You have an app idea. You know the audience and you know the demand. You know if developed successfully, this application will make a lot of money for you.
Being a leading app development agency, a lot of our clients do ask questions like “I want to create an app where do I start?, How to make your own app? How to create an app from scratch?”. So, we have decided to write a post on how to build an app from scratch, design, and launch a successful mobile application.
However, creating an app or building an app from scratch requires you to consider several important things, including objectives, potential costs, project management, promotions, and other important things. You have to consider many things before creating an app.
Today, we will explain how to create an app step by step to make the entire app development process easy for you. Please know that we are not discussing how to code an app but how to create your app without a mobile app maker.
Let’s get started.
Let’s discuss the 9 steps of making an app, which include the information about how to make a phone app and publish it on the app store or play store.
Define Your Objectives
The process to create an app takes time. One simply cannot create a mobile app overnight. Many things are considered before creating an app.
Companies spend a lot of money to develop and maintain their apps. But if your objectives are not clear, you probably won’t get the desired product and benefit.
The first step to building your own app is to figure out the reasons why you want to create an app. Every app has a purpose to serve.
The best way is to answer these questions is to ask yourself that do you want to solve a problem, want to reach more customers, or just do it for brand awareness.
Because every app has the purpose of serving and therefore, you must identify the purpose before asking how to start an app development process to make a successful app. This step will make the process a lot easier.
There can be many reasons for building an app, but the most important thing is your app should always satisfy these two goals: Your ideal users’ goal and your business goal. Make sure you invest enough time to identify your primary goal before starting an app development process.
Let’s start with your potential users. Honestly, everyone is interested to know about the features of an app that are beneficial for them.
However, it doesn’t matter whether your users are interacting with the businesses online or offline, regardless of the channel – the very first thing they ask themselves is – what’s in it for me? If they don’t see a benefit in a few seconds, they will leave, and this is true for every app.
A good mobile application can help businesses in multiple ways such as more returning customers, low expenses, increased ROI, better productivity, enriched social presence, and brand awareness as well.
Now, you’ve understood the basics of how to make an application, it’s time to ask the following questions to yourself.
- Which section of your business needs improvement?
- How can a mobile application solve that problem?
- What is the expected result?
Let’s have a look at each of them individually.
👉 Which section of your business needs improvement?
It’s an obvious question and chances are high that you already know about it. Suppose, you’re running a hotel and you found that some of your customers are facing difficulty to book the rooms or spa services. As this option is only available on the desktop, customers prefer to look for other options with easy booking options.
On the other hand, if you are spending a lot of time providing seamless service to your existing customers, which is consuming most of your team’s resources and efforts and limiting your growth. This means you need to allocate resources in marketing your business and getting new clients.
Identify the areas of improvement to know which features you can implement in the app.
👉 How can a mobile application solve a specific problem?
A mobile application can solve many problems associated with businesses. It can allow your customer to book your services easily through the app. Other than that, you can integrate feedback or live chat features to make the entire process more user-friendly.
This is how an app functions, and you can solve the specific problems of your users using an app.
👉 What is the expected result?
For businesses, more booking means more sales and revenue. On the customer side, the app would increase customer satisfaction and boost great social proof.
These answers are very important and will help a lot in further stages of app development. After you have answered them, we’ll talk about the next step of how to get an app made or how to create an app.
Plan Functionality and Features
Let’s move on to the second step to create an app. After defining the objectives, the second important thing that comes into play in planning your app’s functionality and features.
👉 Identify top functionalities and features that you want to include
This is one of the creative steps to make an app where you’ll have to write down all the functionalities you want to add and features needed to achieve the solutions and get the expected results, mostly known as an MVP version of the app.
The best way is to make sure you carry out market research to find what your competitors offer on the app stores like Apple’s App Store or Play Store and see what they are lacking or innovating.
How about integrating features like Machine Learning, Artificial Intelligence, Real-time tracking, Payment Gateway integration, Face detection? We have developed Veebo– a virtual party app and integrated Augmented Reality face filters like the Snapchat app.
This has made virtual parties more fun and attractive even in this pandemic. If it solves the problem of your users easily, try integrating these features when you create mobile applications.
👉 Are there any irrelevant features in the list?
Just remember, adding irrelevant features won’t do any good and affects the performance of the app. At the initial stage, we recommend you to make sure you only list down the features that will add value to your app. Once you release the first version, then work on the remaining features.
At first, you can create a minimal viable product (MVP) and then integrate the features into the app. This way, you can check the customer reviews and their feedback and implement features accordingly. Not only can you save costs, but also give a rich user experience.
This will help you and your team to focus entirely on the things that really matter. You can use this list as a guide and get started with the app development process.
Talking about the hotel booking app from the previous example, you can add different room details, videos of customer reviews, filters for getting results based on timing, and prices.
