How to create a mobile app in 2023
Apps are becoming a part of everyday life, and most popular brands have their own mobile apps to interact with customers and increase brand awareness.
Apps have already become an integral part of human life. We use it every day for different tasks: ordering pizza, calling a taxi, planning a day, choosing a movie for the evening - everything we want is on the mobile phone.
All major brands have their own successful mobile apps for communicating with customers and attracting a new audience. And recently, when the app development process has become more accessible and not so expensive, many medium and small entrepreneurs have got one for themselves.
In this article, we will look at how to create a mobile application from scratch: from the idea to the app maintenance cost.
This is a full 8-step guide on how to create a successful mobile app.
Find a problem to solve
The idea is the core of the project. Before starting your project, think about what problem you will solve.
Imagine that you have compiled the perfect mobile application. You've been working on it for a whole year or even two. You took into account every detail, including design, promotion, and development. Everything is perfect. You even added the latest technology trends in mobile app development, and now your code works quickly and smoothly.
Excellent results! You are ready to enter the market!
With the same enthusiasm, you launched the project and put another $100,000 - $200,000 into the promotion of the application. You may even have prepared a speech for journalists from Forbes - after all, they will soon come to interview the most successful entrepreneur of our century!
A great picture, except for the problem - the number of users of your app is not growing. In the beginning, you got your thousand, maybe even ten thousand users. But then no one downloads your mobile application, no one is interested. But what is the problem?! You have taken into account every detail!
The app works fine, but it does not solve any users’ problems. Therefore, users do not need your project and do not download it.
It's a terrible shame, isn't it? Therefore, the first point in our guide is to find the problem.
In finding a problem, we recommend that you use The Jobs To Be Done (JTBD) framework. It is a great tool for every entrepreneur to build a project from scratch or modify an existing product. We have described it in detail in our article. Read it and you will understand how to use JTBD in practice, how projects are improving, and what you should pay attention to.
Find similar apps out there and test the hell out of them
Immediately after you understand what the theme of your mobile application will be and what problem it will solve, you should turn to the market and analyze existing solutions. Simply put, to conduct a competitive analysis.
Download all applications that are your direct or indirect competitors. Analyze them completely. Starting with how exactly they solve the problem you have chosen and ended with the design of the mobile application.
Shake out all the information and apply it to your project in the future. Here are a few points that you can consider when analyzing competitors:
User-friendliness of the interface.
1. First of all, you need to pay attention to the basic UI/UX design.
UI - user interface. That is, how much you enjoy using the application in terms of colors, and shapes. How beautiful is the app? Write down exactly what you like about his appearance.
UX - user experience. That is, how convenient it is for you to use the application. Are the icons conveniently located, do you suffer trying to find some button? Is it convenient to use one hand? Etc. Also write down what you remember from the amenities, which all competitors have similar features. Also, pay attention to what you didn't like from the competitors. Fix this while building a drawing of your mobile app.
2. Accessibility on all platforms.
Does the competitor have a paid application or not? Is it available on both Android and iOS platforms?
How do competitors make money? Is it additional purchases, internal purchases, subscriptions, or something else? Write out the whole sheet for yourself!
4. Integration with other platforms.
Does the competitor use the application as a separate tool, or does it have integration with a large web platform? Try to find the entire ecosystem.
Find a killer feature
Differentiate or die. Now that you have analyzed your competitors and understood their strengths and weaknesses, it's time to figure out how you will differ from them.
Look at existing projects, change them, modify, and release something of your own, rather than writing an application from absolute scratch.
Of course, you should not copy such fundamental concepts as identity, logo, motto, mission and vision, and development strategy, but you can create something new based on an existing product.
To do this, analyze the customer's problems, how satisfied they are with the product, what they don't like, what additional benefits they would like to see, what stops them from buying, and so on. Find your competitor's weaknesses and fix them in your product.
Design a prototype
And only at step 4 you proceed to start creating a mobile application. At this point, be sure that you could find a good customer problem, analyze competitors, and come up with your killer feature.
And so, where to start creating a prototype?
First of all, create a document. In it, give a brief description of what kind of application idea you have, and what kind of client problem it solves.
Then collect all your analyses in one document, and write down the top strongest and the top weakest sides of your competitors in your opinion.
Next, describe the basic functionality that the mobile application should have. For example, the ability to pay inside the application. Integration with the LMS (Learning Management System) platform, QR code reading, internal notification-sending system, and so on.
Don't forget to also pick up the company colors and, if possible, the font.
