Author Bio: This blog is written with the help of Jigar Mistry, who has over 13 years of experience in the web and mobile app development industry. He has guided to develop over 200 mobile apps and has special expertise in different mobile app categories like health and fitness, eCommerce, and On-Demand. So we took his help to answer your question like how to create an app.
Wondering how to create an app? We met one of our experienced mobile app experts, who shares a complete guide on how to make an app successfully. This blog will clear all your doubts. Breaking down the main steps from defining an objective to plan features and functionality, researching on competitors to designing wireframes and other important steps. So, let’s explore each step in detail.
From this article, you will get an answer to the following questions:
- How to make an app?
- How to create an app successfully?
- How to build an app that makes money?
- How to wireframe an app?
- How to design an app?
- How do I create an app from scratch?
- What are the steps to creating an app?
People are now spending more time on mobile applications than a website. According to ComScore, mobile users are spending 87% of their time in apps. An app brings better user engagement, boosts the number of returning customers, improve communication and many other benefits. If you have an idea or you’re running a business, there won’t be a better time to invest in an app, expand your brand awareness, reach and ultimately sales.
However, creating an app or developing an app from scratch requires you to consider several important things, including objectives, potential costs, project management, promotions, and other important things. Today, we will explain the entire process of building a mobile app step by step. So, without any further ado, let’s get started!!
9 Simple Steps To Create An App Successfully
1. Define your objectives
App Development is a time taking process. Companies spend a lot of money to develop and maintain their app. But if your objectives are not clear, you probably won’t get the desired benefit.
The first step of any app building is to figure out the reasons why you want to create an app? Do you want to solve the problem? or want to reach more customer? or just doing it for brand awareness?
There can be many reasons for building an app, but the most important thing is your app should always satisfy these two goals: Your ideal Users’ goal and your business goal.
Let’s start with your potential users (or your target audience). Everyone is busy these days and don’t have time to understand your business ideologies. It doesn’t matter whether your users are interacting with your business online or offline, regardless of the channel – the very first thing they ask to themselves is – what’s in it for me? If they don’t see a benefit in a few seconds, they will leave, and this is true for every app.
A good mobile app can help your business in multiple ways such as more returning customers, low expenses, increased ROI, better productivity, enriched social presence and brand awareness as well.
Now, you’ve understood the basics, it’s time to ask some important questions to yourself.
- Where your business needs improvement?
- How can a mobile app solve that problem?
- What is the expected result?
Let’s have a look at each of these questions individually.
- Where your business needs improvement?
It’s an obvious question and chances are you already know about it. Suppose, you’re running a yoga class and you found that some of your customers are facing difficulty to book the classes and personal trainer. As this option is only available on the desktop, clients prefer to look for other options with easy booking options.
On the other hand, you are spending a lot of time providing seamless service to your existing customers, which is consuming most of our team resources and efforts and limiting your growth.
- How can a mobile app solve that problem?
A mobile application can solve many problems associated with your business. It can allow your customer to book your services easily through the app. Other than that, you can integrate feedback or chat feature to make the entire process more user-friendly.
- What is the expected result?
For your business, more booking means more sales and revenue. On the customer side, the app would increase customer satisfaction and boost great social proof.
These answers are very important and will help a lot in further stages of the app development.
2. Plan functionality & features
After defining the objectives, the second important thing comes into play – is planning your app’s functionality and features.
- Identify top functionalities and features that you want to include
This is one of the creative steps of app building where you’ll have to write down all the functionalities you want to add and features needed to achieve the solutions and get the expected results.
You may include push notifications, forms, YouTube video, chat, social sharing, e-commerce integrations, downloading, uploading, offline feature or else.
- Are there any irrelevant features in the list?
Just remember, adding irrelevant features won’t do any good and negatively affects the performance of the app. At the initial stage, we recommend you to only list down the features that will add value to your app. Once you release the first version, then work on the remaining features.
This will help you and your team focus entirely on the things that really matter. You can use this list as a guide throughout the app development process.
Talking about the Yoga app, you can add different class details, customer reviews, filters for getting results based on timing, prices, etc. You can also add the trainer details, feedback option, one-click chat option and push notification for discounts and offers.
3. Research your competitors
Though a good app development company would never do that if you are a startup or an app developer, never underestimate the value of research and finding insights before developing your app.
It’s really important that you should know the answers to these questions before jumping into the app development.
- Whether people are looking for an app like yours?
- Who are your competitors in the marketplace?
- What mistakes they are doing?
- What’s a good business model?
- What potential customers actually want?
- What problems they are facing?
- How much you should charge for your app?
In this way, you’ll get an idea of the demand for the app you’re making and help you fill the gaps your competitors had left.
