In this article, we will bring a detailed guide on how to develop an app for free.
How to develop an app: Pre-App development
While it’s tempting to get started building right away, there are certain steps you need to take before you start developing. These steps are crucial to the success of your application, so don’t skip them.
1 – Define your goals
Every mobile app development project must begin with well-defined goals.
2 – Conduct Market Research
Once you have set your goals, you need to ensure that there is a market demand for your application.
3 – Create wire frames
If you’ve never built mobile apps before, you might be wondering what a wireframe is. Fortunately, it’s very easy to create.
4 – Choose your development method
There are many different ways to build an application. Before you begin, you need to determine which method is best for your unique situation.
How to develop an app: App Development
Once you have the work done in the pre-development phase, you can really start building your application. Now that you’ve validated your app idea, done all the necessary research, and got a basic understanding of how the app will work.
1. Technical Specification
Take the wireframes that you created during the pre-development process and use them to create a “tech spec.”
Think of this in terms of the building a house analogy that I keep referring back to. The tech spec can be compared to the civil engineering process. There are lots of factors to take into consideration before construction starts. You’ve got electrical, plumbing, ventilation, and things of that nature.
These are the inner workings behind the walls of your house that nobody sees. Sometimes, it makes sense to logistically change things around because it will save you lots of time and money.
2. Set Measurable Milestones
Setting milestones will help keep you and your team on track during the building process. Without benchmarks, you’ll have no way to track your progress.
The idea here is to separate your massive development project into smaller chunks. It’s much easier to chip away at lots of smaller projects than to look at one huge project from start to finish.
Each small project should be completed within a specified timeframe. Depending on the complexity of the task, this could range anywhere from a few days to a few weeks.
You can measure your progress against this timeline of milestones to ensure that you and your development team are hitting deadlines.
The best way to optimize this process is by learning a project development system. Agile development and scrum development are both prevalent project management methodologies amongst software developers.
3. Create an MVP
As you start building the app, you should always be developing an MVP—minimum viable product. The idea behind an MVP is that it forces you to think about your app’s most essential features.
What does your app actually need to function? Build those features first, then worry about everything else.
App development is virtually limitless. It’s easy to get distracted during the building process and lose sight of your goals. A month or two into the project, it’s easy to say “let’s add this feature” or “wouldn’t it be cool if the app could do this?”
Those notions will only add time and money to your project. They can even take away from the core functionality of your app.
You could always go back and add features later. In fact, we’ll address this shortly in the guide during the post-launch section.
An MVP is essentially the bare bones of your app. It has just enough of the core features to complete the simplest functionalities and use cases. Don’t worry about a beautiful design or distracting bells and whistles. That’s not important right now.
4. Quality Assurance
Once your MVP is finished, and you have a working app, you need to test it before deployment.
The app must be tested on actual mobile platforms. There are many different ways your app can be used, so the quality assurance person will have to check it on everything.
Between iPhones, iPads, Android devices, PWA, smartphones, tablets, and more, you have your work cut out. Make sure the app works online, offline, and so on. Devices with different software versions or screen sizes might have issues that aren’t found elsewhere.
So don’t just test the app once on your phone and assume that it’s working correctly.
The final stage of the development process is deployment. It’s time to get your app live and into the hands of actual users.
Don’t worry about backward compatibility or anything like that. Right now, your primary focus needs to be uptime and visibility. Make sure that the application is fully functional for the end-user. The last thing you want is for your servers to crash or something like that.
There are many different software options and tools on the market that you can use to ensure that the app is healthy and that the software is responsive.
In order to get your app to market, you need to submit it to the different app stores. There are various requirements for Google Play Store apps and Apple App Store apps. So you must understand all of the different submission guidelines before you go through this process.
How to develop an app: Launching the app
1. Marketing Your App
Your app is a business; treat it accordingly. Would you launch a new business without any promotion? Obviously not.
You could have the best app on the planet. But your efforts won’t matter if nobody knows about it. Your app must be marketed appropriately to get some eyeballs on it and pique user interest.
Start by driving visitors to your website and app. Visitors become users. Users become paid members.
Make sure you have a digital presence on as many marketing platforms as possible. Prioritize the channels where your user base spends the most time. Promote your app on social media channels, like Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and LinkedIn. If you’re targeting a younger generation, you can even promote the app on Snapchat and TikTok.
Create video promotions and app demonstrations. Upload those videos to YouTube. You can always repurpose those videos on other distribution channels.
2. Gather Feedback
Always get feedback from your users.
Prior to your first launch, you probably did some research or asked some friends for their opinions. However, most of this was based on your own intuition.
But once you’ve deployed it for the first time, you’ll have real customers using the app. Ask them what they think about it. As much as you hate hearing this, at the end of the day, your opinion doesn’t matter. It’s all about your customers and users.
Don’t be shy. Customers like being asked about their thoughts. People who don’t want to weigh in won’t care if you ask. They’ll just ignore you. It’s not like they’re going to be annoyed.
But the users who participate will become invested in the success of your app and give you genuine feedback.
You’ll have to keep in mind what feedback is related to fear of change or fear of cost increase. But you can ask your customers questions in a way that gives them the opportunity to be honest.
3. Make Improvements
No app is perfect. Even the most successful apps on the planet are constantly coming up with updates. The new version releases of your app should be based on user feedback, which we discussed in the previous step.
When you go back in and make changes to the app, you should follow the same steps that you used during the development process. Always put the app through quality assurance before the release is available to the public.
There’s something else you need to keep an eye on for when you’re updating an app. It’s called regression testing.
Subsequent deployments for new features or updates could create new problems that weren’t there in the past. In short, something that worked with your previous release has not stopped working because of changes made during the update.
4. Maintenance and Support
There will always be ongoing maintenance for your app. That’s why it’s crucial that you retain your development team.
In addition to your app coming out with new versions, mobile device operating systems come out with updates as well. You need to make sure that your app is compatible with the latest software versions from Apple and Android.
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ArrowHitech consistently delivers the most suitable solutions at affordable prices. After working with thousands of clients from the U.S, UK, France to Japan, Singapore and Australia, you will be satisfied when counting on us. We are glad to transform your vision into successful reality!
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