If you are confident in yourself, you can develop the application yourself, but we recommend finding a mobile app development company that fits your requirements and continuing to work on the project with them.
The document would be needed so that the app development team would understand what your project looks like and be able to give an objective assessment of whether it is possible to create all the functionality that you have listed. Also, experienced designers of the company will be able to suggest which color scheme is better to use in your case, keeping in mind that you have already chosen which colors you want to see the application.
It is also important to keep in mind that there are several ways to develop a mobile application: Native and Cross-platform development. The company should offer you the most suitable approach for your requirements.
As soon as the stage of planning, approval of budgets, deadlines, and application design is over, you should start developing your MVP.
Find the main feature and make an MVP
Never run your app without checking for MVP!
MVP (Minimum Viable Product) is your project with only one basic unique functionality, which is the essence of your application. This beta version is done in the shortest possible time and with a minimum budget.
To create an MVP, you don't need to use pure code or make the application perfect. You only need to take into account its main function and quickly launch it on the market so that customers will tell you whether they need your mobile app or not.
No-code and low-code platforms are great for this. For your understanding, in no-code platforms, all you need to do is check boxes or drag and drop interface elements onto a software canvas! And build your app in this simple way.
It is like building a lego. The difference is that as a result, you will have a ready app.
Collect the feedback and statistics
As we said, MVP is needed so that you can collect primary statistics and analyses, and based on them understand how your application fits the requirements of the end user and whether they need your solution.
There are several indicators for this:
1. Number of downloads:
The first indicator is that your application is catching and may interest users. So you understand that you have found a real problem that customers want to solve.
2. Reviews of the app:
The best resource to understand what can be improved and what you missed during development is user feedback. Enjoy both negative and positive comments. Collect them all and use them during the creation of the original version of the mobile application.
3. The cost of advertising:
Controversial, but still an indicator of how relevant your application is on the market. It's not an accurate indicator, because the role is also played by what audience you set up the ad for, and how you set it up.
4. Growth in the number of users:
By this parameter, you will be able to determine how much the problem that your application solves is relevant in real life
Find the right development company
After launching the MVP and collecting preliminary data, it's time to start developing the original application as you originally conceived it.
It is important to consider several points here:
1. The right company
Don't underestimate the importance of choosing the right app development company. Because the quality of the final product depends on it. What does “the right company" mean? This means that you should choose a development team with experience in the field in which you are launching your product. If these are banking applications, then you need people with experience in fintech, if these are social networks, you need someone who created social networks.
2. Development platform
As we said earlier, there are several ways to develop an application: native and cross-platform. Everyone has their disadvantages and their advantages. Choosing the right one will help you not to spend an extra budget, meet deadlines, make the application as comfortable as possible for the user and save you from unnecessary expenses after the launch of the project.
3. Data security
62% of 428 IT security and DevOps leaders at large enterprises have been impacted by Software Supply Chain Attacks. So do not forget that the security of the personal data of users, as well as the company, is the priority.
Launch & Maintain
And the final step is, of course, the launch and support of the project.
It is important to note that the support of a mobile application costs from 20% to 50% of the original cost of developing the application itself. Therefore, take this into account in the allocation of your budget.
And you can't refuse support, because otherwise, your project will stand still. When customers complain, but they are not heard, bugs are revealed, new trends in software and cybersecurity come out, competitors bring new features to the market, and you ignore everything that is happening, the market steps over you and your project, on which you have worked so carefully, loses its users and remains in the past.
Therefore, never underestimate the importance of supporting your mobile app. By the way, we have described this in detail in our article How much does it cost to maintain an app in 2023
To start working on a project, you should conduct a competitive market analysis, check all existing analogs, find a really good problem that your mobile application can solve, and only then start creating prototypes.
It is also important that you develop an MVP, collect user reviews and only then start creating the original application as you conceived it.
Choosing the right company will reduce your costs both for creating an application and for its support. In addition, together with the best team of mobile developers, you will be able to release your project quickly and efficiently. The company will help you in choosing the right platform for development and will advise the best option for your case.
Jafton has been in the app development market since 2013. We are trusted by both large business players like Kroger and state administrations. We have earned the title of the best mobile app development company in NYC and in Miami according to Clutch.
Start developing your personal mobile app together with the best mobile app development company in New York.
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At Jafton, we take a people-centric approach to building and designing your next big idea. We come alongside you to become your partner at whatever stage you're at. We know that building an app that people love can be a risky, creative endeavor. That’s why we don’t make assumptions. We remove them. We discover, strategize, design, develop, brand, and launch businesses into the world.