April 1, 2020

8 steps to build an app from scratch – A how to guide!

Mobile uses taking over the desktop and thus the need of App Development. Today, there are more mobile users than desktop, just because of the ease and reach. As per the stats available on Statista, there were 6.8 billion mobile users in 2019, which is forecasted to reach 7.33 billion by 2023.
Mobile Users

There are millions of apps running successfully and hundreds of app uploaded daily on different App Stores to target internet savvy audience with digital content that can be in their reach. According to the stats, around 70% searches performed on mobile and a smart phone user spent approx. 3 hour/day on different apps.

Check here more things about mobile app industry,

Apart from those stats, Smart Insight comes on a conclusion that Mobile users consume more than 2x minutes than desktop users and represented the information in an appealing graphic. As per the chart below, Argentina delivering the largest number of mobile minutes per user. Check more here,

Mobile Consumption
Pic Credit: SmartInsights

After knowing the market demand, and user’s intention, being a business owner or an individual, there might be a thought strike on your mind to launch your own application.  If yes, then you can build an app in just 8 steps from scratch.

8 STEPS TO BUILD AN APP FROM SCRATCH.

A successful application never built in just a single day, it requires in-depth research, complete focus, and eminent skills along with an audience centric promotional strategy. Here’s your how to guide of app development that will help you to build an application in just 8 App development steps.

Idealize the app idea – Purpose & Objectives.

The very first step in this app development guide is to identify why you need an app or why your users will download the application. You have to idealize the idea and the objective of your application. Although, if you already have an app idea, you can move to the next step. Or if not, then you can explore more here.

Well, first of all keep it in mind that there’s no new idea that never being executed or idealize by anyone. If it strikes on your mind than foresure, someone else has already idealize it. There are 4 million plus apps available on Google and Apple App stores combined, and hundreds of app are removing daily.

No of apps
Credit: Statista

So, keep it in mind that every new idea is a revolutionized version of an already existing application or a combination of two or more similar application. If you clear it in your mind you can think more creatively.

#01. Try to Remix

To idealize the app idea, you can do remix of a few similar kinds of applications. The combination of different features usually produces a unique application and twisted versions usually adapted by the audience easily.

You can relate it with the food recipes, most amazing foods are usually a twisted version or the combination of different flavours. Or different games, like “Temple run” and “subway Surfer”, both are similar kind of applications but with a different look and feel.

#02. Focus on your own itch

Usually we ignore the issues that we face in routine and brainstorming on different ways to idealize the idea. But don’t forget, that the simplest looking idea can also produce a great result. Sometimes, our own experience tends us to a unique concept.

For example, Newton idealize the forces of nature and gravity when he saw a falling apple. Similarly, you can idealize the idea through your own itch. If you have the issue, definitely a few more will have the same issue and resolving it through an app will be a great initiative.

Might possible that you got a few applications related to your problem, but you should note them the next technique will help you to identify the scope in it.

#03. Enhance the existing one

You might feel that if “X” application will include “Z” feature, the app will grow its business and reach. I felt it several times. Actually, that’s the creative uniqueness which can be your app idea. Don’t forget that you are not the only one who thinks like that. Just go through the app reviews to identify the exact requirement of users.

If the app owner, didn’t listening to the feedbacks or didn’t updating its app from a long time, it’s your chance to acquire the opportunity and come up with a unique app idea.

Research the market & Competitors.

After the first step, you surely got an idea about your next application that can be a market trend in future. But before that, you need to do an in-depth research about it. You can do it by exploring the similar kind of applications, market demand and user requirement.

Whenever you do research about the competitors, note down their app name, no of downloads, last update, publisher, features, and reviews. These things will help you to idealize how viable your idea is.

You also got the idea about the possible name of the application or got some common keywords that should be there. The details of publishers along with their active presence on user feedbacks will make you understand the user requirements.  Even, you can use “sensortower.com” to identify the estimated downloads and revenue of any application without subscribing for a premium version.

These things will boost your morale and make you understand what required improvisations you need to follow after launching the application.

If you can’t find a competitor or any existing application, you foresure have a unique idea or might possible that the idea isn’t viable. So, initiate the blueprinting of the idea and try to deliver it to your close ones. Their feedbacks will clear your way and give you something that you haven’t thought about.

List out the top features.

Once you research your competitors and go through their ratings and reviews, you got to know the exact demand of users along with the app’s existing features. Although, if you have a unique idea, then you need to dream about it or need to think in different scenario to idealize most adapting features.

You don’t need to think about screen to screen, but you have to think about user need. For an example, if your idea is about dating, you need to write down the features like:

  • User can create account using email or social accounts (Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Instagram, etc.)
  • User need to link any social account to validate their identity.
  • App should fetch details from social networks and allow users to moderate it manually.
  • Users can view profiles, like pictures, post images, send requests and message directly.
  • User can filter their interest and much more.

Try to find out the USP of your application that make a unique space for you in the market and present your application as a new one. Even, you can segregate your features into phases and launch a basic model with proper functionality. This will give you accurate feedbacks from targeted audience and allow you to improve it further.

With this segregation, you can release updated versions several times until you get a perfect product and decrease the chances of failure, which are higher when you launch a complete non-viable product after investing a lot of money.

So, first note down all the features, and segregate them into phases, but keep it in mind that the version 1 with minimum features still solve the problem of users.

Blueprint the rough idea.

Now, you know what exactly you are looking and the features that should be there in the app. As a next step you have to think about the UI of your app and how users will interact with it. You can start sketching your ideas as only you can exactly illustrate how your app should look.

Well, before starting sketching, first segregate your features into different screens like- welcome screen, login/signup screen, main feature screen, sub feature screen, etc. This will make you more comfortable and more creative while illustrating your inception.

