Today, the mobile app market is rapidly expanding as our society increasingly depends on smartphones and digital technology.
According to Statista in 2017, 178 million apps were downloaded, and this number is expected to reach 258 billion by 2022. There is clearly a high demand for apps, which makes the mobile market highly competitive.
But it’s not easy to create an app. It takes time, knowledge and is often expensive. People often make the mistake of diving right in instead of analyzing their ideas and understanding the different steps needed to create a successful app.
Whether you’re building an app to complement your website, reach a new audience for your business, or simply have a great idea for a new app, in this article we’ll explore every step from idea to publication and maintenance of your app.
6 Step To Create An App
1. Put your idea down on paper:
The first step in building apps is understanding the that your idea intends to offer:
- Define your goals, study the market and define your concept. Here are some of the top questions you should ask yourself.
– What is your target audience? Your app must be specifically designed to add value to your target audience – Which features are most desirable and will help you keep your users engaged. – Find out if there are other apps doing the same thing
– Check out the competition, its analysis, get inspired by its design
– Will you monetize your app?
- Develop a prototype:
– Sketching the wireframe of your app lets you focus on the essential parts of your interface, before you start working with design elements and styles. This will make it easier to place the main components of the app and make them accessible to the user. Using wireframes also allows you to make changes to the interface sketch much faster than if you were working with a final mockup.
– UI Design: The look and feel of your app plays a crucial role in an app’s success. This is how the app interacts with its users. The user interface should be uniform and simple.
– UX: This is the point of view of your users. This will affect how they view your brand. It must be flawless. Also remember that users are browsing the app on a small screen (per a Apple recommendation ;, about 44 square pixels is the appropriate size for a ringtone).
– For your app to be successful, you must design the app so that your user needs less effort to understand and use the app. This increases their interest in your app.
2. Choose your technology
- Native Apps:
– From the 500 apps available on the App Store, launched 10 years ago, to the almost 2 million available today and another 2.4 million offered by the Play Store, apps are now part of our daily lives.
– Native apps account for over 80% of all mobile traffic
– Native technologies for iOS and Android have always been at the forefront of mobile development. This is because this method offers reliable, high-performance products that can access a wide range of APIs and native resources available on smartphones or tablets. Also, creating a natively coded app means that you will create independent outputs for each specific operating system, which will help provide a refined interface for different devices.
- Progressive Web Apps:
– PWA is the perfect combination of web and native technologies. A PWA is a Web App that allows create a mobile-optimized website.
While they look like a native app (for example, they can be installed on the home screen of a user’s device), you don’t have to go through the publishing process in stores.
– PWA does not require download to adapt to mobile devices, tablets and computers.
– It benefits from SEO and is indexed in search engines
– Thanks to the PWA Service Workers it also works offline
– 67% of web traffic comes from mobile, PWA guarantees a mobile presence adapted to all devices.
Here are some examples of the types of things to consider when choosing your technology:
- PWA has 3x more visitors than native apps, but a feature availability depends on the browser they are being used in .
- Native apps give full access to geolocation features (such as geofences and beacons technology), but publishing them entails significant additional costs and third-party compliance
3. Explore the different options available to create your app
Now that you’ve chosen your technology, it’s time to choose how to build your app. There are 3 options:
- Develop your app yourself
- Hire an Agency or freelance developer
This first option requires significant time and skills. Native apps are platform-specific and knowledge of multiple languages is required. Objective-C and Swift for Apple development, Java or Kotlin for Android development. However, if you have the necessary knowledge, this option will allow you to create the app you want without limits. Development agencies and freelance developers abound on the web and it should be easy to find them. The determining factor here will be the cost of this service.
In fact, hiring someone to create your app is by far the most expensive option. However, if you have the resources, it’s a good way to get the app you have in mind without having to compromise…
- Use an App Builder
Similar in concept to builders like WordPress (a Content Management System that lets you edit and change the look and feel of your website without coding), an app builder is an app builder that allows users with no coding skills to easily create and distribute an app to different stores. This is the ideal option to save time and money and get a quality application.
However, keep in mind that not all projects are suitable for the app builder and that if you have specific and complex needs, you will need to go through a custom solution.
4. Create an app with an App Builder
Now all the hard decisions are made and it’s time to move on.
Of course, the process will vary depending on the method you choose to develop your app, but for our purposes, we’ll assume you’ve chosen to follow the app builder, and specifically the GoodBarber< route /strong>.
With over 10 years of experience in creating apps with the latest technologies, GoodBarber offers the possibility to create native apps and PWAs from a single interface.
To create your app, you will follow these steps:
- Design: There is a lot to decide on at this stage: the theme app’s global color , the header style, the navigation mode, the icon that will represent it in stores and/or on the home screens of users, the home screen, etc.
When designing these elements, it’s always a good idea to keep the look a little bit in line with whatever existing design your brand already has that identifies you, such as logos, colors, fonts, etc.
Your Home page will be the most visited page and the first impression your users will have of your app. Spend time designing it. It should show your most important features, provide fluid navigation towards the different sections of your app, thanks to the widgets offered by GoodBarber. Our preview feature allows you to immediately see what your app will look like.
- Content: Time to add anything and everything you want to convey about your business/project. In some cases, you simply insert that content directly into your app’s backend, in other cases, you may already have your content available somewhere and will need to integrate that external source to get it (like an RSS feed, a live stream or a social media account).
