Recently, we unveiled the Newbie’s Guide to Building an App. We received a healthy response from many of you with the natural next question – what’s next?
So here we are with part 2 of the guide. To recap, in part 1 we told you that the first steps were:
1) Know what problem your iOS or Android app solves for
2) Write down your mobile app idea as detailed as possible
3) Hire a mobile app developer
At this point in the process, you aren’t on your own because the developer you’ve chosen will help you along the rest of the way. However, it’s important to know what the standard process is to make sure you’re on the right track. Here’s what will happen next:
4) Conceptualization and Feature Set
You’ve written out your idea and pitched it to your developer, who you’ve hired and are ready to get cracking with. Now it’s time to take your concepts and mold them into a tangible product. The first step of that is to decide on a feature set with your team – what is it that your app will actually do? You’ll create a set of features, flesh them out and have them well detailed and written out.
You will likely go back and forth with members of your team deciding on what the best functionality is to maximize your app’s potential, yet minimize unnecessary development effort. It’s all about deciding what you NEED vs what you WANT.
Once you all agree on the app’s direction and features, it’s time to roll up your sleeves and start building.
5) Working with your Developer
The actual building of the app is easily the longest leg of the process. Each experience with different developers will go quite differently. However, there are some mandatory conventions to bear in mind.
Be clear about what you want – If you give your developers your idea, chances are they will have a general direction of where to go. Yet in order for you to get the product you really want, don’t be shy about providing your honest feedback.
Listen to your developers recommendations – You are an expert about your business and about your concept, but when it comes to the building of your app, you developer is the expert. Keep an open mind and listen to their suggestions. They won’t make recommendations for any reason, but to make the app successful. Their skin is in the game too and they want your app to blow the competition out of the water. It only adds to their resume and makes them look great too.
Next up – you have a version of your app! Your developer will give you a testing site to play around on. You’ll understand the functionality and see the idea in real life. Now it’s up to you – do you like it?
This is what’s called User Acceptance Testing, or UAT. Take your time and don’t be afraid to speak up if you don’t like something – if you don’t like it chances are your users won’t either. Take your time and get it right to ensure that once you launch your app, people will like it and use it.
7) Launch & Marketing
Once you’ve gone back and forth with your developers, now is the time to launch! And in order to have a successful launch…you’ll need to get your marketing strategy off the ground. We went into detail on this in The Best Mobile App Marketing Techniques, but to sum it up, here are the keys to getting started:
Leverage word-of-mouth – Tell everyone you know about your app. You have no idea the compound power of word-of-mouth marketing. First you tell your parents about the app, who tell their neighbors, who tell their friends, cousins and social networks. While Facebook, Twitter and the like are excellent mediums by which to share your product, telling another human in person gets that one on one attention on your app to help spread the word to people who trust you.
Bug the Bloggers – The blogosphere is one of the main sources people get their information these days. Therefore, give the bloggers something to blog about – your app. Bloggers love to have new and exciting topics to discuss, and your new mobile app should be one of them.
Learn ASO – The Apple store is an online marketplace of awesome….and mayhem. Getting noticed on the Apple store, as well as Google Play, can be one of the trickiest parts of getting your app off the ground. Your developer may have some expertise in this, which is a great place to start the learning process.
Building a mobile app from conception to completion can take around 18 weeks to complete. Once you do you’ll have a shiny new app that you can be proud of – at least we hope so. Need help getting started? We can point you in the right direction.