There is an app for everything you can imagine, they work as an efficient tool in successful business strategies. Many products and service-based companies need to know how to develop an app to be successful in this modern tech-based world. Apps can be developed as an extension of your existing business or used to create new business from scratch.
Whether you want to create an app for your business or build the next big thing, this guide is for anyone who wants to know how to start an app?
If you are a non-technical user or a first-time builder, it will guide you through the steps of app development in a simple way that can be understood by anyone.
Market Stats to Reveal the Need of a Mobile App
Before getting into the steps to create an app, it is important to understand why having mobile apps can streamline you into a lucrative market. Below are some statistics, clearly stating the current state of mobile app market:
- Users spend over $380 billion worldwide purchasing in-apps.
- There are over five-million apps on the market.
- In 2020 the total app ad profit was $581.9 billion.
- It is predicted the revenue for 2023 will reach upwards of $935 billion.
- In Q1 of 2021, the Apple App Store brought in $31.8 billion, and Google Play accumulated $36.7 billion.
- Predictions show by 2025 spending solely on the App Store will reach $200 billion.
- 79% of games and 50% of non-games use monetization strategies via in-app purchases.
- 98% of the revenue from Google Play is accumulated by free apps.
The below graph represents the mobile app revenues worldwide that are predicted to be valued at $935.2 billion in 2023. Here is shown overall revenue between the period 2014 to 2023. As per the stats, we can predict that the mobile app industry will have tremendous growth in the coming time.
How to Make an App: A Step-By-Step Guide
As per the industry trends, having an app is important for businesses, but things get tough for stakeholders who are non-technical, or not much tech-savvy. The mobile app development process can be categorized into three parts—pre-development, development, and post-launch.
Many businesses want to know how to create an app from scratch, this below article will provide them an understanding of the steps to create an app while simplifying the mobile app development process. You won’t learn how to code an app but instead, how to create an app from scratch.
There are 11 steps of app creation, including the information regarding how to publish it on the App Store or Play Store.
Step 1: Find Your App Idea & Name
Before anything else, come up with an app idea and a suitable name that stands out on the App and Play Stores. If you don’t know where to start, refer to the following steps.
Combine Elements from Other Apps
If you have an idea similar to an existing app you can revise it. Find a few different apps, note the pros and cons of each, then combine to create your app idea. This is a simple process that leads to excellent results.
i.e., The Google Lens app combined the ideas of the camera and Google search. It simply is an image recognition software that helps in revealing information of the scanned object using its visual analysis. This can be used to copy text, translate, search the web, and more.
Find Issues and Provide a Solution
The issues other applications have can be a great start for your app. Your target audience wants the solution for their existing problems. You’re emerging with the solution they’ve waited for, which results in a must-have app.
Improve Existing App
Improving an application, you already have on the market is a successful initiative for the long term. All your current users will appreciate the added quality, and the perceived value of your app will increase.
If an app’s owner is not updating an application, it is easy for someone else to come in and improve their idea, which is another option to create your app if you don’t already have one on the market.
Tip: Make sure to read the app’s reviews to better understand what the market asks to be changed. Learning your market’s wants will streamline your app to success.
Naming Your App
While choosing a name, find one that matches your products, your services, and your industry.
Here is the proper app naming procedure:
- Your name reflects your brand image.
- Your name is unique.
- Your name is easy to pronounce and remember.
- Your name appeals to a global audience, not just local.
Tip: This is the ideal time to patent your mobile app
Read Also: A Complete Guide to Mobile App Development
Step 2: Research
Research is the most important part of the initial phase of app development. If you have started going through reviews in step 1, you are already embarked on Step 2. Reviews and ratings allow you to understand trends in your market. This way you’re not spending time and money developing something your market doesn’t want or need.
72% of mobile apps have low customer retention due to inadequate market research at the beginning of app development.
Your App Budget
The cost to develop an app depends on the features your app has, its size, design, type, structure, expected cost of marketing and maintenance, where the mobile app development company is located, and many more facts.
