There’s An App For That: 7 Ways to Make Your App Ideas A Reality
Building an app is not as hard as you think. Check out these 7 ways to make your app ideas a reality.
The number of mobile phone users is expected to rocket to a huge 5 billion people worldwide in 2019. Apps are the driver for smartphone use and enjoyment – so if you want to cash in on the trend, it’s time to build your own.
Coming up with app ideas is the simple part: find a niche, research the competition, and either develop something better or an entirely new app.
However, what do you do when you’ve got the most amazing app idea? Keep reading to discover how to generate ideas AND build your app with ease.
How to Come Up with Good App Ideas
If you want to make an app, but you’re struggling for ideas, it’s time to turn the reflection on yourself for a bit.
What makes you tick? What hobbies or interests rev your engine? Which apps do you already use on a regular basis – and what is missing from them?
If you’re creating an app for your business, consider what your customers need from an app. Are you creating a new way for them to contact you? Is this app going to be a knowledge base for your products? Do you want to gain more customers from the app?
Understanding what the end result of the app should be is the best place to start when you’re generating ideas for an app.
Whether you want to create the next top-rated stress reliever appor help your existing customers make the most out of your products, there are seven easy steps you need to take to turn your idea into reality.
7 Easy Steps to Make Your App a Reality
Building an app sounds more complex than it really is. Follow these simple steps to make your app dreams come true!
1. Reflect on What You Want to Provide or Gain from Your App
Before you even consider the technology you’re going to require to make your app, plan out exactly what you want from it.
Who will your audience be? What is the purpose of the app? How does it tie into the customer needs or wants?
Research your current competitors. If you’ve found a gap in the market with no competitors, find out if there is a reason for that. Have other similar apps failed in the past? Why? This will help you to avoid making the same mistakes.
A solid plan on paper will help to make the next six steps even easier.
2. Research Revenue Options
If you want to make money from your app, it’s time to consider how you want to earn revenue.
Will you be hosting adverts on a free app? Or do you want to focus on in-app purchases?
If you need in-app purchases as an option for your users, it’s important to build in a secure payment option.
If your revenue is to come from advertising, now’s the time to put together a list of potential sponsors and create a pitch pack to entice them into paying for adverts in your app.
3. Get Doodling
Sketch your ideas out on paper. What do you want the app to look like?
Remember to consider the user journey. Think about how each app page connects to another. How will users navigate between areas? Will there be different user types, such as consumers and businesses? And, if so, how will their experience differ?
Flow charts, mind maps, and sketches will all help to draw your ideas together into a cohesive plan for the build process of your app.
A competitor mood board is also helpful at this point. Take elements from competitor apps that you came across during the research stage that you did – and didn’t – like. Put these in a visual board, or collect them in software like Evernote, to help build an idea of what you do (and don’t) want your app to look like.
4. Create a Wireframe
A wireframe isn’t as technical as it sounds, and it’s a great way to start turning your app ideas into reality. There are lots of tools available for app wireframes – and they’re easy even for beginners to use.
Storyboard your app ideas, user journey, and pages available into wireframes. This is a static page that has added functionality: it acts as the app would. For example, if your app homepage has links to click to other pages, you can add this to the wireframe.
This is how you build a very clear idea of how the app will really work, and it’ll help you to identify potential sticking points that need ironing out before the build process begins.
5. Build the Back End of the App
Use an app builder to create the technical elements of the app. A good service will allow you to build your app with every essential element, from creating APIs to delineating your servers.
If that sentence made no sense to you, don’t panic. These elements are the backbone of an app: they’re what make those wireframes you designed come to life. If you’re confused at this point, you have two options:
1) Spend time researching the technical details and learn all you need to know; or,
2) Hire an app developer to turn your ideas into a technical reality
Which route you choose depends on your time requirements, budget, and whether you want to build or develop more apps in the future. It could be worthwhile learning the technical elements if you want to create more apps, but this will take a lot of time compared to hiring a professional developer.
6. Beta Test the App Before Release
Now’s the time to call on your friends, family, neighbors, and acquaintances. Introduce them to your app and ask them to use it as if they were a customer.
Gather their feedback about what works, and what doesn’t, so that you can go into round two of the build and development stage with a clear idea of the improvements required.
Ask them to identify problems such as bugs, broken links, and difficult user experiences such as unclear navigation. Your mom might say it’s great, but push your beta testers to provide honest feedback – otherwise, your app won’t be as good as it could be.
The testing stage can be done over and over until you and your beta testers are happy with the final result.
7. Sign Up for Stores and Prepare Your Admin
When you’re confident that your app is ready to face the world, sign up to the app stores such as Google Play and Apple. You’ll need to set up an account with each provider: allow plenty of time as it may take a few days for approval.
While you’re waiting for your new accounts to be approved, consider the other admin for your app. If you handle personal data, where can users access your data policy? What about the terms and conditions of use?
If your app handles payments in any way, make sure you also have the payment platforms set up and any information regarding refunds, subscriptions, and consumer rights available for customers.
Market Your App Like a Pro
Your app ideas have turned into a completed app – congratulations!
Now, it’s time to market your app. Application Store Optimization (ASO) is the best way to make sure your new app reaches your target audience. It’s like search engine optimization, but the strategy is refined exclusively for app stores like Google Play.
Get your new app at the top of the download lists with a hot marketing strategy: read our ASO 101 guide to get started!