7 Things to Know About Building an App

Whether you’re looking for a side business or you’re trying to grow your company, building a custom app is an excellent next step. Mobile apps consume most of the time users spend on their smartphones, and if you can build a well-working app in high demand, you’ll bring home a pretty income. You just need to understand the process first.

1. Market Research

Whether you’re building an app for an existing business or you’re starting a new idea from scratch, it’s important to perform adequate market research for the product. You’ll evaluate the demand, competition, target audience, and other information that will help you develop and maintain an app in your industry.

This component is essential. If you can’t establish a clear need for your app, it cannot survive among the 6.5 billion apps that already exist. Creating a clear value proposition to build your app on according to your research will ensure your success.

2. Coding Basics

It’s not completely necessary, but it helps if you know coding basics. This knowledge, which can be obtained through YouTube tutorials or an online course, will help you follow along in the creation of your app.

It could protect you from being charged unfair developer fees because you’ll understand a little more of what goes into the creation of an app. It will also help you monitor your app better after its design. You’ll be more likely to notice mistakes that need correcting before they cause bigger problems.

3. Design and Development

You’ll sit down with a development team to learn more about what goes into custom app development. They’ll outline the process and present a team of developers to spearhead the creation.

Most importantly, you’ll create a blueprint for your app design. This is known as wireframing, and it’s the process of outlining the design of each app on your page and how it all fits together. This process is a lot of fun, as it lets you put forth your creativity and present unique features for development.

4. The Cost

It’s very difficult to give a ballpark estimate for your mobile app because there are so many factors that go into it. When discussing the app development with a design team, they’ll likely introduce concepts such as:

  • Necessary research
  • Timeline
  • UI and UX
  • Analytics
  • App infrastructure
  • Data integration
  • Features
  • Functionality
  • Patches and maintenance
  • Supported devices
  • APIs
  • Testing
  • Deployment
  • Marketing

The list could go on. Each one of these elements will incur an additional cost for your app development. You could spend a few thousand dollars on a very simple, low-maintenance app or you could spend between $50,000 and $100,000 on a large project. Some major players have spent more than a million dollars building their apps!

The most important thing to take away here is that your app will be expensive, but you have a lot of say in how expensive it is. Use a calculator like this one to get a better picture of projected costs. You can adjust some areas to lower costs if need be, and have a down payment ready before approaching a developer.

5. Prototypes and Beta Testing

After your developer goes over the development and costs, they’ll present you with prototypes. These are simple app mockups that aren’t fully functional. They just give you a basic idea of how your app will look and work so that you can make requests or change the design.

When the app is functional, it will begin beta testing. It will be sent to a few select users in your target audience for feedback. The testers are usually compensated for their time, which is added to the overall cost of the app.

6. Launch Procedures

When repairs and updates have been made following the feedback of your tests, it will finally be launch day. All your hard work will pay off as you see your beautiful, functional app on a mobile device.

It’s important to note that app developers never wait until the app is completely ready to launch. They make it functioning and secure, and then release patches and updates later on. You can always add more. It’s better to release your app when it’s not fully finished than it is to delay the launch process.

7. After-App Processes

Don’t think that once your app is launched, that’s the end of it. You’ve created a living, breathing thing, and it requires further care and maintenance to keep it functioning properly.

Because you did not wait until your app was perfect before launching, there’s still work to be done to continue perfecting it. Your developers will introduce software patches, updates, and additional features that meet your changing company needs as well as the constantly updating software that’s designed to support it.

There will also be a need for marketing. Work with your marketing team to increase the awareness of your mobile app-otherwise, you’ll miss out on a high potential volume of downloads, and your app won’t pay for itself.

This is a very quick, basic rundown of app creation. It’s just enough to begin your research, but you’ll want to look into each category in depth before hiring a developer.

Melissa Thompson

Melissa Thompson writes about a wide range of topics, revealing interesting things we didn’t know before. She is a freelance USA Today producer, and a Technorati contributor.