Missing Features from Other Apps
First and foremost, list the features you want to focus on, the core features. Next, create a list derived from competitors’ apps, what they have that you want to implement, what they’re missing, or what users are asking for that you can create in your own app. You can get a majority of this information through app reviews.
Ratings and Reviews of Other Apps
The reviews of app design, engagement, and UX are goldmines of information before finding the answer to how to design an app. Always stay focused on what the users want and need. Downloading the app will get you a hands-on experience so you can see firsthand what you’d do differently.
Tip: Make sure you look at both high and low-rated apps to get a complete understanding of what the market is asking for.
The Last Update of Other Apps
Apps that aren’t being updated regularly are not being well maintained, meaning they aren’t adhering to their market’s requests. This could be a large community for you to provide a solution for.
On the other hand, if an app is regularly updated, take notes on this competitor, and see what is working well for them.
Monitor and Enhance App Performance
Monitoring app performance with analytic tools will teach you how to develop an app with the best execution of features post-launch. This offers your insight into how your users will be using your app, what sections hold engagement, and their ease of navigation and actions within the app. These insights outline improvements and enhancements to be done.
Few Important Key Performance Indicators
Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) will measure the progress of your app toward long-term goals and will show you the overview of where your numbers lie at any time.
Here are important numbers to track with your KPIs:
A) User Behavior
This analyzes how and why users interact with your app. Knowing this number will ensure you know how to build an app that is engaging for your users.
Your conversions give the success ratio of your application. Keep an eye on the top and lowest conversions to better understand what your app and market need over time.
C) Active Users
This is developed over time but is essential in the success of your application to understand how many users are active and keep coming back.
The engagement graph shows the daily user engagement, where the users are spending the most time, and how they are interacting with your application.
E) Adoption and Acquisition
This graph shows you information regarding people going to your app via acquisition and the adoption is the numerical value of those visitors turning into users.
The average revenue per user (ARPU) and average revenue per paid user (ARPPU) are found here for a selected timeframe.
Step 3: Features and Functions to Include
The next step in the app development process. After coming up with your idea, name, and researching your market, the next most important thing is planning your app’s functionality and features.
Identify Core Functions Features
In this step, write all the features and functionalities you’ve gotten from your market research, add the ones that provide the market with the solutions they require. This is one of the most fun steps to develop an app, allow your mind to run free during this brainstorming session.
Are you wanting to add any extra features like facial recognition? Or a payment gateway perhaps?
If it solves the problem of your users easily, try integrating these features when you create an app for your business.
Tip: Make sure to look at the apps in both the App Stores and Play Stores to see where each is lacking or excelling.
The Irrelevant Feature Check
Adding irrelevant features affects app performance. For the initial launch, only include the features that add the necessary value to your app. You can always add more once the MVP is on the market.
By doing this, you can gain insight from the customer reviews and feedback then implement features accordingly. Not only can you save costs, but also gives a high-quality UX.
This will help you and your team to focus entirely on the things that matter. Use this list as a guide to get started with app development.
Remove Irrelevant Features
If you add irrelevant features to your app, its performance will be affected. In starting, be sure you list only the top features that add value to your app.
The first goal is to get the base application on the market, then, you’ll have your user reviews and feedback helping you implement what they are wanting.
Step 4: Create Mobile App Wireframing
Now you have a structure in place, it’s time to combine it with wireframing.
Start with a Sketch
What do you want your app to look like? Brainstorm a few sketches in this step of the mobile app development process. Create sketches for your logo, its layout, colors, as much as you can. Keep in mind the layout of the app and how your user will flow from screen to screen.
Tip: A flowchart will lay out the steps of the jobs your app performs. Later you can easily turn these steps into a series of wireframes.
Sketch Main Screens
Each screen your user visits needs to have systematic designs that match the overall theme of the application. In the end, you will have a clear idea of how many screens your app needs.
