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5 Ways The Sharing Economy Changed Your Life

Have you ever rented someone’s apartment in the summer? Taken an Uber home on a Saturday night? Maybe washed someone’s car or mowed someone’s front lawn?

Technology has made sharing and selling so simple. It has never been easier to take part in the sharing economy. Networking technologies like social media, apps or forums allow any type of transaction possible.

Do you know what the sharing economy is? It is as simple as renting a holiday house from someone. If you have rented an asset owned by another person, the sharing economy has entered your life.

Through this culture shift, giants like:

  • Airbnb allows you to rent property from a stranger.
  • Airtasker lets you complete stranger’s chores for money.
  • eBay lets you buy and sell second-hand goods.
  • Uber orders a person to pick you up from the location of your choice.

Will you get in a strangers car?

Are you a frequent Uber user? Car sharing platforms have flipped the taxi industry on its head. People have jumped into their cars and become their own taxi service. The sharing economy is taking the power away from the big businesses. People are using their assets to help other people for money. This is the sharing economy in full force.

Technology on demand

Uber Driver

Skills to pay the bills

Do you have skills that are being wasted? Do you love mowing the lawn or planting flowers but have no garden? Airtasker allows people to complete day to day tasks for anyone. Whether it’s teaching, fixing, building or digging, your skills are required. If you have a unique skillset, Airtasker will give you the opportunity to use it.

Different skills to achieve success

Skills to pay the bills

Shelter

Would you like to be a local everywhere you go? If you plan a beach holiday or travel through countries, you need a roof over your head. The streets are not always so kind. Airbnb and Couchsurfing give you that feeling of living like a local. You can rent apartments or sleep on strangers’ couches to have that authentic, interesting experience.

Welcome you to the world of tech

Home away from home

Pet Sitting

Do you love pets but cannot afford or do not have space/time to look after one? Now you can with Mad Paws. This is obvious for every parent, you need to feel safe with your babysitter. But what happens when you go on holiday without your pet? I see my dog as a family member and Mad Paws gives me the security knowing that my dog is safe. That a stranger will open their home for my dog.

We will guide you to app success

How simple life can be

Foodies

What does an authentic Italian pasta taste like? What about a delicious Indian butter chicken? Do you love local cuisines but don’t have time to travel? Chefly is about people cooking local delicacies for strangers to buy. This is a perfect example of people sharing their skillset with one another.

We develop all our designs in house

Nothing like a home cooked meal

 

Before technology became such a powerful force, the concept of a sharing economy seemed impossible. With such efficient networking technologies, the options are endless. These days if you feel like, need or want anything, an option is not far away.

 

If you are thinking of creating a sharing economy app, whether it’s for travel, food or leisure, get in touch with Launchpad for a free quote.

 

Are you curious to find out what will make your life more productive? Have a look at our blog to find productivity hacks.

Before you start your tech startup

Cover Image Source: pinterest.com

So you’ve got your million dollar idea, you’re calling up app developers. In your head, you’re hiring your friends and planning your end of year business trip to Europe. Next thing you know you’re driving your supercar to your multi-million dollar house.

But let’s step on the brakes there.

What do we need to do before you get to this point?

You’re going to need a business model. I’m sorry, it doesn’t sound as exciting as all the stuff I mentioned before. But how else are you going to get there?

A business plan is essential to the success of any business.

Plan the plan

Image Source: dlplanningguide.com

What does that even mean?

Well, you can’t just make the plan and hope for the best!

Who is this plan for? Does it have more than one purpose? Is it for internal use or is it for others to see? If a third party is seeing this, what do you have to achieve from them reading it?

Plan to write your summary last, because you have to keep it on message, keep it concise. You want to make sure there isn’t anything you’ve missed.

As if you write the summary first, you may add something or change something further in the plan.

The summary is going to be for anyone who is going to read this, investors, partners and developers. The summaries purpose is to get them on board with the idea before they read anymore.

Research

Image Source: myelin.org

Do your research. Just do it. Nike.

No, unrelated, my bad. Doing the research, however, isn’t unrelated. You’re going to need to make some very serious decisions in your business, all of which must be backed by your research.

Here are some topics you MUST research. There are a few things you don’t have to do, unfortunately, this isn’t of-of them.

Researching your Potential Customer

Competitor Analysis

Competitive Intelligence

Industry Data

This is just a selection, want to know how you’ll find more? Random guesses.

Wait, no, it’s research. More research.

Business Design

Image Source: workitdaily.com

Branding – Your Core Story

Who is this app for?

What are this apps Unique Selling Point?

What’s the pricing structure?

What is your business structure?

Are you going to have a casual Friday?

Serious stuff! Really. Company culture is important, cultivate it.

It’s a lot of questions, but that’s only the tip of the iceberg, unfortunately. If building a successful business was easy everyone would own one… bottom line it’s not.

Forecasting

Image Source: itserviceanalytics.com

Do your research to create expected figures. Create estimated marketing costs, revenue projections, break-even analysis and profit/loss statements.

Then measure the expected figures to the actual figures, once your startup has taken off.

Don’t do it alone

Image Source: prweb.com

Get some help making your plan, from a friend to a professional. They can all offer something that will help or change your plan.

