Articles From an Idea to a Mobile App

From an Idea to a Mobile App

By: Jhonny Cohen

July 9, 2016 no comments

 

The apple has fallen on your head, and you know you have a great idea for a mobile app, now is the ideal time to transition your vision for the app into a reality. With a good guide and laid out plan even an inexperienced entrepreneur without any coding capabilities can successfully produce a mobile app. When building a mobile app there are five steps you need to take. These five steps will take an idea all the way from a paper sketch to a full blown mobile app.

 

Step one: Identify the Problem

 

Notebook, pencil and paper trashed, thinking about a mobile app

Before hiring an mobile apps development company we recommend you take the time to identify the problem, what the app is going to solve, in this step you don’t need to worry about the details in your mobile app, you don’t need to think about the design specifics or the development platform, but you should focus on the issue that your app is here to fix. in order to create a successful app, your app needs to solve a problem or hold a value to the user, a really successful app will manage to do both.

 

“But There are other apps that solve the same problem”

Great! you’ve just proven that there is a market for the app, and that others zeroed in on the problem and are trying to solve it. you can list right now at least 10 email applications that exist, valid and used by thousands of users, They all have a place in the market. The only thing you need to worry focus on now is how your app will be different, how to provide the same solution but give the user a bigger value in using your solution. what will distinguish your app, a better design with nicer UX experience, better features maybe? Try to refine it so you are still solving the problem and target the same audience that is proven to exist by your competition but getting it to the place that your app is with most value to the user. One more thing, Instead of worrying that you are too late, and someone already stole your idea, get yourself to the state of mind that this is a benefit, you have the opportunity to learn from the mistakes of others, learn from the successes of others, and provide a solution that is much better then the competition.

 

Step Two: Determine the Solution

So, you figured out the problem that your app is going to solve, It’s time to start working on the solution. The first version of your product will not be the complete solution and will not be the ultimate app for this problem, you are guessing at best on the solution for your users, this can be an educated guess, but still a guess. Only once you are in the market and receive feedback from real users you start refining the mobile app  features and get it to be the ultimate solution.

 

This is why we suggest our clients to build an MVP (Minimum Viable Product), the first version that contains just enough features to gather validated learning  about the product and its continued development.

 

In order to present an educated guess in the first version, getting the help of experts is a must. Coming to a mobile development company that dealt with hundreds of mobile apps launches will give you the ability to refine your idea and get an ideal first solution, If you can afford it, working with a mobile development company will provide you with expert insight and experience.

 

 

Step Three: Creating the Spec Set

 

Laptops, sketches, procees of building a mobile app

Now that you have a clear idea of the problem and the solution you are going to supply the world, it’s time to build the first version of your app and get it to market as fast as possible. It’s extremely important at this point to build and launch a Minimum Viable Product that is smart, effective and with high quality. With over one million apps available in the App Store and in Google Play, competition is high and low-quality apps with a substandard user experience won’t succeed.

 

Create a Specification Documentation:

Whether you are building your app yourself, with your own team, or with a development company, you should create a spec doc. A spec doc for a mobile app  is a written document that details the specifications of an app, including the design of the product and a description of the technologies needed for the project. A spec doc will make it easier to communicate your product vision with team members, developers, and investors, and it will serve as a reference throughout the process of building the app. Additionally, the exercise of creating a spec doc will help you to define and narrow your product, which means lower costs and faster development cycle.

Create a Wireframe or Mockups:

A wireframe is a blueprint or basic layout of the screens that will be included in your app. The easiest and quickest way to create a wireframe is by using pen and paper. At this point, you can begin imagining the physical features of your app. Try to draw out each screen of your product from start to end, and think about the experience you want your users to have when using going from screen to screen (the user flow). While going through this exercise of creating a basic wireframe, remember to focus on your defined product and don’t get carried away by adding unnecessary elements. always think from the point of view of the user, if you created a flow that for instance for registration a user needs to go through 8 screens, you probably overdid it, and you should think about reducing it to 1-2 screens flow, so the user will not be exhausted in the process.

Turn the Wireframes into Design:

Before you can go ahead and start coding, you must have high-fidelity designs of all of the app screens. Pay attention as this can make or break your product, as we said before, there is a strong competition in the mobile market, and if your app will have a sleek and gorgeous design you increase your chances to success by at least 40% – 50%, this is in the end what your users see, this is crucial to make your app stand out from the rest. A great app design will make your users feel good while using your app, even unconsciously, this in some cases what will make them decide that this is the solution for them.

 

Mobile App Documentation Set

in the end of this process you should have:

  • Detailed specification documentation.
  • Wireframes and/or Mockups
  • High Fidelity designs.

When the  specification docs, wireframes, mockups and designs are done, your are ready to start actually developing the app, it’s time to start coding.

 

Step Four: Develop the first version of your Mobile App

 

Laptop with a code editor open, Development of a mobile app

 

If you can afford it, hiring an app development company to build your app is your best bet. Because of their experience, a reputable development agency will likely deliver a high-quality app in a short period of time. If built by a good development company, your app will be worked on by a team of individuals, each of whom is an expert in his or her own field. These development experts are likely to have a good grasp on the ever-changing landscape of app competition and Apple Store acceptance, and they will use this knowledge to your app’s advantage throughout the development process. 

 

Putting together a team of developers is another approach for building your app. While there are definite upsides to keeping development internal, the process of building a team is often time-consuming and expensive. unlike the well-oiled machine of a good mobile development companies, there is no guarantee that a team you have put together yourself “will work well together.”

 

It’s also possible to develop a first version app on your own. However, doing so requires having full stack developing capabilities (the ability to do both front-end and back-end development) – not to mention, a lot of time. Moreover, you will probably need an iOS App as well as an Android App, this means knowing a lot of coding languages, but if you are up for this adventure, go ahead dive in and create your first version of your product, if not, you should probably hire someone.

 

Step Five: Review and rebuild with Market Feedback

 

Street with a lot of cars and signs, represent market and users

Once your app is ready, and you are satisfied with your product, you can release it to the market (App Store, Google Play, Amazon). Before you do so, make sure you integrated at least some ways of getting user feedback and Insights, integrate Google Analytics, AppFlyer, SuperSonic, or any other excellent tool to gain traction and get insights on your users, and how to provide them with better features and a better solution in the second version of your app. You need to see what features are getting a positive feedback, what are the shortcomings, and how to improve the experience for your users in the next development cycle.

 

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