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How to Describe Your App Needs to Your Developers

November 9, 2019

by Harnil Oza

CEO, Hyperlink Infosystem

Poor communication between a company and its mobile app developers can cause misunderstandings and unsatisfactory apps. This is why successfully describing your app idea to your developers is very important in the app development process.

Updated 05/13/2022

No matter how good and experienced your mobile app development company is, you can’t get the best from it if you don’t know how to describe the kind of app you want.

There are certain questions you must answer in your app description to help your mobile app development company create the app you envision.

If these answers are not complete, some mobile app developers could implement what they feel will be good for the app, and your company might not like it. This is one of the causes of disagreements in app development.

This article outlines the most important information your mobile app development company will look for before creating your app.

7 Questions to Help Communicate Your App Idea

There are several bases to cover when introducing an application to a dev team. You want to make sure they understand your vision, so they know how to execute it. 

Here are the top 7 questions you need to ask yourself to describe your app needs to a dev team:

  1. What are your app’s main functions?
  2. Are there similar apps available?
  3. Will the app allow users to register with social media accounts?
  4. Will the app use a mobile device’s built-in features?
  5. Does your app involve or facilitate payments?
  6. Does your app need to be compatible with external platforms?
  7. Do you want your app to be location-based?

These questions will give your development team a foundation of understanding of your vision and the technical requirements necessary to dive in.

Looking for an app development team to bring your app idea to life? Connect with an expert company on Clutch.

1. What Are Your App’s Main Functions?

You need to tell the developers the main purpose of your app, its desired functions, and how users can access these functions.

If, for example, you want a multilevel app where the number of functions a user can access depends on his her or her level in the app, you need to include this in your description.

For example, we created an app with a feature to book service at a salon, which makes it more convenient for customers than calling.

Salon appointment booking

This scheduler will help users easily navigate the app and efficiently schedule their services.

It is better to list out all the functionalities of your app even before you hire a developer. This will prevent you from missing any of them.

2. Is a Similar App Available?

A similar app, whether you or another company owns it, can help illustrate to your developer of exactly the type of product you want.

This means that you need to conduct research to discover similar apps. You can then choose the closest one to what you want.

You could also pick several similar apps to explain different parts of your app. This will give your developers a much better understanding and limit their chances of getting your description wrong.

Using established apps to demonstrate your needs is a sure-fire way to know that the developers will understand your idea. 

Looking for similar apps to yours? You can start your search for examples and inspiration by searching relevant keywords in popular app stores. 

The Play Store, for example, helps users find alternatives to certain apps within the store itself by offering three list categories: 

  • Recommended for you
  • You may also like
  • Similar apps 

Here’s what the app store’s ‘you may also like’ list generates when users look up Pokemon Go.

how to find similar apps on the Play Store

Also listed are other mobile games and location-based applications that are loosely related to the content of the game in the listing. 

Another way to find apps and software with close similarities is through using Alternativeto, which is a website that generates alternatives to popular products. 

3. Will the App Allow Users to Register With Social Media Channels?

Many apps let users register with their social media accounts, such as Facebook and Instagram. You need to convey to your developers if you want this, which will enable them to link the app to social platforms from the beginning.

Using social media logins, users won’t have to memorize their password to log in to the app.

App social media login

Users can use either their email and a password or Instagram or Facebook in the sign-up process.

Additionally, when social media channels are integrated into your app, it will be easy for users to share information about your app, such as promo codes or purchases, by clicking the “share” button. Awareness of your brand can increase the more your posts are shared.

Connecting your app to social media channels is easy for developers to implement.

4. Will the App Use the Devices' Built-in Features?

It is not uncommon for apps to integrate with features of user devices, such as calendar, push notifications, geolocation, and camera. So, you should list all the phone features you want your app to have access to.

More importantly, you should explain how your app should react when it is installed on any device that lacks any of the features your app uses. For example, if a user’s device doesn't allow geolocation, the user can instead manually update his or her location in the app.

In addition, if you want to make any type of device incompatible with your app, you should make it clear to your developer.

It is essential to communicate to your developer if you want your app to use a device’s built-in features.

5. Does Your App Involve Payments?

If your app is for online sales, then you need multiple payment methods for the convenience of your customers. Your app developer needs to be aware of this.

Payment gateway allow for credit card or direct payment processing for e-businesses. Your app developers need to understand how your payment gateway works. This will enable them to design an app that will work seamlessly with the gateway.

It is also advisable to adopt common payment methods, such as credit/debit cards and wallet apps, so that your app will be easy to use and offer a great checkout experience for your customers.

Popular payment gateways to facilitate mobile payments include Stripe, PayPal, and Dwolla

6. What Platforms Should Your App Be Compatible With?

Currently, there are 4 major platforms for mobile devices: iOS (Apple), Android, Windows, and Blackberry.

Do you want a cross-platform app that is compatible with multiple operating platforms, or do you want native versions of your app for each platform? This is also important.

Even if your app does not support all four platforms, it should at least support both iOS and Android, as the two overwhelmingly dominant players in the space. Ensure your developers are clear about which platforms you want your device to work with.

7. Do You Want Your App to Be Location-Based?

An app that is location-based displays information based on the current location of the user.

For example, a location-based retail app could display prices of products in dollars when accessed from the United States but prices in British pounds when accessed from the United Kingdom. This is very important because it saves customers the pain of converting from one currency to another.

Using location is another way to improve the experience of your customers and the users of your app.

Successfully Communicate Your App Idea

After listing what you want, it is important to seek the developers’ opinions on your goals because they may have ideas that will capture all your interests in a better and cheaper way.

If you can break down the description of your app, you will give your developers a clear picture of the app you want, and the chances of any misunderstanding will be minimal. 

About the Author

Headshot of Harnil OzaHarnil Oza is a CEO of Hyperlink Infosystem, a mobile app development company based in the U.S. & India, with a team of app developers who deliver mobile solutions mainly on Android and iOS platforms. He regularly contributes his knowledge on leading blogging sites.


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