Professionals like business advisors and accountants. Who offer expertise in an area you may lack. Which is fine, you’ve already come up with a billion dollar idea. Why should you do all the work?

Then, getting your friends and family members to review the business plan. A different set of eyes is very helpful. Having errors in your business plan will detract from a professional image. So having a different person, or multiple people read it, will hopefully find all errors.

Distribute it to everyone, the more people that are happy to review it the better. Unless they take your idea and run with it. Maybe save it for people you trust.

But for everyone else? If you have an idea that you want to be tested out, run surveys, questionnaires and group interviews. Do whatever you have to do in order to validate your idea!

Find out what people want from an app, see if your app idea aligns with their wants and needs. If you don’t have the budget for this, run these polls on social media. Share it in groups that relate to your idea.

Our Recommended Business Plan or Model

Image Source: inc.com

For all entrepreneurs and startups, we recommend a lean canvas business model. Lean canvas business models are a more visual approach, making your information more easy to digest by those reviewing it. Also, it’s called a lean canvas business model because it is a cut-down business model, it’s quicker and easier to create and allows you to quickly adapt. Build-Measure-Learn.

 

Business Plans are dinosaurs used by corporations with unlimited money. Business Models are used by the movers and shakers.

 

All it requires is 9 sections, that we will go through.

Lean Canvas Business Model

 

  • Problem

 

Here you will list your top few problems and how these problems are currently being solved, if possible.

 

  • Customer Segments

This section is where a good chunk of your research to go. Here you list your target customers and their characteristics.

 

  • Unique Value Proposition

Essentially your elevator pitch. A message that turns someone unaware of your app into a prospect. Make sure to make this compelling, clear and concise.

 

  • Solution

For the solution, list all the solutions to your problems, that aren’t being solved already.

 

  • Channels

What are the ways customers will find your product, and from there go to buy/download it?

 

  • Revenue Streams

Where are you going to make money? If we’re talking about an app, is it going to have an upfront cost? Or will it have in-app purchases or advertising? Could be a combination or any or all of those.

 

  • Cost Structure

What are your fixed and variable costs? Fixed costs are things like office rent and computers. But variable costs are things like server hosting, when your downloads and user base increase, likely your server costs will too.

 

  • Key Metrics

What are the ways you’ll be able to show how your business is doing? For an app startup, you would look at downloads, in-app purchases and daily active users.

 

  • Unfair Advantage

What do you have that no one else does? This thing can’t be done by anyone else easily. It’s left until last as it’s the best selling point if you’re trying to get investors onboard.

Get Started!

Image Source: businesssold.com.au

 

A lean canvas business plan shouldn’t take that long, however, it may make or break the success of your app. But it is too valuable and essential to not do.

Even if you think you don’t have enough knowledge now, business plans can be updated. So evolve the business plan as you and your business does.

Have you created a business plan? Maybe you’ve found something you’ve missed. Or maybe you’ve found something I’ve missed. If so, let me know in the comments section below!

So what are you wait for, let’s get started before that house goes!

If you have an app idea you wish to get off the ground, see our quote page for more information!

 

Have you heard of the Internet of Things? It’s the way all of our smart devices can, or will connect up to each other. If you’re curious, read more, here.

 

What is practical design?

Is your app designed for practicality?

Cover Image Source: material.io

As a kid, I remember being so excited to use my new Gameboy. Going to the shops, bringing it home and opening it up.

But then hit with the worst realisation. I have to wait for it to charge.

Charging always took forever. It probably felt like forever, because I sat there staring at it.

Image Source: amazon.com – Not exactly practical.

But nowadays, everything you buy comes charged. Its usable straight out of the box.

That is practical design.

Design for usability. If you’re here you may be looking at getting an app made.

Designing it practically should be front of mind when you design it.

Examples;

Confused? Let me show you a few examples of practical design.

Image Source: uber.com

Take Uber for example. The taxi industry wasn’t a great one. But if you’ve ever caught a taxi, you’ll know that. It didn’t hold the drivers accountable. The drivers could be late, or not show up. They didn’t have to keep their actions in check.

Until Uber came around. Uber (for those living underground) is a ride sharing app. It allows everyone to be a taxi driver. Uber holds the driver AND rider accountable, by reviewing each other.

It’s designed for usability, for both parties.

Image Source: play.google.com

How about Netflix. Netflix is a video streaming service.

Netflix realised the time of gathering around the TV at 7.30 to watch your favourite show was over. It’s impractical, no one has time for that. The ability to watch what you want, whenever you want. No waiting week by week for the next episode. It’s just there, ready for you. It’s obviously working as Netflix has more US subscribers than Cable TV.

Netflix was designed for usability.

Some designs to avoid:

Image Source: bresslergroup.com – If it needs an assistant to be used, it’s not practical.

Image Source: au.pinterest.com – I think I’ll take the stairs. Make it obvious.

Design Thinking

If you haven’t already read it, we have a blog on design thinking, here. But just briefly, Design Thinking is consumer-centric design. Designing with the customer in mind.

To do so, companies put themselves in the consumer’s shoes. They run experiments and surveys to see how consumers react.

