Did you know there are over 2.56 million apps available on Google Play Store? The app has become big business, and can totally transform both sales and leads for your company. But do you know actually know the design and build process?
The process is lengthy but can be done well if broken down into easy steps. Read on as we discuss how to create a mobile app.
Know the Problem You Are Solving
The success of an app is based on one factor only, and that is how well it solves a problem. These problems can be as wide-ranging as knowing how to learn a language, finding products quickly, or getting food delivered to your home. If you already have a company and want to build an app associated with it, then it needs to solve a problem related to your business or industry.
Once you have this problem, check other apps that do the same thing. Download them, see how they work, and notice their strengths and weaknesses. See if there is a better way to solve this problem.
Is There a Desire for It?
Once you have this, you need to begin finding out if there is an actual desire for it. You don’t want to go through the process of mobile app development to find that no one actually needed that problem-solving in the first place.
Start by looking at other similar apps. How many downloads have they had? Is there a desire for them?
After this, check keywords. Are people searching for answers to the problem your app will solve? You can also use Google Trends to see how popular these terms have been over time.
Once you have this information, you can enter the planning stage. Start by thinking about the flow of the app and how the users will navigate through the process. When writing these steps down be as detailed as you can.
The fewer steps needed to solve the problem, the more usable your app will be. It will also be easier to create, cutting down your costs considerably. After this, create a list of mobile app requirements, listing them by order of importance, to hand to the developer.
It is important to state your minimal viable product when thinking about how to develop a mobile app. This is the minimal functionality you would want the app to have at launch. Everything else can be added later via updates.
Hire a Developer
Now you have the basic idea for your app and know you have a market for it, you can start building a prototype. This requires the knowledge of a skilled developer. You can learn more about this lengthy process here.
Start your search online and find a few possible developers, then check reviews and ratings. If they have created other applications, download them and see how well they work. Look for people who have developed apps in a similar niche to your own.
Once you have a shortlist, contact them to discuss your project. Make sure you have a budget in mind and let them know this. Mobile apps do not come cheap, with a low-cost one being around $150,000.
The next mobile app design stage is creating wireframes. These are conceptual layouts, that are concerned with user experience and layout. It is in this stage that you will also need to consider the operating system your app will be used on.
After this, a style guide will be created. This should be done in conjunction with the marketing division in your company. It will help to theme the design and look of the app with your branding.
The style guide should include the types of font, color schemes, and how to utilize existing branding. By doing this early, it can also aid the productivity of your app developers as they are not waiting for clarification from your marketing team at later stages.
Both the wireframe and the style guide combine to form your early prototype, known as the mockup. This will be a working document in which changes are made to its design, architecture, and flow.
Now the framework is in place, the development can begin. This is usually divided into three areas. These are the back end, mobile front end, and API.
The back end involves creating the database and server-side objects that house your app. The API is the method in which the app communicates with the back-end server, retrieving the information it needs.
The front end is the app itself. It is the part that users will see and use. You may decide to have offline functionality, in which case the app will use local data storage.
Before launching your app, make sure it is tested thoroughly. The first stage is to test the user experience. Use a range of scenarios, and see how well you can solve the problem set out in each one.
User experience should also be about checking the design. Does it fit in with the branding and brief you gave the designer?
The next stage is functional testing. For this, you need to get different people to test different scenarios. You may be surprised to see how two people can do exactly the same thing and get very different results.
Performance should be the next test. Is it fast or using up lots of battery power? Could you possibly cut the size of the app down without damaging functionality?
How to Create a Mobile App
Now you know how to create a mobile app and have completed the steps, all you have left is the launch. Make sure you market the app well and continue to update. You will need to add updates after the launch and fix bugs, so make sure to keep a budget for this.
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