The structure of a GoodBarber app is quite easy to understand. It consists of sections, each with a specific purpose: articles, videos, photos, events, podcasts, maps, forms, etc.
Our developers recommend keeping a very simple structure, allowing for easy navigation and optimizing the user experience.
- Add-ons: in addition to the classic sections, GoodBarber offers a catalog of Add-ons to add value to your app according to your needs.
If, for example, you are creating an application for your business, the Loyalty Card and Couponing Add-ons will allow you to keep your customers engaged and reward them for their loyalty. With push notifications, you can communicate about new products, upcoming events, etc.
If your application supports local membership or even internal communication between company employees, Chat and the Add-on Community will help create a sense of belonging and facilitate communication between users.
Custom plugins: If needed, explore the customization options our platform offers and add any required features or design options that weren’t available by default. Customizing is the most effective way to make your app stand out from the rest.
5. Test your application
- After putting together all the parts of the app creation process (concept, design and technology), you will arrive at a version that is almost ready to be released. However, before sharing your new app with the world, run a series of tests to verify that everything is working as planned. You will need to test all versions of the app you plan to publish (iOS native, Android native, PWA, etc.) and also on different operating systems (different browsers, iOS 12, etc.). Be sure to recruit some beta testers as well – a new perspective will bring elements or points to your attention that you may have overlooked or had a biased view of.
– Overall app speed
– No failure to perform any action
– Low connectivity performance
– All features/interactions respond to the task they must perform
– The design is visually pleasing and adapts correctly to all screens
– Navigation is intuitive and efficient
– No aspect of the app is “hidden”
– The app name/store description is self-explanatory
- Often, app builders such as a GoodBarber provide a test app that you can use to run preliminary checks on your app. The most ideal way to test your app, however, is through the AdHoc version, which is the actual file of the app that will be sent to stores which which you can download and run on your device – it is the exact replica of what your users will see and all aspects of the app can be tested using this method
- For native iOS apps, there is a specific tool provided by Apple: TestFlight. It allows you to test an iOS app before it goes online on the App Store. This alternative is particularly interesting if the My GoodBarber solutions or the Ad Hoc version doesn’t meet your preview needs.
When yours is ready, it’s time to think about publishing it. It’s a good idea to publish your app on as many platforms as possible, as this will allow you to reach as many users as possible.
Publishing an app can be a complex and somewhat overwhelming process, starting with registering as a developer
- Developer accounts (mandatory step for both platforms). For devices Apple , you will be subscribing to ;App Store Developer Program , costing $99 for each year of membership. Keep in mind that Apple requires the app content owner to match the developer account owner. Therefore, if you publish multiple iOS apps for different projects, each will need to have its own individual developer account. Become a Publisher of Google Play costs US$25 (one-time fee) and you must also have a Gmail account.
- App Store: the process of submitting an app to a ;App Store e is a bit complex and requires a lot of preparation. Apple has set high standards and strict guidelines to keep the App Store a safe ecosystem, offering users only high quality apps.
– App Store Review: Apple reviews each app before approving it for release. Before submitting yours for review, you’ll need to provide a series of information (icon, app preview/screenshots) and metadata (the app’s name, its category, a detailed description, and additional keywords for ASO). Don’t underestimate the importance of metadata, especially the app description. – Publishing to the App Store: The review process may take a few days. Apple will notify you by email when the app is published. In case of rejection, you can contact the Resolution Center for more information and to try to correct the problems. – GoodBarber has created a review to guide you through the submission process. Our team will thoroughly review your app to ensure it complies with the App Store Guidelines. If your app doesn’t meet these requirements, we’ll provide advice to help you improve your app and successfully publish it.
- Google Play: Android offers different options for distributing apps. However, with over 1 billion active users, Google remains a top platform for Android apps .
- Progressive Web App:
– Fortunately, publishing a Progressive Web App is much simpler. All you need to do is take care of hosting the app on a web server and linking a web domain. Because this process is so quick and easy, you have more time to optimize your SEO to ensure your product is easily discovered by the public.- Hosting is included in your GB subscription, and we highly recommend purchasing your own domain name and install it, instead of the URL that GoodBarber generates, as it will allow you to create a stronger image without the presence of another brand.
- Don’t release all resources at once, it’s good to wait. It gives you space to develop your app and release an updated version later.
- With the service GoodBarber Takes Care , you let our experts do all the work for you. They take care of the process of publishing your app on Google Play and the App Store, so you can focus your marketing strategy.
7. Continuous improvements and updates
- Keep an eye on your app’s feedbacks and KPIs using the analytics tools provided by Google Play and the App Store. Analytics is also available in your GoodBarber back office.
- Another obligation that all app owners should have on a regular basis is to always publish new content and features. Whether releasing new material or updating existing features, it’s the most effective way to keep users engaged and avoid the dreaded low usage/deletion of low-use apps. Make sure your users are aware when there are new versions – you can alert them via push notifications or present these new elements in the most visible part of your app, the home screen.
- You can update yours in stores as many times as you want, although in some cases it is necessary to send a new version of the app if major changes have been made.
- On the other hand, your PWA can be updated infinitely without resubmission restrictions. Either way, don’t hesitate to bring something new to the table when you get the chance!