Mobile App Development: A Comprehensive Guide

Gimena Aguerreberry
April 21, 2021

Are you struggling to get more customers and make more sales? Have you considered using app development to diversify and scale your company? Creating a mobile or web app may be the solution you need.

Operating systems like iOS and Android provide an excellent path to your ideal customer. Then, you won't have to rely on getting them to your website.

Keep reading to learn more about web app development.

Set Clear Goals

The first step to develop a mobile app is to set goals for the process. Your goals can focus on when you want to release the app, what you want to include, or how much money you want it to make.

Having good goals will provide direction as you come up with an app idea and validate it. As you go through the app development process, you can refer to your goals whenever you have a question.

That way, you can make sure to stay on track toward those objectives. Your goals should be specific and achievable, but they can push you out of your comfort zone.

Without any goals, you won't have the direction you need to develop an excellent app. Then, you may need to spend more time working on the app or coming up with ideas for it.

Work Together

Whether you hire employees to build a mobile app or work with an app development company, you'll need to work with others on your project. Make sure you and the other people have the same goals and priorities.

Disagreements can happen, so having a plan that you come up with together can help. When you do disagree with someone, you can refer to the initial plan.

You can ask the people on your development team about the timeline and specific tasks everyone can do. By working together, you'll be able to make developing an app as stress-free as possible.

Do Market Research

When creating a web app or mobile app, you should conduct market research for your app idea. Go to Google or a mobile app store to see if similar apps already exist.

If so, look at the reviews to learn what users like and don't like about current apps. While you don't want too much competition, having some other apps shows you that there is a demand for your idea.

After looking at the reviews, use them to help create a unique user experience. For example, if people find the existing apps too simple, add more features to yours.

If you can't find similar apps, look for other websites or programs online. See if they have reviews or if you can translate the experience to a mobile app.

Formulate a Strategy

After you find a good app idea, you'll need to come up with a development strategy. The goal of this is to help your app users get the most out of the final product.

Your app development strategy should cover how you will make that end goal happen. Include the various features you need or want the app to have as well as how you plan to execute your strategy.

Use the information from your market research to inform your strategy. Not only will you fill the market need, but you can make sure to develop a mobile app that people want and will use.

Focus on the Design

When creating different types of mobile apps, the design should remain a focal point. Your app design should be attractive, and it should allow for a simple user interface.

Even if you want to add tons of features, you want to make your app easy to use. That way, you can get people to come back to it after they download your app.

Design elements include the colors, fonts, and layout you plan to use. You should also think about if you'll have a navigation menu and what pages you'll include.

That way, you and your development team can make the design work well. When you're ready to launch the app, you'll know that people will be able to learn how to use the app quickly.

Determine How to Monetize

Different types of mobile apps use unique monetization strategies. However, your app won't succeed if you don't use at least one method to make money.

One option is to require people to pay a small fee when they download the app. That can be a great way to make money, but it can limit your income to the number of downloads you get.

If you want to make more as people use the app, you can sell ad space to other companies. Each add view or click can help you earn more revenue.

Similarly, in-app purchases don't limit your income. You can offer advanced features for a fee while providing the basic app for no cost.

Test the App

Whether you're developing an app for one or more operating systems, you should test it before you finalize anything. Testing your app allows you to discover bugs or other issues.

If you come across anything, you can ask your developer to fix the problem. Then, you won't have to release the app to your target audience only to have to change things soon after the launch.

Make sure you test the app on iOS and Android devices if you'll release it on both platforms. While one version may work fine, the other could have issues.

Tests are also important for native apps for iOS or Android. If you use a language like Swift to develop for iOS, your app may still need changes. Bugs may not occur, but you may realize you want to change the layout or add a new feature.

Create a Marketing Plan

As you design your Android or iOS app, you can't forget about how you'll market it. Marketing can be easy to brush over, but it's essential when considering a comprehensive guide to app development.

Your marketing plan should include your marketing budget. Include how and where you plan to promote your new app, such as on social media or with traditional marketing outlets, like radio or TV.

Consider your target audience when crafting your marketing plan. Think about where your ideal user spends their time, so you can select the right platform to use for your marketing efforts.

Why Develop an App

Even with a basic understanding of how to develop an app, you may wonder if it's worth it. Creating a web app can take a lot of planning and time to go through development and testing.

However, most business owners should consider building a mobile app. It doesn't need to be the central part of your business, but it can help you grow and scale your company.

Mobile App Usage

Mobile traffic accounts for over half of all web traffic. While that includes mobile web browsers, it shows that many people love using their mobile devices.

However, mobile browsers have their limitations. If you want to reach more customers on mobile devices, you should develop a mobile app.

Native apps work well on their platforms, so they can be easier to use than the mobile version of a website. Even if you have a responsive web design, you can create an app that works specifically for a device.

Increase Brand Awareness

Developing a mobile app can help increase your brand awareness in a few ways. For one, you can have a presence on popular mobile app stores.

Once people download your app, they can see the app icon whenever they open your phone. Then, they may think of your business when they need to buy your product or service.

Another way to build brand awareness is to use push notifications. Apps allow you to notify users when you have a new product or a special deal, so you can stay on top of their minds.

Engage With Customers

If you want to engage with your customers more, that's another great reason to build a mobile or web app. You can use the app to give customers more options to contact you and vice versa.

Your app can have a forum where users can post questions or thoughts, and you can reply. It can have a chat feature or link to your customer service phone number so that you can offer better customer service.

And you can engage with your customers to learn more about what they like or don't like about your business. Use that information whenever you plan to update the app or release new products.

Add More Features

An app is an excellent place to provide unique features to your target audience. Consider hosting a loyalty program so that customers can earn points and rewards the more they buy from you.

Include a small version of your online store to help people shop online. Or link to your website so that people can learn more and make a purchase.

Web App Development Done Right

Mobile and web app development may sound overwhelming, but building an app for your business is crucial. It gives you more access to your target audience, and it's not as hard as you may think.

As long as you hire the right developer, you can create an app that your customers will love. Then, you can watch your profits grow.

Do you need help with app development? Contact us to learn how we can help.

"Mobile App Development: A Comprehensive Guide" by Gimena Aguerreberry is licensed under CC BY SA. Source code examples are licensed under MIT.

Photo by Robin Worrall.

Categorized under mobile.

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