The global mobile application market is constantly growing so you need to find ways for app development. Having more than 2.7 billion mobile users worldwide, it is expected to generate $581.9 billion in revenues in 2020 while also being projected to amount to approximately $935.2 billion by 2023.
With the so-called mobility factor ceaselessly reshaping industries, mobile applications have become an integral part of our everyday lives. In this article, we’ll go through the main steps of how to build and develop a mobile app.
Do Market Research for App Development
The fact that the mobile app industry continues thriving means there is fierce competition. As of the first quarter of 2020, Google Play has over 2.7 million apps while the App Store offers more than 1.8 million apps.
First, you have to determine the purpose of your mobile app and your app development and identify who your target audience is. Depending on your app’s unique nature, you will get it clear whether it will succeed or fail.
Doing market research can help you figure out whether there’s a demand for your app and whether you should develop your app. To find out existing competitors’ apps browse through apps in mobile app stores, use Google Keyword Planner or similar tools, check projects on such platforms as Kickstarter or Product Hunt. Look for insights via social media and forums like Reddit and Quora.
Start From Sketch with App Development
Any mobile app development starts with an idea. If you already have it, try to sketch it. At the very first stage, you just need to create a list of features you’d like to include in your app.
To avoid overloading your app with features, split its functionality into two categories: essential and non-essential features, and then decide which of them you can leave out. Don’t rush to build features in the first version that are “nice to have” since this will increase the initial cost of development and delay the release of your app.
Focus on creating a minimum viable project (MVP) to collect feedback for future product development, without overpaying for features your users may never need.
Create a Mockup
A mockup is a full-size model of your mobile application’s UIs and layouts. Your mockup should primarily demonstrate your app’s navigation flow rather than distract you from essentials. Thereby, it’s more about functionality than aesthetics.
It may make sense to write a short technical design document where you will describe in simple words what the app should do. If you don’t want to write a text document you can create annotations in your mockup that explain how the app works.
If you’re developing an app for a customer or employer, such mockups are good to show the app’s workflow and the user interface Thus, you can learn about the client’s expectations at the early stages and set directions for the development team.
Create App Design
Graphic design has a big role to play in the modern competitive business environment. It helps to effectively communicate the message to your target audience. As guys who develop mobile apps, you need to understand that the mobile app icon and the launch screen are the main points to consider.
If your app is too difficult to navigate users will simply uninstall it. So, it’s essential to make sure your users can get what the app does, why it’s helpful right from the start.
Mobile app graphic design comprises graphic effects, images, sometimes motion design. Seek for an experienced and credible designer who can make your app look visually attractive.
Take a look at some apps and projects that they worked on before.
If you choose to create an Android app, stick to Android Studio (which includes the Android SDK) where you can write your code in Java or Kotlin.
Java is the official Android development language. It’s highly popular and most of the apps in Google Play are written with it. Kotlin is another official programming language for Android platforms. It’s considered to be simpler in comparison to Java hereby suitable for beginning developers.
To build an iOS app one may choose Objective C. Another default programming language to build iOS applications is Swift.
Launch Your App
Once your app is released, you need to publish it into the App Store or Google Play. The procedure of publishing an app will differ depending on the platform you build it for.
- Create a Google Publisher account. Pay the one-time fee of $25.
- Google Play submission. Make sure the text for your mobile app corresponds to the listing criteria. Make a precise description in the Play Store as it’ll be the first thing users will see on your app page. Use keywords to attract users and optimize ASO. Make sure your app has some screenshots and previews.
- Upload the .apk file, follow the guidelines on the Google Console. The review process can take a few hours.
- Create an Apple Developer account. Pay the fee of $99. Joining this program, you’ve got a chance to build an iOS app and test it.
- App Store submission. Check App Store Review guidelines first. The Apple Review team examines every app before its approval. Receiving a rejection means the main guidelines non-compliance. Provide screenshots, icons, and metadata (put special attention to the description). The review process can take several days.
If you want to track users’ engagement and downloads, you may want to integrate analytics software (Flurry, Localytics, etc.).
Market Your App
This is what you have to think over even before building your app. No matter how outstanding your mobile app is, you have to let people know about it. Create a buzz. Launch a landing page for an app where users can give feedback about its features.
Create a new Twitter or Facebook page and place there as much information as you can, start a blog, optimize the keywords, run an advertising campaign and, of course, be ready to communicate with your audience.
Remember that the goal of any mobile app marketing strategy should be to acquire users and make them loyal advocates for your product.
Updates are critical to increasing user engagement. Your app upgrades should be driven by user feedback, quantitative data, and an understanding of the market.
Determining the right balance of these elements will take some time, but the effort will lead to more increased user loyalty and improved ROI from your mobile app development.
Petr is a serial tech entrepreneur and the CEO of Apro Software, a machine learning company. Whenever he’s not blogging about technology for itechgyan.com or softwarebattle.com, Petr enjoys playing sports and going to the movies. He’s also deeply interested in mediation, Buddhism and biohacking.