A "People-First" Approach to App Development

You've established your physical business presence, and are seeking to expand your online/mobile presence to connect with more customers. So the obvious next step is to build a website, a mobile app, and get your Social Media platforms aligned with your key business brand, right? To live by the mantra "if you build it, they will come" is a dangerous gamble in the app world. With over 2 million apps in the app stores, competition is fierce -- over half of all apps aren't able to reach 1,000 downloads in their first year on the market. Yet that's exactly how most companies handle app development: a fragmented funnel that forces each team to work with very little communication between them. While the product suffers from this outdated method, it's the customer who ultimately pays the price. Huffington Post blogger Robi Ganguly has written a wonderfully thorough blog about Development Silos and argues that the technology companies leading their industries are putting their customers first by placing them at the center of their app development strategy. 

Ganguly starts off by describing the development 'funnel' where a product team sits at the top, usually over a group of sub-teams (including user interface design, user testing, quality assurance, iOS, Android, etc... and even those sub-teams get 'silo'ed into UI designers/testing teams/etc) waiting for the preceding tier to "hand off" the product instead of working in tandem.He notes that, often, the funnel stops there and marketing and sales teams are usually involved only after development is complete. Consequently, the customer validation and market research done by marketing are never used to guide the app's development. And they are still responsible for app monetization. Unfortunately, most of the delivery budget may have already been spent on development, leaving the commercial teams to rely on cheap methods of organic customer acquisition.

The customer success team languishes at the bottom of the funnel... customers who've had time to use and abuse the product, discovering bugs and design oversights. Customer success is left to react to these issues rather than working with the product team at the top of the funnel to prevent negative customer experiences. 

Appcentric Software is committed to working with companies to disrupt the funneling that is so often a signature of the development process. Involving marketing and sales, aligning employee motivation and metrics,  cultivating and restructuring development teams, and maintaining feedback loops to continually improve development processes/protocols are just a few of the ways we put people first in our App development process so that your customers get everything they could hope for from your mobile product.

Come by and see us at SXSW interactive or contact us during the month of March about scheduling a free consultation session. We're here to help you Get Your App On!