How many times have you thought of the “next million-dollar app” but done nothing about it? Imagine if one of those app ideas really was worth a million dollars.
There’s no reason you should be ignoring all your great app ideas. Mobile app development is easier than you think; anyone can develop a great app with a little bit of patience and determination.
This seven-step guide will tell you everything you need to know to turn your app ideas into reality.
Read on and start developing!
Come up with Your App Idea
The first step to mobile app development is coming up with an idea. You can’t develop a mobile app if you don’t have an idea to base it on.
Coming up with an idea for a mobile app isn’t something you should rush. It may sound like a cliche, but the best app ideas will come to you when you least expect it.
To bring about that moment of inspiration, you’re going to need to open your mind and pay attention. Take note every time you have difficulty completing a basic task or come across a problem that should be easy to solve.
Coming up with a specific, app-based solution to a common problem is the best way to develop an idea. From there, think about the specific ways your hypothetical app will provide value to your customers.
Write everything you think of down: every problem, every solution, and every app idea. At this stage, there is no such thing as a bad idea.
Do Market Research
Once you’ve thought of a great app idea, do some research to find similar apps that already exist. Read reviews for similar apps; look at how many downloads they have; and play around with them.
If you find apps that do a good job of filling your niche, go back to the brainstorming phase and come up with a new app idea.
If all the apps you find have flaws and bad reviews, use that to inform your own mobile app development. Researching the mistakes made by other app developers is the best ways to avoid making those mistakes yourself.
If there aren’t any apps quite like yours, you may have found a successful app idea. The only way to find out is to move on to the next step.
Decide on a Revenue Model
Now you have a potential money-maker. So, how exactly do you plan on using it to make money?
There are five main revenue models for mobile apps:
- Subscription Model
- In-App Purchases Model
- Premium Model
- Advertising Model
- Pay Per Download Model
Pay per download is the most common method. It’s also a very simple model: if a customer wants your app they have to pay you for it.
But depending on the type of app you’re developing, pay per download may not be the best choice.
If it’s an addictive game, in-app purchases are a great way to keep your customers paying indefinitely. And if it’s an app that requires a huge user base to be successful, an advertising model may be the best option.
Do some reading and choose the best revenue model for your specific app.
Build a Prototype
Now it’s time to start prototyping. This is the stage where you start thinking about what you want your app to actually look like.
Before you begin designing, you might want to check out examples of common mobile app development design patterns.
You don’t need to write any code, but you will need to flex your creative muscles. Make sure your app is aesthetically pleasing, but also focus on the user experience.
A wireframing site is a great way to draw out your app without getting into the nitty-gritty of coding.
Once you have a prototype you’re happy with, you can use it to attract potential investors or buyers.
Build Your App: The Most Important Stage in Mobile App Development
Now for the fun part. This is the stage where you finally turn your idea into a reality.
If you’re an experienced app developer then get down to it and start coding. Otherwise, you could try using a mobile app development platform like Xamarin.
An even easier and lower risk choice is to hire a professional mobile app development company such as MagLoft.
Whichever option you choose, don’t cut corners. Your app will never be successful if it doesn’t work properly.
Once you’ve developed your app, make sure you test it thoroughly. There are thousands of different mobile devices that could potentially use your app, and each one is a bit different.
If you went with a professional app developer, they’ll test it for you. If you did it yourself, be patient and test, test, test.
When you’re happy with your app, release it into the major app marketplaces.
Market Your App
So now you have a fully-functional app. Unfortunately, you’re not the only one: over 1,000 apps are published online every single day.
Making sure your app actually gets noticed is one of the trickiest parts of mobile app development. There are several marketing strategies we recommend you pursue:
- Talk to professional app reviewers to see if they’d like to try out and write about your app
- Promote your app on all forms of social media and encourage your friends and business contacts to do the same
- If you already have a business, use your business’s existing marketing infrastructure to promote your app
- If you have enough cash, advertise online or through other apps
Your app probably won’t get popular overnight, but with a strong marketing strategy, your app will eventually get the attention it deserves.
Improve Your App
Just because you’ve released your app and made a bit of money off of it doesn’t mean you’re done. Monitor what people are saying about your app, and use metrics software to monitor the way they’re using it.
Look for problems, fix them, and release updates.
You should also have a plan for expanding your app’s functionality to build off of your growing popularity and keep customers interested. Mobile app development is a never-ending endeavor, but if you do it right, it will yield never-ending rewards.
Now that you’ve read our guide to mobile app development, get out there and start building apps. There’s no better way to learn.