Mobile Application Prototyping: Risk Management in Technology Domain

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@Pranjal-MehtaPranjal Mehta

Pranjal Mehta is a technology strategist, and the Founder and Managing Director of Zealous System.

With the advent of Cognitive Technologies like Artificial Intelligence, IoT, Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality, there are no more standalone projects in Technology Domain.

Mobile App paradigm shift:

This applies especially to the mobile applications as they have become the cornerstone of this whole ecosystem. Mobile Apps whether developed for B2C or B2B will have much integration and they will act as the bridge that integrates all these technologies to form a digital ecosystem.
Apart from that, with the evolving customer expectations the Mobile App Development projects are no longer one time projects. The need for innovation and updates are increasing as they are essential to keep the Mobile Application relevant to its users and to cut out the competition.
Thus, for those who wish to make a fortune by developing a mobile application, it is now no longer a side project which can be started with some petty cash and limited resources.

Prerequisites to a successful Mobile Application:

Apart from an idea that has potential users and a market gap for which users are willing to pay, a successful Mobile Application will require continuous development, an innovation centre, a planned and streamlined budget and a team of dedicated resources who can keep evolving the application with the growing customer expectations. Also, judging by the current trends, these applications will go beyond smartphones and they will be embedded into smart objects as well.
According to a survey conducted by the clutch in 2015, it was determined that the median cost of mobile app development ranges between $40,000 and $730,000! (Source) And there are no common grounds to compare but still it is believed that the general answer that IT service providers give to clients is that it takes 4-6 months to develop a mobile application. Apart from this, there also requires budget and time to test, deploy and position the mobile app in the market and to carry out marketing activities so that the mobile app reaches the potential audience.

Mobile App Prototype- an essential first step:

So looking at the above scenario, it would be a fool’s errand for an appreneur to take a leap of faith and commit to such large cost and efforts without conducting a detailed research and before gaining some Proof of Concept (POC)! Investing in a Mobile App idea without any research or PoC is basically a speculation and not an informed decision.
The best way an enterprise can get a Proof of Concept is by hiring a team of technical experts who can design a Mobile App Prototype. Mobile App prototype is basically a preliminary visual mock-up that demonstrates the UI and UX of an application without the need to write the code. There can be a fully functional prototype where not only the design of the app is demonstrated, but the functions of the app are also prepared and integrated. There can also be a non-functional prototype where only the UI of the app is prepared to get a visual of the end-product.
The reason why Mobile App Prototype is the best way to gain Proof of Concept is that Prototype not only gives you clarity about the Technical Feasibility, but it also has various other business benefits. To help you understand how you can make the best possible use of a Mobile App prototype, the blog further gives detailed Technical and Business benefits of the Mobile App Prototype:
Technical Benefits of Mobile App Prototype:
1. Idea Validation (Proof of Concept):
The prototype can be used to gain validation that the idea that an enterprise wishes to convert into a mobile application is technically possible to execute or not.
2. Clear vision of User’s App Journey:
With a functional Prototype, the client can get clarity as to how the user of the app will navigate as functional prototypes can have app transitions, Call To Action buttons and other such functional clarities.
3. Complete idea of the End Solution:
With a functional prototype, not only you get the proof of concept, you can actually visualise the final product that you wish to provide to your end-users. It will also help you determine accurate time and efforts that would be required to develop the Minimum Viable Product and also of the end solution.
4. Detailed Guideline for Developers:
Instead of starting from scratch and relying on just a piece of scope document, with functional prototype developers can have a clear vision as to what needs to be done and hence, they can execute the project with no possibility of misunderstandings. Also, the UI components can be used in the final product thus, saving time, cost and efforts of the same.
5. Determination of potential Technical Challenges:
With prototypes, developers can get a clear idea if there would be any technical challenges while developing the mobile application and if there would be, plausible solutions can also be determined even before the development starts.

Operational and Financial Benefits of Mobile App Prototype:

1. To approach for Seed Funding from Venture Capitalists:
With a functional prototype, enterprises can approach Venture Capitalist for seed funding and present them with a clear vision of the product. Not only can you provide them a better understanding of the project, the prototype can also demonstrate your dedication and conviction towards the project.
2. Justification of funding to stakeholders:
If you are an enterprise and the Mobile App development project is funded by the stakeholders of the company, the Prototype can be used to validate the idea and also to justify the funding that would be required from the Stakeholders.
3. Market Validation:
One of the biggest concerns for an appreneur is the validation of the product from the Users. With a prototype, appreneur can conduct a closed beta test of App Usability where users will get a detailed idea about the mobile app from the Prototype and they can then give detailed inputs about it. This can also be used to understand how useful the users find the solution.
Thus with the mobile app prototype, organisations can not only validate their mobile app idea, but they can also involve various stakeholders and gain market validation for the same. The prototype will help in product pitches and will also give clarity to developers so that they can better execute the product.
So instead of taking a leap of faith and commencing the project on speculation, make an informed decision with Mobile App Prototype and increase your chance of success. But it requires greater technical skills to convert your thoughts into a fully functional Prototype. Your IT service provider must have resources that can engage their entrepreneurial mindset along with Technical Proficiency to convert your idea into a feasible Mobile App Prototype.
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@Pranjal-MehtaPranjal Mehta

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Pranjal Mehta is a technology strategist, and the Founder and Managing Director of Zealous System.


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