How To Make An App in 2021
10 STEP GUIDE
Generate an app idea
If you already have an app idea, then you’re set. Go to the next step!
However if you’re still working on having a great idea for an app,
First keep in mind that there is rarely a completely new idea that is born from nothing.
There are over 4 million apps in the Google Play and Apple App Store combined according to www.technichaldiljit.com
Most ideas are variations and combinations of old existing ideas. If you keep this in mind, it opens up your mind to think more creatively.
This happens all the time and produces great results!
For example, Words with Friends, a popular mobile game from Zynga is basically Scrabble but online with social and multiplayer features that makes it easy to play a long game in short pockets of free time.
This is none more apparent than with the multitude of dating apps out there. Every month there seems to be a brand new dating app coming out that targets a different audience or with a set of features (usually not new) that aren’t in “other” dating apps.
SELECT YOUR NICHE
I love this technique because often times, the simplest ideas produce the greatest results. These simple ideas rarely come out of a brainstorm for app ideas.
Instead they’re born from a problem that you face yourself in life. Chances are that if you have this problem and you’re trying to find a solution for it, other people are as well.
DO COMPELETE MARKET RESEARCH
Don’t be disheartened if you see other apps in the App Store that already tackle the same problem that your app does. Remember what I said earlier, there are no new ideas and there is always room for improvements.
Potentially, these apps may be out of date or the app author may have stopped updating them.
Or maybe none of them meet the mark of what the audience REALLY NEEDS and WANTS.
Scroll through the ratings and reviews of any competing apps you find. Take note of the following:
- App Name
- Feature set
- Price/monetization scheme
- App publisher
- Last updated
- Ratings and Reviews
This is mainly just for identification purposes to keep track of the various apps you’ll scope out. Some people do put keywords as part of the app name as well.
How To Make An App in 2021
Write down all of the features for each competing app. Make note of:
- What the core features that all the competing apps have
- What are the features unique to each of the competing apps
Is it a one time fee for the app? Is it free but monetized in some other way? The reason it’s important to take note of this is two fold:
- How do the users like the way it’s monetized? For example, some people hate ads and would rather pay for an app than to deal with ad banners inside the app
Who published the app? Is it an individual or a company? (Or is it a one-man company?)
The point is to see who you’re up against. Large companies have big budgets for marketing teams and often have a team of people just working on a single app. It would be hard to compete head on.
Sometimes if the app publisher is a company name, it could just be the company that the individual has registered. Visit the company website listed to try to figure out if it’s a single person or a big company.
You’ll often get your answer by visiting the contact or about page. If there’s an entire team on the about page or if there’s an address for an office building on the contact page, it’s probably a sizable company.
How To Make An App in 2021
If the app author hasn’t updated in a long time, then there’s an opportunity for you to take the market share. However if the author is frequently updating the app then you’ll want to make a note of this because this app will be competing with you actively.
Ratings and Reviews
How are users rating this app? Is it a lack of features? Is the app broken? This insight will help you avoid those pitfalls.
You’ll want to sift through the user reviews to see why users like this app so much. This will guide you in how you design, plan and prioritize the features for your own app.
Sift through every single review and figure out what people are saying and why they’re saying it. This is invaluable user feedback that you didn’t have to pay for (in terms of dollars or blood and sweat) to find out!
The number of downloads for an app isn’t written on the App Store app listing but there are tools out there to “spy” on apps and get this information as an estimate. For example, SensorTower is one such tool that let’s you see the estimated number of the number of downloads of an app for free.
alidate your idea
Now on the flip side if not much competition exists for your app idea, it could be that it’s such a new and novel idea that no one has ever thought of it before or it could be that the idea isn’t viable.
Start by deconstructing your idea a little bit so that you can succinctly convey the idea, audience and purpose of the app in 30 seconds to someone. Then practice delivering that elevator pitch to yourself in the mirror so that you’re comfortable saying it. How To Make An App in 2021
Write out the features for your app
Get it all down on paper and realize your idea and breathe some life into it.
If you want, you can also think about how you will monetize the app. I do recommend that this shouldn’t be the main focus of your app idea though. In the beginning stages of an app, user adoption is always more important
If there were any confusions down the line, we would be able to refer back to this document and review what was initially understood.
Now you don’t have to be super rigorous and detailed for your own app idea but it’s still a good idea to identify the overall goal and strategy to your app idea as much as possible now. Once you get into execution, any changes you want to make could potentially mean lots of wasted work and effort.
Make design mockups of your app
What will the user see and how will they interact with your app to use its features?
Usually I just start with a pencil and notebook or piece of paper because everything is in flux and there’s a lot of rough sketching as your develop your ideas.
Can you separate the functionality of your app into distinct sections or screens? These directions will be somewhat general since I don’t actually know what your app idea is but I find the best way to do this is to imagine yourself using your app.
Now that you have the main sections of your app, think about the main mechanism for navigating around inside of your app.
Is it going to have a tab bar at the bottom? Or maybe it’s going to use a slide in side menu to navigate to the various sections of the app?
I would recommend taking a look at some of your favourite apps and paying attention to how you navigate around the app.
The best type of navigation is one that feels natural and intuitive. If you had to think about how to get find something, then that’s a problem. How To Make An App in 2021
What is Usability?
Usability is a term that describes how easy it is to use a product/service for its intended purpose.
It’s part of a wider topic called User Experience (UX for short) that studies how a user feels towards a product as he or she is using it.
As product designers (yes, apps are considered products!), we can inspire delight, awe and satisfaction from the user by how we choose to design our app.
For example, we can make our app intuitive to use so the user can get value out of the app without having to struggle and we can hide small unexpected animations to delight the user.
In this step of the app development process, we’re focused on maximizing usability and making the app as easy to use as possible. This comes down to deciding what to display on each screen and how to arrange the user interface elements on the screen.
Now in terms of putting pencil to paper, there are a variety of tools that you can use instead of pencil and paper (there’s nothing wrong with that by the way; i love doing this process in a comfy chair with a notebook and pen).
Now it’s time to bring your app to life visually by designing exactly how your app will look like.
It’s sort of like those pre-construction condo brochures showing concept art of how the condo will look when it’s built.
You’re creating a graphic design that:
- Represents the look of the final product
- Can be used in presentations to sell potential investors or partners
- Developers can use to integrate the graphic assets into the project
That’s why I recommend that you get some help from a professional graphic designer who has proven work designing app UIs if it’s very important that to you to have a slick, professional looking app.
How To Make An App in 2021