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The Basics: Gathering Requirements for a Mobile Application

Hi All,

I wanted to do some basic research into creating a mobile application from the bottom, where you hardly have the requirements for what you are trying to create. This might be beneficial for some of us here as I know there are many people who have enjoyed making mobile applications.

Imagine you have a vision for an application which you would like to create but do not know exactly what it is going to do. You currently know what the problem is going to solve and who your users or age groups are. Also imagine that there are current systems which are similar and solve the current issue, but your idea can go one step further than the previous solutions.

What would you do to gather all of your requirements for the mobile application?

It would be nice to here everyones thoughts and opinions on how they would gather a list of requirements for there mobile application.


1 Answer

Keith Monaghan
Keith Monaghan
9,494 Points

Great question, Andrew.

I would take it one step back. Since you're scenario describes an idea which already has solutions, I would focus on the problem. To have success against other solutions yours has to solve the pain point better than the other guys. Which means you need to understand and define the problem and pain better than them.

The best way to do this is to talk with the intended users. You'll need to ask probing questions and go deep to really get at the core issue.

If you focus your efforts on the problem then you won't be stuck to any one solution that may not be the best option for the problem. Perhaps a dedicated app isn't the best solution? Who knows? You'll find out.

Once the problem has been clearly defined the solution usually comes subconsciously, you'll just know what it should do.

Treehouse has courses that can help with this process. I'll see what I can find.

Thanks! It would be great if you manage to find the causes which you mentioned above.

I completely agree with your answer. The only thing is I managed to find out all of the problems. Plus I am currently looking to create a number of focus and observational groups.

Is there some sort of method which is used to perform like a detailed analysis on previous systems? I know a SWOT Analysis could come in pretty handy, but I'm sure there is something more software oriented or better to use.

I'm also trying to understand the difference between functional and non functional requirements as we speak.