Strategic Business Apps

Got an idea for an app?
Looking to develop an app for your business?
Where do you even begin when it comes to designing an app for your business?
It can be a daunting and confusing task when you begin the process. I see and hear many business owners that are about to start, or have begun, and they find it a real challenge to put it down on paper, in a way that can be understood, so they can convey their idea easily to the developer.
Without the ‘plan’ or ‘full picture’ of what you have in your head being easily understood and seen, the process takes longer. So the best idea is to map your idea.
Mindmapping can be done in 2 ways. Either by hand, which is my preference, or by a computer program. There are benefits to both and it will depend on your ease of use. If you dont enjoy the process it wont work for you!
Whichever way you do it, the principals are the same.
Start at the beginning and go through all the different aspects you are including and where they will feature or be placed and how the whole project will flow.
So, to design an app for your business, here are the steps:
The beginning- the name of your app/business or idea
Sketch down on paper all the features, functions and end results you want from the app.
Write/list the benefits you can offer your customers
The topics/names/features/functions/benefits of the app that you have sketched out will be the tabs that will be in the app on the first level. These are the tabs you see when you open the app, both on the front page and the next (you can either have a ‘more’ button here to get to next page or you can have a swipe function)
The tabs that are topics or headings- add all the related headings/subtopics below each of these tabs
The tabs that are features- decide what the tab will click through to. For example will the user tap the tab and then be taken to a sales page? Or will they be taken to a Google Map? Or will they be taken to your Shopping Cart/ordering system?
Look at the plan…is it easy to navigate for the end user? Will they easily be able to tap through the app and find everything they need? When they are tapping through, will it be easy for them to connect with your business and buy from you?
Show your app developer your plan/mind map and discuss any additions or changes in flow.
Have the app developed
Get excited…tell your customers and get ready to grow and market your business in a new way.
When working with clients or prospective clients I have found this is the best way to get into the mind of the other person, and vise versa. Often I am the one who comes up with the ideas and can mind map for the clients how their app could look.
Being clear on the benefits to your business, as well as the benefits to your customers is vital. Mobile marketing can bring your business new leads, become a sales and marketing tool, can bring in easy sales and can create loyalty with your current customers.
Its the tool all businesses will be using and 2014 will see a big move towards mobile marketing. Dint get left behind. Start mindmapping your idea!
If you have an idea for an app outside of what your business does, use the same method. Mark down exactly where the user will be taken on each tap of the app tabs. Have an end result for both you and the user.
Here are a few mind mapping sites to look at:
Mindmeister
Xmind
Coggle
Novamind
Freemind
and there are plenty more if you do a search for mindmapping.
Or…you can hand draw/sketch.