Sketch Main Navigation
Navigation is a crucial element of your app’s screen, it’s what the user will always see when switching from one screen to the next. Whether a header, footer, hamburger, or slide-in-the-side menu, come up with a simple navigation screen that works for your users’ needs.
The easier the screens are to access from another, the better. Users shouldn’t have to put in much effort to flow through your app, it should feel natural.
Onboarding through tutorials is an excellent way to have the user know how to easily navigate your app. This is especially useful for more complex applications.
Make usability easier
The UX is everything when it comes to applications. You may feel it’s easy as the designer, but ask yourself how can I build an app so simple; a 6-year-old could navigate it? After, finalize what will be displayed on each screen and arrange the elements.
How to Design Mobile App Wireframes?
Mobile app wireframes are blueprints that assist you, your programmers, and designers in thinking and communicating about the core of your app.
After sketching the screens in different ways, narrow down your options keeping only the simplest.
How to Create a Mobile App Wireframe?
Create a mobile app wireframe by following either of these two ways:
Offline: Grab your pen and paper to create mobile app wireframing.
Online: There are various tools you can utilize for wireframing, Adobe Suite, Mockflow, and Fluid UI are some of the most popular. You easily choose a tool or template and sketch. You’ll need to show the full-screen flow, from opening your mobile app to attaining the objective. While understanding how to make an app, get to know these tools to use them appropriately.
Top UI Prototyping & Wireframing Tools:
- Fluid UI
Step 5: Select the Right Platform & Tech Stack
Since there are many ways to build apps. Before you begin to create an app for your business, determine which development strategy is best for what you’re creating.
The right method is based on your budget, app type, time-to-market, and technical skill level of your mobile app development company.
The Decision Between iOS Apps or Android Apps
A platform needs to be chosen before starting any development effort. Again, review the market and analyze who is your targeted customer?
It will be a wise business decision to build an app compatible with both platforms. Creating an app for only one will result in a loss of profit and customers because you won’t be geared toward a substantial part of the population.
The only way you have to choose between the two is if you’re coding a native app. For this, it is recommended you have two separate versions, or two similar but different apps.
Luckily, there are hybrid mobile app development services that allow you to create an app for both OS simultaneously.
Get to know about the different platforms below to choose for mobile app deployment. Read them properly and go for the right one:
Native App Development
Native app development is developing an app for either Android or iOS. If you’re looking to have maximum downloads and generate profit via advertisements, the Android system is ideal. “Android is the ideal mobile app monetization strategy.” could be a good option here, but the keyword says strategies, not strategy. But this would make the keyword present twice at both the beginning and end of the article. Currently, it is present once.
However, if you want to target both systems, you’ll have to develop another app for Apple users. Or you can hire two to create your iPhone and Android apps, one for each. The downside is, with two codebases, it is hard to streamline updates.
Cross-platform Mobile App Frameworks
You can create hybrid apps that run on both iOS and Android platforms. There are several frameworks available like Framework 7 or React Native, which let you create a single app and use it over both platforms.
Their performance isn’t as direct as native development which is more notable for games via lagtime. The downside is the extra features you want to add will be harder to integrate later, it can strain the maintenance budget down the road. Acquiring cross-platform app development services will also help you to have less development time and reduced costs.
Tip: Hybrid apps are recommended for individual developers with limited budgets.
Hybrid App Development
Progressive Web App Development
The progressive web app is a collection of optimal software development practices designed to make a web app act the same as a desktop or mobile app. The PWAs run on a browser, be it any of them. This makes users able to use a native-like mobile version of their preferred website. It is considerable that PWA development services are the most preferable services by enterprises in the recent time.
The Programming Language
For Android and iOS, there are different programming languages. Android uses a Java-like structure whereas iOS works with objective C.
- Create an account with Android Studio.
- Design the interface using XML
- Write the logic using all languages like Kotlin, Java, and C++.
