Do you have the perfect idea for a mobile app? One that will be incredibly popular and nobody has ever thought about before? Or are you simply overwhelmed by app development and its design process, and you want a simple guide that breaks each step down?
Don’t worry. This 12 step guide to building an app will bring your ideas to mobile devices all over the world, beginning with…
Step 1: Define Your Goal
However obvious this foundational step is, many people ignore it. When you start building your mobile app you need to clearly define your goals and strategy. What do you want it to do? What problem is it going to solve? Whose life will it make better?
Knowing exactly what you want will bring you from start to finish faster. For added measure, use one of these apps here to ensure you stick to your goals!
Step 2: Sketch Your Ideas
This step requires you to visually conceptualize the main features and sketch the foundation for your future interface. A rough draft of your app’s layout and structure of will help you and everyone on your team see each step clearly. Here is a great place to get you started.
Step 3: Research
Researching has three main purposes:
- To find any apps similar to your idea
- To find inspiration in interface and design
- To find the technical requirements for your app
At the moment there are 1 million apps for Andriod and iOS, so creating a revolutionary app is very unlikely. Nonetheless, don’t get discouraged, but instead focus on your own project, while learning from the key features and mistakes of your competitors.
For inspiration, Dribble allows designers to showcase their work and get feedback from fellow developers. You can also find ideas regarding design, implementation, and technical requirements for your app.
Step 4: Create a Wireframe and Storyboard
These sites let you put representative graphics into place and add button functionality, so that you can review your app from screen to screen.
During the wireframing process, create a storyboard. This builds a roadmap to help you understand the connection between each screen and how the user can navigate through your app.
Step 5: Test Your Prototype.
Ask your friends, family, colleagues, and experts to review your prototype. You want their honest feedback and opinions.
The purpose of the prototype is to review your app before the concept goes into the design process because it is much harder to tweak ideas.
SolidfyApp is a great place to quickly build a prototype of your app and have users test it.
Step 6: Define the Back End
You should have a clear idea of what you want your app to be. From here you need to set up your servers, APIs, and storage solutions. If there are any technical limitations, you’ll also need to make modifications. This guide here helps you choose the best backend for your iOs app.
Step 7: Sign Up For Developer Accounts
It usually takes several days before your account is approved; but the sooner, the better.
Step 8: Design the App “Skins”
Develop the individual screens needed for the app or the “skins”. This step turns your wireframes into high-resolution versions. Go to WebAppSkins to get you started.
It’s also critical you incorporate all tester comments and feedback toward creating the perfect UI-User Interface. After all, you want your target audience to actually use your app.
Step 9: Test Again
You should have your actual app concept finished, all the graphics inserted, and the text in place. Test your app again to get know how it will really look. Apps like Solidify and Framer allow you to import your app designs and test the flow from screen to screen.
Also get more feedback from your future users.
Step 10: Revise
After the second round of tests, incorporate any feedback and make changes as you deem fit. Your app is in its final stages of launch. Here are 5 free apps that aid revision.
Step 11: Refine Each Detail
Near its end, you want to constantly review your app. Android makes this easy. For instance, you can easily install your app file on a device to test its functionality. iOs, however, requires a platform like TestFlight to test your app.
Step 12: Launch
Every app marketplace has different policies regarding publishing. For instance, Android does not review nearly submitted apps immediately, so you can add your app to Google Play immediately.
iOS, once again, is different. Apple reserves the right to review and approve your app before it can go live. Expect at least a week before you hear back from them.
You can also submit your app to PreApps. PreApps is an app marketplace that gives you the opportunity to reach early adopters and receive your very first feedback on your completed app.
From here you want to start marketing and monetizing your app. But that’s a completely different ballgame.