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Things to consider when documenting your app idea

Posted by Daniel Boyce
1 year ago
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Many “App-renuers” approach us with a great ideas.

The most common question in our industry is how long and how much money will it take to build an app?

The answer sadly isn’t “$15,000 and we can build any app” instead we generally explain to them that answering “how much does an app cost?” is just as difficult as answering “how much does a house cost?”.

If I were building a house, questions like these would drastically impact the budget required.
  1. How many rooms will the house have?
  2. What material will it built out of?
  3. What suburb will it be built in?
  4. How many levels/stories will it have?
  5. Does it include an elevator or escalator

Similarly, questions like;

  • How many devices will the app be built on ie. Apple, Android, Windows, Website?
  • How many different types of users will use the app? Using Uber as an example this could be Passengers, UberX drivers, Uber Black drivers, Uber Admin/Staff logins, etc?
  • Will people have to make payments via the app?
  • Does it connect with any external software ie. Bluetooth devices, sales inventory systems, social media platforms, CRM or accounting systems, etc?
  • Will it use GPS functionality?

Would all alter the final cost and time frame required to build an app.

how-many-features-does-your-app-have-1

In order to help you effectively, our developers will need to ask you a lot of questions about your app in order to clarify the full requirements before we can give a concise estimate to build your app.

The next step will be for us to understand how your app will be used and how users will experience the app once it is completed.

There are a number of ways we’ve had clients present their idea to our development team.

Below I have listed some examples of the ways clients have presented this information to us in the past which have worked well.

1. A list of features or functions the app will have and an explanation of the problem the app will solve.

This one is easy, simple compile a list of all the features you think your app will have ie. GPS, in app payments, user registration, social media integration, uploading videos/photos, etc. This will give us somewhere to start.

Combine that with the core problem your app has been developed to solve and this is a great starting point to start working on your idea.

example of a scoping doc

Once this is complete our team can work with you to create a scoping document (click to view .pdf of our sample Business Requirement Document – BRD). This will clarify as many of the app requirements as possible and allow for a concise estimate on the time and budget required to build it.

2. Sketch what the screens of your app will look like.

This is a great way to communicate your app idea with our developers.

Putting together a visual representation of your app idea allows you to finalise the things you’ve been thinking as well as give our team the ability to understand what concepts are in your mind.

This process has been proven to remove a lot of guesswork and will save you a lot of time and money by doing so.

It doesn’t have to be a work of art, as seen by this example below, but it will be instrumental in communicating your idea to others.

sketches of app

If you’d like to go even further a number of app prototyping tools are available online. uxpin.cominvisionapp.commarvelapp.com are all very useful tools that clients of ours have used to help convey their message to our development team.

Example shown below.

app documentation1

Once this is complete our team can use this to develop wire frames of your app. This will clarify as many of the app requirements as possible and allow for a concise estimate on the time and budget required to build it.

3. Complete a user story

If you’re more of an analytical person than an artistic one perhaps you could try putting together a user story which outlines the things users will be able to do with your app.

Below we have mocked up a basic example of what a user story would look like for the Uber app.

User Story Example

Once this is complete our team can use this to develop wireframes and UI (user interface) designs for your app.

This will clarify as many of the app requirements as possible and allow for a concise estimate on the time and budget required to build it.

Any of these methods of documentation will help a developer understand your project requirements better. What method you choose to share with us your information doesn’t really matter, however, the more detail you are able to provide in your documentation the faster your app will be developed.

Additionally,there are a number of blogs on our website which will really help to understand what is important while building an app and what the next steps will be.

I encourage you to read through them as they will be very useful as you take the first steps to documenting your app.

The First 3 Things to Consider When Building An App

What Would It Cost To Build Uber, Twitter, Facebook and Instagram Today?

Start Your App Journey Without Spending Any Money

Our next step will be to take your documentation and compile a list of assumptions/concerns our team would have to make/address to create your app. From here we will inch closer and closer to developing a clear blueprint for your app so it can be developed by our team.

But your next step is to complete that documentation… we’re looking forward to going through it with you, so get onto it now and let’s make this happen!

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