Ideation: The Lightbulb Moment

18.09.2017 |

Episode #2 of the course Bringing your app idea to life by Kara Ntumy


Thanks for coming back for Day 2 of the course! Today, we’re going to talk about the moment when you realize you have an idea to create something great [insert meme here]—the “Lightbulb Moment.” Then, we will discuss how to define and refine your idea, to ensure that it has a value proposition for the market.

If you already have an idea, then you’ve automatically completed a third of this lesson! If you don’t, think back to Lesson 1, where we discussed the problems your favorite apps solve for you: What problems do you have that can be solved with an app? What would that solution look like? What would your app do? Don’t be shy to write down the answers to these questions; there will definitely be other people who are also experiencing the same problem as you, so they will be looking for a solution too. List all your ideas, as it’s likely that your first few might not be your best; sometimes it takes a while to land a great idea for an app.

Eureka! I just had a great idea for an app! I will share this idea with you (if you promise not to steal it), and we can use it as an example throughout the course. Are you ready? Okay! Imagine there was a way you could send a brief video recording of yourself working out to a group of friends at once, to motivate them to do the same. (Not bad, huh?)


How Can I Define My App?

Defining what your app does is the first crucial step in bringing your idea to life. When it comes to defining apps, it’s best if you can state in one sentence what the app is about. This will help when you are trying to explain the app to people later. Start by describing what category it fits into, describe how it solves the problem (or the benefit), and whom it benefits.

Here’s a basic definition for the workout app: This is a social app that allows friends and family to motivate each other by training in groups.

Now that we have a rough definition of our app (nothing set in stone yet), the next step would be to start thinking about what the app would do. Think in steps of how you would use the app to solve your problem from start to finish, and add these steps to rough sketches of the app screens. You can use this format: “As a user, I would want to send a video clip to one or more of my contacts.” Begin to list all of these requirements, and highlight the most important ones.


How Would I Name Such an App?

To come up with a name, start by brainstorming and using a search engine to look for all the obvious words (and their synonyms) and even two-word phrases that might be used to describe your app concept. List all these terms in a spreadsheet. The best app names are usually two (or three, max) syllable words, which are memorable and meaningful. “Tinder,” which by definition means a dry, flammable material, is a great example because the app aims to help two people spark a “flame” when they match. Alternatively, you could try to create a portmanteau. For example, a name I came up with for the fitness motivation app for group workouts I explained above was “Motimate,” a portmanteau of the words “motivate” and “mate.”

Now that you’ve defined your app and named it, we can visit the next crucial step, validation—a topic we’ll look at in more detail tomorrow.


Recommended book

Idea to iPhone: The Essential Guide to Creating Your First App for the iPhone and iPad by Carla White


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