
Test and Iterate
The first version of your app will rarely be the last. The key is to bring your MVP to market as soon as possible so that you can begin gathering feedback. Armed with this information, you can iterate to create newer and better versions that satisfy your users’ wants and needs.
From Ideation to Creation
The process of taking an idea that’s in your head and turning it into something tangible, clickable, and usable can be challenging. But if you’re intentional and meticulous in your approach, your ideas will eventually become a reality. Trust the methodology and learn from it. In most cases, the first app an individual or company designs isn’t their best app. The real success tends to follow as the process is perfected over time.