Don’t Delay Deliberate Design

I’m a college senior getting ready to graduate with dual degrees in epidemiology and anthropology. I’ve already lined up a decent job as a lab technician, which should let me pay the bills reasonably well. My big plan, however, is to launch a mobile app that I’ve been dabbling with for a couple years, albeit secretly.


The app idea is simple, but the process of executing it reliably is fairly complex, because it depends heavily on various data inputs and a stable internet connection. I only have a rough prototype built by a computer science major and some supporting documentation. This obviously isn’t enough but I’m unsure what the next step would be, having absolutely no experience doing this.


Where should I begin, and what can I expect out of this?


One of the first things to decide is whether or not you want to launch a product with or without starting a parallel business. Should you decide on the former, be certain to consider expert advice on the matter–but should the latter be more appealing, then you should seek professional counsel elsewhere. There’s no right or wrong answer to your initial choice; it’s about personal preference, and changing your mind is always a possibility.


Another major factor is expanding your perspective. While this mobile app idea is most certainly important, it’s unlikely to be as successful as it might be with a strong personal brand. Creating a formidable online presence takes time and effort, but the rewards are often outsized. Don’t take this step for granted, because even if the app itself fails to succeed, you’ll still have digital real estate dedicated to your career pursuits and achievements.


As for the app, you’ll want to have more than a rudimentary prototype developed by an amateur. That won’t do you any favors but before bothering with trying to find another team; it’s crucial to spend serious time perfecting your idea with proven techniques. Anticipate a challenging process that involves tricky decisions and prioritizing limited resources. All subsequent efforts become far more manageable once equipped with a clear roadmap.


The next step is returning to the prototype. Much has already been written about the nature of outsourcing software development and whether or not businesses benefit from the practice. Experts at one end of the spectrum argue against outsourcing for a whole litany of reasons, whereas others advocate feverishly for it. Know that because of this, it’s worth always taking into account any special interests held by the professionals you choose to consult. Often the best guidance is simply to avoid rushing headlong into things.


Finalizing the visual aspects of your mobile app is as critical to success as your monetization strategy. In other words, you’ll definitely want to investigate the best app designs available. Never underestimate the impact of deliberate design when it comes to the user interface and experience (UI/UX). Being mindful of this will help you avoid an illustrious product failure.


Lastly, don’t be afraid to tap into experts. There’s no shame in seeking help, especially when it comes to launching a product or business.


“In my opinion, the future of mobile is the future of everything.” — Matt Galligan


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