Creating an app can seem like a daunting process, especially if you’ve never created one before. However, you can learn how to create an app through these 10 simple steps. From choosing your programming language to creating and testing your app, this guide will provide you with everything you need to know to get started with building your own app from scratch.
1) Research Competition
If you’re creating an app in a crowded market, like social media or games, it’s important to research competitors before creating a business plan. Use SimilarWeb and App Annie to see what apps are being used in your target market and how popular they are. If you aren’t creating a specific type of app (e.g., fitness tracker), analyze other apps of interest across all app stores—these represent your potential users. As an example, if you make an app for parents who want resources on parenting teen boys, conduct research on apps that target teens or parenting. Look at how many people have downloaded those apps and how often they use them—and look for gaps in those markets that could be filled by your own product.
2) Create a Wireframe/User Flow
A wireframe is a mockup of how your app will look and function. It’s an essential first step in building your app, as it gives you (and others) a good idea of what exactly you’re trying to build. Wireframes can take many forms, but generally, they are simple drawings or illustrations that show all of your screens and how users will flow through them. Think of a wireframe as half blueprint and half storyboard — if you’ve ever sketched out a scene in order to plan it visually for filming purposes, that should give you an idea about what goes into creating one for mobile app design purposes.
3) Design Mockups/Wireframes
Before you start programming, it’s a good idea to sketch out how your app will look and how users will navigate from screen to screen. This is when having a basic understanding of UX design comes in handy. Wireframing tools like Balsamiq and Fluid UI can help you create mockups quickly and easily. The goal here is just get an idea for how your app will flow, not make it look beautiful. For most apps (especially business apps), ease of use is more important than aesthetics. Using wireframes helps you focus on that without getting bogged down in CSS rules or graphic design details. You can create an app using Frameworks like Flutter or React Native for app development. Which is most using technologies nowadays.
4) Build the Backend Functionality
Whether you’re building a mobile app or a web app, you need to build out all of your backend technology first. That means all of your core functionality, features and user authentication should be figured out before you even start on design or content. Think about it: Would you rather write a copy for an app that doesn’t work? No. Neither would users—and neither would reviewers and consumers. So get that stuff set up before you worry about anything else. Start with something simple like UserVoice (which does support apps) and then move onto more complex things like Amazon Web Services or Microsoft Azure once everything is running smoothly.
5) Test Out Your App
You’ve got a great idea, you’ve built your first app, and you’re ready to take it live. Congratulations! Now there are two more things you need to do: Run tests and start marketing. You may have already heard about A/B testing. In its simplest form, A/B testing is when a website or app owner compares two versions of something in order to figure out which one works better with their audience.
6) Refine and Release it
After you’ve determined your idea, it’s time to refine and release it. There are many ways that you can refine your idea, but that is a crucial step in any app creation process. It’s where most people give up on their ideas because they don’t know how or think they can’t do it. Here are some quick tips on refining your app: Identify the problem, brainstorm solutions; create a design and flow chart of each screen; discuss with peers and determine if anyone else has already thought of something similar; break down into steps (with easy-to-follow visuals) how users will interact with each screen; start writing code and get feedback from peers as you go along.
7) Market, Market, Market!
Promoting your app on other channels is a great way to kickstart downloads. Use your existing social media network (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc.) and post about it there. If you have an email list or website, encourage signups and share on there as well. You could also consider paid promotion on Facebook or Twitter via a promoted post that lets people know about your app in return for installing it. For example, if someone installs your app via a promoted post from their timeline they will be rewarded with additional coins within your game.
8) Set Up Monetization Options
When you’re ready to get started, don’t just dive right in. After all, it doesn’t matter how good your app idea is if you never get around to building it. So take a step back and make sure you have everything set up correctly for success. You can prepare for your creation ahead of time by making sure you have a solid development environment with all your needed tools in place (as well as backups), and by making some preparations with any of your collaborators on other pieces of your app. Develop a clear idea of what needs to be built—and what doesn’t—before you ever touch a line of code! Finally, before you start in on anything else, identify someone who can help support you as an accountability partner.
9) Promote It on Other Channels
Getting an app in front of users takes more than just posting it on your own website and hoping they find it. The truth is, most people don’t look for apps in obscure places, so you’ll need to promote it across a variety of channels. For example, you can promote your app through social media like Facebook and Twitter, or via ad networks like Google Adwords and BingAds. Promoting your app online will likely be easier if you have a marketing budget but even if you don’t, that shouldn’t hold you back from trying different tactics until one works.
10) Pat Yourself on the Back!
This may sound silly, but it’s important. If you’re creating an app from scratch, it’s unlikely you’ll complete it in one day—or even in a week or month. You may also stumble upon a number of bugs that need fixing or features that need tweaking. Don’t forget to pat yourself on the back and give yourself credit for every success along your journey. Not only will self-congratulation serve as a nice reminder of how far you’ve come, but other people will notice your dedication too (and they’ll want in on that action).