Step-by-step instructions on how to stand the fight with the progress and capture a niche of leading businesses by developing your application.
We live in the times when a website is not enough if it comes to interaction with your current and potential customers. Even social media accounts are not enough anymore. Real success is about building up mobile traffic and engaging visitors to your website on their cell phones. Yes, we are giving you an allusion to developing an app for your business.
You don’t have to be a guru of programming, nor should you know coding languages that would allow you to build an app from scratch. Just use specific tools and resources – they are called app creators. We have collected all the tips you may find useful and inspiring.
Research market offers
Before you start developing your app, ask yourself, “Who am I competing with?”. Study some existing apps devoted to the same topic. Analyze, what do they lack? Teach from their advantages and pay attention to mishaps: consider the idea that you could make it better. Draw inspiration from multiple sources, mix impressions in your head – and generate a brand new app idea.
Next, overthink what you can bring into the market, something that has never existed before. Because yes, undoubtedly, Google Play and AppStore offers tons of apps for every possible topic and focus. But don’t catch any disappointment – if the content of your app will be unique or at least carefully selected and qualitative, users will love it.
As a result, research will clarify global and local tendencies in terms of apps.
If you extend a service you already operate – like a delivery website or a database – you have nothing to do with the competition. Your product is already unique, and with an appearance of the app, you just start representing your business from one more contact point. Do not forget that the audience is already loyal to your brand, shares your values, and follows you.
After the research, you switch to deciding on your target audience. You should be able to describe your customer’s portrait, so-called audience persona. Who is your product created for? Think of three/four target groups who are likely to be interested in your app – and make a portrait of a typical representative from each group. Transfer their age, temperament, hobbies, sense of humor, income level, outfit – everything. The more detailed the picture is, the less time you will spend on finding your audience’s needs.
Keep in mind your budget. Will you spend money on hiring professionals to code your app, or are you going to build an app using an online app creator? Will you ask for designers? How do you plan to monetize your application?
Don’t fail deadlines. To save your time, we recommend using a platform from creating apps from scratch. The most outstanding from them is Andromo.com, a leader on a marketplace for over a decade. Developing apps through platforms is much easier and less energy-consuming – and it does not require any previous programming experience.
Pay attention to rules and regulations in terms of publishing apps to app stores. Otherwise, an app can be rejected, and you will have to reload it with all the mistakes fixed.
By the way, what mobile platform do you plan to use? Do you prefer IOS, Android, or Windows? The process of developing an app, including choosing a builder platform, depends on your operating system priorities.
Forecast ways of monetizing your future app. There are at least four common ways to provide yourself with extra income: paid downloads, implemented advertisement, in-app purchases, and native advertising.
Designing an App
Firstly, sketch it. Seriously, put your ideas on paper, try to visualize them. That is how you receive an understanding of your app interface and feel a general concept. Nobody requires Da Vinci artistic skills from you – it will just help your brain work more effectively. This first visualization will become a springboard for your future steps.
Use your sketches as a reference for wireframing. Basically, it is a prototype where you can describe in detail all the elements and features of your future app. With a wireframe in your hands, you ask a trustworthy designer to create an interface for the app in correlation to your ideas.
Plan out your storyboard, too. It shows the way screens flow from one to another and represents how a user can navigate through an app. This is how you find an understanding with a developer of your app; this is how you avoid miscommunications. So the creator gets a clarified picture of what he/she should make up. Another hidden advantage of storyboards comes right here. They also point at design cons, parts you have missed, or underworked. So you have another chance to consider all the details.
Here is one more brilliant tip on how you can actually make it better. Try to test your prototype on as many focus groups as you can. Collect feedback and analyze every note. Improve it as many times as it needs to be improved. Remember that you better discover problems early than after releasing an app.
How to develop an app
After you have completed designing your app, it is time to sit and write a requirement list for the developer on your future app concept. In case you do not know yet where to start, try to use the most straightforward words to describe the app’s aim and the customers’ problems this app should solve.
We believe you will find our next recommendation useful. The idea comes to creating user stories. This process is a bit similar to working with audience personas. You imagine various possible AND impossible situations from the user’s side of interacting with your app. You predict a customer’s behavior. You name and write down probable actions an ordinary person can perform with your app, and you make sure your app can satisfy every request from the checklist you have just collected. A tip: help your imagination and use audience personas you have created and described before.
