After reading about the jaw-dropping success of chart-topping apps like Candy Crush and Pokemon GO, the mobile app market appears to be a pretty enticing business to break into. So, how can you wiggle your way into the all-enticing mobile app market as an emerging entrepreneur?
The first step is to come up with the right idea. While some ideas will simply come to you as you’re going about your day-to-day life, you can actually train yourself to become a stronger brainstormer and more systematically come up with several potential app ideas on a daily basis. Using the techniques we’ll walk through in this article, you’ll be able to develop a range of viable app ideas so you’ll have your pick of the litter.
Let’s dive in!
Approximately 90% of our clients come to us with a problem that they discovered by working in a specific sector or having a hobby that they were passionate. When you’re immersed in an industry culture where you know the lingo and understand the people who operate in this environment, you can use what you already know about the environment to come up with new mobile app ideas. The foundation of this type of ideation lies in finding problems that slow you down in your daily life and setting out to solve these problems.
When you’re working in your role in a given industry or having fun with your favorite hobby, what problems do you come across that are blockers in your daily life? What issues are you faced with that prevent you from moving your work forward in this industry as efficiently as possible? Think about different digital tools you use now which you think could be better. Start by mapping out which tools you rely on most heavily, what you like about them, and what issues you have with those tools that make them insufficient for getting the job done. Use this as a jumping off point to brainstorm what could be better about these tools and what that new product may look like.
Scroll through the App Store and actively use and download a series of different apps on a daily basis. Search keywords related to things you like to do or apps that may solve problems that you face in your daily life. Start with downloading some apps in industries you think you may be interested in, and think about the problem each app you’re using worked to solve. Take a look at the app icons and description within the App Store search, and think about what you like and don’t like about different aspects of the user experience as you experiment with different types of apps.
Once you’ve explored apps in industries you’re more familiar with, start downloading apps in industries that you’re not as frequently exposed to, as this might trigger new ideas. Look at popular apps and try to identify underlying themes and patterns that dictate their success. Find concepts that you like about certain apps and think about how you might apply them to alternative contexts or industries. Exposing yourself to an array of apps that tackle problems that other people set out to solve may provide you with some inspiration or at least give you an idea of the type of app that you may be interested in creating.
One of the best ways to come up with new ideas is to get out and live your life. It’s hard for many people to think of award-winning, chart-topping app ideas while sitting in your kitchen staring at a white wall. Many people have a lot more luck coming up with new ideas when they are constantly exposing themselves to new stimuli so their brains are never sitting dormant. When you’re out living your life, don’t just blindly go about your mundane daily routine. Instead, keep your eyes open while you’re performing your daily responsibilities and look at the types of problems people are faced with.
Your reasoning for building a new app should ultimately be to solve a problem that you see people faced with on a daily basis. One of the easiest ways to spot the problem that you want to solve is to go about your day with your eyes open, trying to understand what other people are doing and feeling and what struggles they are faced with. Try to surprise yourself and take yourself on adventures, as this will help you to keep your mind sharp and ready to work with and process new ideas.
Go to your bookshelf and pull off a small notebook that you’ll use to write down notes about observations you draw from the world around you. As you go about your daily life, you probably come across countless annoyances that you can’t help but vent to your friends and family members. Instead of venting aloud, write them in your own little version of a Burn Book!
The concept of this list is pretty simple. Write down things that bother you in your life on a daily basis. Keep your eyes open and your senses alive as you’re going about your responsibilities. Jot down problems that you find yourself faced with or that you find your friends or family members to be dealing with. One of the best ways to innovate is to simply try to improve the quality of your own life. Creating a list that you always keep with you and update on a daily basis is the first step in innovating in this direction.
In order to develop a useful app, you really need to understand all aspects of the type of user that you are designing the given solution for. Given that landing on the right app idea will ultimately entail landing on the solution that you’re trying to solve for a subset of human beings, one of the best sources of inspiration is to observe the people around you — both your friends and family members and strangers you see in the grocery store.
Watch how people interact with others and objects in their own life. Try to analyze and understand when they take out their phones and what they use their phones for. What apps do they most heavily rely on in their daily lives and how do they react when they are using those apps? What do they seem to be struggling with on a daily basis that you don’t see them turning to their phones to find a solution for? While analyzing the people around you can serve as a great source of inspiration before you land on the right idea, it is also an incredibly critical step when you’ve decided which problem you want to tackle so that you can design an app that will directly serve the people you are trying to help.
One of the most important aspects of coming up with a new app idea is setting aside a designated period of 10–15 minutes per day that you can consistently use to brainstorm. While some ideas may come to you when you’re not even trying to think of them, other ideas may only come to you when you’re consciously trying to put several bits of stimuli and learnings together in a cohesive way. When we get caught up in our daily lives, it can be difficult to make sure that you’re giving your mind the time it needs to land on the right idea. In order to set yourself up for success and to push your mind to new limits, it can be helpful to set aside this designated period for brainstorming each day.
It often works well to brainstorm right when you wake up in the morning when your mind is fresh and ready to tackle what the day has to offer. Some days you may do this on your own and other days you may choose to do this with other people and brainstorm as a group. If you are feeling stuck during your brainstorming session, consider scrolling through social media to see what people are talking about in their captions, comments, and posts. This may help to give your brain some additional stimuli and trigger some new ideas. At the end of each week, flip through the list of ideas that you’ve generated during your brainstorming sessions throughout the week to try to narrow down your list.
While these techniques should help you get started on your journey towards landing on your next big mobile app idea, there’s no harm sometimes in asking for a little help if you’re feeling like you’re in a rut. If you’re looking to collaborate to come up with an app idea that you feel passionate about moving forward with, don’t hesitate to reach out to our team of experts at Camber Creative today!