App development has never been as easy as it is today. There are numerous reasons to make an app, from the money you can make from ads to using it as a way to bring people to your business. If you want to know how to develop an app, all you need is to follow these nine simple steps.
Step 1: Consider Your Idea In-Depth
Before you get too deep into the planning process, you’ll need to establish some things. There are a few basic questions you’ll have to ask yourself:
- Why am I building an app?
- Who is this for?
- What problem is this app going to solve? How?
- What makes it appealing?
- How much is it going to cost to develop this app?
The answers to these questions will help you move forward so you can decide your operating system (iOS, Android, or both?), define your goals, and how you’re going to market it.
Step 2: Research
You know what you want your app to do and how. Now it’s time to research what apps are already filling this need. Read the reviews and find out what their consumers like and dislike about them and what the customers are asking for. Run interviews and focus groups, and send out surveys to get a better idea of how you can improve the user experience. You will have competition; invest the time and energy into making sure your app can compete.
Step 3: Wireframe (Outline Your App)
Think of your wireframe as a three-dimensional outline or flowchart. It’s an integral part of app development. Now you flesh out your concept and how it will work. There are numerous websites and apps that can help you with this process, from trusted companies like Microsoft and Adobe. If you’re unsure what you’re doing, this would be an excellent time to hire a professional.
Step 4: Plan App Security
If you’re not an app developer, you’re going to want to consult a professional for this step. App security will be what protects your users’ data, whether it’s what is stored in the app, backed up on the cloud, or anything else. You don’t want your app to be the weak spot on someone’s device. Proper app security will ensure that your app, your users’ data, and their devices will all be safe.
Step 5: Code Your App (Back-End)
At this stage, you (or your team) can start coding your app to run the way you’ve outlined it in the wireframing step. This process will happen in a coding sandbox or testing software to keep it from interfering with computer processes and to give you an idea of how your app will run before it’s complete. Think of this as a kind of mockup of the internal machinations of your app.
Step 6: Create Your User Interface (Front-End Coding)
Your user interface is where your users will interact with coding underneath the surface and is a crucial part of your app. It needs to be aesthetically pleasing and match your branding while being easy for your users to navigate. Your first two steps will be influential in this step and help you find your way. It should take two or more mockups before finding the right face for your app.
Step 7: Test Your App
Congratulations, you’ve reached your alpha testing step! At this point, you and your team (whether that’s coders, bug testers, user experience experts, or all of the above) will thoroughly test your app and look for problems. This step involves going back through steps 5 through 7 repeatedly until the app runs smoothly. Once it’s running well, you can introduce it to people outside your development group.
Step 8: Gather Feedback
Welcome to your beta testing stage! You’re ready to send it out for testing in small groups. Pick a platform and invite and vet potential beta testers. Once your beta testers are selected, they’ll test your app for themselves and give you thorough feedback. You’ll reward your beta testers, either with in-app extras or with payment, and continue developing your app. You may invite them back if you decide to run a second round of beta testing.
Step 9: Launch Your App
Success! Your app is hitting the market. You’ll need to claim your social media platforms, create and run any ad campaigns, and develop your audience (and future users). You’re showing off everything you established in the first two steps and selling your audience on your product. As you get the word out, you’re going to want to entice your early users with benefits that later users won’t get (like extras for inviting friends).
Making an app is a lot simpler than it seems. If you follow the right steps and bring in professionals to help you when you need it, your app will be developed, hit the market, and help you make your mark on the world. What can you do with an app?