Have an idea for an app but don't know where to start? In part 1 of our series, we explain how to get started on your mobile app idea and we show you how you can create a plan that will act as the foundation for the entire app.

Do you have an idea for an app but don't know where to start? If so, you've come to the right place then! Today we are starting our five part series about developing a successful consumer Android or iPhone app. Our first part is "The Plan". This blog post will explain how to formulate a plan which will act as the foundation for your entire app.

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Spending extra time during the planning stage will pay dividends in the future. The main reason: making changes at this stage are trivial compared to later. For example, once your app is half developed it will cost you crucial resources to make changes. Therefore it is important to put the work during the planning phase so you can set the foundation for a successful app!

1 - Purpose

To begin with, you should describe what you intend the app to do. What will be the main focus? It is important to have a good idea of what will be the main driving force behind the app. Let’s take YouTube for example: you can create playlists, follow users, make comments, etc. But the main point of the app is to share and view videos online. Identify what will be your main focus and make sure this part is dead simple to identify and accomplish.

2 - Type Of App

Along with purpose, you want to look at what type of app will this be. Is it a social app, a game or will it be used to make accomplishing a task easy.

3 - What Is Your App Trying To Solve?

This is probably the most crucial part of your plan. If you want your app to make your millions, be used by thousands of people or whatever you goal might be you need solve a problem or pain. What problem does your app solve? Why would anyone be interest in it? Is the pain great enough for someone to buy or download the app?

4 - Target Audience

Target audience is strongly coupled to the problem you are solving. You need to understand who your customers are so you can address their needs better. Who are they? Where do they work? What are they passionate about? What do they do for fun? Where do they hang out? What phones do they use? Are they tech savvy? Once you understand your customer, you will be able to start thinking like them and plan on how to help and reach them better. If you make an app for everyone, it will end up being an app for no one.

5 - Identify Your Competition

It’s always a good idea to identify who your competitors are and see what kind of success they are having. Who are they? What do they offer? Can you get a slice of the market? One you understand your target audience and competition you can think about what makes you different. What is your unique differentiator (Unique Value Proposition)? Why does your audience care about your UVP?

6 - Test, Test, Test

Lastly, the best way to know if you are onto something is to get the data! The best way to do that is to validate your ideas and assumptions by talking to your potential audience. Conduct surveys or interviews to find out if they experience the problems you are trying to solve. See if your idea and solution gets a positive reaction from them.

So there you have it! Even a concise plan will help you save countless of hours and money later on. As you learn more and test different ideas, you can keep expanding and changing the plan. Tune in for the next part of our series in the upcoming days: Marketing Your App. Let me know below what you think and what other things might worth to consider when creating your mobile development plan.