Development of Mobile Applications: Where to Start?

It is not every day that you come up with a unique idea for a mobile application. So when inspiration strikes, you need to start working and building it from scratch to see your idea come to life through hours of coding. But don’t let that intimidate you. Here’s where you should start if you want to develop a mobile application.  

Analyze the Market you’re aiming for

So you’re aiming to create an app that suits a specific market, but you can’t get through without enough research. You need to understand the market, and what it offers to users; this way, you learn of where they’re lacking and develop a solution. When you conduct proper market research, you’re able to find out:

  1. The key players i.e. your competitors
  2. The strategy that they’re using
  3. Weak and strong points in their application
  4. What customers think about them
  5. Whether they have a unique selling point

Do your homework to avoid making the same mistakes as your competitors, and put in extra effort to improve upon their weaknesses. If you have a chance to talk to your future customers, do that at this stage – Customer Development concept by Steven Blank explains one of the ways to make those feedbacks useful. This will help you to refine your solution to the customer’s problem and stand out from millions of mobile applications out there.

Know your target demographic and how you’ll convince them

You have a mobile app idea in mind but can you fluently articulate its purpose and define the people you intend to help with it? If not, then maybe it’s time to start working on a good strategy for what we’d like to call an ‘elevator pitch’. You have to boil down your creativity to a few sentences because that’s how long a person will listen to you. Here’s a checklist of what you should be able to easily define to pitch your application:

  1. Your app’s primary functionality
  2. Why people would want to use it? Does it fix the pain worth paying for?  
  3. The extra value it provides
  4. The business goals your app will assist in achieving
  5. The target demographic that benefits from the app
  6. What the target population want that you can provide through the app

Design a Format

You can’t really have a firm idea of what you need to do in terms of application building and development until you know what your app will look like. When creating an app, you need to focus on details like the user-interface design and what the user experience would be. This is a good time to put yourself in the shoes of your customers and think about how you’d want an app to operate. Determining the font size, color schemes, and touch gestures are all a part of the design process.

In short, you have to walk through the user experience and develop an app that’s nice to look at, easy to use, and interesting enough to recommend to others. Your design will have a lasting impression on users, so for the sake of stability, make sure you decide on something that you can stick with.

Choose the kind of application

One of the technical decisions you have to make at the start is if you want to develop a web, native or hybrid app. You can only choose between the three once you’ve narrowed down your pitch and audience through research.

For starters, native applications can deliver a far better experience to the users but you need to put in much effort and time while developing them. Applications like these are specific to the platform, and require a separate code. They are generally faster and more responsive as they match with the functionalities of a particular OS. There are two mainstream mobile operating systems – iOS and Android. To build a mobile app for iOS the developer should use Swift or Objective-C; the Android app will run on Java.

As you might note, when it comes to building a native app for various operating systems, a higher skill level of the developer is a must. Not to mention, such apps are costly as well.

Then, web-based applications are quick, easy and cheap to develop; they also work across various platforms. As the name suggests, a web app is accessible via a mobile web browser and doesn’t need to be downloaded to your device. Although web applications offer a high level of user interaction, they can’t utilize the device’s hardware and inbuilt capabilities, and thus are less functional.

You can build web applications using the programming languages like JavaScript, CSS, and HTML5. Although they’re not as powerful as their native counterparts, you can update web apps easily without needing to access the phone’s features.

A while ago, native and web applications were the only approaches but now, developers have the option to combine both of their aspects to build a hybrid version. It merges web application coding with native containers to get the best out of both approaches. It allows you to enhance the web code potential with the native app language resulting in unique options and ability to reach the native app interface.  

Build a Prototype

Mobile App Design Template

Knowing the design and approach means that you can start developing a prototype to test whether the approach, design, and features go together. This will prove your idea’s functionality and you can experience the benefits of your project when applied. In addition, it’s much easier to convince potential users when you have a prototype rather than nothing at all.

Get Input from the Beta Testing Phase

The beta testing phase is when you get real input from members of the target population. Before you launch this phase, ensure that the developers get rid of bugs with an alpha testing phase and provide proper application coverage across various devices.

Get feedback from your testers, because they’re using the application as a third party and are simply looking for results. They can tell you straight away how it looks to an outsider and whether it captures their attention or not.

To sum it up

Mobile app development is not just about building a piece of software. To create the application that will both cater for the needs of customers and solve business problems your company faces, you need to break down the development process into several essential stages.

Every great project starts with a great idea. If you want to make a killer mobile app that will be useful to your target audience, do as much market research as possible, study your customer behavior, and then pitch the plan. Before setting this plan in motion, get the expert opinion on how to make the most of it and ensure that your end product will incorporate all the features you want it to have. At this stage, the go-to advisor could be your mobile development team. You have none? Then, opt for an external company specializing in creating apps for businesses – Centogram is among the leaders in the industry. Do not neglect the developer’s advice, use their expertise to translate it to your business goals instead.        

Researching, planning, and prototyping are crucial for your mobile app to stand out from the competitors’ products and take the audience by storm. Whether you aim to build a native, web-based, or hybrid mobile app, make sure it will offer exceptional user experience and advanced functionality. All these goals can be easily achieved if you have a proficient team behind!

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