When you intend to build a mobile app, at least three questions keep bothering your mind:
- How to make a mobile app?
- What is the price?
- What to start at?
To make it easier for you to start the process, this article will cover the main mobile app development steps to be taken to succeed with your product. As a result, you will have a ready roadmap of your next actions. The process of development can be divided into 6 main stages which are below.
1. Idea and purposes
Begin with defining what kind of app do you want to create and what consumers’ problems it would solve. Do a research whether there is a demand for such kind of app. Refine the concept and work on purposes until you find the best balance between your goals and consumers’ needs.
Calculate the budget you can attract to create an app. Understanding how much you can invest will make it easier for you to discuss the task with potential developers.
Do not rely on articles which suggest a specific amount of money for development. It can cost from 2 000 to 250 000 dollars, depending on how the app is developed. Even professionals will not be able to tell you prices of app development at once. They will need to calculate working hours and resources to be attracted and only then they will tell you the approximate amount. And it will not be the final price.
The budget should involve much more than just development process. You need to provide a part of your budget for future updates and maintenance of your app. Expenses for marketing and advertising should also be included. Moreover, a certain amount of money must be provided for unexpected or additional expenses.
Will your app be based on iOS, Android or Windows, or will it be a hybrid? You will take your final decision after detailed consultation with developers. Nevertheless, it is better to be ready beforehand and think it over for some time in relevance to your purposes and your target consumers.
Take into consideration such factors as market share and prevalence. They will not give you a simple-to-use answer, but your awareness is a must. Android takes the largest proportion of the worldwide market. iOS provides greater cash flow as its users spend more money on apps. And as to Windows, it has the smallest share of the market but who knows how its connection to Windows desktop can change the situation one day. You should do your research and get more profound information relevant for your particular case.
As to costs, if you develop an app just for one platform, there is practically no difference whether you develop it for Android or iOS. But if you develop an app for two or three platforms at once then get ready to pay up to two or three times more. For such case hybrid or cross-platform development would be a good way out. Usually, a separate team works on each platform, and you pay to each of them. And hybrid kind of an app is developed by one team, so you pay only for them.
Before looking for a company to work on your project, you should better get defined with the app’s design. Then, making a choice among the potential developers, pay specific attention to the quality of design they suggest. Study carefully their previous projects. Entrust development of your app only to that company which created apps you liked. They are more likely to produce a product which would suit your vision of design.
Just do not underestimate all the importance of this stage. Few entrepreneurs understand the real value of good design, although it has a basic meaning. Numerous researchers show that apps’ design has the primary effect on consumers’ experience they get after using the product.
5. Development company
To choose the most appropriate developers to create a mobile app you need to know what exactly you want to get as a result. Then it will be easier for you to sort out which of the companies suit your requirements better.
Choosing between local or outsourcing development companies is open to international teams. Then you will have a much wider choice of professionals. The benefit of local development consists in proximity to you. It seems it would be easier to work if you have eye-to-eye contact with developers. But today it is not that important. Foreign development companies can perform much better results. It can be a worthy thing to entrust them your project.
6. Functional characteristics
Being supported with consultations of professional developers, together you will be able to build a technical draft of your future app. The features you select on this stage will have a significant effect both on the success of your app and on a price for its development. A great challenge at this stage is to make a reasonable decision: not to save too much in prejudice of app’s quality and not to spend too much for unnecessary IT-solutions. Only credible and reliable software development company will calculate reasonable mobile app development price for you.
What influences the final cost most of all:
- general complexity, like number of screens and buttons or the amount of built-in logic;
- social and user engagement, like authorization, notifications, networking and so on; things like storing passwords or login via social networks results in higher costs;
- location based services, via-application purchases, and additional similar services, which require more time for development and consequently result in cost increase;
- using native device features, being rather expensive but probably a necessary step, since mobile software develops fast and requirements become higher and higher;
- visual design and customization, where individual design is a rather complicated and expensive process;
- platforms: iOS, Android, Windows or hybrid;
- backend infrastructure, which involves an OS providing the possibility of data exchange between an app and a database;
- administration panel, being a great tool to manage the content of an app and follow statistics of its usage.
7. A ready-to-launch app
Having received the first sample of your app, test it and investigate consumers’ reaction to it. Do not stop at this stage. Continue your apps’ development and improvement. This is the only way to stay among demanded products.
We cannot suggest you any exact step-by-step scenario of mobile app development. Every case of is unique and requires the steps appropriate only for its particular situation. Still, we hope that this article will help you to make your conclusions, appropriate to your particular case, and soon you will know how to develop mobile apps from inside.