Newbie’s Guide to Building an App
August 20, 2014

You have decided to develop a mobile app. Awesome! What’s the next step?

Whether you want to start an iOS mobile app or an Android mobile app, the first step to getting it off the ground is answering this question:

1) What problem will this app solve for?

This seems pretty obvious but it’s a necessary first step in determining whether your app will be successful or not. You may think it would be cool or handy to build the app as you imagine, but if you can’t answer the question above clearly – stop right there.

Marketing apps can be a challenge, so before you spend a single cent or brain cell on your project, you need to verify that there is demand for the app you want to build. One way you can find out is by using the Google Keyword Planner tool. You can see if people are searching for what you want to build or determine something else they really are looking for.

We put this kind of no-brainer disclaimer here because, and we are serious, some entrepreneurs fall in love with their own ideas without considering if there are users to use it. There are few things worse than spending time and money on a project with the result of, well, no one using it.

But since you’re reading this, you may be set and ready to go. Once you have your idea and know the problem it is solving for, it’s time to get your idea off the ground and go to step two.

2) Write it Down

You aren’t a developer or a product manager, so you probably don’t have copious experience writing technical specifications. But you do speak English and know what you want out of your app. Write down what you are looking for to clear your head and help you understand more clearly what you are looking for. An easy way to organize your thoughts is to break it down like this:

Goals – In one or two bullet points, what are the overall goals of your app?


Summary – How do you want it to work? List the primary functions you want it to have. Don’t get too crazy with it but you’ll find that once you start writing down your idea it will become much more clear to you. Bonus: you’ll have an easier time explaining the concept to others so it will look like you know what the h*** you’re talking about.

If you know anything about wireframing or how you will want it to look, feel free to take a stab at it. If not don’t sweat it – that’s your UX Designer’s job. Which brings us to our last point…

3) Hire a Developer

Chances are if you’re reading this, your everyday life isn’t mobile app development. Therefore, once you have your idea verified and written down, it’s time to go to the experts. You’re an expert at what you do – now find people who are experts at building bad a** apps.

The first thing we suggest here is finding a developer who has the end user in mind. UX experts aren’t cheap, but they are the reason your users will like your app and tell their friends about it. Your app’s success depends on it.

Location- some companies choose to go overseas with their developers because sometimes this can mean cheaper costs. But be warned that language barriers and time differences can not only slow down the development process, but add some cost as well. Finding a developer locally can make the process much more painless. You can talk face-to-face, or at least in a similar time zone, with someone who understands your needs, language, and won’t have you checking their work in the middle of the night.

Be sure to choose your developer wisely and feel free to look around. Not sure where to get started? We can point you in the right direction.

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