Tip: More than 50% of developers are using Kotlin to develop Google apps.
- Download XCode IDE
- Knowledge of Swift language is required.
Tip: Objective-C is a good option; however, Apple is to be moving away from C-based languages. Swift is reportedly easier to use and work with.
With hybrid apps you won’t have to choose just one platform, you can have an app that will be compatible with both Android and iOS. To develop a cross-platform or a hybrid app, many frameworks are available there such as React Native, Flutter, Framework7, PhoneGap, and others. While knowing about how to create an app, you must know about these frameworks as well. These will help you build a single app that can be deployed on both platforms. It will directly reduce your overall app development time and cost.
Read Also: Top 10 Mobile App Development Frameworks
Step 6: Customize Your Design
Your app’s appearance is very important, it’s more than a color scheme. The question is – how to create a mobile app that shows off your objective while looking great? The next of the steps to create an app for your business is utilizing app makers to customize look and provide customers a unique experience. Or you can hire the best app designers for different aesthetics to make your app what you want.
While discussing how to make your own app, the first thing that comes to mind is the layout and engaging design. For knowing how to design an app, here are the steps. You must have to consider app design as well while thinking about steps to develop an app:
Your app icon is the face of your app, your user will see it every time they see their screen. Company logos are great here, if you don’t have one you need to design one too. Always discuss the app display design with your designer.
The layout is the way the elements in your app are laid out. How the app appears, and functions have a huge impact on the way your users perceive your app. Many ready-made templates can easily be customizable to your business, or you can create your own.
Fonts & colors
It isn’t what you say, instead, how you say it and how it looks. The fonts and colors you choose must be readable for your user. The font must remain consistent in the header, layout, navigation, and throughout the pages.
Tip: Minimalistic designs are the most aesthetically pleasing.
Read Also: How Much Does An App Development Cost?
Step 7: Choose the Right Option to Build an App
Developing a mobile app takes time considering everything going into them and there is no app development technique best for everyone. It depends on many factors like your budget, needs, app type, etc.
i.e., For a gaming app, native development will make the most sense. An app for personal use, however, could use a cookie-cutter method and flourish.
App-building platforms are a great option for non-tech users by customizing, simplifying, and expediting these steps, at a reasonable rate. Below are some of the steps to follow while developing an app-
Drag-and-Drop App Builders
Drag-and-drop builders are ideal for limited budgets with many options to choose from. With AppSheet, BuildFire, or Appy Pie you can develop your app without coding. Simply drag and drop your features and your app will be built quickly.
These builders give you the freedom to create an app without the wait and large expenditure. Keep in mind, you will experience limitations with these builders, especially with free versions.
The downsides include less security for confidential information due to 3rd-party access, and limited access to new tools and technology, which hinders the performance of your app.
Tip: Find a plan that gives you the freedom to optimize and customize your app however you want.
You may not have the time to learn to code, another option is for you to hire a freelancer to help with development from a freelancing website.
Partner with a Programmer
Another option is partnering with a skilled programmer. Those with successful histories within the business may have a better opportunity doing this than a start-up.
Hire Mobile App Developer
Hiring an app developer will assist you from consultation, through app development, to management services that freelancers can’t offer. It costs more than hiring a freelancer, but you get more services also.
Time Taken in Building an App
The time is based on a variety of factors: the type of app being developed, its complexity, and the development method all affect your timeline.
The majority of apps can be created in 6-12 months; however, the more complex ones can take years to get perfect.
When building simple applications like a flashlight, all the steps of developing an app can be completed in a week or less. Still, if you’re trying to build the next big thing could take more years.
Step 8: Test Your Mobile App
After you make the app, you have to test it ensuring the UX is virtually flawless before launch. There are many mobile app testing strategies, you should do at least two: internal and external tests.
Internal testing is provided by the mobile app development company acting as if they were the end-user. White box testing is the type of internal testing that tests the internal workings of an app. Test cases are designed using an internal perspective of the system and programming skills.