Image Source: struber.com.au

There are many tools you can really use to know your consumer. Like user personas and customer journeys. A user persona digs into how the average user of your product or service behaves like.

A customer journey is a journey your consumer goes through to get your product. We have a blog describing them and other design service tools, here. If you follow design thinking, it’ll be easier to design your app for usability.

Practical Design and Apps

Practicality has been thought of in every screen of the app. It has to be thought of in how the app is used, how it flows.

If the app doesn’t make sense, you’ll likely lose users.

Points to consider for the design:

Keep the design consistent

  • Changing the design from screen to screen will likely confuse a user. This could lead to them not wanting to use your app!

Make sure your screens are uncluttered

  • Cluttered screens are bad for your app for a few reasons. A cluttered screen is hard to use. Buttons should be big and obvious. Easy to find and press. If you have to use the corner of your fingernail to press something, you should reconsider your design.
  • Not only that, but a cluttered screen is just unpleasant to look at! You should learn about ‘Whitespace’. Whitespace is required as it offers visual breathing room to your designs.

Make sure the app flows well

  • When designing the apps’ user interface, consider their experience. What makes sense? If you were designing a game, would you open the app straight into the game? Probably not. A user would want a menu and some options.
  • How does the user think something should work?

Choose the right colour scheme for your app

  • Make sure the text is readable! Putting fluro yellow text on a white background is very hard to read. Actually, just don’t use fluro yellow at all. Or maybe any fluro colours.
  • Also generally, don’t use an image as your background. It makes text that is over it hard to read.

I know it’s just scraping the surface of practical design for apps. But it’s just for readability. Going into detail about app practical design may be a little boring. Or not, it might be a future blog. Who knows!

If you have any questions about practical design, feel free to ask in the comments. Or maybe there is a design you really like, let us know!

Have you been curious about getting an app made? Visit the Launchpad Quote page, let us help you make the app you’ve had stuck in your head!

Have you experienced Virtual Reality? If you’re unsure as to what it is, we have a blog, here!

9 Tips for your Startup

Where are you with your startup? Is business booming or are you yet to begin?

Wherever you are, there is always more you could know. From one startup to another these are some of the tips we’ve learned along the way.

Cover Image Source: sujanpatel.com

Here are some habits of successful entrepreneurs, like Richard Branson. If you’re curious to know what they do differently.

Image Source: pravsworld.com

1. Know to take feedback and criticism:

We know this company is your brilliant idea. You’re proud of it and have every right to be. Everyone, from time to time, will take some advice on how it can be improved. Family, friends and co-workers will likely have good ideas for you to improve. They aren’t telling you what you’re doing is wrong. Because if it was, you wouldn’t be where you are today. They are just trying to suggest what could make the business more successful. If you haven’t already, try validating your idea yourself!

Image Source: thewineingercompany.com

2. Future proof, map out what you want to achieve:

Where are you currently? What do you want to achieve with this company? These are the questions you’ll have to ask yourself, and create a path from A to B. Now it’s not as easy as that. Otherwise, everyone’s business would be successful. Create a company vision, mission or purpose. Something that makes your customers understand where you are coming from. If they know why you started your company, it might make they trust your product/service. Along the path you wish to achieve, imagine everything that could go wrong. Which can be very stressful. But, to help put your mind at ease, think about the other side of that. Design a solution for every possible problem. Try design thinking.

Image Source: memoori.com

3. Work with the right people:

Are the people you’re working with pushing you or letting you stagnate? Steve Jobs was considered aggressive and unkind. He pushed people to further their visions of what Apple could be. From that, they created a technology giant. Now, I don’t recommend being aggressive or unkind. Especially if you’re not as skilled at mentoring like Steve Jobs was. But if nobody challenges you, you may not feel as pushed as you might need. So go out and find the right people!

Image Source: teibelinc.com

4. Do what you are passionate about:

Starting a company is a stressful, time and money consuming venture. With that in mind, if you don’t love the service or product you are creating, why are you doing it? Belief in your idea will push you through times of turbulence. Without that, it may all become too much. So, do what you love and make a living out of it.

Image Source: linkedin.com/pulse

5. Learn from your mistakes:

 

It might seem like common sense, but learning from your mistakes. Making sure to learn quickly is the best way to go. Even if what you are doing used to be successful. But has recently become a mistake, change with the industry. Just because cold calling used to work, doesn’t mean it will now.

Image Source: studentsatnext.wordpress.com

6. Maintain quality:

Keep doing what brought you success from day one. You didn’t get your first customers by selling them poor quality products or services. If you did your business may never have gotten off the ground! But today, you’re finding that you are in competition with bigger companies. And unfortunately, they have a better value proposition. Keep your quality and find a way to make your product necessary. Even if it means you need to find grants or support. Make the price part of the product. Back to the Apple example, the Apple price point is a reflection on its quality. Not only that but offers the image of owning an Apple product. Figure out how to keep and price, and make it almost a positive, you won’t lose customers on a quality product.