You can also add the room service details, user feedback option, one-click chat option, and push notification for discounts and offers.
Research Your Competitors
Never underestimate the value of research and finding insights before you start making an app. This way, you can find the scope of your app idea and also implement the required features into your app.
It’s important that you should know the answers to these questions before jumping into the app development.
- What are the objectives of your app?
- Who are the target users of your app?
- Are app users looking for an app like yours?
- Who are your top competitors in the marketplace?
- What are the drawbacks of your competitors?
- What business model do you plan to follow for better ROI?
- How are you going to monetize your app?
You’ll get an idea of the demand for the app you’re making and help you fill the gaps your competitors had left. You always have to grab the opportunity when it comes to creating a mobile app.
Sometimes, you may even have to leave your desk and walk in the shoes of your customers to know them better. Ultimately, market research can save you from making a lot of mistakes at an early stage.
You’ve defined your objectives, planned functionalities and features, and done competitors’ research to get insights on creating an app.
Now, it’s time to know how to design an app. Give it its first skeleton and combine the individual blocks together with wireframing.
What is wireframing?
Wireframing is the visual representation of your app’s layout and the flow between the different screens. This is one of the best distraction-free methods where you don’t have to worry about different graphic elements.
The wireframe will be based on the use cases i.e. the specific tasks your users will perform on the app. A wireframe is like a bridge between your raw thoughts and the final product before any you start making an app.
Your goal should be optimizing the number and order of app screens to reach each goal. You can also create multiple app screen flows for the same task to determine which will provide the best experience to the users.
There are basically two ways of creating wireframes:
- Offline – You can simply use a pen and blank paper or printable sketch templates like the ones available on SneakPeekIt.
- Online – There are several wireframing tools available online such as NinjaMock, Fluid UI, Adobe Suite, Mockflow, and others. We, at Space-O Technologies, use Balsamiq 3.5.17 and AdobeXD wireframe design tool for wireframing. Just select the tool or template and start sketching. Every use case should represent the full-screen flow from opening your app to achieving a goal.
Focusing on wireframing at an earlier stage could save you hundreds of development hours later on.
Once you are done with designing the use cases of the app, it’s time to test them. This is also a very important step of your app-building where you can test the flow of your app, make improvements in the user experience.
In order to test your wireframes, you can use Invision. As you know, wireframes just show the expected design of the app, but Invision can help make them interactive. Using this awesome tool, you can connect your screens and link actions to simulate the real encounter with the app.
How to use Invision?
Here is a short video on how to create an interactive prototype with InVision.
Invision is simple and very easy to use. First, go to the official website and register for a free account. Then, click on the ‘+’ icon to create your first project and select ‘create a new prototype’.
Once you give a name to your prototype, select its type from the available two options: sync with Sketch/Photoshop or add image files from your computer.
Now, start uploading images of individual screens of your wireframe. You’ll see an option to link these images present at the bottom of each image.
Once everything is done, you can share your prototype with colleagues or your customers using the ‘Share’ option present at the top-right corner of the screen. They can also test the use cases and how users can easily navigate from the home screen to reaching the goal.
You can also involve your testers at this stage, they can better answer you whether accessing the main menu was easy. It is like getting user feedback from your team. Whether all the tasks are easily identifiable? Is there anything missing in the app or other queries related to your app?
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Choose a Development Path
Once you finish the wireframing for creating an app, comes one of the most essential steps to build an app, in this part where you must choose the platform and coding language. We know it’s not easy for all people to discuss application building platforms and programming languages. But if you are clear with your requirements, budget, and target users, this isn’t that difficult too.
Let’s have a look at different platforms based on devices and what are the things you have to keep in mind while developing your app on them.
5.1. Select platform as per your requirements and budget
5.1.1. Native app development
This app development simply means developing an app for a particular operating system. Android devices or iPhone devices. Suppose, you want to build an app with the goal to have maximum downloads and generate revenue through ads. In this case, you can easily leverage the user base of Android.
On the other hand, if you want to build ios apps on the iOS platform, you can develop an iOS app for Apple users.
Something you should remember while you create native apps from scratch is – you’ll need to create two separate apps for the Play Store and App Store.
There’s no doubt that such an app provides robust and reliable performance. Though there are many Android developers available out there, developing a ‘quality app’ needs a significant budget.
Also, you may need to have two separate development teams to create your own app for iPhone and Android, one for each. As you are managing two codebases, it becomes difficult to find a way to streamline any update.
5.1.2. Mobile app frameworks
The second path allows you to create hybrid apps that can run on both Android and iOS platforms. There are several frameworks available such as React Native, Framework 7, PhoneGap that lets you create a single app and deploy it on both Google Play Store and Apple’s App Store. There’s no need to spend a hefty amount on two development teams and maintain two code bases.