Focus on their wishes and needs, rather than on methods they reach their micro-goals while using your app. Decide on problems, not solutions. See, this is a perfect example of a classy marketing approach – defining the role, the aim, and the benefit of your product far before launching it.
Right after you are done with your user stories, go to a more specific and detailed requirement document. Actually, finding multiple examples on the Internet is super easy. Of course, if you still want your application to be unique, do not follow a template blindly, so you will not receive a carbon copy of any app that already exists. Just use it for inspiration, take only what you need to take from it.
For a minute, get back to the questions you have been asking yourself before: on what budget do you count? For what kind of platform do you create your app? Depending on the answers, you will find an approach. We can highlight two options: custom app development and do-it-yourself app builders.
When it comes to custom app development, it is the only choice for those who want their future app to have original functionality. And our mission here is to gently warn you that hiring experts for programming an app for you is expensive.
You will have two variants: partnering with a design studio, or using a professional help of freelance coders. App design studios sound like the most sophisticated way to get your app developed – but you should realize that a price will be advanced, too.
The cost range will be about $15,000 to $50,000. And this is price politics for just one mobile platform oriented app. If you want to have both IOS and Android version, double the number.
If you lean towards freelancers, look for ones with experience in Java/Android SDK for Android, and IOS SDK, Objective C, Cocoa for IOS development. Their knowledge and skills are frequently paid by hours, between $30 and $60 for 60 minutes of hard work. If you are paying much less, do not expect fantastic results. There is a high probability that the app will not be functioning correctly, and you will need to get it fixed the next day after your contract with a cheap freelancer is over.
If your requirements for a mobile app are relatively common, your match is DIY app builders. Those are constructors that collect your ideas, add activities, and put everything in a cover of ready-to-use applications. This road is a much faster solution. App builder platforms are an affordable analog of hiring an agency.
Let us use an example of Andromo.com. Here you can create an app that contains basically everything your business needs. A representation of your corporate values, info bases, files storage, functionality like product catalogs, booking module, linking to existing accounts on other media. And give yourself a breath of relief – you do not need any coding skills to develop your app. Andromo.com gives you 14 days of the free trial period. Then you buy a subscription package – and you can fill your app with various activities, launch it on Google Play, and – good news – monetize it to cashback your investment.
What if your website has more functionality than a DIY builder allows you to implement in the app? Not a problem at all. There exist some services that simply convert a website to a mobile app version. The content replicates to a native mobile app – and, again, no programming skills are required! As a result, you save time and effort.
Test drive your app
We would say that testing an app during development is vital. Because when you start checking a complete app for errors after it is developed, fixing mistakes becomes much more complicated and energy-consuming.
Test it earlier, test it again and again on every stage of development. Save your time and take care of your wallet.
A piece of good news for Android apps creators: at any moment, you can install your app file on a mobile device/computer and see how it behaves in a live environment.
With Apple, the situation is a bit more complicated. You will have to download a separate platform for testing your app. But, anyways, we strongly recommend NOT to skip the testing part as it is quite essential.
Is this the very moment to give your app a start in life? The answer is – YES. You are totally ready to launch your app. To make sure everything goes as smoothly as planned, check with these few things.
App store regulations, as it was mentioned before. Every store has its own submission rules. You do not want launching of your app to be delayed or rejected, do you? Then do your homework correctly and read Google and Apple’s submission guidelines attentively.
An app description. It should be eye-catching. It should be brief and extremely bright – how else do you plan to motivate a person who knows nothing about your app press the Download button?
This paragraph is your first chance to convince the user of the app’s download-worthiness. Try to make it informative, compelling, and – last but not the least – relevant. And optimization also matters: include the most pertinent keywords inside app description, so that your app will plainly be shown to users whose search request it corresponds to.
What else will help sell your app? Preview, without any doubt. Use only high-quality screenshots and videos that truly represent an in-app experience to your potential customer.
It seems like we have ensured you that creating your app is possible without programming skills or coding language knowledge. To sum up: look back at your budget, study your audience, do market research before developing your own app. The result is always a reflection of planning quality.