Many business leaders want to know how to start developing an app for their company. Unfortunately, most people presume that mobile app development is complicated and beyond the scope of their knowledge. However, just because mobile app development is not a skill you possess doesn’t mean you can’t start the app development process. Many of the most important parts of the app development process can be done without writing a single line of code.
Few business leaders realize that to create an app, you must thoroughly plan and research. Fleshing out an in-depth app idea doesn’t require app development experience. It only requires imagination, market insight, and an understanding of app users. Whether you want to build a web or mobile app, this post will walk you through the tasks you need to consider to start developing a successful app. You don’t need any technical app development skills to start developing an app.
Define Your Goals and Objectives
A successful app is not simply created overnight. The app development process takes time. Many things need to be considered before a single line of code can be written if you want to create an app that will delight users. Before you do anything else, the first thing you need to do is define your goals and objectives.
Why does your business want to create an app? What purpose will it serve your company and the app users? App development and maintenance represent a significant financial investment, but the end product likely won’t produce the desired results if your business doesn’t have clear goals and objectives.
A great place to start figuring out your company’s goals and objectives is to consider what your app will do. Will your app solve a user’s needs? Or perhaps it is merely a tool to drive brand awareness. Every mobile and web app has a purpose that it serves. If you want to start developing an app, you must define the purpose of your application.
Regardless of the application, you want to build, it must always satisfy two basic requirements: your target audience’s needs and your business’s needs. In addition, defining objectives and goals is crucial to the success of your app development project. A project without clear objectives risks meandering and wasting time and financial resources. Therefore, you should never begin the app development process without clear objectives and goals.
Brainstorm Features and Functions
Once you have clear objectives and goals, the next thing you need to do is start planning the features and functions of your app. First, write down all the features and functions you want to include in your app. Which features and functions of the app are essential to accomplishing your goals and objectives?
A great way to begin identifying key features and functions of your app is to look at similar apps currently available on app stores. What features are missing from similar apps on the app stores? Which features and functions are other apps innovating? Are there opportunities to integrate features, such as Augmented Reality or Artificial Intelligence, not commonly associated with other similar apps?
While you are brainstorming features and functions, begin removing features that are not essential to your app’s performance. For the first version of your app or MVP, only include features and functions that will add direct value. Additionally, irrelevant features will only slow down your app’s performance.
Once you release your app, you can begin incorporating additional features using user feedback and reviews to guide your efforts. However, beginning with the essential features will focus development efforts and reduce costs.
As you begin determining which features and functions are essential to the success of your app, you will naturally also start performing competitor research and analysis. Competitor research is an essential part of building a successful app. Don’t underestimate the immense value that can be gained from competitor analysis and research.
Not only will research into your competition show you which features and functions are most popular with your target audience, but it will also show you the mistakes others have made so your company can avoid them. The app stores are full of reviews of your competitors’ products. Check out what app users wish was better and what they like most about your competition. You can use this information to develop a better product.
Competitor research will also help you understand how much consumer demand there is for your product. It may help you rethink your initial app idea or help you create new ideas that appeal to a larger potential audience. Don’t jump into the app development process blindly.
Choose a Development Path
Once you have thought through your app idea and features and done research into your market and competition, you must choose a development path. If you are creating a web app or another software solution, there is less to consider here. However, if you are building a mobile app, there are several different paths to consider.
The two primary development paths you will have to choose from are native app development and cross-platform app development. A native app is built specifically for a particular operating system. The major mobile operating systems are iOS and Android. iOS apps and Android apps are built to take advantage of the hardware and software present on each platform. These apps offer the highest level of performance and typically offer the best User Experience. However, if you build a native iOS app, you won’t be able to reach Android users and vice versa.
If your business wants to reach users on both platforms, you will have to develop two separate native apps, one for each platform. Developing two native apps can be costly and time-consuming. However, there is another way to reach a wide audience without developing two apps, cross-platform app development.
Cross-platform app development allows developers to write one app and publish it on both app stores. The cross-platform approach is popular with businesses that want to reach the widest possible audience but don’t have or want to spend the resources necessary to build two separate apps. For businesses that want to avoid the app stores altogether, there is another development path that has gained a lot of attention and popularity lately, Progressive Web App (PWA).
A PWA looks like a mobile app, but it is downloaded through the browser instead of an app store. Essentially, Progressive Web Apps are web applications that can be downloaded and saved to a user’s home screen and incorporate some mobile app features like offline access and push notifications.
Choosing the right development path for your app will depend largely on your goals and target audience. For example, if you want to use your app to generate revenue, iOS apps are better at generating revenue even though they reach a smaller number of mobile app users. However, if you want to reach the widest possible audience, perhaps cross-platform development is the best choice for your app.
You can start developing an app without any technical experience or knowledge. However, it is helpful to collaborate with an experienced partner as well. If you need help determining the best path forward for your application, reach out to an app development partner. A skilled app development partner will help you choose the right technologies and the best development path for your goals and objectives. Trust an experienced guide to show you how to start developing an app.