Sometimes, you may even have to leave your desk and walk in the shoes of your customers to know them better. Ultimately, market research can save you from making a lot of mistakes at an early stage.
4. Design wireframes
Till now, you’ve defined your objectives, planned functionalities and features and done competitors research to get insights. Now, it’s the time when you have to think about the design of your app. Give it its first skeleton and combine the individual blocks together with wireframing.
If you don’t know, wireframing is the visual representation of your app’s layout and the flow between the different screens. This is one of the best distraction-free methods where you don’t have to bother about different graphic elements.
The wireframe will be based on the use cases i.e. the specific tasks your users will perform on the app. A wireframe is like a bridge between your raw thoughts and the final product before any development begins.
Your goal should be optimizing the number and order of screens to reach each goal. You can also create multiple screens flows for the same task to determine which will provide the best user experience.
There are basically two ways of creating wireframes:
- Offline – You can simply use a pen and blank paper or printable sketch templates like the ones available on SneakPeekIt.
- Online – There are several wireframing tools available online such as NinjaMock, Fluid UI, Adobe Suite, Mockflow, and others. We, at Space-O Technologies, make use of Balsamiq 3.5.17 and AdobeXD wireframe design tool to wireframing. Just select the tool or template and start sketching. Every use case should represent the full-screen flow from opening your app to achieving a goal.
Focusing on wireframing at an earlier stage could save you hundreds of development hours later on.
4.1. Test wireframes
Once you are done with designing the use cases of the app, it’s time to test them. This is also a very important step of your app building where you can test the flow of your app and improve the user experience.
In order to test your wireframes, you can use a great tool – Invision. As you know, wireframes just show the expected design of the app, but Invision makes them interactive. Using this awesome tool, you can connect your screens and link actions to simulate the real experience of the app.
How to use Invision?
Invision is simple and very easy to use. First, go to the official website and register for a free account. Then, click on the ‘+’ icon to create your first project and select ‘create new prototype’. Once you give a name to your prototype, select its type from the available two options: sync with Sketch/Photoshop or add image files from your computer.
Now, start uploading images of individual screens of your wireframe. You’ll see an option to link these images present at the bottom of each image.
Once everything is done, you can share your prototype with colleagues or your customers using the ‘Share’ option present at the top-right corner of the screen. They can also test the use cases and how users can easily navigate from the home screen to reaching the goal.
You can also involve your testers at this stage, they can better answer you Whether accessing the main menu was easy? whether all the tasks are easily identifiable? Is there anything missing in the app or other questions related to your app.
5. Choose a development path
Once you finish the wireframing things, here comes the most important part where you must choose the platform and programming language. We know it’s not easy for all people to discuss app building platforms and programming languages. But if you are clear with your requirements, budget and target audience, this isn’t that difficult too.
Let’s have a look at different platforms and what are the things you have to keep in mind while developing your app on them.
5.1. Select platform as per your requirements and budget
5.1.1. Native app development
Native app development simply means to develop an app for a particular operating system. Suppose, you want to build an app with a goal to have maximum downloads and generate revenue through ads. In this case, you can easily leverage the user base of Android.
On the other hand, if you want to create your presence also on the iOS platform, you can develop an iOS app for Apple users.
So, the very first thing you should remember while developing a native Android app from scratch is – you’ll need to build two separate apps for the Google Play Store and Apple App Store.
There’s no doubt that native app provides robust and reliable performance but it’s one of the most demanded skills these days. Though there are many Android developers available out there, developing a ‘quality app’ needs a significant budget.
Also, you may need to have two separate development teams for both the operating systems. As you are managing two codebases, you also cannot streamline any update.
5.1.2. Mobile app frameworks
The second path allows you to build hybrid apps that can run on both Android and iOS platforms. There are several frameworks available such as React Native, Framework 7, PhoneGap that lets you create a single app and deploy on both Google Play Store and Apple App Store. There’s no need to spend a hefty amount on two development teams and maintaining two code bases.
If you are an individual developer or a start-up with a limited budget, just go for hybrid apps. Though their performance may lag as compared to native apps, the situation is improving over time. Taking about the current time, it’s only truly applicable at the gaming level.
Lastly, you’ll also have to consider any extra feature that you may want to add in the future. These extra requirements sometimes cause too much trouble later. It couldn’t only delay your launch but also strain your budget.
5.1.3. Drag & drop app builders
If your budget is extremely limited or you are just not comfortable with the above two ways, let’s check out one more way to develop mobile apps.
There are many app building platforms like Appy Pie, AppSheet, and BuildFire that allow you to develop mobile apps with zero coding knowledge. You just have to choose template or drag and drop elements and your app will be ready in no time.
