So, you got an Amazing App Idea! You can visualize it, you feel it is useful and people would love it. You jump out of your bed to discuss the idea with your partners and are planning the whole scenario of mobile app development at the back of your mind, but wait!
You suddenly realize that there are already about 2.8 million apps in Google’s Play Store and 2.2 million apps in Apple’s App Store and many more are under construction. Besides, there are a huge number of applications that haven’t gained a single download while many failed to retain users for a longer time.
In such a scenario, how will you ensure that your app idea will be successful? Is launching a mobile application in the app store is what you call as ‘Success’ or creating an application that rules the hearts and minds of millions of users throughout? Considering you want to build a mobile app from scratch that falls into the latter category, here is a guide to get you started.
Step 1: Validate Your App Idea
Before you rush into the development phase, it is necessary to clearly define the purpose of your app – what problems will it cater and how? What change will it bring in people’s lives? Will the market welcome your app idea? Will it be one of the most successful apps of all time? Is there any similar app existing already? By working on these questions, you can narrow down the risk of app failure and can search for the right mobile application development company.
Step 2: Understand Your Market
Ensuring the originality of your app idea is not enough; you have to dig into your concerned market to find the right audience to target, the devices and platforms they use, their needs and expectation, the type of features users entice, the profitable monetization strategy, the technologies they want in your application, features your competitors are offering, etc.
Apart from this, it is also beneficial to consider the mobile application development trends ruling the market to stay in the competition and invest the right amount of money and efforts at the right place.
For example, building a mobile application by integrating technologies such as Machine learning, AR/VR, IoT, Blockchain, Mobile payments, and Cloud computing are in trend these days. So, if you create a mobile application that does not implement any of the above technologies, the app is likely to be unsuccessful in the market.
Step 3: Sketch the App Flow and Features
You validate your idea and have done extensive market research. Now the next step is to put down your idea on a paper, or better design a wireframe. When you create a full-fledged image of your app idea – covering all the details and app flow, you can easily determine how your app will look and feel. Moreover, you can evaluate which features are important for your app success, which are supplementary.
Step 4: Eliminate Non-core Features
Most of the time we strive to provide almost every feature in our mobile app to make it ‘all-in-one’ app. However, this practice can be hinder your path to app success.
Too many options on a single platform might confuse the users, which would result in poor app ratings and reviews and higher app uninstallation rate. To avoid such circumstances, focus on a single feature – the feature that will be USP of your mobile app and add a few related core features. In other words, launch an MVP of your app.
An MVP (Minimum Viable Product) is termed as the smallest, functional app version catering a specific problem with minimum resources. It acts as the best tool to test your app idea, engage with end users and build a user-centric app (stage-by-stage) by collecting their feedback.
Step 5: Choose the Right Platform
Once you have planned the features you want in your mobile application and have knowledge about the devices and platforms your target audience use, the next step is to determine the type of app you wish to go for and the right platform for the same.
Basically, there are three types of applications developed, namely Native apps, Web-based apps, and Hybrid apps.
- Native Apps
A Native app refers to a mobile application developed for a specific platform: Android, iOS, Amazon or Blackberry. Such apps are coded in a particular language (Swift or Objective-C for iOS, Python or Java for Amazon, C or C++ for Blackberry, and Kotlin or Java for Android application development) and can be installed from respective app store. They use device features and capabilities, operate offline (mostly), and deliver higher performance and reliability.
However, the Native mobile application development is expensive, especially when you have to launch the same app on other platforms. This is so because you have to build a mobile app from scratch once again.
- Web-based Apps
A Web-based application gives the look and feel of native apps, but are accessible only using a browser (Google Chrome, Firefox, IE, etc). These apps are developed using web technologies (HTML, JSP, XML, ASP, HTTP, etc) and are not device-specific. In addition to this, they can take advantage of only a limited device features (supported by browser) when compared to native apps.
- Hybrid Apps
Hybrid mobile applications are a perfect amalgam of both the Native and Web apps – a blessing for those struggling with Mobile Web app vs Native app development dilemma.
These apps can be installed on your device and can access device-specific features just like Native applications. Whereas, they are developed using web technologies just like Web-based mobile applications. Furthermore, the hybrid apps can have native UI elements whenever required.
Step 6: Hire the Right App Development team
After you are done with all the planning, comes the plan execution part. Hire the best mobile app development agency and let them do the technical part, while you work on how to create a successful app business in the current competitive market scenario.
When talking about choosing a mobile application developer or a company for your app needs, the decision is really important. There’s no exaggeration to the fact that this single decision can make or break your app’s impression in the market. If you found the right app development company who have sound knowledge of market trends, have a vast experience in creating mobile applications and involve you in the whole process – you will have a win-win situation. While on the flip side, you might end up regretting your decision. So, take the decision wisely.
Step 7: Test Your App Thoroughly
No matter how innovative your app idea is, if the end-users find any bug in your app or do not enjoy using it – all your efforts are in vain. The best way to prevent this situation is to test your app. Perform different types of app testing for evaluating app’s functionality, usability and consistency along with determining if the app is developed as per your idea.
When it comes to mobile app testing, Alpha testing (testing by experts) is not enough; you have to invest in beta testing. In other words, you need to hand over your mobile application to a particular group of end users (also called beta testers) and let them try the app for a time period and share their experience. With their feedback, you can get an insight of how effective your app will be in the market – will it be considered among the most successful apps of all time or not. You can make the required changes and launch your app with higher success ratio.
Step 8: Consider Security
Since users keep most of their sensitive information stored in the apps, it is mandatory to ensure that your app is secure. If not, there will be a higher risk of hacking and data breaches because of which the users would hesitate to download your app, ultimately your superb app idea will turn unsuccessful.
From my exposure and experience in the mobile industry, following are the best practices for ensuring the security of your mobile application:
- App login verification
- App Wrapping
- API Security
- Mobile Device Management
To get a detailed information about these app security practices, read our blog.
Step 9: App Launch and Marketing
You have reached the final step of this guide – launch your app and let the world appreciate your innovation and efforts. Read the guidelines provided by the desired app stores, optimize your app page and submit your application for approval.
Once your mobile application gets live, engage users with a perfect marketing strategy and make your app one of the most successful apps of all time. Build a landing page, share blogs, entice users with referral marketing techniques, entertain users on social media platforms, respond to their feedbacks and reviews, and so on.
According to our experts, it is always better to invest in pre-launch app marketing along with post-launch. This increase app awareness among the audience, helps in finding the potential beta testers and investors, and improve the chances of app downloads once the app is live.
BONUS: App Maintenance and Update
Though your app’s first version is launched and you have promoted it well, don’t take a back seat. There’s a tough competition in the app market, making it necessary to offer something innovative and valuable all the time.
So, dig out analytics, reach a wider audience, gain more feedbacks, keep an eye on the changing trends and app development guidelines, and plan your next app update. Besides, also focus on the issues faced by the customers and maintain your mobile application accordingly.
The aforementioned steps are effective, but not sacrosanct for mobile app development. It is just a step-by-step guide to create a mobile app successfully based on my experience in the mobile industry. Once you begin the process, you might find better approaches and could build a mobile app with higher influence on the mobile market.