How To Validate Your App Idea?
App Builder Appy Pie, December 27: You wracked your brains, and did everything right to come up with an app idea that you think is going to earn you millions of moolah! This is a heady feeling to begin with! After all you have a definite portal to becoming a millionaire with just the one brilliant idea you came up with after a lot of hard work, but do you? You of course think you have a great idea, so do your friends and family, but well they are your friends and family and of course thing whatever you come up with is gold!
What is it that you can do to genuinely validate this brilliant app idea that you have on your mind? How is it that you can get an honest feedback and a general but unbiased view of your app idea from the target market that you are planning to design it for!
There are over 2 million app ideas each on Apple App Store and Google Play Store, but merely 1% or even lesser are actually successful. Is there a secret formula to their success? What is it that they are doing differently? Let us shell out some of the most effective tips and tricks to help you validate your app idea, before you get into the process of development yourself, or hire a developer for it!
1. A Thorough Research
Like most other things, the stepping stone to figuring out whether your app idea is good enough or not is a thorough research. Getting a clear idea of the market with respect to the app idea that you have been harboring is a good idea. Initially as you begin your research, you are bound to come across at least one app with the same idea that you have! However, this mustn’t discourage you, neither should you give up and move on! It is important that you acknowledge the fact that no matter which industry you delve in, there is bound to be some competition. Develop a clear user persona for your app while including all the demographic, psychographic and physiographic details wherever you see the need. Study this persona either on social media, or through a survey questionnaire. Another way to go about this is to actively engage in startup or business networking as some of them are happy to share their experiences on their journey to accent – good and bad. This is where you have a good opportunity to garner valuable advice on the viability of the idea.
2. Analyze The App Store Charts
Studying the app store charts is a great way to get some valuable insights on the ongoing market trends. Studying the top paid apps gives you an idea about the top ideas that people are willing to pay for. When you take a look at the top free charts, it tells you which are the free apps that are being downloaded for the biggest number of times. Once you take a look at the top grossing charts, however it will tell you which are the apps that are most popular and getting the highest revenue. One good way to go about this is to come up with a list of keywords that are associated with the industry and use them to search for apps in the app store. Study the apps that show up with each of these keywords and find out if the app is good enough to stand out! Try and understand how your app can improve the existing products and what is it that you can change to make your app more desirable.
3. Validate The Need
More often than not, the idea might sound good to you and your close circle of acquaintances and solve the immediate and dire needs of this tight group of people. This scenario encourages quite a few startups to get into the building phase without considering whether the problem you are solving is something that the other users would be willing to pay for.
In order to validate the need of your solution, all you have to do is invest some time talking to people and gauge their challenges. Ask them what is it that they struggle with, in what way have they tried to solve the problem, and why have all the prior solutions failed to do what they needed. There is a good chance that even if you started with the intent to validate a particular app, you might end up discovering a need that is a lot more pressing all because you decided to question the potential customers with an open mind.
4. Get An Idea Of Your Target Market Size
You have already developed a user persona, it is time mow to figure out the potential pool size of this persona that you would be targeting while designing and developing your app. One good way to do so is to begin with creating a list of keywords that would best describe your app idea and add them to the Google keyword planner tool. This tool then gives the average monthly searches that the chosen keywords are getting at the local and global level. It is only natural to infer that the higher the number of searches for your chosen keywords, the more will be the demand for the services that are associated with your app idea.
5. Develop An Understanding Of Your App’s Product Market Fit
It is critical to clearly understand whether your app with be able to achieve a product market fit, soon after it is launched. At this stage it is important to analyze whether the targeted user would prefer to use your app over the existing apps on the store. You can create a list of features that are being offered by your competitor apps against their names and categorize them according to the monetization model. At this point compare the features and monetization model for each of these apps with yours.
It is important that you realize that the app that you develop needs to be unique and solve some real-world problems for a considerable market size.
6. Exhibit The Feasibility
For this, proof of concept is a small scale and probable way to exhibit the idea that you have. This is a great way to determine the actualization of the idea. The proof of concept is essentially a small-scale project that establishes the potential of the basic idea. Further on this process also checks whether the project or idea can satisfy the defined characteristics or not. To validate your idea of the app, proof of concept goes on to demonstrate the purpose of the application. This is done without actually making the app public while devising quite a range of technical solutions. In all, this is a great way to exhibit the feasibility of the app idea.
7. Align The Idea With Other Useful Apps
In case your app idea is aligned in part to the other trending apps, your chances of building a successful app goes up manifold. In case it is not, then it might be time to reconsider the whole idea once more. It is quite natural that we fall in love with the idea that we might have come up with, from the scratch, but if the market doesn’t have an appetite for it, the purpose is defeated!