External testing gives the app to beta-testers outside the company who are unfamiliar with your application. Like in Whitebox testing, it tests the internal workings of an app. Tests are designed to get an external perspective of the system and UX.
Both tests aim to fix user interface issues, bugs, and glitches. Tools like UserTesting, Ubertesters, and TestFairy, help in external testing resulting in an overall higher quality UX.
Read Also: A Complete Guide to Mobile App Testing
Step 9: Launch Your App
Now your app is developed, and all the bugs are fixed, it’s time to launch. Submit your app to the store(s) using the following guidelines for each.
Steps To Submit Your App on Google Play Store
For quick submissions, have everything you’ll need: description, feature graphic, screenshots, video link, app link, app category, etc.
- Upload files or APK
- Set content rating
- Set pricing plan and distribution
Steps To Submit Your App On App Store
- Sign up for Apple Developer Program
- Finalize app for submission
- Create your App Store listing via App Store Connect
- Take screenshots
- Upload app to App Store Connect via Xcode
Tip: If you haven’t done so already, patent your mobile app now.
Step 10: Marketing Your App
How will people buy your app if they don’t know about it? They won’t. Marketing tells potential users what problem your app solves for them, and how you differ from the competitors.
If you don’t have a large marketing budget, simply ask yourself these three questions:
- What issue does my app solve?
- Who is my ideal audience?
- How can I reach my target audience?
Tip: You don’t have to wait to launch before marketing your app. Some organic marketing methods include emailing current customers, using banners on social media and websites, and writing blog posts.
Step 11: Maintenance and Feedback
Mobile app maintenance is necessary to keep users happy and active. Here are a few ways to improve your app:
Major Software Updates
When Apple and Google update their systems, your app will require an update as well.
When your app goes live, you may notice some issues, you can easily fix the bugs with regular maintenance updates.
If you receive suggestions and requests from your users, fix them when you do your next maintenance update.
Ask Users for Feedback
Keep an eye on your ratings and reviews. This ensures your users are engaged in your app and happy by considering their feedback when doing updates. Asking users what they do and don’t like about your app shows them you value their opinion and improves the UX of your application.
Enable a pop-up window asking for reviews, sending emails, or periodically asking for feedback so you and your users keep in touch.
How Much Does It Cost to Develop an App?
Have got enough knowledge about how to make an app? now, let’s jump to its cost estimation. The cost to create a mobile app is based on multiple factors. The app type, the features, and the method of development will affect the price the most. You can build an app for as little as $2,000 or more than $2 million.
Small businesses and enthusiast entrepreneurs think of developing an app after learning to code, which could be a steep curve to learn, on the other hand, no-code solutions are cheaper than learning how to develop an app or more specifically coding an app. Prices fluctuate, no matter which method you choose.
For building a mobile app, many hire mobile app developers, which cost $150 in the US, but the overseas market can accomplish the same for $30 per hour. Be Leery of cheap mobile app services, your final quality may suffer which can cost more long-term than spending a few extra dollars initially.
However, considering all the cost-affecting factors and occurred complexities, the general cost of developing a mobile app will be around $15,000 to $1,00,000 including core and advanced features and functionalities. This estimated price lastly will depend upon the type of app you choose. Want to know about mobile app development costs in detail, visit here.
It takes a lot to create an app from scratch, it’s a process with 11 simple steps. Listen to your user because there will always be places your app can improve. Stay up to date on the latest technology and tools available to you. Now you know how to start an app with and without any coding skills and know what you’re looking for in the platforms currently available to you.
While finding out the details about how to build an app, you must choose a leading mobile app development company as hiring the best one will provide you benefits in so many ways. Right from a suitable team structure to the latest technology stack to deploy the app on the right platform, everything will be done smoothly and efficiently. For this, you may connect to SemiDot Infotech, a reliable name in the market holding years of experience and a skilled team of programmers that will help you to have a scalable solution to accelerate business growth.