Companies are not built around products anymore. They are constructed to serve the customers needs. This concept is called customer-centric – knowing your customer is the most crucial element and the whole organization is subordinate to the customer (end-user) needs. Every contact the end-user has with the product should provide a positive experience.
This concept is the same for mobile or web app development – there is no app without the customer (end-user) and their needs. In this article, we would like to highlight the philosophy of our development teams and the way AppTailors approaches the understanding of end-user needs as it relates to successful application development.
AppTailors believes in customer-centric development and makes this the central point to drive all of our designs. This methodology helps define the product we are working on, for who we are building it for and the strong and weak points of the idea or concept. It also helps us to track mistakes in the process of development and eliminate them before the final release.
In customer-centric development, we can highlight the needs of the customer by applying three levels of questions and answers. The first level are questions to better understand your product and its users. Since you decided to develop the app for the users, not for you, start by asking the following questions – Who belongs to my target group? What problem of the target group will my app solve? What outcome does the target group need/desire? What are the design preferences of my target group (colours, interests, demographics, etc.)?
The second level of questioning helps to design the experience. How should the app work with the design (UI/UX)? What screen formats should be implemented (mobile, tablet, desktop)? Are those colours and contrasts the perfect choice for the selected screen size? Answering these questions will further define the common vision of what the end-user will best engage with.
Lastly, the third level relies on feedback from testing. Allowing the use of the app to encourage questions from the end-users. These questions can then be answered by the design team to find and solve the last weak points. Some of this will be functional and some will be design-based development.
Product/Market Fit is one of the most followed metrics by the startup industry as a whole. At AppTailors we care to develop apps that will create a Product to fit the Market as soon as it’s released. Once again – understanding the needs of the end-user and building to those specifications, from day one, is key.
That said, what does it mean that the product has Product/Market Fit? Marc Andressen, one of the most respected entrepreneurs defined this as “Product/market fit means being in a good market with a product that can satisfy that market.” It sounds quite easy – doesn’t it!? Eighty per cent (80%) of startups fail in the first year, due to developing a product for the wrong market.
Developing an app for the wrong target group, or an app which does not solve the end-user problem makes no sense. Moreover, development based on thoughts and opinions, not facts and data, can lead to many bad consequences. The most simple of these consequences is paying to develop an app that no one will use…
How to check if your current solution has Product/Market Fit? Try this method created by Sean Ellis – just ask your existing customers:
“How would you feel, if starting tomorrow, our app wouldn’t be available anymore?”
Choose your response below:
- I would be extremely disappointed
- I would be a bit disappointed
- I would not be disappointed
- I am not using your product anymore
If more than 40% of the users will choose the first answer – congrats, your product fits the market!
Another leading indicator of Product/Market Fit can be established using Brain Balfour’s approach called Balfour’s Trifecta.
Your product has market fit if:
- Your product has a huge flow of non-trivial top-line growth – a product that fits the market has higher download frequency and is usually often recommended by the current users
- The retention of users is high – 50% or more of the users are active on a daily basis
- Users are engaging the app in a “meaningful” way – the design has promoted a consistent amount of user activity on the key features of the application (posting pictures, tracking progress, commenting, liking, etc.)
What is the exact process of customer-centric development when working with AppTailors?
Every day in the Google Play or Appstore thousands of new apps are published. Your app must stand out from the very first day of its launch. Your app needs to be tailored specifically for the needs of your end-users to get product-market fit. Choosing the right partner for development is crucial in this process.
Every great app starts with an idea. Your idea. When you decide to share it with us, we immediately become your partner. AppTailors takes this first step very seriously and we believe it is our responsibility to deliver the highest quality product.
We start with a strategic workshop with your team. The goal is to help you identify your target group, as well as the technical specifications of your future application. Next, we gather answers to questions like “Is this the best possible way to solve the defined target group problem?”, “How can we make it better?”, “Why did we decide to use this specific solution?”, “Is it possible to develop given the budget, complexity and technical requirements?”. We will also have a look at the competition, as well as possible paths to monetization for the app. Once complete, we present you with a product roadmap outlining the best way to complete a successful project.
Follow up to the product roadmap is the design of the user journey map. This design tool will assist us in thinking through what is the best path for every user from the moment of opening the app to the moment they leave. Each nuance of the application’s feature functions is explained in detail to eliminate questions during development and speed completion.
Next up is creating wireframes – this is when the product finally starts to come alive and begin looking like an app. You will see the first screen designs and the basic logic connection between them. This creates the perfect moment for design changes to be made and once again – gathering the answers for the questions like – “Is this solution solving the problem of the target group?” or “How can we make it better?”.
Lastly, there will be a presentation of the visuals using a clickable prototype. Here you will see how your final app will look and how it will work for the user. Again, we will work together to refine any details about how we see the design and functionality of your application.
What’s next? Development!
The AppTailors team believes in the Agile methodology of development. We break down the entire development process into smaller milestones. Each milestone is achieved using a group of cycles and each cycle includes planning, development, testing and review. This approach gives us the guarantee that we will not make any mistakes during the whole process and your app will be created in the shortest possible time and deliver the highest quality product.
In the last few years, we supported many entrepreneurs on their journey to developing their mobile application. Maybe you would like to share your ideas with us and be our next great success!? Reach out – hello@AppTailors.co