How Phases and Personas Help App Development

The decision to create a new app can be an enormous one. There are so many aspects to consider that the process may often seem overwhelming. Incorporating certain phases and personas into the development process is the best way to ensure that everything operates as smoothly as possible.

Obtaining Targeted Feedback from Various Persona Groups

Any time you are developing an app, targeted feedback is important. Simply allowing those in your inner circle to try out the app is unlikely to provide you with an accurate assessment of its effectiveness. Instead, you should consider adding testers who identify as one of the following personas:

  • Subject matter experts: These individuals know everything there is to know about your platform, and are very much in tune with your targeted audience. Subject matter experts should therefore be involved beginning in the earliest stages of development.
  • Creative people: Creative people are those who are good at brainstorming and coming up with better ways of doing things. They should have a good working knowledge of your subject matter, but do not necessarily need to be experts.
  • Detail oriented. These folks are notorious for uncovering minute details that other groups might easily overlook. Incorporating this group of people is essential for preventing errors and ensuring a clean, easy-to-use finished product.
  • Breakers: You probably know a few people who can seemingly tear up just about anything. You’ll want this group actively working to “break” certain features in order to identify weakness and improve quality. This can be a long, tedious process, but is nonetheless important.
  • Out-of-the-box thinkers: These are individuals who are likely to use your app in a way that you had not intended. Out-of-the-box thinkers can help you expand the possible uses for your app, making it marketable to as wide a group as possible.

You may find that some testers fit into more than one of the above categories. If so, consider this a positive, as it means you can obtain a wider range of information than you would have otherwise.

Obtain Feedback in Phases

In addition to incorporating personas, you should also obtain feedback throughout the various stages of development. It is much easier to make adjustments as you go rather than waiting until the end and finding out you basically need to start all over.

Plugging in Persona Groups

To ensure your feedback is as accurate as possible, plug people from your different persona groups in at precisely the right timeframe. For example, you will want to have your subject matter experts on board early, but will need to wait until you are nearing the end of your project before bring in one of your “breakers.” Detail oriented folks could be used throughout your project, while creative individuals and “out-of-the-box” thinkers might be useful somewhere in the middle.

When developing an app, random feedback is of little use. Incorporate targeted feedback from key personas, and you will notice a remarkable difference in the quality and effectiveness of your app’s customer experience.