Imagine a situation: you’ve been working on a mobile app for months or even a year. You, your partners, or your team double-checking and testing the code, agonizing over the design to get the perfect product in the end. And then it’s in the AppStore, and you eagerly monitor the stats to see the desirable downloads. But… no miracle happened.
A day or two or a week goes by, but the app still isn’t of any interest to users. And that’s the real shock. It turns out that all the efforts were spent in vain, and as a result you released a product that does not interest anyone at all.
Yes, it can be perfectly made; it can have the most convenient functionality on the market, it can correspond with all the popular trends for startups. But the product can simply not meet the needs of consumers. And by the way, that’s the main reason why most startups fail.
So what should be taken into consideration in order not to fail at the very start? Here are 5 key questions you should work through before launching a startup.
How to create a mobile app that’s helpful to users?
The key to creating a product is not its design and functionality, but its ability to solve a user’s problem. Because this is what will ensure that your app is downloaded and actively used in the future. Everything else is a matter of convenience and a nice look and feel.
The only verification of the very utility of your product, its importance for the customer, ways to solve existing problems and customer satisfaction increase the chance that the product will successfully enter the market.
How to understand what the user’s needs are?
The best way to determine a user’s need is to come up with a theory and then validate it. For example, if you want to create an app for delivering fresh, peeled vegetables, you need to understand how many of your consumer need all the features of the delivered product. Whether there is a real need for vegetable delivery in your city/neighborhood or neighbor. And whether it should be fresh and peeled vegetables, whether the consumer is ready to incur additional costs for this service, or it is enough to limit the standard set of characteristics. And perhaps it is necessary to give the consumer the right to choose in what form the vegetables should be delivered.
To do this, it is not enough to hear from the people around you something like: “And it would be great if there was such a service. You need to test the theory by providing, for example, a product demo for the focus group.
How to prepare for hypothesis testing?
In order to solve a user problem, you need to find it and analyze it. And here it is important to stick to the scheme of any business idea:
- Identify the target audience and the problems to be solved.
- Define a list of theories
- Find a way to confirm or disprove the theory.
Can’t you do without all of these tests when creating a product?
If you want your product to be in demand, you can’t do without it. If you’re creating something for yourself, then of course there’s no need for all these theories, checks, and all this headache.
As the survey of successful startups of 2019-2020 shows, the longest, most meticulous and intensive work was just at the stage of proposing theories and their confirmation and at the stage of creating a detailed and technological demo of the product. And the final result could often be categorically different from the original version.
So, is creating a demo and initial testing enough to bring a product to market?
First, because it’s not enough to identify the user’s need and offer them a solution. You need to constantly monitor how valuable the solution is to the user. Whether they are willing to come back to your product, recommend the product, and so on.
To do this, it is important to track feedback, create product evaluation tools, allocate a field for user recommendations.
Second, the more users your product has, the more the original audience problem can change. The audience gets bigger, and the product needs to be refined and improved.
That is, you need to keep testing new – improved and refined – versions of the product in order to understand how much and for which category of users they are relevant.