How to Validate Ideas: Our Extensive Guide to Vetting App Projects

validate ideas
michael-signal@2x By Michael Signal August 2nd 2021

We’re living in a world where the next “big idea” has the potential to be a multi-million dollar mobile app. This is great news for aspiring developers and entrepreneurs. But it also means that there are more ideas than ever before vying for people’s attention.

To make sure your idea is worth pursuing, you’ll need a way to validate your concept and figure out if it’s something that will work or not.

That’s why we’ve created this extensive guide on how to vet app projects so they can become successful. With these strategies in mind, you’ll never again have an unprofitable project!

So whenever you’re ready to validate ideas on your own, finally, you’ve got to keep reading.

Why Is Idea Validation Important?

The importance of idea validation lies in its ability to determine if an idea, concept, or business model is viable. It’s a key step when considering whether your app project will be profitable. Not to mention, if it’s worth pursuing in the long term.

The process of idea validation can take many different forms depending on how much effort you want to put into it. It can involve talking out loud about your plans over coffee with friends one week. It can also involve building mockups with development software for months at a time.

Regardless of which form it takes, the end goal should always remain unchanged. The goal is to determine whether your proposed product can solve existing problems. Solve the problem in ways that are better than what currently already exist.

For example, let’s say someone has an idea for a mobile video chat application where people pay to send messages to each other. If they can’t find a way to make the app easier and more fun than texting, it’s not worth pursuing because cheaper alternatives accomplish the same goal.

The following strategies will help you evaluate your mobile application from different angles. This is so you’re able to determine if its design is sound or needs revision. Not to mention, help you in identifying any potential risks beforehand.

How Is Idea Validation Different From Market Research?

Idea validation seeks only to analyze whether an idea is viable. In contrast, market research focuses on understanding what consumers want by studying their behaviours and responses through research surveys, interviews, focus groups, etc.

It should be noted that these two methods of data collection are complementary. While one helps answer the question, “Is this idea worth pursuing?” the other helps answer the question, “does anybody want it?”

Idea validation is most useful when you’re not sure whether your proposed product will solve a problem that people have.

It’s also helpful if you need to validate an untested business model before investing in it or engaging with customers because finding out too late that there was no market for what you were selling could be devastating and difficult to recover from!

Market research can help determine both of these things ahead of time. This is so you know which projects are safe investments.

What Makes An Idea Good?

The question of what makes an idea good is a difficult one. However, there are a few questions you can ask yourself to determine if it’s worth pursuing.

  1. Is the idea novel?
  2. Does the idea address an unmet need or problem in society?
  3. Can I validate this idea feasibly without investing too much time and resources into it right now (i.e., prototyping)?

If not, what does that mean for me moving forward with my project? How will I know when the appropriate time to invest more money/time/resources before giving up on my app altogether is?

Ideas that meet these criteria have a high potential of being successful because they’re tapping into something people care about. There aren’t any low-cost substitutes available on the market yet.

Validation at this stage ensures your customers will buy your app, which is the first step in getting it on a store and making money!

Idea validation at this stage ensures your customers will buy your app, which is the first step in getting it on a store and making money!

Is There An Established Market for My Idea?

Many people are fooled by their own idea because they believe that something should be profitable simply because they want to sell it.

However, not all markets exist just because you think they should – so before investing any time or capital into developing something new, take some time evaluating whether or not current sales data supports the viability of such as the product being successful (i.e., how many copies has t been sold?).

Ideally, you want to find a product that has been successfully sold in the past and is still selling well. This will give you confidence that people are willing to buy your idea because they’ve already done so before. Thus, saving you from wasting any time or money on an unprofitable project!

Does the Design Make Sense?

This question can be difficult for some entrepreneurs who believe their proposed app should look like others. They don’t realize those designs might not work well with what they’re trying to accomplish.

If this sounds familiar, then ideation validation is critical. It would help identify redundancies, market gaps, and opportunities for innovation.

Idea validation is not just a tool to determine whether or not your idea is worth pursuing. It can also help you refine the design of your app so that it’s more desirable to people in general.

This means less competition. It also leads to higher sales numbers when you do eventually release the product.

Can the Business Model for the Idea Be Profitable?

While many entrepreneurs may think they will become rich simply by releasing their new app on an online store. Oftentimes, that doesn’t happen as quickly as people would like it to. This is because there might no longer be enough customers to buy the product or the cost of producing it is high.

