This is Part 5 of a five part series. To receive the entire series by email click here.

Avoid Shiny Toy Syndrome!

You’ve made it to the last and final post of our Mobile Civic App series. We hope you found this information informative and valuable.

By this point, you’ve learned:

  1. Why you should start with why
  2. How to understand your users
  3. How to think about mobile OS platforms
  4. Who will build your app

Once you’ve mastered #1-4 above, you’ve built an awesome mobile application, so you’re done, right?

Not so fast. You’ve got one last, not-so-easy step.

A smart project plan must include user awareness and user adoption strategies. Things like – a PR campaign, social media, a channel shift strategy (where the app is mentioned when users access traditional communication channels, such as telephone calls), co-branding initiatives, and other forms of advertising should all be considered.

To make your #localgov mobile app more than a shiny new toy, you must have a promotion strategy Click To Tweet

The fact is, there is a remarkable amount of noise in the app space and being heard is not easy – even if your organization itself has reach. There are currently over 2.8M apps in the Google Play Store and 2.2M apps in the Apple App Store! That is a lot of clutter and a lot of noise you have to cut through. It can be hard just picking a name that hasn’t been used, let alone sharing that name with a significant number of people.

Once your application is live, listening to usage and digging into the analytics that the app produces will help you understand opportunities for future development. One example of an opportunity will be to extend the integration of the application so that actions taken in the app can create a cascade of automated outcomes in backend software like Lucity, Microsoft Dynamics, Cityworks, IBM Maximo, and more.

If you chose a platform application, you might be surprised to discover that 100s of “out-of-the-box” bi-directional integrations already exist. If you choose to build the application in-house or with contractors, you will almost certainly be able to take advantage of web services that are being increasingly made available in the software world, where openness and connectivity are table stakes.

Above all else, have fun and ask questions!

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