5 questions to ask if you’re thinking of having an app built

So, you have a problem to solve and you're looking for the best solution. Potentially you’ve already started to think through the options available but are yet to step forward on your path to development, or alternatively, you may not know where to begin with finding the technology to support your needs. For both scenarios, we know that there are likely to be 5 questions you will be asking yourself or your provider of choice...

1. Why can’t I do it myself?

You can. But should you?

If you’re attempting something that is no more complex than turning a spreadsheet into an online form for data capture for small scale internal use, you probably could, and should.

But, if you’re tackling a more serious challenge that you, your customers or colleagues face, then perhaps, by investing in a useful solution that saves time, solves a problem and is enjoyable to use, it is worth getting an expert’s opinion and support.

If you’re technically minded, you could apply yourself and learn to develop in a tech stack, or adapt a no-code development solution, ultimately adapting existing template solutions for your needs. But this only considers the delivery, we need to consider design skills, user experience and other elements too.

Whilst it’s easy to use tools and templates that are readily available online, it’s rather like going to B&Q, buying all the tools and materials, but using limited DIY skills to build a staircase. It might do the job, but will it look good and is it safe? Not likely.

2. What elements do I need to consider?

When considering building an app, there are two core principles: build the right thing and build the thing right.

Build the right thing

The first element to consider is what problem needs solving. Understand who is facing the challenge and how it impacts on their time and life. Taking the time to ‘put yourself in their shoes’ will help to create a thorough understanding of what is needed and why/how your business is best placed to solve this.

Once the problem and people have been identified, you can move into considering what solutions might help. This continues into research and development; trialling and testing to help evidence that it’s an app worth building. The time spent on research will pay dividends when detailing the product design and user experience at a later point of the build process, as you will be able to consider problems and pitfalls from a user perspective and have a greater understanding of what the core design opportunities will be.

Build the thing right

It’s important to consider what technology you will be using to execute the project. What processes will you build in? There are plenty of options and it’s this stage that often causes issues for self-build projects. The end goal is to have an app that is easy to use, quick to access and does the job; choosing the right technologies and processes will be crucial to achieve this.

At Cariboo Digital, we use a number of tools to help determine whether a product is desirable, valuable, feasible and most importantly, viable.

We don’t make decisions based on intuition. Yes, there is an element of opinion, ‘gut feeling’ and personal preference involved in all design, but we lean on data and testing in both the research and development stages to ensure we’re creating the right product to solve the problem at hand. We then build prototypes to experiment and learn with, these often then become part of the final app, which allows for early use and adoption.

We like to innovate, but we also look for simple solutions, to save both time and budget.

3. What kind of budget would I need?

One of the biggest concerns many clients seem to have ahead of building an app is the cost involved. The concept of an app seems to beguile the finances involved. Ultimately, each job will demand a unique budget, specific to requirements.

If you were considering a large agency, you could be looking at as much as £60,000 per month with a build time of 4 to 8 months, sometimes much longer.

At Cariboo Digital, the nature of our business allows us to keep costs low, with budgets approximately £8,000 to £25,000 and delivery in as little as 4 weeks, but typically 6-8 weeks.

We’re completely transparent when it comes to costs, and fully comprehensive, so no nasty surprises.

4. Is now the right time?

If your business has the need, and budget allows, now is absolutely the right time.

Sometimes a process such as briefing for a new app or website can sit on the “to-do” pile because it seems like a mammoth task. Getting started is easier than you may think, and only requires some initial concept of the problem you’re looking to solve with an hour or two to initially discuss this.

Depending on your industry, you’ll be best placed to know whether this is indeed the right time for you. Whilst there is a degree of uncertainty given the pandemic, there is also opportunity by adopting technology – you could adapt to contactless payment, create digital experiences instead of physical ones, or simply take advantage of many businesses understandably pressing “pause” to jump ahead and gain a competitive advantage.

The pandemic has presented a window of tech innovation, with the Government’s Help to Grow initiative supporting businesses looking to develop digital growth through software and training, with up to £5,000 worth of vouchers available and plenty of other incentives. You can find out more at Help To Grow

5. Where do I begin?

It’s important to simply start, but if you’re feeling a bit lost with where to go and how to approach the idea of building an app, we’re pleased to offer an initial 30-minute consultation, completely free and no-obligation.

During these 30 minutes, we’ll discuss the problem that you need to solve, with a view to how you can move forward with a solution.

Call today and begin your journey for digital development, 0791 997 0070.

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