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Are you looking to build a mobile app? Look no further!
In the infographic below, we walk you through the 10 steps for building your very own mobile app. From validating your riskiest business assumptions to optimizing and maintaining your app years down the road, we’re making the process a bit easier for anyone planning their next (or first) launch.
More detail/context for each step can be found just below the infographic, and for the complete guide – check out How To Build A Mobile App: The Definitive Guide.
Not all ideas are good ideas. When it comes to your new app, you need to make sure you’re creating something that the market is actually asking for. You can set yourself up for success by validating your product, audience and business model before you shell out tons of time and money. You do so by conducting a Riskiest Assumption Test (RAT).
The RAT process looks like this:
Leading with this approach will help you answer some key questions like, “How does my product solve my customer’s problem?” and “Is the market for what I’m offering big enough?”—and potentially save you from building something that flops.
There are two paths to consider for getting your app built: keeping it in-house or outsourcing. As you weigh your options, you want to think about the potential benefits of each:
At the end of the day, the most important factor (not to mention the most expensive) is talent. It’s a cost you can’t avoid, whether an agency is paying the wages or you are, so the decision comes down to what works best for your company.
Formulating a strategy for any new project ensures that you start off on the right foot and don’t miss any critical steps along the way. For an app build, this means 1) understanding what questions you need to answer before you begin, and 2) establishing the goals of your project.
As you strategize, it’s also good to keep in mind the key metrics you want to track. These might include:
Identifying your key metrics will help you create goals. For example, if a high number of downloads is important to the success of your app, increasing this number may be a primary goal. You can then gather user insights to figure out what’s most likely to get them to download your app and stick around, and use those insights to refine your onboarding efforts.
At this stage, you’ll define the entire user journey, screen by screen. That doesn’t mean crafting beautifully designed app screens and prototypes; instead, you need to focus on basic functionality to entice your users to come back for more.
A confusing UX is what kills many new apps. Here are a few big mistakes you need to avoid when planning your app’s user experience:
Mistake #1: Not understanding your user’s needs
Mistake #2: Trying to incorporate too many features
Mistake #3: Neglecting the onboarding experience
Mistake #4: Creating confusing and ugly navigation
To avoid these mistakes, only include the essentials (from the colours down to the language used), and ensure smooth, seamless navigation from screen to screen.
People often ask, “How long will it take to build my app?” The answer? Well, it really depends. Your timeline is influenced predominantly by these two factors:
Your timeline will also be influenced by your budget, the complexity of the app, the expertise of the team completing the build, and the processes your build team or agency has in place—all the more reason to start your project with a solid plan of attack.
A product roadmap arms you with everything you need to build your app, including budget and timelines for each step of the process. This document, which should incorporate your UX plan, will become your go-to resource for keeping the entire project on track.
Once you’ve got the key strategy, design and resourcing elements of your app pieced together, you’re in a good position to approach investors. Here’s how to ensure your pitch makes it in front of the right people—and does a good job of convincing them to invest:
Not everyone needs funding or C-suite approval for their app, but if you do, you want to be prepared.
Now we can get into the fun stuff! You’ve done all the prep, research, design and pitching—it’s time to bring your app to life. One way to do this is through Scrum.
Scrum is a framework for helping teams work together efficiently and effectively. The standard process will look something like this:
Then comes the quality assurance team, which has one goal: Break the app. They’re trying to do whatever they can to find technical bugs, UX flaws and pretty much every other possible roadblock your users could encounter.
It’s time to share your app with the world!
One of the biggest mistakes that brands and developers make is assuming that publishing to the app store will be enough to generate traction. Just because your app is in the app store doesn’t mean thousands of people will automatically find your app and flood your bank account to say thank you for making their lives better. Instead, you’ve gotta work for it.
Here’s a checklist to improve your chances of a successful launch and 5-star reviews:
To attract quality users and ensure your app gets the visibility it needs long-term, follow this three-step optimization checklist:
Eventually, you may hit a point when your downloads flatline, but don’t panic! Just do an ASO (app store optimization) health check:
There’s always somebody trying to come up with something bigger and better, so do yourself a favor and continue looking for ways to improve your app.
Keep your app fresh with new features, expanded options, improved navigation, bug fixes, software updates, etc. And don’t forget to test any changes you make to ensure your app continues to run smoothly!