The booming technology sector has given birth to a lot of innovations that make people’s lives easier. And a very good example of this is the almost unstoppable development of different apps on a daily basis. Because of that, more and more people nowadays want to know how to create an app.
From apps that let you do some specific things to apps designed to be your jack-of-all-trades, you have the choice at the tip of your finger. There are apps you can use for your business. Others are for entertainment.
That being said, the popular apps that we use today are still not the best apps. There are still so many needs that we need yet to fulfil.
You probably have an idea of a perfect app. This idea, you think, will be excellent if you can turn it into reality. But you think apps are difficult to make, thus undoable. That’s not true. We’ve compiled the following tips to help you kick start your app making venture. Read them and become the best app developer around!
How to create an app? Set a goal first!
The very first question you should answer is this, “What is the app for?”
A lot of great ideas come out of nowhere, simply popping out without the person wrenching his mind. Sometimes, it’s a result of brainstorming and critical analysis. Other ideas, though, are born out of necessity.
No matter how the app idea came about, it always has a purpose. You should first know the purpose or the goal before you create an app.
There are also other questions you need to answer. For one, how are you going to convince users that they need the app? It should be appealing, and for it to be appealing, it should solve at least one problem. What problem, therefore, could your app solve?
Further questions include how you will market your app to people, and how the app will simplify life for them.
The key point is to have a clear-cut, working idea that will guide you throughout the process of app creation. If you plan to make an app from scratch, you should at least have a well-defined goal that will dictate the direction of your project.
Get a pencil and paper and sketch that idea!
It’s time to veer away from your pc temporarily. Grab a pencil and a piece of paper, and sketch down all the important concepts included in your app.
Develop a sketch of how the app will look like. This is the part when you turn your thoughts into clear, precise words or visuals.
Among the things you should decide in this stage is if you’re going to make your app free or paid download. This is also where you decide if you want in-app purchases. You also have to sketch these things.
Research and collect data
After the first two steps, it’s time to see what others are doing. Surely, there may be competition, meaning other people may have already thought of the same idea as you have. There are probably others who’ve already started the ball rolling. A creepy thought: they’re almost done with the app.
But that doesn’t mean you should ditch the idea altogether. In reality, there’s no idea that hasn’t been thought of by people. There is really no “original” idea, just combinations of previously thought ideas.
Therefore, you should start your research by collecting data about the app you want to make. You will almost certainly find tough competition, so research, too, about those who’ve already created an app.
The obvious path to take is to make your app better than those who’ve already created one. Read about the features, functions, strengths, ratings, reviews, and weaknesses of your rival.
Here’s a pro tip: the best way to get to know an app is to use it. So don’t be embarrassed to download your competitor’s app and experience it first-hand. It’s the easiest way to get to know the product.
Gather a much information as you can and use them to your advantage. After doing that, try to evaluate what features you want to add and how you can innovate the app. Work on its feasibility, too. This is also the part where you discover technical hold ups, which you can solve early on to avoid delays.
After researching the competition, focus on the sales and marketing. In what ways are you going to make money out of the app? Should you do any major change on your original idea? Will your app serve kids, parents, teens, gamers, or other people? Answering these questions will help you narrow down your design ideas.
Time to start Wireframing
When we say wireframe, we refer to a glorified story board. Wireframes give your ideas, design, and sketch some more clarity and functionality. With this, you can further visualize how your app will be like. In fact, this may even be the foundation of your overall app development, meaning it’s a really crucial step.
There are literally thousands and thousands of wireframe websites found on the internet. You just have to pick one that best fits your ideas. Many of them provide some functions like click through icons. Choose one that’s easy to use and where you’re comfortable.
Define the back end of the app
After you’ve finished the wireframe, you can begin using it to examine functionality. This is where you streamline all of the apps’ function.
You must delineate your APIs, data diagrams, and servers using your wireframes. You wouldn’t find it difficult to search for DIY app builders with tools that can help you do these stuff. In simple word, find one that provides hosting and tools for collecting data about your app usage.