Image Source: apple.com

7. Content is greater than pushy marketing:

The days of pushy, aggressive marketing are over. Good riddance! Say hello to inbound marketing. Inbound marketing is the opposite of traditional marketing. Traditional marketing was getting to the potential customer. Inbound marketing is having them come to you. How do you get them to come to you? By creating content that gets their attention and support. Provide them with something that will make them want to return. Once you have their attention, then try to sell them the product. This creates a loyalty with the customer, as the product wasn’t pushed on them. They found you and your content through research.

Image Source: trend.media

8. Do some research:

Do your research! If you don’t you could be selling to the wrong audience. Do your market research and create design tools, like personas for your audience as you need. Next create what you believe their customer journey, and where you fit in that. That way, you’re figuring out the way to get your product or service into their hands or homes. Doing so in the least intrusive way possible.

Image Source: liverpool.ac.uk

9. Start:

You might be here because you haven’t started and you want to figure out what mistakes to avoid. But you have already made the biggest one. You just haven’t begun. Begin creating whatever it is you wish to sell or create and just do it! Whether it starts a line of code, a plan or a design. Just get on with it! You can’t succeed if you never begin. Start being productive today!

Image Source: packetu.com

 

Have you got your own startup company? What advice would you give yourself when you first started?

 

I hope these tips help you with your startup company, and if you need help developing an app. Please check out the Launchpad App Development quote page.

 

Maybe a good startup idea would be getting into the ever-growing Internet of Things?

Have a read of our blog, here.

 

The reason your app isn’t clicking with its audience. Try this creative design method today!

How you can think like a modern designer, with design thinking. It may just change your app!

Designing that will build customer loyalty and advocacy. Design thinking invented by pioneer and CEO of IDEO, Tim Brown.

I’m sure you’re eager to find out how design thinking works.

Let me first explain what is design.

Cover Image Source: Pocket Design

What is Design?

Design is the creation process for an outcome. Whether it will be functional like a plan, or visual, like a picture.

 

The design process is definitely daunting, it can seem like a big task. By breaking it into smaller steps, makes the outcome seem reachable.

 

Working in steps helps your team remain on the same page. This gives the designers comfort in knowing the design is thought out and preferred. These steps are part of the design thinking process.

The Design Steps

 

The steps for the design process being:

  1.       Defining the problem – What exactly are you trying to create? Is it a plan? A picture?
  2.       Collecting information about the problem – What do you need to know before you can begin?
  3.       Brainstorming and analysing ideas – What are some ideas you have had for this design?
  4.       Developing solutions – Grow these ideas, give them detail.
  5.       Getting feedback on ideas – Have colleagues and friends validate these ideas.
  6.       Improving the ideas, from the feedback – If they gave you feedback, can you use it to improve the design.
  7.       Re-defining the problem/starting over – From this do you have a completed design? Can it be improved or do you have to start over?

    Image Source: Discover Design

 

What is Design Thinking?

 

Design thinking is similar, but its customer centric. Which is designing from the customer perspective. A designer must make sure it aligns with what the customer wants and needs.

 

Design thinking is also broken into a process:

 

  1.       Empathising with the customer – Thinking from the customer perspective.
  2.       Ideating what the customer would want – Using perspective and research.
  3.       Prototyping the ideas formed – Creating mock-ups of the possible design.
  4.       Creating multiple iterations of the prototype. Do this until you find a standout or preferred model. These mock-ups are great for people to look at, an idea of what you’re trying to create.
  5.       Launching the new design – Release the design into the world.

Image Source: Neilson Norman Group

 

This leads to having customers tell their friends their thoughts on your product. This is incredibly valuable. You trust their endorsements, it’s one of the most trusted forms of advertising. Because they won’t tell you how good something is as they aren’t paid to do so. I’m sure you want that sort of buzz for your app!

 

What should you do now?

You should start today, create an app that understands what the user wants. An app that they will show their friends. Don’t let your idea’s potential go to waste!

Was your app idea created using design thinking?

Because if you haven’t, why not?

If you hadn’t heard of design thinking until reading this blog, start today. Create the tools required to align your design with what your audience wants!

Image Source: Medium

 

Want to find out how to put design thinking into action?

Check out our other blog that dives into the tools used in design thinking. We describe what the tools are, how they’re used and their necessity.

 

Or visit the Launchpad quote page, if you have a brilliant idea for an app. Launchpad want to help you create a unique, successful app.

 

5 Simple Ways to Protect Your Unique App Idea

Unless you’ve seen The Social Network – you might not know how Mark Zuckerberg founded Facebook. According to the movie, Tyler and Cameron Winklevoss created the idea with their own social network, Harvard Connection.

When Harvard student and programmer Victor Gao resigned he referred them to Mark Zuckerberg. The twins hired Mark and gave him access to Harvard Connection’s network passwords, files and servers. This led to Mark starting work on his own social networking site, thefacebook.

Years later, the legal battle between Winklevosses and Zuckerberg ended in a settlement worth $65 million dollars. To avoid this scenario happening to you, we’re going to outline the 5 best ways to safeguard your app idea.

1. Get a Non-Disclosure Agreement (NDA)

A Non-Disclosure Agreement helps protects your ideas being shared by others outside of the agreement. This document is important when you’re dealing with anything tech related that requires development. An NDA should be readily available by a developer if requested. It is important to remember that the NDA only comes into effect after each party in the agreement signs the contract. Anything discussed before the NDA gets signed may not be covered in the agreement.

