How To Build A Successful, Cross-Platform Mobile App

by | Feb 3, 2017

One of the most gratifying feelings an app development team can experience is seeing an app they’ve worked on for months launch and succeed! For anyone who’s worked on an app development team in any capacity, you know exactly what I’m talking about. It’s comparable to planning your wedding for months and months, and, on that special day, finally seeing it all come together, beautifully and harmoniously. Not many other feelings can compare.

The wedding analogy is an important one, too! Both planning a wedding and building a mobile application is oftentimes emotional for all involved parties. There are ups and downs and unexpected obstacles, budgets are usually set and sometimes need to be flexible, expectations are defined, and an end-goal is set to be achieved.

But, you may be wondering if there is an actual recipe you can follow to launch a successful, cross-platform mobile application. The answer, believe it or not, is yes! Or, at least to a certain extent.

As with any app development project, the ingredients for building and launching a successful, cross-platform mobile app, are threefold. Let’s break down those three tiers and talk about how they affect your chances of success.

Developing A Clear Vision

Before any new app project is started, developing a clear vision is an absolute must. Although the vision can be dynamic, it should be clearly defined before development begins. This is different from talking about features and functionality. Instead, the vision should answer the following questions:

  1. Why are we building this product?
  2. What is the desired end-goal of this product? (i.e., the definition of success)
  3. How would I pitch this to someone who had no idea what the product was, in 30 seconds or less (the elevator pitch)

Project managers (product owners in agile development) and clients (stakeholders in agile development) should work together to define this vision. Without a clear vision, involved parties may have a different interpretation of what success means, making success an unachievable outcome.

Setting Expectations

Each project and development cycle should have a new set of expectations. In both an Agile environment and a waterfall environment, expectations should be set before the project kicks off and again during sprint planning. Expectations should be both hard-set and dynamic, but, most importantly, they must be agreed upon by both the stakeholder(s) and the product owner. Expectations can be as simple as defining which channels of communication will be used, or as profound as defining what features will be built in the next sprint. Either way, set your expectations and stick to them!

Creating A Transparent Development Environment

Let’s face it, the team behind the product is an important component in building and launching a successful, cross-platform mobile app. This starts with transparency. Stakeholders, product owners, and development teams should work collaboratively and transparently to achieve their goals and vision. Every time a decision or change is made, both the product owner and the stakeholders should be on the same page. No questions should be left on the table. If a question or concern arises, it should be addressed promptly and definitively. It is then the product owner’s or project manager’s responsibility to ensure these matters are effectively communicated back to the team as to not affect the current sprint unless absolutely necessary.

While there are many different components to building and launching a successful, cross-platform mobile app, these are the three that every project must have. Features and functionality will change per project, as will the budget. But, if you can develop a clear vision, set your expectations, and create a transparent development environment, you’re sure to increase your chances of success.

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