What is your mobile app trying to accomplish?

In this series of articles I covered the questions and concerns most often brought to us by potential clients looking to get into the mobile arena. To avoid delay, the next consideration is…


I know, I know. You are probably yelling “A MOBILE APP!” in your head. Hopefully not out loud.

Consider the different functions the mobile apps you use fulfill. Some have a primary function of letting you know when a bill is due, money received, or any number of external triggers trigger a notification. Others still serve as mobile-friendly libraries, making it quick and easy to categorize items and for you to pull the information in that you want and when you want it.

This is the crux of “what.” What is the primary, secondary, and even tertiary goal of your mobile app. To think that it will be monolithic and serve as all things to all people is not only a pipe dream, but perhaps a rather unwise approach. With such a wide target, the app is difficult to navigate, more expensive to produce and maintain, and will more than likely take a significant amount of time to get “right” and out into the world.

Are you wanting to stay in touch or increase engagement through subtle touches every now and then? Are you trying to make it as easy as possible for them to order goods or services from wherever they are? Which of these are more important? These are the questions we sit down and sort through. You may even be surprised to find that your preconceived notion of the target functionality may change as you explore what these goals look like and entail.

Give yourself (and your group, if applicable) some time to whiteboard this concept and talk through the scenarios with exercises like, “If a user uses the app for 20 seconds and then stops, I want them to have…” and finish the sentence. Use in conjunction with affinity sorts and other brainstorming techniques to find the “north star” of your target and follow it to completion.

Check back for the next in this series to learn more about the questions to begin asking yourself and some points to consider when launching into a mobile development project. If you have thoughts, reach out to me on twitter at or email me! More soon!

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