 

 

Have a confidential discussion about your app idea with us! 

 

2. Don’t say too much

Another way to keep your app idea safe is to avoid sharing too much information about your app to others. Magicians don’t reveal their secrets, so you should not reveal too much regardless of how excited you are. Also, be selective of those you choose to tell your app idea. When speaking to friends, colleagues or app developers at the initial call, just give a brief overview or a sales pitch of your app idea. However, investors might want more in-depth information on your idea. They don’t normally sign NDAs, so you can do is add a confidentiality disclaimer in important documents.

 

3. Trademark your app’s identity

Trademarks prevent others from using your app’s identity. This prevents consumers from downloading counterfeit apps. protects your brand. Anything that distinguishes yourself from others, such as logos, screenshotsand phrases, can be trademarked. Protecting your identity can help build brand and icon recognition, especially if your app becomes successfulSnapchat can be easily recognised  by its ghost icon and Evernote with its elephant head icon. Before applying, check if existing trademarks have been registered at IP Australia.

 

4. Retain documentation

It is important to keep all documents related to your app and from third parties safe. Documents you should keep safe include: agreements, contracts, business plans, trademarks and meeting minutes. These documents can be used as evidence and help you when any disputes arise or any legal situations happen during the app development process. To avoid overflowing your cabinets and drawers with documents, you can scan them to your computer and upload them to a cloud.

 

 

5. Hire a reputable app development company

Once you’re at the app development stage, it is crucial to find a trustworthy app developer. Your app idea will be kept safe and also developed efficiently. During the hunt for the right app developer, make sure to check out information such as their experience, portfolio, and client reviews. Additionally, a good app development agency will be genuinely interested in your idea, not just developing it. They’ll guide you throughout the development process, giving you advice and ideas based on their experience to make sure it succeeds in the market.

 

 

By following this guide you’ll be at peace and won’t need to worry about getting your app stolen.

For further legal advice on trademarks or NDAs, it is recommended that you visit a lawyer or legal firm with knowledge in this area.

If you have an app idea, contact us for a confidential and informative discussion!

 

Australian App Developers

Here’s a Quick Way to Validate Your Mobile App Idea in 2017

Don’t wait for someone else to validate your great app idea. Validate it yourself!

So you have an idea for an app. But it’s not just any app idea.

After browsing the App Stores, you realise there’s nothing like your app available. You’ve mentioned the idea in conversation and noticed that others think it would be an awesome app. You’ve defined what your app is all about and envisioned how it will revolutionise the world.

This is exactly what happened to Evan Spiegel in 2012.  He dropped out of Stanford University to focus on his idea for a photo-sharing app. Its main focus: communicating with the full range of human emotion—not just what appears to be perfect or pretty”.

This might have sounded like a great concept back in 2012. But was that all it took for Evan to go ‘all-in’ on his app idea? What made him think his idea would stand out from apps like Facebook and Instagram? How did he know there were smartphone users looking for a photo-sharing app like his?

Before you start investing time and money to make your startup dreams come true, you need to spend the time upfront validating what your app idea could truly become. Idea validation helps you to not only save time and money, but also focus your efforts on building an app that people want to use and increases your chances of creating a successful app startup.

This is what Evan Spiegel did in 2012 before leaving college to focus on his app startup called Snapchat. Validating Snapchat back then may not have shown that it’d be worth $20 Billion and the third-most popular social network in less than five years, but it did allow Evan to move forward with confidence in the market demand and long-term viability of his innovative app idea.

That’s why we’ve put together this step-by-step guide to help you validate whether your app can generate revenue, attract users and allow you to join the wave of successful app entrepreneurs in 2017.

Even if you’re not too ‘tech savvy’ or just taking your first step towards entrepreneurship, this complete guide will take you from the initial concept of your app idea all the way to its successful launch.

 

App Developer Melbourne

 

Step 1 – Establish the basics of your business model

Identify your target users and find out if your idea is profitable.

Having a great app idea is definitely a cool ‘eureka’ moment to have, but without a workable business model, your idea is likely going to stay in that moment rather than becoming a successful reality.

Since your app is a startup that you want to generate constant, sustainable revenue from, there are a few things you need to clear right from the get-go:

  • The type of app you want to develop
  • Who your target user is
  • If your target user even wants your app
  • Whether to develop your app for iOS, Android or both
  • Keeping your app localised or going global

Once you can define this foundation of your app’s business model, you can then move forward with confidence to the actual development phase. This is way better than hastily moving forward with an app idea you think is amazing, only to find out that not many other people feel the same way.

 

Primary Research

The best way to identify your target audience is through market research. Understanding the motivations and behaviours of potential users helps you find out the market demand for your app. This will also help you determine that sort of app to develop.

A cost-effective way to discover what prospective users think is by creating user persona models. As part of our Rocketfuel Workshops with budding app entrepreneurs, we create user personas to better understand the needs of target users. We then place the created personas into scenarios to find out if certain app features are desirable or ineffective in certain situations.

