3 ways to protect your app from being useless
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3 ways to protect your app from being useless

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There is not any particular magic to developing applications for others. It takes a persistent effort, getting users to use the app, combined with skilled developers to provide the foundations of its usability.

1. Use it yourself. When you are seeking to build an application, and you are a potential user, then the application has its first user. That means the skilled developers you have hired to build it can ask you the outcomes you would like to achieve, and as long as a result is usable by you, it has a basis to be used by others. The key is in communicating with User Stories, not Features. The developers are the intelligent party as it comes to delivering a feature, and you are the intelligent party as it comes to knowing what the user is looking to do. And there is a difference.

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2. Pay users money. A team of developers is regularly the single largest line-item for software. It is almost tautological. Presuming there are dollars available for sales and marketing, give people some money to use your application. It could be that folks who are paid to use it from the beginning may find cause to pay you for access by the time it is completed. In enterprise scenarios, when employees are a user group, then have a panel of them ready from the first day of development until the last so that they can evaluate the product’s fitness to their needs.

3. Demo non-stop. At any time, in any venue, when you are around your potential users, then show them the application. This can be done online now with any number of tools; ask your developers what the most appropriate for the type of application you are building is. At any demonstration, you might hook one or two audience members and leave with a new user.

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As for timing? As much as possible, understand your users before the development of the application by talking to them. Assuming you are the user, then it is a short conversation. For all others, you will be coming to your developer knowledgeable and articulate on the stories that need to be written in code in order to arrive at a happy ending.

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