So, you have an idea for a great app. But how do you turn that idea into something real? We'll walk through the process of creating an app from start to finish by following along with a sample project.
1. Confirming the idea
The first step of the app development process is to confirm the idea. You must identify a problem that needs to be solved, determine if the problem is big enough to build a product around and then identify your target audience, competition and business model.
Before you start developing your mobile app, it's important that you have a clear understanding of what problem it will solve for users by asking yourself these questions:
- What does my app do?
- Who are my target users?
- What's the "value" that my app brings to those users?
- How can I communicate this value proposition in an engaging way?
2. Conduct market research
Conducting market research is important to get a better understanding of the problems and challenges you are trying to solve. There are many techniques that can be used in conducting market research. However, one thing you should always avoid is asking leading questions. This would bias the answers given by your respondents and hence it will be difficult for them to provide unbiased responses.
It is always recommended that before starting any project, first go through activities such as surveying users. This will help you determine whether people even want this product or not, what they like about similar existing products, and what they dislike/want changing about it as well as what features they would like in such an app.
3. Create a wireframe
The wireframe is a rough outline of how the app will look. It’s a visual representation of where each chunk of content will go and how it will fit together on the screen.
A good wireframe should help you get across your ideas quickly, so it doesn’t have to be elaborate or pretty—in fact, most wireframes are drawn by hand in sketchbooks or on whiteboards.
The goal of a wireframe is to give everyone on your team a shared understanding of how the app will look and function. It serves as a visual reminder that’s easy to reference throughout the design process.
4. Design the app
Before you can develop your app, the design should be created. This will build on the wireframe that you've already got. The design is an important part of the process because it will determine how easy or difficult it will be for users to use your app.
The design should be user-centric and simple, without any unnecessary features that make things more complicated than they need to be. It should also have a consistent look and feel throughout all of its screens so that people know what to expect when they land on any given screen.
5. Choose the right technology
Choosing the right technology is a crucial step in app development and can have a big impact on your success.
As you're considering the right tools to use, keep these things in mind:
- Budget, timeline and other requirements. You may have a tight budget or need an app quickly. In either case, choosing the right technology will help you meet those goals while ensuring that your app works as intended from start to finish.
- Technical skills of developers and technical knowledge required for building an app. This should be taken into account when choosing between native vs cross-platform apps (e.g., React Native or Xamarin).
- Size of the app and its complexity—will it grow over time? If so, do you want it built with mobile-first architecture like React Native? Or perhaps there are parts of the app that could be reused somehow? Choosing a good setup will help ensure that you're not starting from scratch every time there's an update needed at each release cycle (which happens often).
6. Develop the app
Once you have the app design you need to write down a list of all the features that you'd like in the MVP ("Minimum Viable Product", or "Version 1"), then rank them into the most important to least, so that later down the line if you run out of budget/time, you don't have to cut out the most important features.
7. Test the app internally
Once you've developed your app, it's time to test the process. This step can be done internally with your team or by partnering with a third-party testing company.
In general, you should test the app with two main groups: 1) Your team; and, 2) your Target audience. The goal here is to find errors before releasing the app in order to save time on fixing bugs later.
This is an important step in the process because it ensures that your app works properly before it goes out to a larger audience. It's also a good idea to have people who are not familiar with your app test it as well in order to get honest feedback about what could be improved.
8. Launch a beta of the app and gain real-world feedback
To ensure a successful launch, you'll want to beta-test your app. Beta testing is the process of testing a product with real users before it's released. Beta testing is used to test the product's performance, usability, and stability. It also allows you to identify any issues with the app so that they can be fixed before it goes live.
9. Launch the app.
Now that your app is built, you're ready to launch. Make sure you have these things in place before launching:
- The app should be available on the platforms you want it to be (i.e Android/iOS)
- It should be available in all applicable languages. If you are targeting a global market, it's important to make sure the user interface can be translated into different languages. You can also use machine learning tools to detect how a user speaks or writes their language and translate it accordingly. This will greatly improve the experience for non-English speakers when using your app or website.
10. Provide regular updates taking into account users' feedback
You will have to provide regular updates and make sure users are happy with them. The more frequently you update your app, the more often it’s used by users. If your customers are enjoying using your product, they will continue to download updates regularly. Updates can include added features and improvements to existing ones. You should never forget about offering regular updates as this is a great way of keeping your app relevant in order to maintain its user base!
It may seem quite daunting and overwhelming to develop your own mobile application but if you do it in the right manner, it is a very rewarding process.