A mobile app is ideal for improving sales, adding new sources of revenue, and increasing brand awareness. Rather than tethering all of your services to a website, a mobile app allows customers to access your products directly from their smartphone.
Fortunately, designing and developing a mobile app is easier and more affordable than most people think. See our step-by-step process below.
1. Define your Goals and Objectives
First, you need to know the overall goals and objectives of your project. Your mobile app should fulfill the following two criteria: be beneficial for your audience and improve your business operations. Customers should experience an immediate benefit from using your app. Does it speed up a specific process, or sync with their desktop and cloud data? How will your mobile app make their life better?
As for improving your business, a mobile app can increase ROI, drive office productivity, cut costs and give you an edge over your competition, just to name a few. In addition, it can resolve numerous problems that businesses face on a regular basis, such as improving customer service, automating tedious processes, and jumpstarting growth.
2. Sketch a Build of your Mobile App
Now you can begin to layout the features of your mobile app. Do you want to make it easier for customers to schedule and book appointments with your team? Do you want a chat-based customer service feature? Are you looking for shareable features that integrate with social media? If it adds value to your app, you should consider including it.
3. Research the Marketplace
Knowing what your competitors are doing will help you finalize the features you intend to incorporate. Researching local and global competitors may also help you create fresh ideas unavailable anywhere else. After all, you shouldn’t aim to simply copy an existing application but to enhance and build upon the services that are already available.
What weaknesses can you find in a competitor’s app? What are they doing that’s beneficial? What do you think they’re missing? Taking the time to analyze multiple applications and how they fit in the current marketplace will give you a much better idea of the environment your mobile app will be entering.
4. Create a Wireframe
A wireframe is the visual skeleton of a mobile app. It’s a storyboard that enables you to picture how each element and feature in your app will flow together before you’ve taken the plunge into development. Building a wireframe is an excellent time to imagine how a typical use case will unfold. You can determine the number of screens it takes from launching the app to reaching a specific goal while eliminating any obstacles a user might face along the way.
5. Test a Prototype
You’re ready to take your wireframe and plug it into a program that makes it interactive. Many services that enable you to simulate your app by linking each wireframe page together. You can add images, hyperlinks, and share your interactive prototype with the rest of your team. It’s an excellent chance to gather last minute feedback, test whether the app is intuitive to new users, and ensure your mobile app meets the business objectives you defined in the first step.
6. Choose How to Develop your App
It’s now time to begin building your app. Will you opt to create and code it in-house, or will you hire a mobile app development service to make it for you? It may come as a surprise, but hiring a company to develop your mobile app is far more affordable than most people think. An in-house operation takes experienced coders and software developers, not to mention time, money and resources. When you hire the services of a professional team, you not only gain talent and experience but on-hand technical assistance and post-launch support.
7. Build and Test your Mobile App
A mobile app development service will now take your ideas and bring your mobile app to life. Communicate with the designers and developers on a regular basis to ensure your app is exactly how you envisioned it. Make sure the branding is appropriate and integrates with your identity.
Finally, test your app for any bugs and inconsistencies. You want your mobile app to make a good first impression, and part of that involves a smooth and seamless mobile experience. Put yourself in the shoes of an average user and test to make sure they can go from downloading and installing the app to reaching their final goal.
8. Launch your App
You’re ready to launch! Ensure your website is updated to reflect the new app and remind all of your customers that your app is available to download. Run social media promotions to attract new users, and boost morale with a launch party celebration. You’ve earned it!
Creating a Mobile App is Easier Than You Think
Building a great product will always take time, but the essential steps for mobile app development are straightforward and easy to accomplish. With a solid outline of your business goals and an understanding of the market, your app will compete within, you’ll be able to build a strong and successful mobile app.
Do you have any questions regarding mobile app development? We’re here to help.