Your USP or the Unique Selling Proposition is why most users would buy your app from you. Ask yourself, and ask often the following questions:
- How is your product different from the milieu of products available in the market?
- What is it that makes your product more valuable than any other?
- What is that makes it worth the consumer’s while to pay for or use your product?
Refine and condense your idea into a simple language and brief that would easily be understood by the customer in a way that they are convinced automatically to buy the product.
9. Garner Feedback From Potential Users
The product you are creating is going to cater to a target audience or market, it is only natural that you look for a feedback from them. The user persona that you crafted during the research phase comes handy here. Whether you go through the social media, through startup communities, different campaigns or any other ways, it is important that you conduct a survey and try and get a feedback from this group about the idea. While a feedback from your friends and family might be encouraging, it is the feedback from potential users in the market that really matters.
10. Keep In Mind The Technical Challenges And Scope
This is especially important if you do not have the technical expertise yourself. Try and speak with a technical expert or those that would be finally working to develop the app for you. Utilize this conversation to develop a stronger understanding of the technical challenges that may be involved in the process.
Ask the right questions, like:
- What kind of a time duration would the entire process of developing the app take?
- In what way would the technical challenges be addressed during the development and after the launch?
- Are there any other alternate ways to develop the app apart from the way that you had imagined, and yet accomplish the same results?
You have the idea, you have the technical expertise available to you, and you know that the users are ready for it. The next logical step to proceed is to develop a prototype. This is a greatly effective way to demonstrate how the app is going to function. A prototype essentially is an end-to-end working model that offers the possibility to interact with the app itself. A prototype includes data flow, process management and defined use of technology which contributes to the smooth flow.
The prototypes are typically bug ridden and have quite a few errors, but it is important to identify them at this stage. Timely identification of these errors goes a long way in saving time and money when you look at the bigger picture. A prototype is built with the intent to study the feasibility and is not the final and finished product, it has room for errors and their improvement during the development process.
12. Create An MVP
The idea of creating an MVP or a Minimal Value Product lies in a strategy that has proven to prevent the expenses with the development of a product that is not yet fully defined. In this process, a minimum set of resources which are just enough to place and test the product in a particular group are developed. This is then used to analyze the way the users or the targeted group interacts with the product. The entire process allows you to perform tests with your app ideas in order to determine the viability and the scope of improvement in these ideas. This ensures that the final that goes out to the market is as competitive as it could be.
13. Build Your Brand Identity
At the end of the process of creating and using your MVP to gain a deeper view into the path your product is going to take, it is time you begin building a brand for yourself. This is a world and age of information, and a new idea that was validated today, might become obsolete tomorrow, especially because who isn’t seen, is rarely remembered. Hence building a brand for yourself should be at the top of your list now.
The brand, the image, and all the related things that you set out to create for yourself should subtly convey the essence that you want your app to reflect. A strong visual presence and memorable design and identity goes a long way in creating a place in the public eye and memories while helping the potential users get an idea about the functionalities of your app and the value the app is capable of adding to their lives.
14. Create A Landing Page
The next step up is to create a landing page for your app. App development might involved delving deep into software development, hence before you roll up your sleeves and jump in, it is a good idea to begin with something as simple as a landing page. You will have to define your own parameters of success of the landing page and it could be anything from gaining a big number of email subscribers or a considerable number of people who have agreed to and completed your mobile app idea survey. But these numbers aren’t all that you should worry about. The landing page that you create should have a short pitch for your app, basic screenshots or pictures that give the user an idea about the functionality of the app, and an email subscription form that can help them know about new updates and features.
15. Promote Your App
You have a great idea for an app, you have a prototype, a landing page and all the works that go into determining the feasibility of your app idea. If the app doesn’t reach the audience you are targeting, all the efforts might prove to be a big waste. The promotion efforts that you take to promote your app might be free or paid and there are a lot of ways to do it in both the categories. To start with, let your friends and family know, then move on to the various social media forums where you can look for an organic and polite way to post it on relevant posts or threads. You can engage friends who are bloggers and let them write about the new app on the block and share it in the relevant community while circulating a quick survey for feedback.
It isn’t wise to rush into the process of building the app as it might end up being one of those millions of apps that were abandoned as the users did not need it, or didn’t understand it. Pour in all your passion and critical thinking in your ideation and validation of the idea, evaluate it, adapt it, and enhance it before you get into the development phase of it.