Here you are, just recognized the need to show a totally game-changing mobile application to the world. So many questions come to your mind without a single clear idea of how to implement everything.
How much will it cost?
How do people ever create these?
How long will it take me to implement?
How will I earn money out of this investment?
And finally - how to market it and help it stand out of the crowd?
Have you ever faced such situation?
Yes, mobile app development is quite a complex competence and requires a lot of diverse skills. You need to be a strategist, an entrepreneur, a marketologist and a tech guy at the same time. But as with any competence, there are real talents out there. Your task is to find where they’re swimming.
In this article, I am going to give you a step-by-step roadmap of how to develop any type of an app (of course with the assistance of mobile development professionals).
Why am I mentioning developers here? I am positive that crafting an IT product from the scratch (not being a professional coder) is not the best choice, if you really aim at providing your audience with maximum value and, at the same time, making it profitable for yourself. Every professional should do his or her job. And in this partnership you better act as the supervisor and advisor - at the end of the day, that’s your babe and for you to decide what and how will everything be implemented.
First things - first: your idea
Your idea is a base for the entire upcoming journey. You’re not obliged to know the answers to all the questions at once.
You got a general description now. And firstly, you want to spot a specific category your app falls into.
For exploring categories, head to the App Store and hit dropdown on the right “All categories”:
What’s the use out of your mobile app?
Now it’s time to dive a bit deeper into the details. Here are two main points you need to define about your future app:
- the killing feature - what is so unique/disruptive/handy/useful about your app, that’s going to attract your folks’ attention;
- the goal of creating the app - this is the other side of the same coin - what are your aims/expectations out of this project (e.g. making this app core of your business and make passive income, create a tool for a mobile presence of the existing business).
Framing up the core idea and your target for the venture are very significant, even though initial, parts. Because there are too many people starting similar projects without realizing the most important things. They usually end up spending hundreds of dollars not realizing what they want and what actually will get. So you’re on the right way, my friend!
Time to decide on the market & explore it
Ok, now let’s face it - most of us, having a disruptive idea, don’t do a solid preliminary research. Statistically speaking, it’s around 90%. After all, the idea appears to be not that much innovative and there already exist 2-3 implementations of exact same concept.
That only means that your idea has extremely higher chance to triumph. Because after studying the market, you are going to combine your own goals with the overall demand of the public. And this is a happy medium by all means - both parties catch their benefits.
Your market research should include the following segments:
- define your target audience - age, residence, way of life, interests, income level;
- specify your competition - search for the similarly implemented projects, extract the best performers, study their marketing strategies;
- think of shifting your app within the market to a direction of higher demand and lower competition - shape your concept based on this data.
Now you significantly leg up on the competition, not to mention you’re one step closer to your one-of-a-kind mobile application.
Fix your budget
It’s no wonder that you cannot presume the exact cost of the app development. You can contact several mobile app development companies and request estimations for doing this work for you. Usually, it’s absolutely free - you just explain major features you want the app to include, answer a couple of specifying questions and they calculate it for you.
Don’t worry about the safety of your idea. Normally they’ll offer to sign a Non-Disclosure Agreement to protect it from stealing. More details about NDA in the next chapters.
This way you’re able to estimate how much app development can ultimately cost you.
Now that you realize how will your project look and how much will it cost, it’s time to shift your idea straight to paper.
There are a couple of scenarios to follow:
First - you complete a mockup by yourself
To help you understand where to start, just begin from your idea, goals, and goodies you want to provide your people with. Next, you write down all features and desired functionality of the application. It’ll give you food for considering all logics and interactions within the app.
You can simply start by writing all dependences this way:
After all obvious interactions are described, you can paint wireframes with the help of numerous picture editors or mobile templates services.
Bonuses - free of charge, plenty space for your creativity, diving deeply into the details of the future product.
Flaws - many non-obvious interactions aren’t included in your sketch and it requires additional revision, without designing skills you cannot draw the overall theme of the app.
Second - mobile app development company drafts a prototype for you
This way is very convenient for a number of reasons. First and foremost, your prototype will be made by professionals using proper advanced tools. It won’t be only a range of pictures, but also a clickable bit of software with all drawn design elements.
Mind that the companies you request a prototype from will do their best and provide you with a super service to get you as a customer. So feel free to use your benefits here.
Pros - free, all user interactions considered, a design pattern is offered, expert advice for improving structure/functionality, much quicker than doing by yourself.
Cons - you participate only at the stage of negotiation and when evaluating wireframes, very little learnings out of the project.
Selecting your app development partner
Probably, at this stage, you’ve already got some experience of communication with the native application development companies.
Now you’re at the edge of picking one for yourself based on some criteria.
Not to mention, it’s crucially important to have a quality communication with the representatives of the team, making sure you speak the same language, there are a few aspects to consider:
- is there a dedicated team for your project?
- is there a project manager, who will take care of the process and report to you throughout entire project?
- do they have experience building apps in the field you’re aiming at?
Protect your intellectual property
And in two words, it’s a legal agreement between two parties which confirms a confidential communication and protection of all disclosed information in this partnership.
Once it’s signed, your idea is protected by international law and you can start discussing and explaining all the details to your chosen partner for the sake of planning and launching a project.
Build that app UP
After all the details of cooperation are approved and your team is staffed with all vital professionals, it’s a perfect time to start the actual mobile app development.
You have numerous events ahead - regular meet-ups with a Project Manager to discuss how’s it going with the development process, to control and correct functionality along the way and so on.
Usually, this process includes the following steps:
Tip-off: At the very initial stage of discussing your future app, discuss application update plan and include it in your promotion strategy - not only it’ll become a cool upsales tool, but also will fulfill users’ expectations to get updates of the software on the regular basis.
Promotion - show your creature to the world!
Congrats! You moved all this way to present your software to the wide international audience. It’s time to switch on all your creativity and help your mobile app stand out from the crowd. If you’ve been cooperating with the mobile app development company, then you can rely on them for marketing part too. They will do it much better than anybody else indeed.
If you think that well-coded software with enormous functionality is enough for its’ shooting up in the App Store, you’re wrong!
Catchy marketing can even help you diminish slight imperfections and show all advantages of your application.
Here is what you need to know when talking about mobile marketing:
- App Store Optimization - a crucial part of improving your appearance in the App Store. Read more about including convenient keywords, optimizing your icon and other tools of ASO;
- Social Media - this one is big because can bring you the massive public if advertised right. People comment, share, and advice your app (if it’s as good) straight to their mates. As a result, it becomes viral and highly sharable. Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, and Pinterest tend to be the most effective for that purpose;
- App Websites - to get the use out of all available web advertising tools, it’s a smart decision to build a bright and informative platform to direct your target audience to;
- Mobile Advertising Networks - these are specific (and very effective by the way) resources for posting and promoting your mobile software. They remain the biggest sources of traffic and downloads in mobile marketing. Among most effective platforms are well-known Facebook, as well as AppLovin, Chartboost, and AdMob. Some of these are oriented on specific sorts of mobile apps, whereas other are multipurpose.
You can also add other instruments for promoting your app. Anyways, your team from the app development company will help you choose the most sufficient to hit your folks straight into their hearts :)
Summing it all up
As promised, now you’re armed with a cheat sheet of how to turn your brilliant mobile app idea into the real top-notch piece of software. One biggest secret of your success is start doing tiny steps every day - just sit down and think, search, write! A bit every day!
At the end of the day, you’ll come up with something truly valuable and unique. And that’s actually why we’re here discussing five-star app development, right?