Now that we’re living in a world with more than 2 million apps, it’s hard to imagine how your app could ever stand out.
Thankfully, learning how to make an app from scratch is about more than being able to code like a prodigy. It’s also about how to work together with a variety of people to create something powerful.
Here are four tips to ensure that the product you’re working on developing has a serious liftoff.
1. Start With Research
When you want to build your own app, you would be making a mistake if you didn’t do some research in advance. You need to start your journey by figuring out what’s already on the market so you don’t risk trying to reinvent the wheel. When you’re looking to build a unique and powerful app, you don’t want to recreate anything else or create a subpar version of something already out there.
You also need to figure out what is possible. If you find an example of some very specific and technical application you’re looking for, you might find that it’s more complicated than you thought. When you see it in action, it could be much more challenging of a task than it initially seemed on paper.
If you find that there’s a gap in the market that you think you can fill, that’s an exciting feeling. However, you need to pump your brakes and realize you might not be the first person to ever try to build this thing. If that’s the case, then you need to consider why people might not have tried to build something so obvious or whether they tried and failed.
You can learn a lot from the failure of others as well as save yourself from sorrow later on in the process.
2. Start Prototyping
Here is where you can get creative and start figuring out the look, feel, and behavior of your app. Since most app behavior has to do with a few simple motions like swiping, tapping or scrolling, you need to work within these boundaries. Your prototypes shouldn’t require your users to learn a whole new set of behaviors before they can engage.
Your prototypes should have more than a few screens of what your app should look like. Even if you can’t digitally design or code the screens on your own, then you should at least mock up some drawings. Your design team will need something concrete to get the process started.
Figure out the user flow with some simple user stories. A user story starts with a condition like “the user logs in”, and then goes through several steps in the process. Come up with a number of potential use cases for simple engagement with the application and you’ll be able to show how you want people using the app.
If it’s intuitive enough, then you won’t need anyone to tell people how to use it.
3. How Much Can You Afford
One of the biggest challenges with creating your own app is that you’ll have to pay for it too. While the cost of the app can be very low if you have staff on hand to handle it, however, you’ll need to compensate those people for their roles as you grow. Consider how much you can afford and what kind of app you need for that budget.
Create a list of all of the features that you want in a product before you start building. This will give you an idea of the scope of how big your product should be. Scale back that original list and create a basic version, and then scale back again.
This will help you come up with an MVP or minimum viable product. This is the version of the product with the least amount of features for you to feel comfortable releasing it to the public. When you release this version of the product, you’ll be able to stand behind it, even if it seems like it’s missing something
You can add those elements during later iterations and versions of the product. Once you have your minimum viable product outlined, you can start making a roadmap.
4. Building your Plan
You need a list of deadlines for when you’re going to be able to have each element of the app finished. As you go along, you’ll run into issues with technical feasibility. As you run into problems, write them down so that you can do some research later.
Figure out when you want your final product finished and start working backward, week by week. Make sure you build in enough time for testing and prototyping. You’re going to change your content as you build and tweak the product, so don’t get married to an idea yet.
Some of the prototyping tools that you’ll use will help you to create visual models. Those will help to give you an idea of how many days it’ll take to complete each task. Break down every single task related to building your application so that you can budget out how much each element costs you in labor.
If you can’t do it all on your own, check out this App Builder for help.
Learning How To Make An App From Scratch Isn’t Hard
Thankfully, learning how to make an app from scratch isn’t necessarily all that involved. You can make a simple app easily if you’re willing to learn.
For what’s cutting edge in app design, check out our guide for tips.