The Killer App: How to Make a Mobile App in 10 Easy Steps
Wondering how to make a mobile app? In this guide, we'll take you from the drawing board to launch in just 10 easy steps.
If you want to reach people where they're at in the digital world, using an app is the best way to do it. People spend over half their time using apps when engaging with digital media. When it comes to smartphone users, the numbers are even higher—they'll spend almost 90% of their time within an app's interface.
The competition in the app market is fierce, though. If you want people to download your app over someone else's, you'll have to design one that stands out from the crowd.
To find out how to make a mobile app that people will download, read on for ten steps that will set you on the road to success.
1. Refine Your Idea
The best apps are the ones that help people, so this step should take a problem-solving approach. What kind of person do you want to download your app, and what types of problems do they have that you can solve?
The problem you solve doesn't have to be earth-shattering. Some of the most successful apps on the market are casual games, after all, and the only thing they fix is boredom. The most important thing is identifying how you plan to help your target customer and what makes your solution better than someone else's.
This is also a great time to do some market research. Use the Google Trends tool to find out how much demand there is within your market. Be sure to also look at what your competitors are doing and figure out how you can improve on their ideas.
2. Identify Key Features
The next of the app development process steps is to take your idea and translate it into a loose "sketch" or list. This is also your chance to decide if and how your app will generate revenue.
Use the results of your refined idea to identify your app's key features. Will it have a note-taking interface or specialized calculator? What about an internal social media network or shopping feature?
The features you choose should enhance your target customers' lives in some way. That might happen by making things easier, faster, more convenient, or more fun.
3. Choose a Platform
Next is the first step in the physical design phase: choosing a host platform. This will influence the choices you make when it comes to your app's appearance and structure.
Questions you might ask during this step include:
- Is it a web, hybrid, or mobile app?
- Will it be built for iOS, Android, another interface, or some combination?
- What devices and platforms do your target customers use most?
Native mobile apps are the best choice in a lot of cases, but with the advances of progressive web applications, it's worth looking into a variety of platform options.
4. Create a Wireframe or Mock-Up
Now that you have a solid idea of what you want your app to include, it's time to draw it out. Grab some paper or a whiteboard and start sketching what you want your app to look like.
Include spaces for navigational menus, graphics, copy, and any original tools you want to create. Make sure to design each individual page and map out how they're related to each other.
5. Design Graphics and Write Copy
It's almost time to start building. Before you get there, though, you need to give yourself the blocks to build with.
Take the time to design, write, or gather up all the words and images that will appear in your app. This makes the building process go much faster and helps you get a better idea of what your final product will look like.
6. Build a Prototype
Now that you've made it this far, it's time to start the real development process and build a digital prototype of your app.
If you aren't familiar with how to build mobile applications, it's worth bringing in an expert to help from here on out. This is especially important if you're launching an app in a high-stakes industry like Fin-Tech where security and efficiency are paramount.
For those who want to tackle the build process on their own, there are quite a few platforms to choose from. The Ionic Framework lets you code your app in the React environment, which is great for cross-platform use. Google users can give the Flutter UI Toolkit a try.
7. Testing, Testing
Next, it's time to take your prototype and run it through a series of user tests. Have your friends, family, and people in your target market give your app a try. Gather all their positive and negative feedback for the next step.
8. Refine Your UI and Re-Test
After you've run extensive tests, use the data you gathered to update the prototype's UI. Don't get discouraged during this process. It may take quite a few cycles of testing and refining before you have an app you're fully satisfied with.
9. Launch Your App
After you've gone through all the steps for how to create a successful app, it's time for the moment of truth: launching your app. Depending on the platform you chose, your app may go live in the Apple App Store, on Google Play, or it may be available for download on your site.
10. Maintenance and Marketing
Launching a successful app goes well beyond the launch. If you want to generate revenue, you'll have to stay front-of-mind in your target audience and keep your current users happy.
Develop a marketing strategy to grow your app by bringing in new users. You may turn to social media for this, invest in PPC ads, or focus on content marketing through your website's blog.
You'll also need to stay on top of bug fixes, patches, and updates when people identify issues. Clients are happy when developers are responsive, and their positive reviews build credibility for your brand.
How to Make a Mobile App Idea Into Reality
The process of how to make a mobile app is fairly straightforward, but it takes a specialized skill set to build something spectacular. If you have the ideas but need some technical support, Authentic Studio can help.
We're a creative design agency in Hong Kong and London with experience launching mobile and web apps for companies across the globe. If you're ready to bring your Fin-Tech web app idea to life, contact us today to get a free quote and a fresh perspective.