On these platforms, you have the freedom to design your app in the same way you want. There’s no need to wait for several months or spend thousands of dollars in development. However, you must not forget some disadvantages associated with these platforms.
First, never ever go for free app builders. They have tons of disadvantages. They are known for providing the worst performance and with no security features. Your app will not at all be in your control.
Just for the sake of knowing them better, we tried and tested one of the popular free app building platforms a few days ago. We wanted to create a simple WebView app. So, just added my website’s URL and exported the apk, and the size of the apk is 67.31MB. The app was not only lagging but also showing watermark at various places.
Anyway, this is my personal experience. we are not against the app builders but I’d suggest you choose them wisely. Select a plan that provides most of the freedom so that you can customize and optimize your app in any manner you want. Using these app builders, you can save up to 75% of your development budget.
5.2. Select the right programming language
When you have decided the development path, it won’t take time to select the right programming language.
Starting with the Android app, the first thing you’ll need is Android Studio. After that, you can design the interface of your app using XML and write all the logic using any or all languages like Kotlin, Java and C++. According to Google, more than 50% of developers are now using Kotlin to develop their apps, and so if you’re just starting out, go with Kotlin.
For iOS app, you’ll need XCode IDE and knowledge of Swift language. Though you can still use Objective-C, Apple itself seems to be moving away from C-based languages. Swift is supposedly much easier to use and work with.
Other than native app development, you don’t really have to think about the programming languages in other development paths. If you have planned to build a hybrid app, just follow the framework’s documentation and you’ll good to go.
6. Build your mobile app
Building a quality mobile app considering all the requirements and following the user experience guidelines takes time. Being a leading mobile app development company, we have highlighted some important points you should keep in your mind.
- Get rid of any unnecessary elements that don’t support users tasks. Remember, content is your interface.
- Use a single input field whenever possible. Multiple fields and making users switch between different modes creates a bad user experience and the pushes user instantly leave your app.
- Overusing push notification is another bad practice. This annoys the user and gives them a major reason to uninstall your app.
- Consider future-proofing your app. Today, you might want to just fulfil the demands of your target audience. But you should also make sure that the application can bring you profit for further development. The efficiently you market your app, the earlier you receive profit and the faster you add more features and grow your app.
- Choosing the right and speedy database also plays an important role in the success of your app. So always consider the following factors while choosing a database: Required size, Data structure, Speed and scalability and Safety and security of data.
7. Test your mobile app
After the development is done, it’s time to test your mobile to ensure there are no bugs and the user experience is as intuitive as you created and tested your wireframes. While there are various kinds of testing available, we would recommend you go for at least two testings: Internal Test and the External Test.
Internal testing means testing your app by the development team as if you were the end-user. On the other hand, external testing requires you to give the app to people who are not familiar with you or your mobile app.
The aim of both of these testing is to fix bugs and user experience issues. While you don’t need any external tool for internal testing, there are tools like TestFairy, UserTesting and Ubertesters which can help in an external one.
8. Launch your mobile app
As your app is now completely developed and tested, it’s time to let the world know about it.
First, submit your app to the respective app store. Whether it’s Google Play Store or Apple App Store, make sure you strictly follow the guidelines. This will improve your app store optimization score and help you make most out of your app.
9. Promotion and marketing
Developers often think that good products don’t need marketing, but that’s not true. Marketing is the voice that tells people who you are, what you stand for, and how you’re different from others.
This is 2019 where companies have a huge budget for promotion and marketing. We know marketing is not everyone’s cup of tea, but you can start by simply asking three questions to yourself.
- What problem does your app solve?
- Who is your target audience?
- How can you reach those people?
Some of the common ways to promote your app add a banner to your website, publish a dedicated blog post about the app, send emails to your existing customers, promote in social media, publish a video on YouTube, etc.
We hope you found the article useful and got an answer to your question – how to create an app. As your brand-new app has just started getting traction, it’s time to figure out where your skills stand in this mobile app building process steps and do your best to improve it. You should treat your app like a business which is delivering some value.
You can also charge a nominal amount for providing that value and consider re-investing some percentage of it to further improve the app. Keep moving forward, build momentum and don’t stop until you ensure that your app is creating an impact.
However, if you need any guidance from a professional mobile app development company, you can get in touch with us as we have already developed over 3500 mobile apps for iOS and Android platforms. In fact, we do have over 200 mobile app developers, who are constantly praised and appreciated by our clients. Proof? Here it is:
In any case, if you any query like mobile app development cost, how to create an app and make money, why to develop an MVP before we create an app and Indian app developer cost to hire, feel free to discuss all your queries with our sales representative. Just fill the contact us form and we will assign our best resource who can help you out, who can validate your app idea, who can guide you in the right direction.