Your ministry has decided to build a mobile application for your members to use, but you don’t know how to get started? What follows is a step by step guide for you to follow, to create, market and maintain your application.
Find a Problem to Solve
Your ministry needs an application to keep in touch with your members, but have you considered the functionality of your application? Think about the times when you need to contact members either by mail, email, or phone. Then, think about how much faster you could raise funds for those new campaigns on the horizon, or how easy it would be if members could request prayers via their mobile devices. You could consult staff of other ministries who are already using mobile apps, to see which areas they have targeted.
Identify the Need
You have a great idea, but why not conduct some research, to find out whether someone else hasn’t already solved the problem? Don’t try to reinvent the wheel. Take detailed notes in regards to the problem you are trying to solve, and consider other possible solutions. Notes help when implementing ideas and developing an application. Research the likes, dislikes, and preferences of other app users.
Focus on the Design
Now is the time to make your design stand out. Map the flow of your application, and visualize how your members will use and navigate the app. You may want to make most frequently used features prominent, to help your users find what they need fast. Too much content can bog down an app. Think about simplicity and ease of use. This step is like the outline to a Sunday morning sermon.
Trim the Fat
Now that your application is all you ever wanted it to become, cut out everything that is not necessary. Some features might be fun to have, but are they really necessary? For example, consider photos: fun to have, but can be easily stored online for sharing, instead. . Trim out features that are not vital to the app’s functionality. Trimming the fat makes the application run faster, more engaging, and easier to use.
There is nothing wrong with a simple, non-complicated app. A simple design allows for functionality, but be careful: you don’t want a boring app. Together with your designer, you should carefully consider your app’s functionality. A unique design can make your app truly pop, without being busy. Familiarity with Photoshop may come handy, to create the necessary graphics for the design. Once the app is developed, showcase it on your ministry’s website. Allow users to sign up, so they may download the app when it is ready.
Create a Developer Account
You’ll need to register as a developer with Apple and Google, if you wish to sell your application in the app stores. Registering a developer account attracts a fee: one-time $35 for Android, and $99 annually for Apple.
Analytics are helpful, to keep track of app retention, number of downloads, and user engagement. Taking the time to study how your app performs, or what your users like, and how they use your app, will help your sales. Statistics never lie, and analytics will show you how well your investment is doing.
Ask for Feedback
When marketing of your app, consider your potential audience. Find out what they like or dislike about your app. You may learn that your users would enjoy some of the features you trimmed out. Stay consistent in your design, because users’ experience is a vital element to the success of all apps.
Introduce new features
Keep your app fresh by consistently adding new features, based on users’ experience and feedback. As you add new features, revisit your analytics, to see changes in usage, and to find out if the features are working as expected
These are general steps needed, to create a mobile app for your ministry. An app builder like PocketPew.com simplifies this process down to three steps, and we take care of the rest – even posting to Google Play and the App store.