How to Develop an App: A Simple Step-by-Step Guide and Best Practices for 2022
Building mobile apps is a complex process, and it takes some time. You have to keep many little intricacies in mind. So, knowing where to begin and where to go can be daunting. But you can follow this blueprint.
Developing a mobile app was a pipedream a while ago. But today with a plethora of templates and tools available in the market, it is not very difficult.
However, building a mobile app that suits your business needs and keeps your target users hooked without breaking your bank is still a tough task. Anyone with little knowledge can build an app. But how would you know that the app you're building is going to be loved by users?
Well, the only way to ensure this is to follow some simple yet critical guidelines that we're going to mention in this blog. By the time you finish reading, you'll learn how to create highly-functioning, visually-appealing mobile apps on time without going over budget. Let's dive in:
How to Build Mobile Apps in 10 Simple Steps
Building mobile apps is a complex process, and it takes some time. You have to keep many little intricacies in mind. So, knowing where to begin and where to go can be daunting. But you can follow this blueprint:
Step 1: Begin with an Idea
This has to be a no-brainer. An idea will act as a treasure map for your mobile app. Only when you know what you want to achieve and how your app can help in that, can you head somewhere? Otherwise, you'll keep running round and round. So, always start with an idea and then pave your way further.
Step 2: Figure out the Monetization Part
This is where most mobile app creators go wrong. They think app monetization is a later step and they should worry about creating the app first. What they don't realize is that integrating monetization in your app will also influence the user interface design.
So, I would advise you to figure out how your app would make money first. Here are a couple of monetization strategies you can choose from:
- In-app purchases & upgrades
- Pay-to-download model
- In-app advertisements from third parties
Step 3: Select the Features you Need from the Desired Features
While building a mobile app, you might be overwhelmed with all the amazing things it is capable of. However, you must also keep in mind that packing your app with too many features is not a good thing. It may overwhelm users and make them drift away from your app rather than attract them.
What I suggest is to strike a balance between functionality and ease of use. Only include the necessary features in the first version of your app. Then, based on the user feedback, make further additions.
Step 4: Sketch the Wireframe & User Journey
Once you've figured out what you want with your app and what features you want to include in it, it's time to create a wireframe and user journey layout. It will help understand all necessary steps a customer would take to complete the desired action. You can take help from experts like information architects or digital strategists for this purpose.
Step 5: Design Your App's Interface
The next step after creating the wireframe and customer journey map is to design the app's interface by adding graphics, colors, and designs. The idea is to create a compelling experience that keeps users hooked. A design interface will help you in evaluating the entire look and feel of your app.
Step 6: Develop Your App
This is where the actual heavy lifting begins. Developers start writing the code which is then tested and finally integrated into the production environment after rigorous testing. The biggest challenge in this stage is to ensure the code is working fine and the app is behaving exactly the way you had intended.
Step 7: Perform QA Testing on Each Feature
Testing is an integral part of the mobile app development process. Without it, there are greater chances that bugs will go unnoticed and you'll deliver a low-quality app. QA testing will ensure every feature works the way we want and users can smoothly use it. Hence, you must pay close attention to QA testing during mobile app development.
Step 8: Launch Your App in the Store
Once you've thoroughly tested your app and noticed there are no quality issues in it, the next step is to launch the app in the app store or Google Play Store. From here, users can download your app, use it, and submit their feedback.
Step 9: Market Your App to Your Target Audience
Here's a harsh truth about mobile apps:
"Your app might have an intuitive design and promising features, users will not download it unless they've heard about it."
Hence, marketing your app is as essential as developing it. Many people think of marketing as an afterthought. However, marketing is what paves a way for your app's success.
Ideally, marketing and development should go hand-in-hand. It should start with figuring out your target audience, developing the app through their preferences, and sparking curiosity through teaser videos. Audience curiosity is not something you create out of thin air. It involves a lot of careful nurturing.
Step 10: Continually Improve Your App
In reality, mobile app development is never complete. It's a never-ending journey where you keep improving your app based on customer feedback. Also, certain bugs will pop up as the technology stack will change and the old ones will become obsolete.
You would want to fix them as soon as possible. Besides, you would also want to add new features with time. So, this last step in app development will continue going on.
A Few Best App Development Practices to Make Your Mobile App Stand Out
- Always keep an open eye on your competitors. They can be your best guides and inspiration and can teach you a lot of things.
- Make sure your app's interface is simple and uncluttered. Serving too many things on a plate can only overwhelm these users and drive them away. Simplicity is what attracts them the most.
- Navigation should be simple. Each step should point the user towards a certain goal. In simple words, the app should simplify its work and not complicate it further.
- Security matters the most in your app. Make sure you're taking all necessary measures to safeguard apps from cyber threats.
Frequently Asked Questions about Mobile App Development
1. How Much Does it Cost to Build an App?
In general, mobile app development costs from $200,00 to $350,000. But it extremely depends upon the type of app you want to build. Extremely simple apps can cost as low as $50,000.
On the other hand, innovative apps with VR/AR features can even cost around $500,000. A better approach will be to talk to a mobile app development company and get an accurate estimate from them.
2. How Long Does it Take to Build an App?
- Typically a mobile app takes around 9-12 months to develop. Although, here are a couple of things that may impact this:
- App versions and features. More app versions may mean that a business requires less number of features in the first version. This means the app will develop faster.
- A client with a higher budget can afford a larger team, and hence the app will be developed faster.
- If you are developing the app from scratch, the timeline may increase to a larger extent.
In a Nutshell
Building a mobile app is a big gamble. If you really want to win it, make sure each move is calculated. Work with what problems users face and how your app idea solves them. Talk to customers, know their viewpoint, and take their feedback as a reference to build the app they desire. Although, it’s easier said than done. But with practice, you’ll nail it. Best of luck.