Poor planning is one of the number one reasons why apps fail on the market. When you first release your app it is at its most basic form – an MVP. This stands for Minimum Viable Product and is the first version you plan for including budget, features, and user experience.
Think about your favorite app. How many different versions has it had? Probably even more than you realize! While some are essential for the app to work, others simply add new design elements or a way to make the user experience better.
While many people think that version 1.0 is the most important, you must think about the future to have a successful product. But how can you think about versions 1.1 and 1.2 when you don’t even have a finished product? Let’s take a look at just how to do that with the Clear Function guide to app version releases!
Step 1: Create a Budget that Points Toward the Future
Creating a budget for your development can be a daunting task. You need to have enough capital to create the first version and the subsequent versions that add new features and fix any bugs that may arise. You could consider raising money through crowdfunding, finding investors, or even taking out a loan. Learn more about funding your app development in one of our recent articles, here.
Don’t expect to earn back the money you spent on 1.0 immediately. Creating a profit on your app takes time and patience. If you decide to wait and release version 1.1 with your profits, your app could be on the market with bugs that cause it to not work and decrease subscription rates.
Step 2: Map Out Your Timeline
Are you on a strict timeline or do you feel comfortable allowing the development to take longer? This is something you will need to consider as you plan for future versions. Local developers can provide relevant face-to-face support, but it can take longer if it is just one developer team. An offshore team might save you time but offer less communication and direction. Time could also affect the budget so it’s important to discuss the pros and cons with your developers.
Step 3: List Out All Your Desired Features
When you first come to a developer or an agency to discuss your app idea, they will ask you what features you want to include. Based on your budget and time until release, you will prioritize features for version 1.0 and then create a plan for feature releases in the next versions. Here are a few tips to prioritize features:
- Discuss with your developer what features are most needed for the app to work effectively.
- Survey your potential user base and ask them what features they want in the first version and future versions.
- Have your developer budget out how much each feature will cost and make your decisions based on your budget.
While some features may be budget-friendly, others could be essential to the design of the app and cost more. It can be helpful to talk with an ideation coach to fully understand the product you are making and your user group.
Plan Out Versions 1 Through 2
Now that you know what to consider for future version releases, you can plan them out. Start with 1.0 (the initial MVP) and work out from there. Once you have the budget, the timeline, and the features you want, the rest of the planning process will come much easier.
As you work through releasing a few versions, the process will naturally fall into a cadence. You could do releases every Monday or once a month on the 10th. This consistency will allow your customers to know when to expect improvements and new features.
A helpful tool for planning releases is the Impact vs. Effort Matrix. You can easily map out the features for each version and see the impact they will have on your audience and the effort it will take to develop them. Download the free matrix below!
Ready To Get Started?
Do you have a new and innovative app idea? Get started planning out your versions and developing them today with the Clear Function team. Schedule a free discovery session to learn more about our process and to let us learn more about your idea!