So, you’re thinking about building your first app. But where do you start? Well, that depends on a number of factors, but the main thing is to ensure that your idea is well thought-out. You need to find out whether there is a demand for what your app offers and see what is already out on the market.
Research – When researching it’s important to assess your competition: see what has been done already and how you can do it better. Also, check to see how the apps that are already on the market are monetizing and how they’re being promoted. Don’t try to reinvent the wheel, use your competition as a basis to improve upon.
Next, list all the functions that you’d like to see in your app as well as all the difficulties you think you may come across. This will help your brain take everything into consideration when making difficult decisions, and work issues out along the way rather than being surprised later down the line. If after all this research you are still convinced that you could be the next Mark Zuckerberg then it’s time to think about the logistics – more specifically, have you got the resources to make it happen?
Budget – Depending on the complexity, app development costs start at around £10,000. If this is not within your budget there are a number of funding bodies that have money set aside for great app ideas. So, ensure that you do your homework and leave plenty of time to complete the necessary applications.
Different app types (web, mobile, wearable apps) are best suited for specific budgets. And within each category, there are even further decisions to be made which will affect the hours of work required. So, research into your target audience, and see which app type will bring you most leads and revenue.
Outsource – If you’re reading this article then chances are that you will need some help bringing your idea to life. It’s important to look around and decide which development company you trust to help make your app idea a reality. Compatibility is key. After all, your partnership will last several months – if not years – and you don’t want to be stuck in a contract with people you don’t get on with.
When meeting with your prospect partners, ensure both sides sign a non-disclosure agreement (NDA) to protect your ideas. Once you find the right company and you both sign the contracts, give yourself a pat on the back: you’re one step closer to launching your very first application! But, don’t get complacent: your journey has just begun!
Plan – Most planning will be carried out by your expert team but your input will be most needed at this stage. It is your chance to pave the direction in which your app will be heading in. So, raise your concerns, give your opinions: communicate with your team.
As a final product at this stage, you’ll want a mind map or a flow chart which clearly maps out your users’ journey in a logical and intuitive way. It’s also a good idea to register your trademark at this point. That is if you’ve not got a brand to your product just yet.
Wireframe – Once you and your team have a clear direction it’s time to build a wireframe. Doing so is important as it helps you to finetune all the functions and ensure that your app does exactly what it claims to do. This is the stage at which designing the perfect user experience (UX) is key.
Design – Once you’ve got your app’s functions and the whole user journey figured out you can concentrate on what you want the app to look like. If you’re developing an app as an extra to your already existing product then this should be fairly straightforward. If not, then ensure you focus your branding on your target user persona. Really get under their skin and think about how you can engage and entice that specific audience.
Test and test again! – Getting someone outside of your team to test your app will give you organic insights into your app’s performance. It can also bring up some high-level user experience errors that may have gone unnoticed. Once you apply the desired changes, repeat the process. There is always room for improvement.
Another part of testing is releasing an MVP. Once you have your app’s core functions mastered you can launch your MVP. Don’t worry if you think it’s too basic: simplicity rules. This MVP release will be an essential part of your market research. It will give you an insight into how users are interacting with your product and how they’re doing it. And releasing your product quickly to the market will give you a competitive advantage and an opportunity to learn what works and what doesn’t right from the horse’s mouth!
Listen to feedback and apply! – Using feedback constructively relies on listening to it and applying the necessary changes. And this doesn’t really ever stop. Or rather, it shouldn’t if your aim is to provide the best product on the ever-changing market.
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We provide mobile app design and development for all project requirements, both consumer and business apps. If you’re in need of a mobile app or just have an idea for a project you wish to discuss, please contact us to arrange a consultancy.