 

Melbourne App Developers

An example user persona featuring the target user’s bio, personality, goals and frustrations. Source: Xtensio

 

Secondary Research

With an initial understanding of your prospective audience, you can refine your target users by conducting secondary research. A variety of published reports and collected data is available online.

Sources like IBISWorld provide up-to-date Market Research reports covering every industry in Australia. Analytic tools like App Annie or Sensor Tower lets you discover the keywords similar apps rank for. This allows you to find out if people are actually looking for an app like yours.

With all this gathered research data, you can now move forward to determine the best platform/s for your app.

 

iOS, Android or both?

As you establish the business model for your innovative mobile app idea, you’ll undoubtedly have to consider whether to develop the app for Apple iOS, Google’s Android operating system, or both.

If you’re looking to build for one platform first then here’s what you need to know: iOS apps are always more profitable and get greater exposure than Android apps. This is due to iPhone and iPad users spending more on apps and Apple streamlining its process for developing and launching iOS apps in the App Store.

 

App Development Australia

iOS worldwide app store revenue has been consistently higher than Google Play’s over the past three years. Source: Apple Insider

 

So if your main focus is increase revenue and efficiency in the development process, create an app for iOS.

 

To localise or not localise

When you localise an app, you are tailoring it to suit a certain country, region or continent, whether through language, design and/or marketing. During the initial idea stage, you may choose to target a small market within your home country that can expand over time – but herein lies the problem.

According to eMarketer, there are now over 2 billion smartphones users worldwide. That’s a potential market of 2 billion people. If you don’t localise your app to the societal and cultural traits of other world regions, you dramatically reduce your potential market penetration.

App Development

 

If you’re an Australian App Entrepreneur wanting to keep your app’s appeal domestic, consider this: With roughly 15 million smartphone users nationally, Australia contributes less than 1% of the overall app market share. Your app is already missing out on a vast majority of potential customers if you don’t localise it.

Plan to localise your app globally in places that lead the way in app use and consumption. With a solid localisation strategy as part of your app’s business model, now comes the prototyping phase.

 

Step 2 – Put your idea down on paper

Think about your app’s users and what features they need.

If you’ve got great app ideas you truly believe will be a success, write them down. Whether it’s app name options or wireframe sketches, jotting down your ideas will help you to think more creatively.

As you’re putting pen to paper, be sure to pay close attention to your users. Think about the audience you will be designing the app for and what their user experience will be in-app.

 

The Prototyping Tool

At Launchpad App Development, our user-centric approach to app prototyping is implemented to enhance the usability, convenience and satisfaction from a user’s interaction with our apps. But this process is undertaken once we’ve helped our clients crush assumptions and defined the best way to launch their app’s mobile presence.

So what sort of app prototyping can you do while validating your app idea? It’s important to find yourself a powerful and user-friendly prototyping tool that makes design iterations and experimenting easier. Ideally, the prototyping tool should include the following features:

  • It let’s you design wireframes and mockups simply and quickly
  • It lets you seamlessly share design iterations with your team and developers
  • It’s free to use, but provides an upgrade option if you need more features

During our discovery sessions with clients, my go-to prototyping tool is InVision. InVision is free to use and allows you to turn your App Idea into an interactive, clickable Mobile prototype.

 

There are so many user-friendly prototyping tools available that it would be in your best interest to try out a couple of them to find out which one is best for you and your workflow. Some other excellent prototyping tools I recommend are Fluid UI and Marvel as you can learn how to use them in an intuitive and fast manner. The upside of “test driving” a few of them is that you’ll end up with the best fit to visualise your app idea.

 

Step 3 – Find a great app developer

The qualities to look for in a great development partner.

There are certain qualities that make excellent technical partners truly stand out. Besides coding talent, they need people with mobile product experience. They should have Innovative UI/UX Designers and attentive Quality Assurance (QA) testers that work together to produce brilliant mobile apps. A great development partner provides you with experts across all these areas that work in parallel to iterate quickly and deploy efficiently.

 

How to Find that Perfect Partner

When you’re in the process of choosing an app development company, what you’re really choosing is a partner that will collaborate with you to transform your innovative idea into a successful app. To find that ideal app development partner, look for these characteristics:

  1. A beautiful portfolio – Their work should feature attractive apps that provide user-friendly and intuitive mobile experiences. This is a sign of their mobile UX and UI design
  2. Genuine interest in your app – They should have collaborated with lots of entrepreneurs and different app startups. As a result, they’ll be able to provide supplementary creative input from all their development experience.
  3. Not the cheapest – Your main focus should not be to save money – it should be to design and develop a brilliant app. The best partner will cost more than the cheapest developer, but this will ensure that you are giving your app the best chance of startup success once launched so that you achieve the best possible ROI.
  4. A detailed product strategy process – Their initial discovery session should be to capture the essence of what your app will do and understand the outcomes you want to achieve. From there, they should start strategically planning the key drivers to generating revenue and making your app a success.
  5. Open to collaboration – Trust forms so much faster when working side by side with your development partner. That’s why a great partner will always be willing to co-innovate with clients to promote brainstorming, problem-solving and constant communication throughout the app development process.