If you are an individual developer or a start-up with a limited budget, just go for hybrid apps. Though their performance may lag as compared to a native Android or iPhone app, the situation is improving over time. Talking about the current time, something truly applicable at the gaming level.
Lastly, you’ll also have to consider something like extra features that you may want to add in the future. These extra requirements sometimes cause too much trouble later. It couldn’t only delay your launch but also strain your budget in some way.
5.1.3. Drag & drop mobile app builder
If your budget is extremely limited or you are just not comfortable with the above two ways, let’s check out one more way to develop mobile apps.
There are many different app-building platforms like Appy Pie, AppSheet, and BuildFire that allow you to develop mobile apps with zero coding knowledge. You just have to choose template or drag and drop elements and your Android or iPhone app will be ready in no time.
On these, you have the freedom to design your app in the same way you want. Whether you want a landing page or not, it is up to you. There’s no need to wait for several months or spend thousands of dollars in apps development. However, you must not forget some limitations associated with these platforms.
We do not suggest you go for free Android or iPhone app builders because they have a lot of limitations. First and foremost, the security of confidential information is not up to the mark as you are involving a third party in the process.
You can’t access the new and latest technologies, tools, and techniques that hinder the performance of your app. You can’t customize your app properly and get advanced features.
Just for the sake of knowing them better, we tried and tested one of the popular free application building platforms a few days ago. We wanted to create a simple WebView app. So, just added my website’s URL and exported the APK, and the size of the APK is 67.31MB. The app was not only lagging but also showing watermarks at various places.
We are not against app builders but we’d suggest you choose them wisely. Select a plan that provides most of the freedom so that you can customize and optimize your app in any manner you want. Using these best app builders, you can save up to 75% of your mobile apps and web apps development budget.
5.2. Select the right programming language
When you have decided on the development path, it won’t take time to select the right programming language.
Starting with the Android app, the first thing you’ll need is Android Studio. After that, you can design the interface of your app using XML and write all the logic using any or all languages like Kotlin, Java, and C++. According to Google, more than 50% of developers are now using Kotlin to develop their apps, and so if you’re just starting out, go with Kotlin.
For the iOS app, you’ll need XCode IDE and knowledge of Swift language (Swift 5 is the latest version). Though you can still use Objective-C, Apple itself seems to be moving away from C-based languages. Swift is supposedly much easier to use and work with.
Other than native app development, the advantage is that you don’t really have to think about the programming languages in other development paths. If you have planned to build a hybrid app, just follow the framework’s documentation and you’ll be good to go.
Develop Your Mobile App
Building a quality mobile application considering all the requirements and following the guidelines takes time.
- Get rid of any unnecessary elements that don’t support users’ tasks. Remember, content is your interface. A landing page is extremely important.
- Use a single input field whenever possible. Multiple fields and making users switch between different modes creates a bad user experience and the pushes user instantly leave your app.
- Overusing push notifications is another bad practice. This annoys the user and gives them a major reason to uninstall your app.
- Consider future-proofing your app. Today, you might want to just fulfill the demands of your target users. But you should also make sure that the application can bring you profit for further development. The efficiently you market your app, the earlier you receive profit and the faster you add more features and grow your app.
- Choosing the right and speedy database also plays an important role in the success of your mobile apps and web apps. So always consider these factors while choosing a database: Required size, Data structure, Speed and scalability, and Safety and security of the user data.
Being the best mobile app development company, we have highlighted some important points you should keep in mind.
Test Your Mobile App
After the app-making process is done, it’s time to test your mobile application to ensure there are no bugs and the user experience is as intuitive as you created and tested your wireframes. While there are various kinds of testing available, we would recommend you go for at least two testings: Internal Test and the External Test.
Internal testing means testing your app by the development team as if you were the end-user. On the other hand, external testing requires you to give the app to people who are not familiar to use your mobile application.
The aim to test your app is to fix bugs and user interface issues. There are tools like TestFairy, UserTesting, and Ubertesters which can help in external testing and to give a rich user experience.
There are two types of testing for every software. Whitebox testing tests the internal structures or workings of an app. Test cases are designed using an internal perspective of the system and programming skills.
While Blackbox testing examines the functionality of the application without viewing the internal workings or structures of an app. The tester knows what the software is supposed to do but doesn’t know how it does it.
Launch Your Mobile App
As your app is now completely developed and tested, it’s time to let the world know about it.
First, submit your app to the respective app store. Whether it’s Play Store or App Store, make sure you strictly follow the guidelines of both app stores. There are also videos and tutorials available online that explain this stage in detail. You can check the videos to know everything in detail. This will improve your app store optimization score and help you make the most out of your app.
However, this is not as easy as it sounds. According to a report by CNBC, Apple’s AppStore rejects over 40% of app submissions every year. While Play Store rejected at least 55% of app submissions. There are various reasons for this rejection like crashes, bugs, privacy policies, software compatibility, and minimum usability.
