7 Simple Steps to Create a Great Mobile App: A Beginner’s Guide

7 Simple Steps to Create a Great Mobile App: A Beginner’s Guide

In 2018, mobile surpassed desktop as the primary way to access the internet. Five years later, businesses that fail to cater to a mobile-first world will fail to remain competitive.

More than two-thirds of the world’s population now use mobile phones, and 5% of American adults are “smartphone-only” internet users, suggesting businesses that want to retain their audience’s interest must offer versions of their products optimised for mobile use.

But building an amazing app is no easy feat. There are dozens of hoops to jump through, from market research and idea validation to prototyping and design. And the work doesn’t stop once the application is launched.

The app development process can appear daunting at first, but future-proofing your business by developing a responsive mobile is definitely a worthwhile investment.

Want to know how to build a mobile app? Keep reading. In this article, we’re going to take a look at the steps you need to take to build a great mobile application, including building a talented development team.

Developing an app in-house vs outsourcing development

Before we take a look at the app development process, it’s important to consider who is going to develop your product. When developing mobile apps, you have a few options:

  • In-house: An in-house development team
  • Augmented development team: If you already have an in-house software development team, do they have the capacity to pick up this new project? If not, you can augment your existing resource by outsourcing whole projects or aspects of your team’s work to a third party.
  • Outsourced development team: By outsourcing the entirety of your app development capabilities using a dedicated team model, you can avoid the sky-high costs of building an in-house team from scratch.

When you build an app in-house, you have complete control over the development process. Depending on your style of management, you may consider this a huge benefit. Not only do you get to choose who works on the project and set the budget, but you also oversee the project from start to finish. However, building in-house teams is costly; in the USA, salaries of around $90,000 are not uncommon for software developers. And that’s without considering the cost of sick pay, health insurance, rent, utility bills, maintenance and buildings insurance.

Outsourcing app development offers extensive cost efficiencies. Not only can an outsourced team flex up and down depending on the support you need, but outsourcing fees can be significantly cheaper than paying for full-time permanent employees.
When it comes to outsourcing, you can either:

  • hire an agency to oversee your software development needs, though the support will not be dedicated to your projects.
  • partner with an expert offshoring business; they will manage the team-building process to create a talented team who will work solely on your projects.

How to create an app in 7 steps

Now that you know who you’re going to work with, let’s dive into the seven steps of inventing and building an amazing app.

1. Market research and planning

As with most projects, you will begin your app-building process with planning and research. During this stage, you will determine:

  • What the purpose of the app is
  • Who the target audience is, their needs and their pain points
  • What the competition is doing
  • What the trends in the market will be

This step is critical to identifying the unique features your app will need to have to meet your target audience’s needs, solve their pain points and stand out in the market.

Consider using tools like Google Trends, App Annie to gather data on application usage and market trends. If you are creating a mobile version of an existing product, use SurveyMonkey to gain valuable insights from your existing audience.

Once you have a solid understanding of the market and your target audience, you’re ready to begin building the product’s features, functionality and user interface. You should also create a project roadmap and set a budget for the development process.

2. Prototyping

With a detailed project plan in place, it’s time to kick-start prototyping.

A prototype is a preliminary model of your app that allows you to test the user interface and user experience. This will help you identify any design flaws and usability issues before the development process begins. We recommend getting started with prototyping by using tools such as Sketch, Figma or Adobe XD.

3. Design

Your app’s design is crucial to its success. Humans are visual creatures, which means your product needs to be aesthetically pleasing to catch their eye on the app store. Plus, its design will impact how easy and enjoyable it is to use.

UX design considers how intuitive your application is to use, its accessibility and functionality, among other details. After all, your product will be no good if its users can’t navigate it effectively or complete their goals quickly and efficiently.

During the design stage, your team will also review branding, colour scheme and typography, seeking to create an engaging and meaningful experience; this is what makes a great app. Consider using tools such as InVision and Marvel to create interactive prototypes and test your app’s design.

