Our lives revolve around mobile applications, and most of us use a handful of applications every waking day. Those square icons we tap on to make a call or send a text or post a picture have become a very important part of our lives.
In some of those moments you were making a tweet or playing a game, the question of how an app is made might have crossed your mind.
Creating an app might seem daunting when you think about it. Well, it turns out that it is a lot easier than you think. Here is a step-by-step guide to making a mobile app.
1. Think of An Idea For An App
Behind every innovation is a brilliant idea.
The creation of an app starts long before coding, programming, and keyboard-tapping. The idea for creating an app is usually borne out of a blend of passion and problem-solving. This means that every app that has been created came to be because the creator thought of a way to solve a problem and put his heart into it.
For example, Mark Zuckerberg created Facebook to connect Harvard students with one another. Garrett Camp and Travis Kalanick created Uber because they wanted to find a way to reduce the cost of direct transportation.
Behind every innovation is a desire to solve problems. So look around you for problems that an app would solve.
2. Validate Your App Idea
The next step is to check if there is a demand for that app, "Who is this app for?"
Conduct research and see how many people will benefit from it. While doing that, check if other apps do the same thing you intend to do. That way, you know your competitors and can learn from them.
Don't be worried about being inferior compared to the other established applications in that niche. Competition is good for business, and the fact that several apps are doing that work means it is a very lucrative field, and that means there's enough pie to go around.
3. Brainstorm the Features of Your App
Think deeply about the look and features of your app. Whether you will build the app yourself or hire a team to do it, it is important to know what features you want your app to have. No idea is too grand or too ridiculous. Dream, and put it all down on paper.
Think about usability, security, customization, whether or not it should have push notifications (it should), and other important features. You can also think about monetizing the app, but don't get carried away. Customer satisfaction is the main objective. After all, people will only pay for an app if they know it is good.
4. Create Wireframes, Prototypes, and Designs
It is now time to create mock-ups of your app. This is where you will put your ideas to reality and see how they turn out. What looks good? What functions well?
You will make several wireframes of the app, test them with prospective customers, and see which one they like the most. The prototype gives you something tangible to work on instead of going off of imagination alone.
5. Create the Graphic Design For Your App
If the app doesn't look good (both the icon and the interface), nobody will use it, no matter how good or functional it is.
Many creators might focus on delivering on the functionality aspect while ignoring the aesthetics. That is a wrong move. The end customers are human beings, not robots, and human beings like things that look good.
Get professional help for user interface (UI) and user experience (UX). It's an important determinant for the success of your mobile app.
6. Make Content for Your App
Whatever material your app would require in terms of content, start making them. If it's a dictionary app, now is the time to prepare the words, punctuations, definitions et cetera. If your app will require video or audio, start creating them.
Usually, this part of the process is handled by the experts in the fields required. Gather specialists and experts to help in the necessary aspects. They will do a much better job than you can do alone.
7. Run Tests to Ascertain the Quality Of The App
The last thing you want to do is release a half-baked app. This step is necessary to ensure that all the components are functioning correctly. Is the app functional across several devices? Is it performing at optimal speed? Are there bugs and glitches?
You could gather a team of beta testers and use the app. Note whatever complaint or observation they make and fix them.
You could also hire a quality assurance expert to help ensure the app is the best it can be.
8. Publish Your App on A Suitable Platform
Two of the biggest platforms for downloading mobile applications are Google Play and App Store. Depending on your target audience (iPhone users or Android users, or both), you need to contact the platform and submit your application for inspection and certification.
The entire process usually takes a few days, so be patient. Once you receive a response (which will either be positive or negative), act appropriately. If your application was rejected, that is no reason to worry. You have to fix whatever the complaint was and resubmit.
After the app has gotten into the hands of the end users, and they have subjected it to thorough usage, chances are bugs, glitches, and other complaints would start showing up.
You will need to work on correcting those errors and releasing an update. The server will also require maintenance, which is a task in and of itself.
The work is never done, really, but you learn from every complaint and continue to better your app. Only by doing so will you maintain your audience and achieve your goals.