Moreover, whatever method you use to create your app, make sure you have clear diagrams. These diagrams, again, will serve as directions for you and your team working on the app project. If you ever stumble upon some technical issues, you should revise your wireframe as necessary.\
Show your model off and around
After all that, it’s time for you to seek out your best critic. Show your demo to everyone who would give honest opinions about the app. Avoid those who would simply say your app is good. Find those who have something to say about everything. These are brutally honest people, and they will provide lots of insight regarding the model.
See how they use your demo and observe how they navigate things. If you see any problem while they’re checking it out, you can revise it. Do not be scared of revisions. In addition, follow your users’ thinking. Put yourself in their shoes.
The main point is finalizing you app foundation and structure. Keep in mind that the logic behind the app is more important at this juncture. Design addition should come later to avoid stress and frustration.
Start building the app!
When you’re done with the foundation, it’s time to get building. This is where you piece the puzzle together.
One of the very first steps will be your developer/s setting up APIs, databases, and servers. If you’ve tried out app builders, you rest and let them do this part for you.
Bear in mind the feedback and comments you got from the testers you’ve asked. Don’t hesitate to change the app’s functionality to reflect the changes. These changes should come from the first phase of testing.
More importantly, you will have to sign up for stores at this point. Your app will now hit the road. Creating an account with Google Play and Apple might take some days. So you should not put this thing off for tomorrow or next.
Designing the user interface
This is where your designers enter the picture. They will be the ones to take care of the user interface, or UI. This is obviously a very important part of you app. This is because people find well-designed interfaces to be more interesting. If not that, they usually prefer straightforward, easy to navigate designs.
In the process of designing your app, you have to remember what testers said about the design and navigation. The design should reflect those comments and meet their expectations.
If you’ve employed a graphic designer, you will get high resolution skins. Either that, or appealing screens based on your wireframe for your app.
Show off and test your app again
The first testing of your app will be less useful if it’s not followed by a second round of testing. At this stage, you got a functioning app and a user interface to test. All the screens should be working properly while being visually appealing as well. This is just like the wireframe stage, but it’s more detailed and comprehensive.
In addition, you have to run a battery tests of your app in the completed form. The looks, the feel, and the functionality of the app should meet your goals and expectations. Examine the final interactions and design of your app as well. The information that you will gather from this stage will be very useful for you to move forward.
Change, alter, modify, and adjust
Those things you’ve already done are just your prototype, which you’ve brought to a spin. You may have already learned the tweaks and adjustments you need to make. You’ve also already seen your idea turned into a fully functioning app. The next step is to call your troops again and see what they can do with the app—again.
Do not get tired of listening to criticisms, questions, and suggestions about the app. These are the ingredients you need to create an excellent recipe for your app. Use the feedback accordingly, and work on the changes that would be valuable for your app.
This is the last hoop before your app can hit the road for real. You’ve already looked at the app using different lenses, and it should by now be a finished product. The penultimate step is to see how the app will function when put in live environment.
For Android, this process is very simple. Meanwhile, iOS usually keep things in a controlled environment. Both of them offer great benefits, but there are, of course disadvantages. However, the main point is that this is the last challenge. You may upload you app file on any Android device and see how it goes in the live environment. You can monitor your app progress from your device.
For iOS, you need to use a platform called “TestFlight” to beta test the app you created. There are thorough directions and instructions, but the most interesting feature is that you can invite testers to review your app before it goes live.
Release Your App
This the finish line. After a long and thorough process, your idea is already an actual app. It’s much like having a crush on somebody and then making them your boyfriend or girlfriend. You get the point.
Now it’s time for your app to go out there and show people what it got. Hopefully, your app really solves people’s problems or answer to their specific needs. This is where you’ll see if you’ve contributed something that people will find useful. Distribute the app.
When it comes to marketing apps, Android and iOS may be very different. Generally, Android is less strict. Though that’s the case, you will still have to follow the rules of both.
You can simply add the app on the Android store since it will not be reviewed right off the bat. You can instantly sell you app in the Google Play store. On the other hand, iOS will scrutinize your app before it can put a foot at the door. There’s really no timeframe for the Apple team to review, but expect to have to wait for a week or so.
After that, you’ll have to see how your app performs. And depending on that, you can go over again and create another, better app for everyone to use. Good luck!