When it comes to web and mobile app development, the possibilities seem endless. You can build a website, an online shop, or an entire e-commerce platform. You can create an app with a limited set of features or one that’s packed with functions. The options are almost as boundless as your imagination. But how do you know what to build first?
When it comes to new mobile app development many businesses struggle with where to start. Should you develop the homepage first or some other part of the website? Which features should your mobile app have first? If you’re feeling overwhelmed by the number of different things you could build, read on to discover four steps that will help you decide what functionality to build first during your next web or mobile app project:
Determine the value of each feature you’re considering
Any feature you want to add to your website or app needs to be justified. Before you start building, you need to be able to answer this question: Why does this feature need to exist? You need to be able to show that each feature has a quantifiable value for your business. If it doesn’t bring you any benefit, there’s no point in adding it to your website or app. In order to determine the value of each feature you’re considering, you need to know your business inside and out. Think about questions like: What are your customers’ pain points?
How can your product or service solve their problems? What makes your business stand out from the competition? Why should people choose you over your competitors? Once you know where your business excels and where it falls short, you’ll be able to decide what features will have the biggest impact on your users’ experience.
Ask your users which features are most important to them
You might know what features would be most valuable for your website or mobile app, but do your users? While you’re busy deciding what functionality to build first, your users might be focusing on completely different things. To make sure you’re building the right features first, ask your customers which features would be most important to them.
You can do this in person or online: During usability testing, give participants a set of tasks and then ask them to prioritize those tasks. Conduct surveys and polls to collect data from a wider sample of people. You can also use a feature voting tool or other type of survey software, which lets you gather input from a wider sample of people. You might be surprised by the results: You might think that every feature you’re planning to add is essential.
But by asking your customers which features they’d find most useful, you can make sure you’re building features that will help, not hinder, your users’ experience.
Estimate how much each addition will cost
Before you can decide what functionality to build first, you need to know how much each feature will cost. Then, you need to match each feature to your project’s budget. You might be tempted to start with the most exciting additions, but this can be a disastrous move: Costly additions can put your project over budget. To avoid this, you need to keep a close eye on your project’s budget from the very beginning.
You can start by breaking your project down into smaller chunks, so you can estimate the cost of each feature. Then, compare those figures to your project’s budget to see which additions you can build and which ones you have to cut. While you can’t predict everything that will go wrong during a project, you can estimate the cost of each addition. By doing this, you’ll be able to balance your project’s budget with its most important features.
Evaluate how many users will use each function
Certain features might cost a lot and be essential, but if only a small percentage of users will use them, they may not be worth the cost. Certain features might get a lot of votes from customers, but if only a small percentage of users will use them, they may not be worth the cost. To determine whether each feature is worth the cost, you need to evaluate how many users will use each function.
For example, let’s say you’re planning to add a search bar to your website’s homepage. You might estimate that five percent of your site’s users will use it each month. Wouldn’t it be a better use of your budget to add a search function to each page instead? You can also take this one step further and estimate the lifetime value of each user. By doing so, you can determine whether each feature is worth the cost. For example, if you know that a feature will bring in $50 of revenue per month from each user, it’s probably worth the cost.
Mobile App Development: Bottom line
When it comes to new projects, many businesses struggle with where to start. Before you can decide what functionality to build first, you need to know the value of each feature you’re considering, ask your users which features are most important to them, estimate how much each addition will cost, and evaluate how many users will use each function. By doing so, you’ll be able to balance your project’s budget with its most important features.