How to Build Your First Mobile App in 10 Steps
If you have an idea for a killer app, or you’re looking for ways to leverage mobile technology for your business, it can be intimidating trying to plot a course forward to success. So here ten basic steps to take your idea to completion and success:
1. Research & Ideation: Take a look at the market and the technology and look for inspiration. Your idea needs to be unique and powerful, but it’s ok if they aren’t very well fleshed out. You aren’t a mobile tech expert, after all. Many businesses have the opportunity to look for ways to apply mobile tech to their industry in innovative ways, which helps focus the ideation phase, while entrepreneurs who aren’t tied to a specific industry usually have plenty of ideas already, all they need to do is start refining them.
2. Concept Phase: This is where technical knowledge starts to become necessary, and so it’s where many begin turning to Software Developers UK for advice. In this step we’ll nail down the specifics of the app’s features and functions, and ensure that the idea has good potential and feasibility. Where possible we make suggestions and offer insights to build on the original idea, so that we end up with a comprehensive app concept that is backed up by deep industry expertise.
3. Design Phase: Designers will create all the assets needed to visualize the working app, according to modern design best practices. Here we determine the app’s layout, the User Experience (UX) “flow”, as well as the themes, colors, icons, and other visual assets. This step is imperative for ensuring the end result is engaging and frustration-free for the user. Even with an absolutely incredible set of features, no app can hope to succeed without attractive design and a purposeful, professional UX.
4. Coding & Development: This step may come in several phases, with programmers working on the frontend (the app) and backend (server side and Admin access) or on several versions of the app (iPhone and Android, for instance). It all depends on the needs and functions of the individual app. As the app gets tied together, be sure to follow the process and test builds to ensure that the final product will meet your expectations.
5. Quality Assurance: We’ll run the app through our own QA rigors, and you can provide feedback as well at this time. There are always things to clean up, but given the vast complexity of the technology which is powering the app, that should come as no surprise. On the other hand, every product from business application development has to launch, and as Reid Hoffman, founder of LinkedIn, once said “if you’re not embarrassed by the first version of your product, you’ve launched too late.”
6. Build a Website: iTunes actually requires that you have an external website to link to from your app store page if you want to launch, and it is a recommended practice for any online storefront. We’ll include a basic, one page website to accompany the app and serve as a marketing hub for the purposes of Search Engine Optimization (SEO), Social Media Marketing (SMM), and other online campaigns you choose to do.
7. App Store Approval: We’ll submit the app for approval to the target app store under your name. At this point there isn’t much to do but wait. Every app store has published guidelines for approval which we follow, and which are included into the concept and design phases to ensure the app follows the rules. Apple’s iTunes app store is notably stricter than Google Play, and more likely to disapprove an app, but we’ll take the requisite steps to fix any problems they cite and push it back through to approval.
8. App Store Optimization: Once the app gets approved, it’s up to you to log in to your developer account and activate the product. Developer accounts with iTunes cost $99 per year, while Google Play costs a mere $25 one-time registration fee. Publishing an app means you’ll get a unique page within the store to fill with content, most importantly: screenshots and a text description which neatly organizes a basic introduction to the app. The purpose of these assets is to convince visitors landing on your page to click the download button, so classic marketing techniques and conversion philosophies apply. The app’s name and icon are also important marketing materials.
9. Updates: There are two kinds of app updates that your app could benefit from: bug fixes and feature updates. Bug fixes generally don’t change the app except to eliminate errors which are hampering the user experience. Many time this involves compatibility errors, where users find that the app runs into problems on a device that was not included in our QA rounds. Generally speaking, there will always be a few lingering errors, and Software Developers UK. offers a 6 month warranty to fix coding errors.
The second type of update is much more exciting, in which you are significantly changing the UX by adding or changing existing features. If there were features you cut from the initial concept in order to save money or simplify the development process, now is your chance to add them back in! Otherwise, never stop thinking about how to improve the app. The mobile industry is one that is distinguished by rapid innovation and iteration, and if you want your app to stay relevant and continue to engage your user community, app updates are a must.
10. Start With Software Developers UK: The key to success is to partner with an experienced app development company. We’ll take your idea and give you the tools and talent you need to turn it into something real.