Apps have become an invincible part of our lives. We use them once we wake up, read headlines, seek breakfast recipes, check our health trackers, connect with friends, play games, read books, and watch our favorite shows.
With the mobile app market growing with over 2.7 billion people using smartphones, the potential audience for a new app idea is enormous. But here is a catch, with almost 2.2 billion Apps on Apple App Store and 2.8 billion apps in Google Play, you are going to compete against all of them.
A unique and innovative mobile app can help you retain your current position, enter new territories and increase your market share. However, you must know that most ideas may sound exciting, but only some will be apt for exploration, and not validating your app idea beforehand can be detrimental.
Therefore, validating an app idea is the first step before you develop an app or hire a mobile app development company to develop one. The result of which would be your ability to build a viable product and become a success in the market. However, before we jump into how to validate your app idea, let us first know what app idea validation is and its importance.
What is App Idea Validation?
No one can assume and predict if an app can survive and succeed in the market. No matter how good your idea is, it can be disastrous if it fails to impress target customers. Therefore, dedicating time and resources to validate your app idea before investing time, money, and effort is crucial to building a successful app. It must have a purpose and solve the problem and pain point of target audiences to attract potential customers and keep them hooked in the long run.
Now ask yourself the following questions before you execute an app idea before development.
- Does your app address the issues that your target audience face?
- How unique or different is your app going to be from other apps?
- Will your app add any value to the target audience?
Always keep in mind the target audience while you begin validating your app idea, as they are the ones who will be using your app after launch.
To make the process easy to follow, you can use the predefined steps in the following section to evaluate your app idea. So without any further ado, let us see how to validate an app idea and make the most of it.
How to Validate an App Idea
Why do you need to do an app idea validation? Well, it will ensure that your ideas are realistic and applicable to the target audience and that all your app idea validation goals are met before the project begins. Therefore, evaluating your app idea before mobile app development is essential to achieve desired results.
Since mobile app development is time and money-consuming, spending a lot of money to create a similar or existing app can ruin your business. Therefore, app idea validation can be a lifesaver and a necessity that must be addressed, mainly if you have limited resources that you wish to save or would like your app to hit the jackpot with its first release. The following are the steps for the app idea validation process.
1) Define the Problem You Wish to Solve
The first and most crucial step of the app idea validation process is to scrutinize the problems and needs of users. Step into the customer’s shoes and identify their pain points. Look at apps by competitors and analyze what features are the most loved and how you can apply them to yours. Create an app that is both problem-solving and innovative. If similar apps exist, consider how your app will be unique and improve their lives.
2) Identify Target Audience & Size of the Potential Market
It is time to identify the target audience of the app. Also, for your idea to succeed, you need enough target users. At this stage, you need to narrow down and target a specific group of people according to their gender, age group, income levels, and what they expect from your app in that niche.
To get an idea of your target audience’s size, type in the search terms your prospects are more likely to use in Google Ad Planner. You can also look at social media groups or forums for your app’s direction.
3) Do Market Research
If you wish to create an app, you must determine if similar solutions exist in the market and how you will appeal to customers.
- Begin with a search of keywords and phrases that can describe your app. Use search engines to see how popular and widely used they are.
- Start by researching respective app stores with those keywords and see who potential competitors are. They may be free/paid, and look at the comments for these apps, ratings, and updates.
- Keep a close eye on industry trends. Look for better ways to use newer technologies to beat the competition and stay updated.
- Observe marketing strategies that competitors are employing and use tools to analyze and research this, building a solid app marketing strategy.
- Look at who is getting funded. If you are trying to find out who will back your idea, look out for VCs, accelerators, and start-up enthusiasts’ websites and blogs to see who they are funding and whose businesses they are most likely to invest in.
4) Define the App, Create User Personas and User Flow
Once you finish researching the market, competitors, and target audience, it is time to define your vision for the app. A goal and a vision will keep you on the right track in the mobile app development process.
