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A 12-Step Guide to Building Your Very First Mobile App

Step 1: Define Your Goal

Defining a clear goal for the app is also going to help you get there faster.
mobile app goal diagram

Step 2: Start Sketching

By developing sketches you are laying the foundation for your future interface. In this step you visually conceptualize the main features and the approximate layout and structure of your application.
mobile app sketch

Step 3: Research

This research has four main purposes:
  1. Find out whether there are other apps doing the same thing
  2. Find design inspiration for your app
  3. Find information on the technical requirements for your app
  4. Find out how you can market and monetize your app

Step 4: Create a Wireframe and Storyboard

In this phase your ideas and features fuse into a clearer picture. Wireframing is the process of creating a mockup or prototype of your app. 
mobile app storyboard diagram

Step 5: Define the Back End of Your Mobile App

Your wireframes and storyboard now become the foundation of your back-end structure. Draw a sketch of your servers, APIs, and data diagrams. This will be a helpful reference for the developer, and as more people join the project you will have a (mostly) self-explanatory diagram for them to study.

Step 6: Test Your Prototype

Revert to your wireframes and ask friends, family, colleagues, and experts to help you review your prototype. Grant them access to the wireframe and have them give your app a test run. Ask them for their honest feedback and to identify flaws and dead-end links. If possible, invite them to your studio and have them try out the prototype in front of you. Monitor how they use the app, taking note of their actions and adapting your UI/UX to them.

Step 7: Build the Back End of Your App

Now that your app has been defined pretty clearly, it is time to get started on the back end of your system. Your developer will have to set up servers, databases, APIs, and storage solutions.

Step 8: Design the App “Skins”

“Skins” are what designers/developers call the individual screens needed for the app. Your designer’s job is now to come up with high-resolution versions of what were previously your wireframes.

Step 9: Test Again (Yes, Again)

Once your designer has completed the design skins, you’re up for another round of testing. Don’t think that you are all set with what you’ve done so far. For the first time you have your actual app concept completely in place, all the graphics inserted, and all text as it should be. Which means you can finally test your app in the way it will really look and feel.

Step 10: Revise and Continue to Build

Once you’ve given your design a test drive and collected more feedback from future users, you should use these new ideas to polish your app idea. You can still ask your designer to change the layout, and you can still tell your developer to change something on the back end.

Step 11: Refine Each Detail

As you continue to build you will want to have a constant look at your new app. On Android, for example, it is easy to install your app file on a device to test its functionality in a live environment. iOS is different. There you will require a platform like TestFlight to download and test your app as it proceeds.

Step 12: Release Time!

App marketplaces have very different policies when it comes to publishing a new app. Android, for example, does not review newly submitted apps right away. They’ll pass by at some point and check it out but you are able to instantly add your app to Google Play.

How to launch a successful mobile app

Once Abraham Lincoln said: “Give me six hours to chop a tree and I’ll spend four hours grinding my axe”. He surely knew that planning is essential for any successful business. And your mobile app is such a business. Very often developers release their apps without due planning and as a result get disappointed in seeing bad results or no result at all. In this article I’d like to share some ideas about successful app launching.

Know your goals and KPI

Mobile app business is a full of competitors. It doesn't matter whether you’re a big company with money or just two friends developing an app, you need to have clear goals and a plan on achieving them. To be successful at the mobile apps market means to understand what happens to your application once you’ve launched it. Here’re four recommendations to consider when planning to release an app in the market. You can also take help from Internet marketing company like ITC to populate your app in the market.

Track your app’s performance

For launching successful and profitable app you need you need to track its performance and user experience. You need to use both qualitative and quantitative methods for tracking these data. Quantitative methods are the data from such analytical platforms as Flurry or Kontagent, which track certain actions and offer binary data. Qualitative data are direct reviews from users which express their emotions, level of interest and non-binary data.

Concentrate on the first-time experience

Here I mean the process when a user launches an app for the first or second time. Many successful developers pay more than 50% of their efforts to the first-time experience. It’s important to track every action in during this period with the help of precise data and beta-testing.
Very often it is difficult for developers and manufacturers to find out the problems about the app they’ve developed. That’s why you need clear goals to see if you can stick up to the plan.

Involvement indices

Before starting a big campaign many developers determine the main involvement indices for measuring app’s KPI. These indices include time spent in the app, number of sessions per day/per week, number of repeated actions.
You may consider these indices to be simple and uninformative, but they are important when planning your campaign. High involvement index is the key factor in success.

Concentrate on conversion

If you’re planning to release an app, it’s important to estimate the expected CLV (Customer Lifetime Value). If you launch a paid app then this parameter won’t work until you introduce payments within your app. But it’s important to determine CLV before entering the market. This is a very important factor.
You may determine your initial CLV by testing your apps on beta-territories. It’s becoming a common practice for developers to test their apps on such beta-territories as Canada, UK and Australia. These are English-speaking countries and their population reflects demographic characteristics of other English-speaking countries.
It’s hard to find out KPI without testing it on a large user database. So you need to try to launch your app on 1-2 non-English-speaking territories. If your initial rates are low, then you’d better concentrate on improving your app. If users can’t adapt to your app, then you need to change this situation. If users quickly adapt in the app but also quickly abandon it, then you need to improve your involvement index.
And finally, try to estimate your Customer Lifetime Value. If your CLV and involvement indices are high but users still don’t buy your app, then re-consider your monetization strategy.