How to build a Mobile App in 11 Steps
There are a lot of people out there who, similar to you, have a great idea for an app but lack the tools needed to bring that idea to life. All that’s needed is access to the right information so that you can learn the basics of what it takes to build a great app.
Along the way, you’ll receive conflicting advice, with some telling you that hiring a mobile app developer is too big a risk, while others will encourage you in that exact same direction. The good news is that we all have access to numerous app-building programs that literally anyone can use, and with a little planning and elbow grease, you’ll find that building your own app can be a pretty straight forward process.
#1 Set a goal
Before you open your laptop or PC to start coding, get a journal or a piece of paper so that you can write down your objectives.
Ask yourself the following questions:
· What kind of app do you want it to be?
· How are you going to make it attractive?
· How is it going to simplify the user’s life?
· What methods are you planning on using to get the word out on your app?
As with any business venture, it’s important to start out by setting clear goals for yourself. Having a vision and an end goal to aim for will make it easier for yourself and the people who work with you to see that vision through. So make sure you set clear objectives for yourself before you begin.
#2 Sketch your ideas
Using the same paper or journal mentioned above, draw a sketch of what the app will look like visually when it’s finished. This is where you transform your ideas into visual symbols. This is also a good time to make a decision on a number of other factors, such as whether or not you want your app to be free or if you’ll be monetizing it through ads, downloads and/or in-app purchases.
As soon as you’re done with that, you can start working on your app through your computer, which will involve a lot of research into existing apps that you might be competing with, as well as the initial digital design of your app.
Wireframe is basically tech-speak for a storyboard. It’s like the skeletal outline of the ideas that you described and drew in the previous step, and it gives you the opportunity to see how functional your idea is so that you can refine it accordingly. As such, wireframing is an essential step in the app-building process.
Once again, there are numerous wireframing websites available out there to help you digitize your ideas so that you test their functionality, as they allow you to see how the icons and click-through functions work. Your job is to find a wireframing website that’s appealing and user-friendly to you, and then put it to work.
#4 Define the back end of your app
By now you should have a pretty fleshed-out storyboard that gives you a good idea of how your app is going to work.
So you can start outlining your data diagrams, APIs and servers using dedicated DIY app builders that you can easily find online. You can even find mobile app developers that virtually do the whole process for you, and this is a good option for someone who’s new to app building.
No matter what kind of process you choose to follow when developing your app, it’s important to have detailed diagrams of what you want to achieve with the app so that it’s easy for you and your team to implement the vision. Of course, you might encounter technical challenges along the way, at which point it will be a good idea to review the wireframe in order to make the necessary changes.
#5 Check your model
This is the stage where you might need to in list the help of your friends and family as they’ll be able to give you the honest feedback you need to improve your app. Whatever you do, don’t show your app to “yes men/women” as they’ll only gas you up without giving you constructive criticism.
You want your app to be reviewed by the type of cynical and straightforward person who won’t be afraid to give you brutal honesty when you need it most. It’s also a good idea to be in the room when they’re checking out your app demo so that you can observe their initial reaction.
This step is important to ensure that your app is user-centric, and it will help you make the necessary revisions to the navigation and layout of the app. What you want out of this process is the information needed to pretty much wrap up the foundational stage of the app development process. Once you’re satisfied that the backend of your app is working properly, you can then start incorporating the design aspects.
#6 Start building it
Now that you’ve got be basics down, you can start putting the building blocks of your app together. Typically, this process begins with the setting up of APIs, databases and servers, and most DIY app-builders will take care of this step as well. However, you also need to take into account the feedback that you got from the demo-testing stage, as it will help you make the final adjustments to your app’s functionality.
Afterward, you’ll have to put your app on the market by signing up with the Apple App and Google Play Stores, which might take a couple of days to complete.
#7 Design the look
This is the point where you build the user interface (UI), which is like the face of your app and therefore a very important aspect of the whole process. Once again, the feedback you got from your friends and family during the testing phase will come in handy here because it’ll give you a good indication of what’s needed to make your app as user-friendly and appealing as possible.
You’ll also need to get aesthetically pleasing screens or high-resolution skins for your app, which will be built into your app’s wireframe.
#8 Test your app again
You have to test your app for the second time to make sure that both the UI and the functioning app are working properly. This testing phase will also give you a good indication of how good your app looks visually.
You’ll probably have to run more tests on your app now that it’s completed than ever before because you’ll be measuring it up to the expectations created by the previous test run. You can test your app on platforms like Pixate or Proto.io, which allow for clickable links to be added so that you can navigate your app easily. They will also enable you to analyze the overall design, interfaces and other layers of your app, and you’ll come out of this stage with a wealth of information to use on the next step.
#9 Modify and adjust
Once you’ve tested your app and seen the adjustments that you need to make, you’ll have to ask the same group of people who tested your app before to test it again one more time. Get all the constructive criticism that they give you and use it to further improve your app. Then, get together with your developers again so that you can put their feedback to work by using it to fine-tune the app.
#10 Beta testing
Now that you’ve seen how your app performs from a number of different perspectives, you should finally have an app that’s not only visually appealing and great at solving problems, but it should be highly functional as well.
It’s time to see how your app will perform on a live platform. While iOS has some pretty stringent guidelines and regulations that involve beta testing your app on TestFlight, Android processes are pretty simple and straightforward in comparison.
#11 Release your app
Finally, you’ve reached the end of the app-building process and you’re ready to share your app with the world. Whether its purpose is to bring some fun entertainment to its users or to make people’s lives easier in some way, it’s an achievement that you should be proud of.
This is the stage where you can finally distribute your app. You’ll find that both iOS and Android have very different ways of doing things when it comes to app marketing. Android is pretty laid-back while iOS is very strict, but each has its unique advantages and disadvantages that you need to study and understand as an app builder and/or entrepreneur.
For example, iOS has a dedicated team that reviews all new or updated apps before they’re allowed to go live, and this process can take anything from several hours to a week. Android, on the other hand, works very quickly and apps usually go live within hours of being uploaded.
If you want to learn more email me on firstname.lastname@example.org, or if you are nearby Toronto area, walk into our office and meet one of the best Toronto app developers.