So you may have had a lightbulb moment, but this may be the one you are compelled to act on. You may share the idea with your friends, their response may be biased. But before you put your money and efforts on the line for an app, it is important to research if your app idea is viable.
Is it What the People Need?
Equipped with online tools, you can find out what solutions people are actually searching for. By searching for a keyword you will be able to get a rough idea of what people particularly need by the volume of common searches.
Look into the Competition
Do firsthand research in to what the competitors of your app idea are doing. Download their apps, use all the features. Look up their website, see how they are positioning their brand? Do they have an extensive marketing campaign where there are actually billboards and frequent online ads popping up? This means they have a hefty budget, which may be hard to compete with.
The most important thing you can look up are reviews. See what people actually think of their product. You may like something about the app, but do most customers share this opinion? Sometimes the answer is within these honest reviews, where customers point out what was short of what they were expecting.
Ask People, Just Not Your Family and Friends
Do a simple poll. Make sure you are asking people who fall under the demographic of your customer base. Ask them what they think of the idea, ask them if they would download such an app, and ask them what they would pay for the particular solution it offers.
Keep the questions short and avoid open-ended questions. This way people will not be demotivated to answer.
How Big is your Target Market
Your app idea may not be exactly what is currently available in the market. Perhaps you want to offer your service to an audience that cannot afford hefty subscription fees but still needs the app. Or perhaps you feel their is an audience that will pay for exclusivity and a premium standard.
It is important that you have a mental layout of exactly the features that make your ideal customer. How much do you think they will be earning? Can it be a person from all age groups? How often do you think they will be using the app?
When building an app, you will most likely need a game plan with in-depth research and projected numbers. Top-notch agencies can do that for you, but remember the reports may be a little diverted from your impression.
It is important that you take this research into consideration, but it is equally important that you do not alienate yourself from actually keeping in touch with your potential users. You have to be active on online forums, exclusive social media groups, and similar spaces where you can keep your finger on the pulse.