If you’ve set out to create an app, you’re probably spending all your time thinking about it. How it should look, what you should call it, and of course, what features it should have! That’s what we’re discussing in today’s blog – deciding on a feature set for your mobile app.
As you may know, most products are built in stages. It begins with a skeleton of just the main functions, and as you conduct more user research, get feedback, maybe some funding, you keep building it out. For the very first version of your mobile app, you want to build a simple and intuitive user experience.
This is why one of the most important components of a successful app is a feature set. This is what helps you get going with ideas for the final product.
What is a feature set?
Time for a quick definition! A feature set is a list or a high-level description of what you want people to be able to do, and how you’d like them to interact with your app so it can actually solve the problem that it’s aiming to solve.
Let’s use the example of an app built on Adalo, Moonifest. Moonifest was built to create a community of people with similar interests and keep them engaged with content, services, and fun discussions. It’s an app that helps people set intentions and manifest with the energy of the moon.
For Moonifest to do that, it would absolutely have to include options to watch or listen to content, enter information and make notes, have a calendar, and get notifications. Features have a direct impact on the usefulness and usability of your app. If you include too many features initially, people may be confused about what your app’s core purpose is, and how it solves a problem for them.
A feature set shouldn’t just be a list of cool features. You need to have a clear objective behind why you’re building an app, which will govern which features you need versus which features just seem helpful.
How do I narrow down on what I’m building?
Having an idea for an app is a good first step, but the next step should take you to what the app actually does, and who it helps. If you’d like a little help with thinking through that, here’s a handy guide for you. Here’s how you get from step one to step two.
It requires you thinking about the problem you’re trying to solve, and working backwards from there. It helps to tackle just one problem, which will give your app more focus and a greater likelihood of successfully solving that problem.
Using Moonifest as an example again:
People often want to feel more grounded, present, and in touch with their energy, But it’s hard in our busy, modern world. Things feel out of our control, and there’s so much we don’t know about the process. People end up starting out with good intentions and abandoning the process of meditation and setting intentions along the way. So how do we make this easier for them?
Who the app is for: Anyone interested in meditation
What do they want: They want to be guided through the process and have a community for consistent support and motivation
Moonifest is: A community-building app with content as a service
What does Moonifest do: It guides users through meditations, setting intentions, and manifesting, while providing a supportive community.
By conducting a similar exercise for your app idea, it helps create a clear direction for the goal of your app, the problem it solves, and most importantly, the features you’ll need to solve it.
So, how do you choose the best features for your app?
There are many different types of apps that you can build, and they all come with their own baseline feature sets. Here are a few examples of common features:
- Search functionality
- Push notifications
- Product gallery
- Shopping cart
- In-app payments
- Video player
- Profile page
- Integration with social media
- Messaging or chat service
There’s really no shortage of business ideas and use cases for mobile apps, and the opportunities to improve on existing apps seem endless too! The key is to choose one that creates the greatest impact for your users.
Budgeting and prioritizing your app features
An important factor to consider when deciding on your app features is that big, bad budget! There’s no point making a long list of features that you don’t have the resources to build. Some features are relatively easy to build, some you could get for free if you’re building a no-code app, but it always helps to keep in mind what your resources are when deciding on a feature set.
Once you’ve listed out the features and budgeted appropriately for them, it’s time to prioritize! This means choosing the features that you need for your MVP. Prioritize the features according to how important they are to help you accomplish your objective (that’s the section on narrowing down what you’re building!)
When you’ve prioritized the features you need for the MVP, and the ones that you can perhaps work on a little further down the road, you’ll be able to plan, build, and execute your app idea! Woohoo!
Remember, it takes more than an awesome app idea – a successful app will be equally awesome when it comes to the idea, features, design, and user experience!
You don't have to be a coding genius to create an amazing app that your customers will love. If you're a freelancer, use Adalo to help you build software, connect with clients, and earn recurring revenue. And don't worry if you're new to this - there are plenty of free online courses and resources to guide you along the way. So what are you waiting for? Let's start building!