Mobile apps are no longer thought of as something “extra” that brands can create for their customers. As there are now over 3 billion smartphone users all over the world, mobile apps are considered a necessity and a regular part of everyone’s lives. Whether they’re games, utility tools, streaming tools, and others, one thing is for sure – people rely on apps for productivity, entertainment, and more.
Why Is There a Need to Build Apps?
Presently, there are 2.56 million apps available on Google Play and 1.85 million apps can be downloaded from Apple’s App Store. This number will continue to grow as more mobile devices are manufactured and more people use them. That means mobile applications are not just “en vogue,” they’re here to stay.
The average smartphone user uses about nine mobile applications in a day, 30 in a month. This is out of the over 80 apps installed on their phone.
Image from: Social Media Today
It’s wise for startups to build mobile apps. Here are some of the reasons:
- It improves customer experience. Using a mobile app is easier compared to navigating a website on a smaller screen.
- It helps widen a brand’s reach. As a huge segment of consumers prefer apps, not having one means you miss out on the opportunity to tap that potential market.
- Apps help generate more sales. As customers find it more convenient to make in-app purchases, repeat orders are highly likely. Also, some apps are so good one has to pay for its use! Since 2016, there has been a 75% growth seen in app-spending, including app subscriptions, in-app purchases, and ads revenue, downloads. Statistics shows that the revenue from mobile apps will continue to grow in the coming years
How to Build a Mobile App (Mobile App Startup Guide)
- Identify Your Goals
Every amazing app starts from a great idea. Before thinking about the design and other details of your app, you must first clearly define your goal for your app. What is it for? Who is your ideal user and what are their needs that you plan to meet?
Always keep your users in mind. After all, consumers will download and use your app if they will benefit from it. That said, you should also consider how your app can help your business grow.
- Do Your Research
Now that you now know what you want your app to accomplish, you can start doing your research to know if there are any existing apps that are similar to what you have in mind. Don’t get discouraged if there is a lot of competition for your idea. Instead, see how they work and how you can possibly improve and provide more value to potential users. As well, find out the technical requirements of the app you’re planning to build to see if it’s feasible, and of course, how you can monetize your app. There are platforms for web and mobile app designers that you can check out. They allow you to showcase your work for feedback or look for design inspiration.
- Sketch, Wireframe, and Create a Storyboard
In the early stages of building an app, you can create sketches that would be your basis for your interface. Having your ideas even just on paper can greatly help your team visualize your concept, including the layout and features that you’re considering.
Once you have something more concrete in mind, you can start wireframing. This means you can begin creating a prototype of your app. There are a number of prototyping tools that you can find online. Some are so easy to use that you can simply drag and drop graphics and placeholders, among others.
As you are doing your wireframe, it’s best if you start creating your app storyboard, too. Its purpose is like that of a roadmap that will serve as a guide so it will always be clear to your team how each screen in your app is connected with each other and how users will be navigating through your app. When you are done with your wireframes and your storyboard, you can modify them to work with the technical limitations, should there be any.
- Give Your Prototype a Test Run
This is one of the most exciting steps when you’re building an app. You think your prototype is ready. Now it’s time to see what potential users think of it. You can ask your family and friends to try and review your prototype. Make sure that they’ll give you honest feedback. This is so you can modify and fix any flaws that you may have missed. It’s better to fine-tune your app concept before you even start with the actual app development process as making changes in that stage would be more complicated.
- Build the Actual App
You are done with research, you’ve got a roadmap and you have worked out the kinks after your prototype test run. It’s time to start coding and creating the app! How long is it going to take? It really depends on a lot of factors, mainly on how complex the app is. Some simple apps’ development can take a month or two but more complicated ones can take a whole lot longer than that.
As all mobile application startup guides will tell you, the app development process ends with a lot of testing – you need to do quality assurance testing, demo testing with possible users, and make final adjustments until the app is ready for its launch.
- Introduce Your App to the World
Ok, you must understand that launching an app (at least one that would succeed) is not as easy as it sounds. Remember that there are thousands of apps being launched on the daily, so you want to make sure that yours wouldn’t drown unnoticed. One way to avoid that is to work on promoting your app even before it goes live.
There are many ways to do that, but one that can greatly help is being active on social media. So create accounts for your app on all major platforms. Post teasers and get people excited. You can get friends or even connect with some influencers who can give your app a try even before its launched so they can make videos of recommendations and leave reviews in the app stores when you launch. Be active on Facebook groups and online forums.
Don’t forget to have the right analytics software installed before you go live so you already have them in place and ready to show you your app’s progress. You also have to make sure that your app is optimized for the app stores where you plan to make it available. From keywords to the app name and the description, you want to make sure that your app comes equipped with the right words so it will be easily discovered.
Building an app is no easy feat, especially for startups. But that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t go for it. When you have the right idea for an app and the resources to create one, whether it’s from your own pocket or from interested investors, give it a go. Follow the steps above until you successfully get your app working.
What if things don’t work the first time? That’s fine. Even seasoned app developers experience setbacks. The important thing is that you pull yourself up, learn from mistakes, and improve your app or move on to a better app idea!