Can you guess the main reasons why so many mobile app startups founded by passionate app entrepreneurs steered up by a great mobile app ideas fail? Hint – it is not lack of funding or bad team. It is even not bad product. The main reason – no idea validation!
For the past 2 years only we have designed and developed over 200 mobile app projects for verticals including media, entertainment, social media and messaging apps, streaming apps, travel and booking apps and many, many more. Some of them turned out to be a great fit either on large scale or either local champion which is built to last like our most favorite example with GetWithIt.
Yet that pride was shunned by the number of apps that did not manage to spread their wings after their initial launching. As end-to-end mobile app development partner for our current and future client, we were not able to remain indifferent to this. Therefore, Mobiloitte have decided to include consultancy and validation of your mobile app development project early in the process in order to see the market viability of your idea, whether the concept your envision would actually be a good fit for a small size screen whether the functionalities will be seamlessly executed on a limited smartphone processing power and whether the entire concept in essence would make sense and trigger interest and buzz.
Some of our clients are asking us about do-it-yourself validation methods particularly if they face time constraints. We use and advise several methods to validate a mobile app idea, from several off-line such as small panels, “get out of the building” and concierge method to online based methods which mostly involve combination of social media and landing page
The logic is simple. Social media is where the target market for every mobile app is likely to be reached quickly and the landing page serves as the point where users will actually be able to express their level of interest. Subscription or opt-in for launch updates means that there is interest and subsequent potential for that app. In between, governed by the principles of lean start-up (many of our clients are entrepreneurs or product developers) we make sure to define a clear threshold or success criteria. This means that we define a goal to bring say 100 visitors to that landing page and if 70 of them subscribe that means that the app idea is potentially validated and could hold future market success.
How to run your own idea validation experiment?
The method above is one of the simplest and fastest to validate your mobile app idea.
- Step 1. Design the first few screens such as the splash screen and the Home screen.
This is so that you can give your user more tangible feeling about what your apps is going to be about and how will it look. This involves a bit of concierge (promoting something you haven’t built yet), but that is the whole point of the lean approach. Remember, that users do not expect to get the final product either, they subscribe for future updates and launching announcements at the time you have actually built it. You can freely count on us to help you design the initial app screen, along with the logo and branding before you launch the experiment.
- Step 2 – Define your target market
This may involve the mammoth part of the job. Dedicate as much time necessary to objectively define who is going to be the user of your app and what problem it is going to solve. Most important of all, clear your mind from every possible bias as you set those assumptions. Talk to your friends and to random people walk in their boots, give them a glimpse of your ideas and ask them whether they would be interested to use such app and if not who they would see as potential user. Listen and make notes as if you are making your own epitaph.
Prepare a landing pages with subscription form embedded. Again this would be a job of your mobile app company which will ensure that along with the basic screen design, your landing pages will be properly crafted and set online. Your job is to dedicate even more energy and time on Step #2
- Step 3 – If you are certain that you have defined your target users and have the screens and the landing page ready, it is time to launch the experiment via Facebook ad. The minimal budget we would recommend to get relevant results is $100.
Prepare several versions of your add with different featured images and chose your territory wisely. The more you narrow it, the more users you will be able to reach out to from your segment under a fixed budget.
Run the experiment in several intervals such as beginning of week and weekend. But be particular on your selected segment. After you start receiving the first subscriptions ask yourself the following questions:
- Would I change my target segments?
- Would the level of interest be bigger if I launch the ad in the middle of the week?
- What compelled them to subscribe (the design or the value proposition)?
The beauty of this is the controlled approach which means that as soon as you gather data, you can take personalized approach and start talking to those people immediately. These are likely to be your early adopters and ambassadors. Get in touch with them and ask them on their feedback and opinion. How did they landed, what attracted them and what expectations did they have once they subscribed for updates? Share bit more on the mobile app and ask them about their level of interest for a particular feature and how would they use it. Chances are you may get a whole new mass of insights which will compel you to iterate immediately.
This approach can unlock golden chess of information on usability and general level of interest for your mobile app idea. It doesn’t cost a lot and it is quick to execute. Mobiloitte has already consulted and executed multiple mobile app idea validations. Get in touch with us and we will gladly share our best practices. Use this form to connect with our solution architect team.