This dilemma often occurs when people are trying to create a new app that attempts to fill a market gap. Especially when they aren’t sure if there’s enough demand for their idea. Thus, leading them into trouble in both directions!

Idea validation can help you detect this issue early on by determining whether customers would be willing to pay. It also assures you have evidence (via other apps) suggesting that your concept will work well.

This is important before designing and developing anything more than an empty shell.

Are My Assumptions About Customer Needs Accurate?

Entrepreneurs should ask themselves before investing too heavily into creating a mobile app prototype:

  • Do I really know what my customers want?

This can be hard to answer for some entrepreneurs, especially if they’re not the target demographic. But also if they don’t have an intimate knowledge of what their customer base is looking for.

Idea validation helps solve this problem by giving you a chance to ask your target market about potential features. Aspects of the product they believe are missing from similar competitors.

You’ll also hear valuable feedback on how users perceive your idea. This will help future iterations!

Remember that sometimes people think it’s better than it really is because they like hearing good news (attribution bias). You must make sure you get as many opinions as possible before investing too much in one direction.

Do I Know Who My Competition Is?

Many entrepreneurs spend all their time developing a new app without considering what those who had come before they did.

This can be problematic because you may create something that already exists. Or worse, give customers an experience they’ve seen before but don’t like!

Idea validation is the perfect way to identify your competition and help you make decisions about how best to differentiate yourself from other apps in the market: it will allow you to ask if people would buy this product even if there were another option available (i.e., answer questions on whether or not they’re willing to pay more for different features).

Validate Ideas With These Methods

When it comes to validating the ideas, here are some of the generic methods that can be applied. These are not specifically tailored to app development, but there is a cross-reference between the two.

  1. Talking to friends and family.
  2. Conducting surveys or interviews with potential customers
  3. Test-driving the product yourself by getting feedback from real users
  4. Doing competitor analysis to see how your idea stands up against other apps that are out there already
  5. Conducting a SWOT analysis and prioritizing challenges.
  6. Using the design thinking process to solve problems, identify risks, and find solutions that may not have been initially considered (the best way to do this is by sketching out your idea in various ways)
  7. Researching patents or looking up prior art on Google Patents Search
  8. Sketching out multiple versions of what it could look like: low fidelity sketches vs. high fidelity wireframes vs. clickable, interactive prototypes

Talking with experts – whether they’re other developers who can give you advice about development tools and techniques or people within your industry like consultants, lawyers, accountants, etc. – so you get feedback from those knowledgeable in these fields.

How to Specifically Validate Application Ideas

Validating ideas is one thing, and validating app ideas is another. Therefore, one must learn how to specifically validate application ideas to prepare themselves for future projects better.

To validate application ideas, you can:

  1. Create wireframes, low fidelity prototypes, or mockups in software like Adobe XD as a way of testing the design without going through development for months first
  2. Build high fidelity prototypes that can be shown to stakeholders by building in functionality on them (i.e., video chat)

While these two methods help push ideas forward and determine if they’re viable before investing further into product research and development, there is still something missing: customer validation.

Gathering feedback from potential customers will help you understand what consumers want so you know whether your idea has market potential or not – which means it’s worth pursuing with more effort!

Validating ideas alone can be helpful in many cases – after all, they’re an integral part of product development – but you need more than just validation to understand whether or not your app will actually sell well once it’s live.

That’s why we recommend combining these methods with customer feedback, so you know which apps are worth pursuing further!

Success Criteria

It’s important not only to choose one method but also to think about how you will know if it worked – what are your success criteria?

For example: “I validate my idea when I get feedback from people who say they would use the product.”

That might mean getting positive responses at focus groups, survey results indicating a widespread desire for such a product, or even an article in a trade magazine.

It’s not enough to say that you validated your idea. It needs to be clear what the criteria for success are. You also need to know how you measured your validation as successful!

Your App Idea, Our App Development

These are just a few ways to validate ideas. To make the most informed decision possible, we recommend trying out different validation techniques and seeing what method best suits your project. Best of luck with validating that new mobile application!

If you have an idea and want to bounce some thoughts around, get in touch with us, and we will happily accommodate your needs.

After a quick conversation, we will be able to determine if we can develop this application from the ground up so that you can see it come to life.

michael-signal@2x By Michael Signal

Michael is the creative brains of the company and he leads the UX and UI team at EB Pearls. He has experience of over 20 years in interaction design and have designed digital products for Fortune 50 companies all over the world.

Read more Articles by this Author