Should we build an app?

Charlotte Lamb

Today, I’ve been at ‘Ignites’, NPC’s annual conference. Our Digital Lead, Alex Green ran a session called ‘Should you build an app?’. He said that there are over four million apps out there – which sounds like a lot to me! He also made the point that apps don’t just cost money to develop, but they cost a lot of money to run, promote, and upgrade.

So building an app isn’t always the answer! And there might be another digital solution to a problem.

Alex took us through several tools used in the UX world to think about tackling user problems. We used the SCAMPER framework, used for generating creative ideas, and an empathy map to think about what a user might say, think, do and feel about a particular problem.

Both tools would be great to use with young people and youth practitioners to think through some of the problems we want to tackle through My Best Life. We’ll be commenting here on how this goes!

Below are images of the empathy map (explore what users say, think, do and feel) and the scamper method (substitute, combine, adapt, modify, put to another use, eliminate, and reverse.)

Image of an empathy map with 'user' in the centre and four boxes around it saying says, thinks, does, feels. An image of the scamper method

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Alex Green

Thanks for the shout out Charlotte!

If it does seem to make sense to have an app (following some good user and market research) I think it’s also important to consider if a well designed webpage, a web app or a hybrid app could fulfil the same role before taking the plunge into native app development