4. Development

Next up, you move on to the good stuff: development! This is where your app begins to take shape and come to life.

But before you get started, you need to get your ducks in a row. That means choosing the development platform, programming language and tools your team will use:

  • Development platform: The two most popular development platforms are iOS and Android. We recommend you develop your product on both iOS and Android, as this will mean you can reach more users.
  • Programming languages: Programming languages are languages that computers can understand. The good news is that there are dozens of languages well-suited to mobile app development you can choose from. These include Java and Kotlin for Android, Swift and Objective-C for iOS, C# for Xamarin and Dart for Flutter. Some languages, such as HTML, CSS, and JavaScript, can also be used for hybrid and web-based mobile software development.
  • Development tools: Exactly which development tools you use will be dependent on the platform and languages you have chosen. If you’re developing specifically for Android, you can use Android Studio to get started or Visual Studio for cross-platform apps.

During the development, there are several key factors to take into account that will affect your app’s functionality and market viability:

  • Scalability: The app should be able to handle a large number of users and data.
  • Adherence to guidelines: Ensure that the product meets the guidelines of the app store.
  • Security: Putting robust security measures in place is key to guaranteeing the safety of your users and your business. We recommend setting up encryption to protect user data. Implement two-factor authentication and secure coding practices to prevent security flaws.

5. QA & testing

Once you are happy with your product’s features, performance and design, it’s time to ensure it is functional and bug-free. The QA and testing stage is essential to deliver a high-quality product that provides a positive user experience and is market-ready.

There are several types of tests that your QA team will perform using tools such as TestFlight and Firebase:

  • Unit testing
  • Integration testing
  • Functional testing
  • User acceptance testing

Once these tests are complete, your developers will begin making informed changes to the app. As app development is an iterative process, you’ll likely need to repeat this stage several times.

6. Release to market

Finally, it’s the stage you’ve been waiting for: when you release your product to the market. Once testing is complete, it’s time to get the ball rolling. Your next step is to submit your app to the App Store for iOS and the Google Play Store for Android!

Following approval, you will need to set a launch date, devise your marketing strategy to increase downloads and user engagement and consider your process for collecting feedback following the launch.

7. Ongoing maintenance

The final step in creating a great mobile app is maintenance. As mentioned, application development is iterative, and the work doesn’t stop on launch day.

Bugs are an unfortunate part of building an app, so it’s important to routinely review and update the app. You’ll also need to continue expanding your app’s functionality as it gains traction and users. You can add new features to entice new users and grow existing features based on feedback from existing users.

Finally, we recommend regularly reviewing your software’s compatibility with operating systems and devices. Now you know how to make apps!

Outsource your app development with WeAssemble

Are you ready to kick-start your app-creation journey but have no idea where to start? WeAssemble is here to help.

Now you know how to create an app, hand the rest over to us. We will assemble the best mobile app development team for your business; we can augment your existing development team or build you an experienced, dedicated development team from scratch. Get in touch today to assemble your expert team and get ready to launch your amazing new app.

FAQs: How to make apps

FAQs: How to make apps

How much does it cost to develop an app?
It’s difficult to put an exact price of how much it will cost to develop an app as development costs depend on complexity, features and intended platforms. Simple apps typically cost a few thousand dollars to develop, whereas more complex applications will have six-figure budgets.
How long does it take to create a mobile app?
Most development teams can produce a simple app in a matter of weeks. However, a larger application with complicated functionality will typically take up to a year to develop, typically requiring developers to write unique code.
Can you make changes to a mobile app after its launch?
Yes — and it is recommended that you make changes to any software after launch. You will need to fix bugs, make updates and launch new features.
Can you receive payments through a mobile app?
Yes, you can receive payments through mobile apps. There are many ways businesses can offer customers convenient and secure methods of payment through payment gateways and integrations.
What is an app?
An app is a software application designed to perform a specific function or help people complete a task. Mobile apps can include mobile games, email applications and e-commerce software.
FAQs: How to make apps

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