5 Simple Steps to Define a Successful App

Brittany Mills
Publication Date
29 April 2016

5 Simple Steps to Define a Successful App

How do you know if your app will be successful? Well, first, you need to define what “success” means for your business. So, let’s dive into the details, shall we? 

During a mobile project, it is common to confuse the success of the project with the success of the productThe key is to understand the difference and ensure you define product success before launching. Below is a checklist for defining product success: (Hint - This might come in handy during your next mobile initiative)

1. Create a Customer Journey Map

This will help ensure you are delivering a product that your customers need and an experience they expect. Detailed journey mapping helps you identify the gaps you might have and decide best technology strategies.

2. Ask yourself: What does success look like for my app?

While this seems like a simple question, this is usually the step missed by most brands. It's easy to get focused on completion and submission, instead of what needs to happen post-launch.  Remember, you want to drive retention and loyalty long-term so be sure that you have defined how you will measure the success post-launch. These measurements should be specific to your brand. Ask yourself and your team these questions to get started:

  1.  Do we want to make an impact in a specific local region?
  2.  Do we have past data to compare to?
  3.  What does a goal look like in-app?
  4.  How do we value a user? (This will help to build attribution models and to define ROI)
  5.  What does a loyal user look like? 
3. Select the Right Tools

Make sure you pick a reporting tool that is right for your app and what you wish to capture. You also need to ensure you have the resources or a partner that can manage the tool and then turn the data into insights. This will provide suggestions for future enhancements and updates to the Customer Journey Map. Some tools to consider include Google Analytics, Localytics, Flurry and Crittercism. Each program has a different purpose so be sure that they can work together to provide one customer journey, not fragmented data.

4. Test the Data

Set up a data validation process to verify your data integrity and ensure that your tools have been set up and tagged properly. Incorrect data is detrimental to the success of your app. I would suggest scheduling a test sprint during development to guarantee that your naming convention and tagging structure is accurate.

5. Share the knowledge

Defining and gathering the data is only half the battle. You must ensure that you're turning that data into actions. Share this information with your UX/UI and marketing teams. Remember, understanding what channels drive loyal users vs. one-time users is important for your marketing team learn. And data identifying features used within the app will be valuable to your UX team for upcoming enhancements. So, set up a process before launch to identify who should be involved and what reports need to be generated for internal review.­­­


Defining product success will help keep all parties focused on the goal and set the stage for better decisions post-launch. Clear, attainable benchmarks make for productive team members and in turn, happy customers. So, go ahead, try walking through the 5 steps and let us know how it impacts your next mobile task!


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