Gathering Data and Content for Municipalities and Local Governments

After the kickoff and discovery phase of our mobile app development process, it’s time to dive into Step Two – Data Gathering.

During this step, you’ll be tasked with gathering all of the data, content, written copy, images, video and any other assets needed for the Info Grove team to start designing and developing your mobile app.

At the end of our kickoff and discovery phase, with the help of your Info Grove team, you’ll have a preliminary sitemap. A sitemap is essentially the menu and content structure of your mobile app.

It provides you with a visual representation of the entire app’s content. The sitemap will give you an overview of what content and data you need to begin gathering to share with the Info Grove team.

For example, if you wanted to include a list of contacts in your municipality or local government which introduces the residents to their correct representative via headshots, biographies and contact details, you would need to provide us with the image, bio and contact details of everyone that should be included within that feature.

What should we include in our mobile app?

t can be difficult to know exactly what features and content to include on your app. We like to use the hours-minutes-seconds test as a way to gauge what types of content works best on what platform.

If a task will take an end user hours to complete, it’s best to keep that content limited to your website. If a task can be completed in minutes or seconds, then it is a perfect fit for mobile apps. The Info Grove team can help you determine what to include (and what to avoid) putting on your mobile app.

How can I make the data gathering step easier

In our experience, this step tends to be the most time-consuming part of the app development process. There is a lot to consider and there are sometimes many individual stakeholders that need to weigh in and provide their feedback and approval.

There are a few ways you can make this step less painful. Here are a few ways to help you breeze through data gathering:

  • Know what you want. Continue going back to your goals and objectives and ask, “What do we need to include to help us best achieve these goals?”
  • Have the content ready. As much as possible, gather what you can before we kick off. Alert anyone you may need something from–for example a graphic designer or copywriter–that you’ll need their help soon.
  • Be clear with your team. Define who is responsible for collecting what data and provide deadlines for when each asset is required.
  • Be accurate. Ensuring the data you provide is up-to-date and correct will minimize revisions and updates required and will ensure that your app is most useful to your users.
  • Be thorough. The value your app can provide to its users is directly related to the content available on the app. The more relevant information and content you can include, the more useful your app can be. For example, let’s say you want to feature a list of all of the pools available in your city. If you simply provide the addresses, you’re not offering your user any added value–they could use Google Maps after all. But if you’re able to provide more information, like the type of pool, its hours of operation, if it has a kiddie pool, if there is a diving board, or if they have lane swimming etc., then you’re truly providing something of value that your user couldn’t necessarily find somewhere else.

Finally, don’t be afraid to keep it simple to start. If you’ve clearly defined your objectives and determined your must-have features to help you achieve those objectives, aim to deliver the most accurate and thorough content for those features. You can continue to add to your app as you go. With the Info Grove mobile app platform, updating or changing the content on your app and adding or removing features is simple. In fact, we train you to do it yourself.

The data gathering step has the potential to stall your app development project if you let it. If you follow the tips above, you can make the process as smooth as possible. Of course, the Info Grove team is always available to support.

We help many of our clients make decisions during the data gathering phase to help keep the project on track. Once the data has been collected and delivered to the Info Grove team is when the fun part of mobile app development really starts–the design and development phases are up next.

Learn more about the Info Grove mobile app development process.

Karim Mansour is an Inside Sales Representative at 14 Oranges, the creators of the Info Grove platform.

Our Mobile App Development Process: Step Two