As a mobile app development company, we get asked a lot of questions by entrepreneurs looking to release a mobile app. While business specific questions differ for every client, app development specific questions are often similar. We have created this simple beginners guide to help entrepreneurs with doubts about getting a mobile app off the ground.
Step 1: You need an idea
If you already own a business and are looking to digitize it with a mobile app, the way forward is to translate the services and/or products into a mobile app. If you don’t have an established business, you need an idea that will become your business, via the mobile app. In either case, you need to identify a problem your prospective audience is facing, and list out ways of providing a solution through a mobile app. The general population needs a simpler way to manage finances? A digital wallet is the solution. Is finding the best hotel deal a general problem? Booking aggregator is a solution. Identify a problem, and the solution is your app idea. This becomes your starting point for the app.
Step 2: Validate your idea
This involves two important steps: check if the people are actively looking for a solution to the problem you identified, and check if there are competitor apps already in the market. You can validate the former by testing with focus groups or through online tools like Google trends and keyword planner. For the latter, you will need to perform market research and find out how high or low the competition is. Both are essential before you proceed with app development.
Step 3: Draw user personas
It’s important to know who your target audience is, and not just in terms of a whole, but also as an individual. If your idea is to build a retail app, you need to define individual shoppers. We have actually taken this same example and discussed this in detail here: User Personas for the Retail Industry.
Step 4: Define the features of the app
At this point you should have ideally hired an app development company. Together, you need to list out the features of the application. While you present your ideas from a business point of view, the app development company weighs in from a technology and market demand point of view. Both have to, of course, keep the defined user personas in the forefront.
Step 5: Define the UX
If you have hired an app development company, this will be their job. The UX basically defines the user flow through the application without the aesthetics. A skeleton of the application. It is critical to design a UX that is user friendly, that takes the user from start to their desired destination with minimum steps. We have spoken about this in detail here: 4 Direct Consequences of Incredible UX Design.
Step 6: Define the UI
The UI is the aesthetic component of the application. If you have your brand identity defined, the designer should take this into consideration and use your brand colours, fonts etc. If you do not have the brand identity defined, it’s important you do it now. The UI of the app should be aesthetically pleasing and tailored to suit your target audience.
Step 7: Build an MVP
An MVP is a dialled down version of your app with all the essential features. An MVP can bring in tons of useful data that you can utilize to better the app before final release. We have covered this topic in detail before, you can get all the details here: Benefits of Releasing An MVP of a Mobile App | Why & How We Do It.
Step 8: Integrate analytics and feedback systems
It’s important to collect app visibility, user engagement, user interaction, and user retention data in order to continually better the application. This should be a part of the MVP build process as well.
Step 9: Release the final product and invest in marketing the app
Finally, with the feedback received from the MVP, complete final tweaks and release the full version of the app on different app stores. You jor does not stop here, though. You also need to actively market the app in order to ensure maximum ROI. We have an extremely useful guide in place to help with marketing: 7 Marketing Strategies To Execute Before You Launch Your Mobile App [With Cheat Codes].