An app development company understands all the guidelines and policies required to publish an app. In fact, we have published over 2000 iOS apps and 1500 Android apps on App Store and Play Store respectively.
We research the specific permissions and requirements that our client’s app needs to fulfill and guide them accordingly. If you want to get more information regarding this, feel free to contact us. We’ll be happy to tell you about the documentation and process of launching an app. You can smoothen the process to publish the app on App Stores.
Promote and Marketing
It is a common myth that good products don’t need marketing, but that’s not true. Marketing is the voice that tells users who you are, what you stand for, and how you’re different from others.
Companies usually have a huge budget for promotion and marketing these days. If you are a beginner, you can start by simply asking three questions to yourself.
- What problem does your app solve?
- Who is your target audience?
- How can you reach those users?
Whether you have published the app on the app store or not, you can start promoting it. Some of the common ways to promote your app are: use a banner to your website, publish a dedicated blog post about the app, send emails to your existing customers, promote it on social media like Facebook by making interactive videos, publish photos or videos on YouTube and Tweeting on Twitter.
Apart from this, you can also ask influencers to promote your app on their social network via photos or videos if you want to reach more users.
Developed the app, marketed it, people have started using it, what next? The app’s life cycle has just begun
There are two important things you need to do after you are done with the development part of the app.
The first-hand feedback of users plays a vital role when it comes to improving your app performance. After you publish the app, it doesn’t mean you can’t make any changes. In fact, after people have started using your app you can understand what they feel about it.
You can ask your users to give you some feedback on your app. Send everyone an email asking about what they like in the app and which areas can be improved, just a line or two. Further, you can see what the users have rated and what sort of reviews everyone has given. You can also interact with people on Instagram or Facebook page and give them an opportunity to say what they want. Users’ feedback always helps clients to improve and grow for the better.
Another method is using App analytics. You can see how popular your app has become and check details about the user information, like what is the age group, what is the location, or the place of most of the target users. You can see the expectations of your audience.
The point of getting user feedback is that you need to maintain your app. There are mainly three ways that you can plan on updating your app.
Let’s now see answers to some of the most commonly asked questions regarding app development.
Frequently Asked Questions
How much does it cost to build an app?
You can develop your app in just $2000 or spend up to$300000. It depends on what kind of app you want to develop, app building platform, operating system- iOS or Android or hybrid app, features you need in the app, developer’s coding skills, and charge, among other factors.
If you have some great app ideas and need to get a price estimate for them, feel free to contact us. We’ll discuss your requirements and provide a free consultation and a free quote
How long does it take to create an app?
The time required to develop an app can vary in a range of anything from 2-3 weeks to 9+ months. Simple apps are made in a short duration, while complex apps or mobile app building software systems require a longer time. There are multiple factors that need to be considered while estimating the app development timeline like the number and complexity of features, uniqueness of the app design or interface, development complications, use of third-party libraries, and so on.
How do free apps make money?
There are various strategies for monetizing your app that you can use to earn money from it. Here are a few of them:
- In-app purchases
- Collecting and selling data
How to find app developers?
You can find and hire app developers on various websites like Clutch or Upwork. You can check the developer’s work profile as well as see what their previous clients are saying about them. This helps you in making informed decisions based on it. Further, you should also check out the portfolio of developers to see the kind of work they’ve done before. If an app developer or development company has developed a similar app like yours for anyone, this will benefit your project.
How much does it cost to publish an app?
Apple App Store: A developer needs to pay $99 per year to get an approved developer’s account on AppStore. The AppStore also charges a 15% transaction fee for every purchase. In simple words, if downloading your app, subscribing to it, or making an in-app purchase costs $10 for your app, you need to $1.5.
Google Play Store: The developer needs to pay a one-time lifetime registration fee of $25 to become a registered developer on it. For the first year after the app is published, It charges 30% for every purchase which decreases to 15% for subscription apps after a year.
Amazon AppStore: There is no charge to register as a developer and publish your app. They charge a fee of 30% for every purchase.
We hope you found the article useful and got an answer to your question – how to create an app. As your brand-new app has just started getting traction, it’s time to figure out where your skills stand in this app development process steps and do your best to improve it.
However, if you need any guidance from a professional mobile app development agency, you can get in touch with us as we have already developed over 3500 mobile apps for iOS and Android platforms. In fact, we do have over 200 mobile app developers, who are constantly praised and appreciated by our clients. Proof? Here it is:
In any case, if you any query like how much does it cost to develop an app, what is the procedure to create an app and make money, why to develop an MVP before we create an app and app developer cost to hire, feel free to discuss all your queries with our sales representative. Just fill the contact us form and we will assign our best resource who can help you out.