10 key steps to turning your mobile app idea into reality
Many individuals and companies are coming up with new mobile app ideas to succeed in their field. They want to reach a new audience or better serve their existing customers. However, people are relatively unaware of the steps or processes required to turn a mobile app idea into reality. Due to the lack of capacity and information between startups and established companies, most of them do not know how to shape the idea of the application.
I have helped several companies create their mobile application. These are the 10 key steps that I have followed in my 6 years of experience. I think my list can help anyone in any industry make their mobile app idea come true.
Step 1: write your list of roles
Conceptualizing your idea begins by taking a few notes. Before doing anything, you should write down what comes to mind. Writing the feature list on a piece of paper helps you focus on and expand on your idea. I recommend writing your idea several times and in many ways. This list will also come in handy when talking to your co-founders, designers, investors, or developers; everyone is going to ask for it. Please note that you must have them sign a confidentiality agreement before sharing your role list. Your list of functions should be clean and easy to understand. Also make sure it has popular and unique features, which will play the main role in the success of your product.
Step 2: do market research
After writing your solid list of features, you want to do market research to find the competition, trends, and market needs. Make sure there are no similar apps on the market. If there are, find out their reviews, ratings, comments, and what’s missing. Add features in your application that make it unique and more attractive to the audience. After conducting market research, you should update your feature list.
Step 3: identify users / audience
It is very important to find out who would use your application and who would be the audience for your product. Your users belong to an industry, gender, region, age group, existing customers, income group, specific profession, or any other particular group. Once you identify some demographics about your audience, you can find out what people in these demographics prefer or like. Knowing your audience helps you redesign your application and the functions it contains to satisfy them. His entire project revolves around user participation. You can also do focus group studies to find out what your audience may or may not like. Your audience will decide the success of your product, and this information from the focus study can go a long way toward defining the success of the product.
Step 4: identify the monetization strategy
Earning money is the biggest reward and energizes your idea. You can make money from your app idea in various ways: subscription fee, in-app purchase, in-app ads, user data, sponsorship. You want to know which one works for your application, audience, and market. Launching a paid app doesn’t work these days, but you can make the app free with in-app purchase option for more features. In-app ads are also losing their luster these days due to user experience. Having user data is becoming a great monetization technique, as you can use it to earn indirect money. You can find sponsorship for the application; this works for an app with a social mission. It is important that you select 1 or 2 techniques that will give you a good return on investment.
Step 5: Create a preliminary sketch / wireframe
You may not have done it before or you don’t know how to do it. However, the rough sketch or wire frame helps you define the concept and refine your product requirements. You can draw a rough sketch with paper and pencil, while a wire frame can be created with online tools. When you start to sketch / wireframe you will be able to further polish your app idea and feature list. Also, this helps you decide on the proper navigation of the app. You don’t need technical skills for this step, but you should have a common sense understanding of how navigation works. Their wire frames, along with their list of features, will create very good specs for you to build the mobile app.
Step 6: Reach out to local mobile app developers and get estimates
Once you have your first version of the feature list and wiring framework, you’ll want to start identifying vendors that can build your mobile app in a high-quality, cost-effective way. You need to find local vendors and some global vendors and communicate with them. Once you have shortlisted 5-6 good suppliers, ask them to sign the NDA and send them the project details. A good provider should check your details and ask you lots of questions. You need to make sure to answer them in detail so that your idea is fully communicated. A good supplier should also be able to give you some suggestions to improve your idea. You should get proposals from multiple vendors, with development time and cost, and compare them. You should check with vendors on past performance, process, price, time, testimonial, and their enthusiasm for working for you. Lastly, you should be able to select a vendor and start working with them.
Step 7: Complete the UI / UX
After you’ve selected the company, you need to work with them to create the UI / UX for the app. You first need to have them create the detailed wireframe of the app so that you can visualize every screen, function, and flow of the app. After the review, you can decide to add or remove features. Once the wire frame is complete, you want them to create the visual design for the app. You should give the color, theme, fonts, and visual appeal of your idea. This step will give you a near-final picture of what your mobile app would look like and how it would flow. After completion, have your vendor reassess the development plan, time, and cost. If the first time / cost estimate has increased, get more funding or remove some of the features. You want to pay the right value to your mobile app developer.
Step 8: Develop and test the application
Have your app developer start building the app for you. They should be able to send you the (ongoing) app every week and you should be able to test it and give them feedback. It is very essential that you monitor the application as it is developed, as this helps you monitor the quality, cost and schedule, and know if the mobile application needs any adjustments. You can also involve your friends in testing. If you come up with new feature sets during development, discuss them with your app developer and get the time and cost estimate. If it fits your budget, do it right away. If not, wait for the next phase.
Step 9: Launch the app and market it
Once you are satisfied with the application, launch it on the iTunes App Store and Google Play Store. You should also start marketing the app. Get advice from app marketing experts. You can also do self marketing. Get started on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram as it is an easy way to spread the word about the app. You should also reach out to journalists and bloggers who may be interested in and write about your app. A press release on free sites or paid sites can be very helpful. If you have more in your budget, you can hire an app marketing or public relations firm.
Step 10: gather the market response and prepare for the next phase
After the first launch and marketing, you can collect user, market response, and demand data. If you receive a good response, you can plan the next phase of the application. Repeat steps 1 through 9 for the next phase. This time around, you should be able to do them much faster and more efficiently. If the application is not well received in the market, find out what is hampering growth and have a plan of action.