It’s often said that the user is central to the digital experience. That understanding the journey that the client takes is fundamental. But ideation is still the poor relative of the mobile app design process.

Ideation is still low on the list

When professionals – from all sectors – are asked what the reasons are for a given app’s success, they’re quick to talk about

  • its ergonomic design,
  • the way it’s produced,
  • the testing it undergoes,
  • its graphics,
  • the way it’s promoted or the way it’s monitored.

According to the Open survey, ideation comes right at the very end.

Admittedly, it would appear that they’ve grasped the importance of ergonomics and design. But the role that the user plays upstream of the design process is still underestimated. Ideation involves getting your user involved right from your product’s design phase. Traditionally, users only become involved during the test phases – once the product has already been designed. In the best cases, their role involves improving an existing app.


Involve the user upstream of the project

Ideation is very closely linked to the user experience – to designing the user experience and the user interface. It deals with how users will actually use your application. In a traditional process, the company or brand “pushes” their thought process out towards the user. With ideation, the user drives the thought process.

This ideation approach is part of a more global approach focused around designing a minimum viable product (MVP). There are 5 stages involved in this design process:

  1. Understanding the user’s requirement
  2. Exploring so as to define the concept visually
  3. Defining a strategy so as to set targets and determine functional specificities
  4. Ideation for developing a rough version and viewing the project
  5. User testing on a mock-up


Guaranteeing your app’s success

So ideation involves prototyping your project, involving the user so as to properly define your app’s essential features and functions. It’s also a way to refine the user experience and validate the user journey – the way your user uses the features and functions available. That way, the journey available to users becomes more intuitive, more effective and more straightforward.

This scheme really does place the user at the heart of the process – without delaying the time to market. The ideal time to market would ideally be between 3 months and a maximum of 6 months. Adopting a lean or agile design approach – placing the emphasis on ideation – has two major advantages :

  • You can guarantee that your app will get the features and functions that users expect and which are tailored for their usage behavior.
  • You can further increase your app’s value and its lifetime: the speed at which your app runs and the quality of the user journey are important criteria that determine whether or not users will uninstall it.

While professionals are quick to cite cost and return on investment as being among the main barriers to developing a mobile app, I’m always surprised to see how little consideration is given to users’ opinions during the project development stage. And yet… involving them very early on in the process can guarantee an app’s success.

Click here to find out everything you need to know about adopting a Lean design approach to your mobile app.


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