When you’ve found that perfect partner that understands your app vision, provides a product strategy to make it better, and can help you throughout the whole development process, you’re ready to transform your app from an innovative idea into a successful reality!

 

Before you validate your app idea…

It’s one thing to have an innovative idea for an app, but it’s another thing entirely to turn it into a popular, moneymaking reality that people download from the App Store.

If you have a brilliant idea, it could very well be the foundation for the next big app startup. By following these steps, you will give yourself the best opportunity to find out your app idea’s potential.

Ready to build a successful app startup?

Book a free 1-hour discovery session with one of our Launchpad specialists to define the next steps for your concept.

 

Australian App Developers

 

7 Kick-Ass Inspirational Female Entrepreneurs

There has been a rise in female entrepreneurs (also known as fempreneurs) not only in Australia but also around the world. Similarly to the success of app entrepreneurs, which we looked at previously, startup success starts with having the big idea coupled with the determination towards turning their vision into a reality. Today we’ll be focusing on 7 female entrepreneurs who took their passion and disrupted the industry with their business idea.

 

Related: 7 Successful Australian App Entrepreneurs

 

1. Justine Flynn – Thankyou

Justine Flynn is the co-founder of Thankyou, a social enterprise in Australia, where proceeds of its product sales are donated to help developing countries. Created in 2008, the idea came about when the founders saw an opportunity of the high bottled water consumption in Australia to tackle the water crisis. Thankyou has expanded their product lines to beauty, food and baby care, which are stocked in 5,000 outlets in Australia. They’ve raised over $3 million for projects, giving over 100,000 people access to water and food across 17 countries.

 

 

 

2. Whitney Wolfe – Bumble

Whitney Wolfe is the founder of social and dating app, Bumble, which is similar to Tinder (co-founded by Whitney) but with a twist. In the app, females make the first move and are the only ones who can start conversations with males. Additionally, matches disappear if the other user doesn’t reply within 24 hours. The app was created to challenge the dating rule of males starting the conversation. Since launch in December 2014, Bumble has more than 10 million users, more than 50 billion swipes and has been named dating app of the year at the US Dating Awards.

 

 

 

3. Jodie Fox – Shoes of Prey

Jodie Fox is one of the co-founders of Shoes of Prey, an online retail shop startup. It started in 2009 in Sydney and offers fully customisable shoes. Customers are able to choose details like shape, colour, and material. Jodie got the idea after being unable to find shoes that matched her preferences. She then wanted to give the same experiences to others. Shoes of Prey have received more than $20 million in funding and won multiple awards at the Telstra Business Awards.

 

 

 

4. Marcela Sapone – Hello Alfred

Marcela Sapone co-founded an on-demand app called Hello Alfred,  which is the Uber of butler services. Users are assigned a butler that completes household chores and tasks they want to be done through the platform. The app idea came when Marcela was unable to do chores because of late work hours in Harvard Business School. Since launching in Boston in 2013, Hello Alfred has raised more than $11 million in funding, won TechCrunch’s Disrupt Startup Competition. Marcela was also listed on Forbes’ 30 Under 30.

 

 

 

5. Genevieve George – OneShift

Genevieve George is the founder of OneShift, an online job marketplace for casual, permanent or shift work. The platform functions differently to other job marketplaces. Users create a profile and are matched with jobs based on the information they provide. The startup idea came from previous experiences of applying for jobs and working at a cafe. Genevieve wanted to make it easier for small businesses to hire and people to apply for jobs. Since 2012, OneShift raised $4.7 million in funding. They’ve also won multiple awards, such as the 2013 E-business, innovation and enterprise award. Genevieve also made the top 50 emerging leaders of 2015 list.

 

 

6. Jane Lu – Showpo

Jane Lu is the CEO and founder of the online fashion startup, Showpo. The store ships female clothing at affordable prices to 45 countries around the world. The idea came as a result of Jane wanting a career change and being unable to find stores that offered affordable on-trend clothing with fast shipping. Since starting in a garage in 2010, Showpo is now worth $10 million and awards, such as Smart Company’s Top Retailer of the Year and BRW Fast Starters. In addition, Jane has won multiple entrepreneurial awards like Forbes 30 Under 30 Asia and SmartCompany’s Hot 30 under 30.

 

 

 

7. Lisa Falzone – Revel Systems

Lisa Falzone is the CEO and co-founder of Revel Systems, a point of sale system that operates on iPad. The POS system enables a more efficient and smooth transaction process for customers and small businesses. The idea came when Lisa went out to restaurants selling an app, noticing that they used outdated, bulky and inefficient POS systems. Since launch in 2010, Revel Systems have raised $127.3 million in funding. They’ve also won the Tabby Award for Best Retail System. Lisa also won numerous entrepreneurial awards, such as EY Entrepreneurial Women, Forbes’ 40 under 40 and Business Insider’s’ 30 Most Important Women Under 30.  

 

 

Do you know any other kick ass female entrepreneurs?
Let us know on social media!

Why Everyone’s Talking about Snapchat’s Latest Update

A new year equals a new you. This is the case with one of the most popular social media platforms, Snapchat. Recently, the company announced updates to the app which will be released in the near future on iOS and Android.

What’s new?

