With more than 3 billion people using smartphones currently, there is no better time to design apps. Creating a smartphone app is the best way for business owners to create engagement with their audience, grow their mobile traffic, and encourage them to spend more time on your page. Fortunately, you don’t have to be a coding expert to know how to build your app, thanks to various tools and resources that come in handy. Below is a guide outlining various steps to follow when developing a mobile app.
1. Define App Development Goals
App development must start with well-defined goals. For this, identify what you want to achieve or problems you want to solve with the app. Your goals will determine the entire app development process, and as such, they should be SMART. These goals should also have clear key performance indicators. For instance, if the goal of creating your app for your eCommerce store is to reduce cart abandonment rates, you need to monitor your current abandonment rates to act as base data for comparison after launching the app.
With clear goals, the next step is conducting market research to ensure that there is a market gap for the app. While most app ideas seem perfect theoretically, you should validate the idea before proceeding. Conducting research prevents you from wasting valuable time, effort, and resources on non-viable app ideas. For instance, if you are developing an app for an existing business, consult your customers to understand their needs. You can also conduct interviews and create surveys.
3. Soft Design the App
With all the basic information gathered in the first steps, you can proceed to create a soft design of the app. In this stage, think about how the app will solve specific problems. Think widely, especially about the important features and tools required to implement all features. This is also the best stage to determine the development platform, coding language, and the best framework to use.
4. Create a Prototype of the App
A prototype is essentially the bare minimum of your app’s final design. You shouldn’t be worried about the UI/UX specifics and other non-essential features in this stage. The prototype should be simple but a clean proof of the final concept. This is just to show the main skeletons of the app.
5. Build the App
With a clear prototype and assurance that your app is functional, the next step is determining exactly how it will look like. Write out a development plan based on your goals and identify the order to follow when developing other app components. This is the time to outsource UX/UI design for your app or enroll in a UX and UI course.
Note that there are many ways of building an app. Choose the right method based on your technical skills, budget, type of app, and time. The five methods include;
- Native development
- Hybrid app development
- Using rapid app development builder
- Using cookie cutter app builder
- Using build fire
6. Test and Launch the App
Testing the app is the last step before launching on various platforms. Apps can be evaluated in different ways, and a quality assurance expert will have to analyze various aspects. Be it an Android or iOS app, ensure that it works both offline and online. Proper testing is important as it helps discover bugs and other issues that can hinder proper functionality and long-term success. If everything checks out correctly, you can then launch your mobile app on various platforms. For this, ensure that you meet various Google Play Store and Apple Store submission requirements.
The Bottom Line
Various software and tools have made it easy to design apps from scratch. With your complete design, ensure that you market the app to your target audience. Otherwise, you will have the best app, but nobody won’t know about it. Therefore, market it on your social media platforms, create video promos and demonstrations.