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How Hard Is It to Make an App? Your Step-By-Step Guide to App Development

By May 8, 2023 No Comments

1. Choose Your Must-Haves

Whether you’re going to write the code for your app from scratch or planning on using a tool, you have to follow a lot of the same steps. Even if you’re going to rely on an app maker, it’s necessary to map out your project’s requirements.

When you get started, you’ll find that you have a long list of “nice-to-have” features you’d love to include in your project. There’s a long Swiss army knife of features that could make the ultimate app, but just like a Swiss army knife, not every tool is going to do the trick.

You can’t do 100 things successfully, so why not start with two or three?

Your bare minimum features are considered your release requirements. That list of features gives you the framework for what your project needs before you can send it out into the world. Save your other “nice-to-have” for following releases.

Map out your releases based on the features you want to include. Be conservative about how many components you’re going to have for each release because you’ll be dealing with snags along the way. Plus, each release will also have to deal with inevitable bugs and security issues.

It’s essential to have extra features to get your customers to download later releases – and increase their security along the way.

2. What’s Your Budget?

Even if you’re relying on a tool to build your app, you should still map out your budget. Time is money, and the time you spend researching, developing, building, and then testing your app all add up to hours that translate to money.

Assess your budget and then figure out how many hours you have to dedicate to your project. That number of hours is going to determine the scope of your application.

Along with the money to build your app, you need to have money for testing. After that, you need to set a budget for marketing and promoting the app. If you’re using a paid app model, figure out your pricing model.

Even if you’re not selling your app, you still need to get revenue for it. The best way to do that is to sell ads while it runs. However, if you don’t make the effort to find people to buy ads on your app, you’ll struggle to keep the lights on.

3. Look at the Competition

When you’re trying to launch any kind of business, research is a must. Looking at the landscape of apps that do what you’re trying to do can teach you a lot. You’ll learn what’s out there, what’s succeeding, and what’s failing.

Once you’ve found a couple of similar apps, read online reviews. You’ll learn about their strengths and weaknesses so that you make sure you don’t make the same mistakes. Consider any problems that you could face along the way.

While you might find an app that does exactly what you’re trying to do, there are ways to differentiate yourself. Coke and Pepsi do basically the same thing, but they’ve ended up with completely different shares of the market. Two products exist in the same ecosystem happily without the need for taking one another out.

If you find that you have the skills to do one thing well and another company is doing something you can’t do, consider teaming up. You’ll be able to build up your base together with a shared effort.

4. What Technology Do You Need?

When you’re trying to put together an app, there are a lot of decisions to make about the technology you use. Even when using an app maker, you might still want to have some developers on deck to work out the kinks.

If you’re going to store a lot of information, you might need someone who knows how to handle databases. If your project is using node.js and you only have a Drupal developer, you might want to switch tools. Otherwise, you’ll have to seek out and pay another developer.

The technology you use determines the speed that your database writes, records, and recalls information. If you’re using incompatible tools, you’ll limit the number of people who can use your tool.

5. Choose a Support Model

After releasing your product, you’re going to get some real-world feedback that you didn’t anticipate. No matter how much rigorous testing you do, people always find ways to break your tools. Those problems shouldn’t be upsetting, however.

The problems you encounter should be a way to help your team learn to build better products.

You need a support model for your customers. Whether it’s a limited one-year warranty for paid users or a 24/7 customer service line, figure out what works best for you. If you don’t offer proper support, you’ll end up with lots of negative reviews quickly by customers who feel ignored or neglected.

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