Create a user persona that would play an important role in defining whether the final product reaches the intended end-user for which it is developed. First, review your gathered information and break it down to better know the ideal user type by visualizing and dissecting it. Then give an identity to the user persona you have created and use it to determine if your app can solve the issue they face.
5) Create a Customer Journey Map
Validating an app idea is about understanding the customer and the user’s journey inside your app. Therefore, a user journey map captures their interaction with your app/product and chronicles the journey from their viewpoint. Examining this map and the questions it answers helps you understand the user experience and set up the proper design process.
- Why should potential customers choose your app over competitor apps?
- Can the user solve their need using your app, and is it easy to use?
- Which features specific to your app can solve user problems?
The above questions should be touched upon as it is essential to identify the app features necessary to develop during the initial stages.
6) Set Validation Goals and USP of the Product
You need evidence to prove your idea is viable in the real world. Get your idea approved by people willing to help you by going on startup forums, tech forums, LinkedIn groups, etc. This data can help you find user needs, pains, concerns, motivation, etc.
Ensure you have the right questions and properly formatted responses when you convey your idea to potential customers.
7) Create and Test Prototypes
Now that you have a clear vision of your idea and the potential value of the market, the next step is to begin building and testing the prototype. Create a prototype or build an MVP of your app for market validation. It is a version of a product with just enough features to be usable by early customers who can provide feedback for future releases.
Build traction for the app by making videos for promotion. If your business has a website, you can create a buzz by mentioning that the app will be released soon. You can also leverage social media, groups, and forums to inform customers of the launch. Moreover, create a “Coming Soon” launch page that will communicate what your app offers in catchy headlines, which you can also use to collect email addresses through CTAs and forms.
These collaterals can be used to introduce your app on the investor, startup platforms, and meetups to promote your app idea and get feedback as your app gets close to making a debut.
8) Conduct User Testing
Testing is an essential phase during development that helps you to get feedback. For example, user testing with the prototype or MVP will help you look at the product from the user’s perspective, test the UI, and validate your app idea.
You can conduct user testing by following two methods.
- Moderated Testing
It usually involves the facilitator and the participant. The facilitator provides the prototype or MVP to the participant, observes how they interact, and comes up with follow-up questions.
- Unmoderated Testing
It involves only the participant who gets instructions and follow-up questions while testing the product. There is no moderation involved here.
9) Make App Development Decisions and Get Funding for Your Idea
Once the app development idea is validated, it is time to develop your idea. Even if it does not seem feasible initially, you should make logical assessments of the project based on the feedback you get. Also, plan a successful pitch for potential investors if you want funding from them. Next, finalize a good mobile app development company as your app needs a dedicated development team and a team of experts to market and support your app after release.
Focus on the core features, choose a platform and tech stack, and begin UI/UX design. Then move on to mockups and build the finer aspects of the app using the tech stack you choose. Finally, launch the app in beta mode before the polished version is released.
Do you have an app idea but are unsure how to implement it? We’ve got it covered. As a leading mobile app development company, we recommend that any business validate its app idea before going into development. It is a critical step for the success of your project, which cannot be missed upon.
We have helped many clients review and validate their app idea process using the above steps. For example, SupDup was a project where we did extensive app idea validation by conducting extensive market research and studying the target audience before developing the MVP.
Our team has extensive experience in mobile development for different markets and knows which idea can work best for which segment. So contact us today to validate your app idea and develop a successful solution for your business.
You can validate an app idea without development by doing the following. First, determine if there is a market for your app. Study target audience and conduct surveys. Identify the pain points and what you wish to solve. Analyze your competitors and create a customer journey map. Fourth, conduct user interviews, and create, and test the prototypes. Lastly, conduct user tests on the prototype and reiterate.
App idea validation is a process to check if your app idea can ensure proper functionality, provide a good user experience and security, and ensure your app complies with all the listed policies.
You can pitch your app ideas to crowdfunding websites, startup services, angel investors, professional networking sites, startup conferences, business incubators, venture capitalists, and private companies. In addition, you can also use sites or attend events to meet like-minded people looking for ideas.