The mobile app market is massive. In 2019, there were 204 billion app downloads worldwide with a total spend of $120 billion. As a society, we’re spending more time on our phones too, so this number may well increase.
There’s a huge market that’s there waiting for you if you learn how to develop a mobile app. We hear you cry “but I don’t have any development experience!” We’re here to help you overcome this obstacle.
Whether you’re a seasoned developer on other platforms or a complete newcomer, there are some facets of mobile app development that are unique. In this guide, we’re going to take a look at the crucial steps of mobile app development, from conception to launch.
Think you’ve got the next killer app nailed and want to learn how to create it? Then read on!
Step 1: Have a Goal in Mind
When you’re figuring out how to develop a mobile app, you need to have a goal in mind. What will your app do and what is its USP?
As well as its grand purpose, how will the app work? Grab a notepad and sketch out rough ideas of what you want the app to look like and what functions it will serve. Will it feature ads or will it be a paid app?
Some key questions to answer in this step include:
- What purpose will this app serve?
- Why will it be popular?
- How will it make money?
- What will the app look like?
Step 2: Research
At this point in the mobile app development cycle, research is critical. Is there a genuine need for the app? Is the problem that you’ve identified one that a wide range of people has?
You might think that this question is impossible to answer but it’s not. Hop on Google Keyword Planner or Google Trends and see how hot keywords relating to your concept are.
Competitor research is another crucial aspect of this step. Is there someone out there who’s already made an app similar to the one you’re planning? There are millions of apps available and it’s likely that someone’s already tried it.
If it’s popular, what will you be doing that will make your app more popular? If it’s not popular, how will you avoid suffering the same fate? You should take a look at reviews and find out what people liked and disliked about
You should also check that your app is technically possible. If it is, will it require the latest hardware or will it run on anything?
Step 3: Wireframing
Wireframing is an important step in custom mobile app development. A wireframe is essentially mockups of your final design. You need to create detailed mockups of what your app will look like and how it will work.
Your visual design should be nailed for the wireframe and you should also show how the screens will flow from one to another like a movie’s storyboard. To make wireframes more efficiently, figure out the use cases for your app and make one wireframe for each use case.
This step helps you identify extraneous steps in the process that you can cut out and simplify. Trust us, your users will thank you later for taking more time in this step of the mobile app development process.
To help you, you can use apps like InvisionApp to stitch screens together that you can then click through. For a free walkthrough of this process, please contact us.
When wireframing, consider how each step will work. Create data diagrams and map APIs.
Step 4: Demonstrate the Proof of Concept
Now that you’ve got the app’s concept figured out, it’s time to show off your proof of concept. This step is vital: show it to family and friends, as well as coworkers and other more objective parties. Ask them for feedback and see whether they would use the app.
If they wouldn’t use the app, find out why and see if it’s something you can fix. Revise wireframes accordingly.
Step 5: Making the App
Finally, we get on to the most fun part of learning how to develop a mobile app: creating the app itself. There are a couple of routes you can go down here. If you’re confident in your abilities as a programmer, you can make it yourself or use app creation software.
If you’re more of a novice, it’s best if you hire mobile developers to help you.
Whichever option you choose, you’ll need to start with the more technical aspects and set up servers and APIs. Once you’ve taken care of this, it’s time to design the visual aspects of the app. Refine your wireframes into a final look for your app (you can make minor tweaks later).
Step 6: Test Your Mobile App
Mobile app development relies on testing to iron out the problems before launch. Don’t neglect this step and rush straight into the app store or your app will not be popular.
When you’re testing your app, you want to try to break it in interesting ways. There will be bugs lurking and it’s your job to find them. Test it again and again and again, refining your app as you go along.
Once you’ve got it to a standard you’re satisfied with, release it to beta testers. As these testers find bugs fix them. You’re inching closer and closer to launch now.
It’s best if you get friends and/or stakeholders to help you beta test. We’d also recommend using tools like TestFlight to make testing easier.
Step 7: Release Your App Into the Wilds of the App Store
Now that you’ve made your tweaks and tested your app to within an inch of its life, it’s time to launch it. Once you’ve released it, it’s time to market your app and grow its popularity.
Apple and Android have different rules regarding marketing, so you’ll need to be mindful of their specific rules. Congratulations! You’ve just released an app into the marketplace and with luck, it’ll be a success.
How to Develop a Mobile App: The Easier Way
We’ve shown you how to develop a mobile app and it’s a lot of hard work. Yet there is an easier way available: hiring professionals to do it for you. Here at Big Kitty Labs, we’re experts in mobile development and can take your app from concept to launch alongside you.
For more information about our pricing and services, please don’t hesitate to get in contact with us.