First start with the basic main screen of the app, which can show the general idea of the app and your brand. After then, move to the other screens, navigations, etc. Keep your app intuitive and easy to use. Remember, that’s a blueprinting stage and most probably you won’t get final layouts, but you will get an illustration that can be mould in the final designing process.

Tools that can be used in mocking up the app idea

There are multiple tools available online that can encourage you to idealize your application flow. You can roughly create your app screens, your app navigation, and connect them to illustrate the flow using any of those apps instead of scrambling on paper using pencil.

A few of them are as follows:
  • – Sketch
  • – Figma
  • – InVision Studio
  • – Balsamiq
  • – Pencil
  • – Adobe XD
  • – Marvel

You can use them and choose one as per your ease and requirement. In our own preference, we like to use Sketch, Balsamiq, Marvel and Adobe XD.

Initialize the UI/UX process.

After blueprinting the mock-ups for your application, you will have the complete understanding of the app flow. Keep it in mind, that a successful app requires a great user interface that gives a great experience to the audience.

UI needs a high creative mindset and complete worktime to illustrate the final layout of the application. The beneficial part is that you already have the complete flow and now, you just need to bring your app to life visually.

Initialization will bring the rights to present your app flow in front of investors, or partners and developers will integrate the assets directly into the project.

Here’s always some ways to design professionally. Take a look at the options available for you,

01. Hire a professional

The very common and recommended way is “hiring a professional UI designer”, who can create a design for your app professionally. You can search and explore the work portfolio of multiple professionals on “Freelancer”, “Toptal” or “Upwork”, and can easily interview a few of them.

Here’s one more way to find out the best suited work, just check out “uplabs”, “dribble”, or “behance” for the app UI, and whichever you like, try to contact the designer for freelancer work.

02. Buy a ready-made App UI

Here’re a few sites available online, that sells app UI which can be purchased and customized as per the requirement. This option will surely reduce the time frame that usually consumed in custom app designing process and the designing cost too.

But keep it in mind, that buying an already designed app UI usually not matched with the blueprints you have created, and there’s might be several app available or under production with same design, as the UI kit is available for public. Check out the resources: RG Infotech UI Kit.

03. Partner with Tech expert

You can also get recommendations from your colleagues or partners or known ones, who might be in touch with a UI designer or know someone. Even you can also get in touch with local tech experts via LinkedIn or personal meet up events.

04. Learn your own

You can go with your own expertise and learn designing to design your app, but keep it in mind, that it will take more time than regular options and might possible it ends up with a mess if you are not enjoying it at all.

Highlight featured landing page.

After getting your app design done and before moving to development stage, first develop a featured landing page for your app, which highlights the major features, reveals why it is useful and showcase the app flow.

This will help you to target your audience, prepare a great marketing strategy and reach out to more users. The landing page should be concise, elegant, and highly expressive, because before the app it’s your point of contact and the ultimate destination of your user to learn more about the app.

The landing page is also useful to collect emails from the users, which can be later use in email marketing to target audience directly and make them aware about app launch, new feature or app uses. This step will also help you to understand the demand and feedbacks too. Don’t forget that there are millions of app available on app stores and blindly launching your app will cause the failure or slow reach.

You can create a landing page by yourself using “WordPress”, “Wix”, “Weebly”, or “Leadpages” as these platforms are based on “WYSIWYG” and there’s no need of any programming knowledge.

Keep it in mind, that your landing page requires:
  • A clear headline that reveals the app idea.
  • A brief introduction to clear out the app use.
  • App Screenshot and wireframes.
  • A call to action for email signups.
  • A list of features and the use of app.
  • A story of the creator or the journey of app idea.

Initialize the app development.

We’re finally at the stage which lead us to the execution of our idea and after it we can have the live application. As we already did our groundwork and have a landing page along with the design flow of the app, now we need to finalize the platform either Android or iOS or we can go with the hybrid one.

For Native Android, we need to choose “Android SDK” while for iOS, we can go with “XCode or Swift”. Just like previous step, we have a few options to initialize the app development,

01. Learn the code and do it yourself

One of the most time consuming, but the future oriented option for the individuals who wants to earn an in-demand knowledge and start their career in the field of app development.

Although, that’s not a recommended option for organizations or businesses, but even they can acquire it for future purpose. So, if this option appeals you, check out the courses available on the internet. Just search for the preferred development language as your keyword or you can go with the leading educational portals like: Udemy, upgrade, etc.

02. Hire an individual freelancer or development company

This option is more suitable for businesses and organizations, who wants to launch their app without spending more time on the learning how to code and needs excellence at other hand.

The app development company will assist them throughout the process and come up with more accurate solutions while an individual freelancer will be a cost-effective solution for them. To find out a suitable app development company, you can check out, freelancer.com, upwork.com or get some recommendation from your known once.

Don’t think that development means your work done. There’re more steps to go to get an eminent solution for your business.

Test, Submit and Market your App.

Now, it’s time to test your app, and personally I prefer to hire a professional quality analyst, who can test it in detail and make it more valuable for end user. Although, you can share your app with your colleagues, friends and relative ones to get their feedbacks.

Once you done with the feedbacks received in the testing phase, implement them and then submit your app on leading app stores like if your app is in Android, submit it on Google App Store and if it’s in iOS, submit it on Apple iTunes.

Hoorrayyyy! You have launched your app successfully, now it’s time to market your app and get enough users. Although, you have already done pre-launch marketing through your landing page and hope so, you get enough email data as well. You can use app store optimization, email marketing, Digital Marketing, Search engine optimization, influencer marketing and other major forms of marketing to market your app.

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