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Plan Your Mobile App

You can think about the planning of your digital app in terms of three phases: analyzing, conceptualizing, and visualizing. In this topic we look at these, including some additional information about planning your app for wearables, such as smart watches.

Analyze What Your App Needs

Using a number of inputs such as business drivers, competitive analysis, customer feedback, and market opportunities, you want to evaluate what you want your app to do and who it’s for. What are the most essential features your app requires to make it a minimally viable product? Knowing your audience is key: what distinguishes your audience from other mobile users, and what niche is available in the app market that other similar apps currently aren’t filling? Develop a very detailed user profile, using the 80/20 rule: what characterizes 80% of the people who will use your app?

Conceptualize Your App

Develop a list of features for your app, and then compare that list against your detailed user profile. What’s needed and what isn’t? Narrow the scope of your app so that it is user-driven, easy to use, focused in its purpose, meets your business objectives, ideally fills an untapped niche, and is technically feasible for your company’s IT infrastructure.

Visualize Your App

Using Quantum Visualizer, you want to visualize your app’s flow and hierarchy. In essence, you want to create a screen-by-screen blueprint of your entire app, ensuring that all the requirements are met and features accounted for. You’re not going for the look and feel here so much as the functional flow of how the app will work. That’s not to take anything away from the importance of the interface, but this matter of aesthetics—how the appearance and behavior of the app integrates with its function, simply cannot be effectively created until you have a detailed understanding of what your app will do from top to bottom. After visualizing your app’s functionality screen by screen, you may decide that you need to change the scope of your app—usually narrowing it and making it more focused and easy to use.

Capture Product Requirements

Using the Review Notes feature in Quantum Visualizer, you can capture feedback from users who are evaluating your app design. Such requirements capturing helps ensure that the design of your app successfully meets the requirements of potential users.

Plan Your App for Wearables

Glance-ability. Utility. Intentionality. These are the three watch words when it comes to planning your app for wearables. And as much as your app likely began as an offshoot of a desktop context, apps for wearables are adaptations of mobile apps—a phenomenon reinforced by the reality that many of the most popular wearable devices available today draw much of their functionality from pairing with the mobile device.

Since this is the case, your easiest path to a version of your app for wearables will come in adapting a subset of existing functionality in your mobile app for wearable products. But what features should you adapt? That’s where the concept of glance-ability comes in.

To succeed in the wearables market, your wearable app must be glance-able; users must be able to access information or gain the benefit they’re seeking quickly, easily, and with as little effort and time expended as possible. This should lead to asking yourself what features or functions of your current mobile app are glance-able.

Once you address what features of your app are glance-able, you need to consider their utility. Do they truly benefit the user, and what would it take for them to become so? What kinds of notifications will you offer and why would they be of benefit to the user? This leads to the concept of intentionality.

To create a successful wearable app, you need to be very intentional about offering the greatest amount of utility in the most glance-able way possible. This can mean conducting user surveys and usability tests, as well as that much-sought-after lightning strike of discovering a feature or implementation that users don’t realize they would use, but once they do, they love it. Whatever you choose to do for your wearables app, ensure that it’s glance-able, offers maximum utility, and is implemented with a lot of intentionality to ensure that it meets or exceeds the user’s expectations.

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