The most groundbreaking change in the update is the addition of a universal search bar that allows users to find friends and people they want to follow. Another new change is the inclusion of a quick access chat directory screen, which lists out friends, groups, and contacts.

 

This update is great for businesses and startups. As users can discover other profiles easier, the new search bar will allow users to also discover businesses, allowing them to increase their brand and content exposure.

 

At this stage, Snapchat hasn’t announced plans for ads in search. However, this will be highly likely to be implemented as a response to Instagram, who is planning to implement advertisements in their Stories feature.

 

Another update has been added to the “Our Story” feature, where users can submit snaps wherever they are at any time. Snaps curate based on holidays, events and what’s trending around the world. This will provide businesses with the opportunity to utilise creative occasion-based marketing and create user engagement.

 

One of the main reasons for the update could be to improve the app’s user experience. On the business end, this could be a tool to motivate businesses to produce more content. The final reason might be a move to help Snapchat keep up with its close competitors.

At the end of the day, only time will tell.

 

What are your thoughts on the new search bar? Let us know on Facebook
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7 Successful Australian App Entrepreneurs

“It’s not about ideas. It’s about making ideas happen” – Scott Belsky, Founder of Behance

Do you have an app idea that has the potential to be the next big thing? All you need is the big idea coupled with the passion and drive towards making it successful. This means getting it developed and published in the app market. Here are 7 Australian app entrepreneurs who have turned their app idea into a success.

Related: 7 Kick-Ass Inspirational Female Entrepreneurs

 

1. Jess Wilson – Creator of the “Tinder for Clothes”

jess-wilson-stashd2Stashd is a fashion discovery app created by Jess Wilson. The idea came from the lack of retailers’ engagement she experienced when shopping online. The fashion discovery app lets users view clothing and accessories from global fashion stores. Then they either stash (swiping right and storing it) or trash (swiping left and deleting it). Stashed is used in over 80 countries with over 4,200 brands partnering with the app and over 500,000 fashion items accessible. It has even partnered with Tencent, a popular shopping app in China.

 

 

 

2. Chris Strode – Ensuring the numbers add up for businesses

 

chris-strode

Chris Strode is the creator and founder of Invoice2Go, which is a business app where users can create, send and manage invoices from their smartphone. Chris could not find accounting software that were easy to use, which sparked the app idea. From starting out as a side business, Invoice2Go is now worth over $100 million, has raised $50 million in funding and expanded overseas. It has been the number one business app in the app store and is used by more than 200,000 small businesses around the world.  

 

 

 

 

3. Melanie Perkins –  Turning the world into a graphic designer overnight

 

melanie-perkins-canva2

Melanie Perkins created Canva at the age of 19 in her home. The app makes it easier for users to perform advanced graphic design tasks on their Apple devices. Her app idea came as a result of the complexities of graphic design software. Canta is worth $458 million and has gained over $40 million in funding, with celebrities like Owen Wilson and Woody Harrelson on the list. Since launch, the app has won numerous awards and achieved worldwide success with over 10 million users across 179 countries.

 

 

 

4. Luke Anear – Improving safety, thousands of workplaces at a time

 

luke-anear-safety-culture

iAuditor is an app created by Luke Anear that allows businesses to create checklists and audits on Occupational Health and Safety in businesses.The app idea came about while Luke worked in the worker’s compensation industry. He witnessed accidents in the workplace and wanted to prevent any more from happening with this app. Since launch, the app has gained $33.88 million in funding and gained international success. The app is used across 80 countries and they have expanded their offices overseas.

 

 

 

 

 

5. George Freney – Saving shoppers time and petrol every day

 

george-freney-booodl

Booodl is a store discovery engine app created by George Freney that shows users which stores and locations stock products they are looking for. The app idea began when George kept forgetting to buy a USB cable and could not find one at nearby stores. Since launching, more than 15,000 retailers have partnered with Booodl. They’ve won multiple awards, such as the 2015 Aus App design awards, and recently achieved a $2.85 million investment deal with a major shopping centre in Australia.

 

 

 

 

 

6. Andrew Low – Enhancing the supply ordering process

 

andrew-low2

Andrew Low is the co-founder of Ordermentum. Thea app helps businesses in the hospitality industry order supplies efficiently through a cloud platform. With vast experience in Finance and Fast Consumer Goods, Andrew created the app after trying to find a way businesses can order and pay for supplies more efficiently. Since launch, more than 3,000 businesses have signed up to Ordermentum, with more signing up each day. They have recently received $2.5 million in funding and plans of powerhouse investors coming on board.  

 

 

 

 

 

7. Peter Marchiori – Making job applications and hiring a breeze

 

peter-marchiori2

Peter Marchiori created Found Careers. The app is, essentially, the Tinder for jobs. Basically, users create their profile and tick jobs they want to apply for. Users can also chat directly to employers, making communicate easier. The app idea was the result of the founders facing difficulties of finding employees in their previous business.  It has over 25,000 downloads and over 2,000 jobs posted. Found recently gained $1.5 million in funding and voted as the #1 useful job platform in Australia.  

 

 

 

Get your app idea developed! Contact us for a free and confidential initial phone consultation!