There is an app for almost everything! If you have been weighing the pros and drawbacks of designing one yourself, then consider this: they are always in demand. Even with considerable competition for apps based on similar concepts, there is little to no barrier for launching another unique app of your own. Moreover, who know, your product might end up being the next wildly popular and played game in the market!
However, to build an app, you might need some pointers. Below, we list the five basic things that will get you started in the right direction:
Have a plan
A plan is the first part of any successful endeavor. Therefore, you will need to make one before you start building an app. We’d suggest going old-fashioned and using a pen and a paper for this stage. Begin by defining the objective you’d want the app to achieve.
It is best to get into app development by penning down some relevant questions. Look at the following examples to get an idea:
- What is the app going to achieve?
- How will it attract users?
- Which problem will the app be solving?
- Does it simplify the life of its users?
- How will you market the app?
The plan should clearly set goals, or it won’t be as effective! Now that you have listed the questions, you’d want to spend some time finding the answers to them. With these answers, it will be much easier to sketch out what the app should look like. However, that will require a tad more visual clarity.
Draw a budget
App development, even at its simplest, will require you to spend a considerable amount of money. Be prepared for spending at least $10,000 and increase in cost for code-heavy apps. What might tighten the budget a bit is if you possess the basic design skills. That way, you could do that on your own. However, it will still require you to hire a programmer and a designer.
Hence, you will need a budget to build your app. Defining one and then sticking to it will help keep the expenditure under control. The stronger your idea for the app is, the easier it would be to sell it to the other people involved in its conception. After all, if it is that good, you may even be in a position to convince others to charge less in trade of equity.
Just remember, developers are in high demand, but there aren’t as many of them. Resultantly, they quote outrageous prices to come on board. Some might even want to be paid upfront while others will expect to be paid for a few days’ worth of work. Any decent developer wouldn’t shy away from working on your app full time, which is the kind of person you should be looking to hire. Another thing to keep in mind is that you will need their cooperation for any updates in the future. Therefore, include that in the deal you offer and write it down, so it is binding! It is easy to find boilerplate contracts on the internet and use if you don’t want to spend more on a lawyer.
It might lower the cost if you won’t let the fact that people you hire are situated locally. There are always ways to get together and work on the app, such as through regular Google Hangouts.
Lastly, you will be publishing your app via a platform like Android or Apple. For that, you will need a developer’s account, and the platforms can charge as much as $100 for that. Don’t forget to add that to your budget!
Allow easy navigation
Since this is going to be your first app, it is a good idea to go for a more straightforward approach. It will also attract more users to it. After all, a bunch of links that offer different a gazillion options might confuse them. Wouldn’t you instead have clearly marked options that make the app easy to use and intuitive?
So, ensure the in-app navigation is seamless. Your users shouldn’t have to visit several pages to get where they want to be. One way of doing that is by limiting the number of clicks through utilized scrolling. No interruption would make your app work more smoothly. Another idea would be to provide buttons that are big and wide. The ideal width that makes it easier for a user to tap a button is between 1.5-2 cm.
Making any in-app purchases easy will make navigation more manageable for the users. Thus, instead of placing these purchases at the end of a complicated maze of links, it is better to make them more visible. Put the button that completes the transaction after a purchase on every page. That way your users can check out what they want.
Lastly, include the feature of storing user information in your app. Don’t put your users through the agony of entering their information every time they want to make a purchase. Details like billing and shipping addresses should be stored within your app. additionally, you can also allow them to edit their information by placing an easily accessible button for editing.
Remember, your goal is to make the app simple and easy to use. That doesn’t mean you should serve the users an app that is incomplete or leaves them vulnerable to Airg spam. Trim things down but make sure the relevant information is still available to the users. Otherwise, you may be looking at a low conversion rate!
Research your target market
With the generic details taken care of, this step requires you to look at the specifics. It is likely that you will be targeting a targeting a particular section of the user market for your app. So, you will have to do some research to find the right concept to base it on. First, take a global look at the app market. Try to underline how your target audience interacts with apps like yours and the trends currently in play.
While doing your research, you will need to determine the following pieces of information:
- How old your users would be
This would influence different aspects of user behavior. For instance, how tolerable they will be to lack of security, how much time they on spend using apps, etc.
- Their geographic location
- The source of information they usually use
- What kind of device your users will be using
- What their connectivity status is
This is important since apps that take too long to load will put off users with low internet connectivity. It will also determine the likelihood of the user deleting your app from their device if your product is taking too much space but doesn’t offer high utility.
- How often they will be able to download
Usually, app users dislike downloading things on their devices. You may have to place a limit on the number of downloads.
- Their financial situation
You might be able to gather the data for your research by creating a buyer persona. Thinking of the ideal user you envision for your app would give you deeper insights into how it should work.
Dare to walk off the path
If you want to generate app buzz, then you will have to serve something that is less traditional but fresh! With so many apps like yours already populating the market, it would be harder to get noticed. Therefore, make it your objective to produce something that solves user problems and keeps them interested too.
That said, you shouldn’t put too much pressure on yourself! You are a beginner in this field, and it might take a few wrong tries to get you there. You might find it a struggle to keep the app simple yet intriguing for the users. As you become more skilled, you will be making apps that you can sell!