How to create a mobile app one super easy step at a time
Mobile applications are big business, and entrepreneurs are cashing in right now. Whether you have a business already that you want to make an application for, or you have a completely new idea for an app you think doesn't already exist, you may want to get started in the area but not be sure where to begin.
The success of your app ultimately depends on your idea and the strategy you take to make it happen. Here are some start-up tips to help you on your way.
1. Idea generation
Interested in getting into the mobile application arena but you don't yet have an idea? Well, that's the first step! With so many mobile apps on the market, you need to come up with something that stands out from the crowd. The best apps are the ones that solve a problem, and entrepreneurs are usually great at solving problems so you’re already on the right track!
But if you still need to land on an idea, a fantastic place to start is by looking at what problems you have in your life and listing them out. Once you have this list you can look through it and start to consider how exactly you could go about solving these problems. At some point, you should strike on your idea and then you're ready to move on to the next step.
2. Where's the need?
You’ve got your idea, now you need to prove that there is a need for it! A brilliant way to validate your mobile app and a demand for it in the world is to use Google Keyword Planner. This tool will help you see whether there are actual people out there looking for what you're trying to create.
You would gain even deeper insight if you created a landing page for your idea and asked for interested people to sign up to an email list (plus you'd be collecting potential customers for your new app too!)
3. Initial design layout
You've identified the need and decided to pursue the idea, now's the time to work out the features of your app and the overall flow. You need to jot down your idea and then plan out exactly how it is going to work in a document. To get an even better strategy, you could use a wireframing tool and do it yourself, or this may be the time to employ someone who knows about mobile app development (we do!) to help you get your ideas into a more executable form.
When you’re fleshing out your idea, you need to be as detailed as possible and include how users will work their way around the app and what exact features it will have.
4. Get rid of excess
Now it’s time to take a look at your plan and layout and remove any features that aren't necessary. It's easy to get carried away at the early development stage and want to put absolutely everything that your heart desires into the app, but that includes things that are not necessarily essential. But doing this is likely to lead to your app being too complex, hard to create and potentially difficult to use. You want your app to be simple and easy for your consumers, and there's always the possibility of adding features later as part of an update. Doing this will also keep development costs down and ensure you can get to market quicker.
5. Design comes first
An app is first and foremost about design and the user experience. That’s why a really basic design will not suffice. The success of your app will come down to how it looks and feels to the customer, and so it's important to spend a lot of time ensuring this is right. Make sure you're working with a developer that understands this and puts the graphics and experience of the user in first place.
6. Ask for help
Unless you have expert knowledge of mobile app building you're going to need to hire someone to do this part for you. Take your time finding someone that you trust and can really work with. Make sure you speak to potential developers over the phone to get an idea of who they are and how they work and whether it's all going to work with you.
7. Get accounts in order
Once the app is almost ready for market, you need to sign up for a developer account on the app stores or else you will be unable to sell through their platform. The charges for Google Android and Apple change periodically and you can register as either an individual or a company.
8. Track and review
It’s really important that you analyse your app once it goes to market. How many downloads have you had and are you steadily increasing? How engaged are your users? What is your customer retention like? Tools such as Localytics are perfect for this. Plus, you'll need to try and get users to review your app to get more customers interested and get your app seen by more people.
9. Keep improving
An app rarely ever goes to market completely perfectly, and there's always room for improvement. So, once your app has been around for a short while, start looking at how you can add to it. You can base your update on user feedback and criticism, add in some of the features you removed in step 4, or remove some that you've noticed aren't relevant.
Got an idea for a mobile app but no clue how to get it started? We can help. Talk to our experts at Xenace and see how we can bring your idea to life.