Ever since the birth of the mobile app era, thousands of mobile applications are added to app stores every day. But questions remains, how can a person with limited resources and experience create an app? The good news is most of the resources you need is on the internet. All you need some creativity and a good idea for an app. Here, we will help point you to the right direction on developing your very first mobile app.
1. Create a plan
The first thing to do when embarking on any product development or entrepreneurial venture is your plans for the project. Having a vision on what you want to achieve is very important measuring tool whether the development process is heading in the right direction.
This is where you come up with an idea for the app. Try to figure out the problem you are trying to solve. Try to differentiate your idea from others by coming up with multiple, innovative and unique ways of solving the problem, playing the game, or teaching the subject.
Also, this is good time to gather information about your target audience. What devices are they using? Are they using Android or Apple iOS or others? Where can you reach them when you start promoting about your new mobile app? And how could you earn from your app? Yes you need to plan how to earn too..
Application Stores competition is fierce and dozens of new high-quality apps are being launched every day. 80% of developers are NOT generating enough revenue with their app to support themselves or even their standalone business. You don’t want to be part of the 80%, so plan accordingly.
2. Draw a sketch of your app
If you have an idea already mostly likely you have some visual in mind for how the app would look like… How it works… and the information it would present. Start putting your ideas in paper. During this process, you may find some fresh ideas come to mind that makes the flow simpler or add creative twist to the interaction design.
Create a sketch for each screen in your application. Experiment with various navigation schemes, button designs and flow between screens. The purpose of sketching your application’s screen is to build a foundation when you start coding the app.
3. Choose a platform and deployment
Since we’re already done with our market research, it’s time to decide a platform to develop your app. Choose the platform that most of your target audience uses. Google Android and Apple iOS are widely used platforms and each has its own app store. Expand your mobile apps reach if and when needed.
4. Start coding (The App Development Process)
Now that you have an idea for your app, you’re also finished doing your market research, and already made sketches for your app, it’s time to start the actual development phase. Don’t just code right away. First, divide your whole project into shorter and more manageable development cycles. You will feel less exhausted this way rather than tackling your project in one big chunk.
Next, ready your tools. Each platform has an integrated development environment which provides tools to allow developers to write, test, and deploy applications into the target platform environment.
When everything’s set, start coding. Keep in mind to test your app as you progress. The idea is keep on refining you product along the way.
5. Beta test your app
Once you have a sizable chunk developed, be sure to test your app using emulators. Emulators provide an inexpensive way to test mobile applications on smartphones to which developers may not have physical access.
Now that you have been testing your mobile app during the previous phase, it’s really important to have your app tested by users one last time. Test your app for feature issues, as well as performance issues. Beta test as much as you can before launching rather than having negative reviews all over the web and app store. Make sure all bugs are fixed and that your use interface is simple and easy to learn.
6. Submit your app
Once you have finished your beta test, you are now ready to launch your app. Submit your app to Google Play for Android or Apple App Store for Apple iOS. Don’t forget to signup first for a developer account and follow their guidelines when submitting your app.
7. Market your app
Marketing is key to launching any mobile app, especially with so many apps in the market today. You need to do everything possible to get the word out about your app.
Apps can sit in the store unseen very easily. Nothing is more damaging to an app’s success than an unexpected or poorly planned launch. Don’t let it happen to you. Be ready with a plan to market your app. In fact, be ready with many plans to market your app. Be ready to experiment because some ideas will work, and others won’t. Engage your target audience in places where they spend most of their time like Facebook or Twitter.
Good luck – Transforming something intangible as an idea into a tangible and enjoyable mobile app is an exciting venture. The most important take away for anyone looking to create their first app is to focus on bringing your idea to come to life.
Now it’s your turn.
If you’re an app developer, what advice can you share to first-time mobile application developers? What are the steps you took to make your very first mobile app? Share your thoughts on the comments below.