Having a great idea for a mobile application is good, but not enough. The real deal is figuring out how to create an app.
Making an app can be an exciting and intimidating experience on the same ground, apparently, the market research, development costs, technical issues, tedious project management milestones, and the unpredictable cost incurrences. However, a clear roadmap and expectations can make the process less stressful and more confident.
Given the boom mobile app industry is experiencing at the hands of powerful trends and tech opportunities, both small businesses and established names are entering the race for digital excellence unlike ever before.
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This takes us to the realization why it is important to know how to create an app against the odds, of budget, on board talent, competition, and nature of your business.
Here is the guide that will take you through the steps on the development process as we’ll dive into the iOS app development through Xcode and Swift.
Pen down your app idea
Just like any other project, the app development process also starts with an idea. Try to note down your tangible idea on a paper, stating how you intend your application to work, the core features, and other preliminary stuff prior to the start of the actual development.
For a starter, you may separate the idea into the needs and wants. The needs are the core features on which your app will stand, while the wants are value added features which are great, but not compulsory.
Begin by creating an MVP, minimum viable product, which is the simplest version of your application. Here are some of the relevant questions you need to consider:
- Which features are optional and can be lived without?
- Which features are the true bread and butter or USP of your app?
- Any features that will slow down, or swell your app unnecessarily?
All the great apps we see in the App Store related to different industries, like GroupMe for communications and messaging, Tinder for dating, Tasty for food, TripAdvisor for travelling, etc. have some core features that differentiates them from others in the competition.
Obviously, business owners are inclined to create the next-big-thing and add a plethora of features, but stuffing your app with many features will only steal the focus from its core purpose. The idea is to make your app do, what it does best.
Conduct relevant market research
Often developers and, even digital marketers, skips the essential market research without realizing it as a significant part of creating an app.
The idea of conducting research is to ensure that your app idea is promising.
- Who are your competitors, or subside apps, in the market?
- What are the needs and wants of your potential audience?
- What would be an appropriate business model? How much should I charge for my app?
A proper market research can be a real life saver from the mistakes developers typically commit later on during the development process. In fact, you’re affirming the requirements and expectations of your customer.
From another perspective, you’re actually learning the loopholes your competitors are leaving for you to fill, and if people are looking for similar alternates in the market.
Apparently, you can determine the demand for your app even before initiating development. You can use Google Trends and Keyword Planner to estimate the demand for any typical app.
Finding the right insights is also important, or, you need to understand how your customers perceive your app idea. Rather than browsing online to get to know your target audience and their assumptions and needs, it’s better to go out and have a real discussion with people for a realistic picture.
- Who is your target audience? What are their specifics?
- How will your app solve a major problem associated with your customers?
- What solutions are they currently acquiring for the problem?
- What difference/new does your app intend to bring in the market?
You will be able to define your app’s objectives and purpose on the basis of your research. These valuable insights lay the foundation for a powerful application development and eventual release in the market.
Lay out the essentials features and functionalities
Apparently, one of the most integral step in the preliminary work for app development. A rich experience, intuitive and easy navigation, seamless checkout, personalized experiences, simplicity, and importantly, the ability to drive mobile business is the endgame every business desires to achieve with its mobile app.
But what are the core functionalities and features that will help you accomplish the purpose?
As stated above, having a great app idea makes it tempting to include all the features you can have your eye on, but the consequences could be detrimental and severally backfire in terms of app performance. This is why your app features should be prioritized.
Why prioritize the features?
Having an app idea throws an impression that you’re already aware about what to do and what’s your ultimate goal. However, there may be several reasons that may hold you back from doing the right things.
While prioritizing the features will help you in exercising more control over your costs, reach the market quicker, have a thoroughly defined scope, face lower risks, save from the future monetization issues.
How to prioritize the features?
Prioritization, one of the integral parts for any how to create an app query.
A sober prioritization of the features requires you to hold back your exciting ideas, and opt for a more logical approach. The trick is to start small, gauge your hypothetical measurements, acquire the client feedback, and refine the app at an appropriate pace.
Start the prioritization process after you’re well clear what value your app is offering for the customers. In almost every app, you’ll one or a couple of major features alongside many secondary features supporting the main features.
What will your top features be like? What value proposition you have in mind to deliver for to your customers?
Once you have answered the above questions, it becomes simpler to recognize the secondary features and a sense of crispness in your app, elements which are more of cherry on the top, but not essential at the time of launch. The focus should sway revolve around ensuring the primary features work fine and put the tool to a test with some users.
In doing so, you acquire feedback on the performance and perception regarding the secondary features. Stop relying on assumptions!
Prioritization is typically done on three elements. Which features are:
- Important and required
- Important, but not required for the initial launch
- Clean and attractive, but not required for the initial launch
Yes, tackling the first three steps does take us closer to answering, “How to create an app”, but answering them clearly is the key, rather than skipping any section out of excitement and rush.
How to create an app?
Apparently, we still have a long way to go before answering the above question completely. The above steps conclude the preliminary work you need to do prior to the actual development phase. In the 2nd part of this series, we’ll dive more into the actual development stage and see how it influences the entire success/failure of the project.
However, it should be noted that the fundamental paperwork is downright important if you’re to stay away from hiccups occurring during or later in the development and launch phases.
Imran Abdul Rauf is a Digital Marketing Strategist, employed at CMOLDS, and specializes in content marketing, email marketing campaigns, lead generation, and other aspects of digital marketing. A content enthusiast by the day, and hardcore gamer by night, Imran is also a regular guest contributor at some of the top tech and digital marketing platforms.