In today’s day and age, it seems as if the old saying is true, there really is an app for everything. However, there is another maxim that is equally true that not everyone is aware of: everyone has an app idea. Whether for their own enjoyment or due to their entrepreneurial spirit, it seems like everyone has app ideas these days. The only problem is that man people still don’t know how to develop an app, even if they have a killer idea.

For those who have an idea for an app but don’t know where to start, you’ve come to the right place. As app development professionals, we understand what you need to get started with app development. Not only that, but we can help you build that app from scratch. But enough talking about it, let’s get into it.

how to develop an app

Pre-requisites for development

Now, before you understand how to develop an app, there are a few pre-requisites for you to make sure you have locked down. For instance, most apps today have a database that they store all the of the app and user’s information. Meaning that understanding a database design language will be a pre-requisite for development.

So, before you can even get into your mobile business idea, the first step is to lay out what languages you will need to know and how you are going to build each component of the app. Perform this quick diagnostic now and lay out your plan to avoid coming up against a roadblock later in the development.

Brainstorm and choose your idea

The next step when comprehending how to develop an app is brainstorming and deciding on your app idea. Now, this will be different for everyone, but if you need help with coming up with a mobile app idea, we have put together a guide for just the think.

Read also: 5 Quick Tricks for Brainstorming Mobile App Ideas

Once you have settled on the idea you want to develop, this part of the process is over. However, we recommend committing time to do some market research at this point to make sure that there is not only room for your app in the market, but demand as well.

Define the core functions of your app

Market research also fits in well with the next part of how to develop an app: defining core functions. Once you decide on an app idea, you need to figure out what value you will be offering with your app. Follow that line of thinking to imagine who your target customer are and exactly what they would need to find that value in your app using as few steps as possible. Those are your core functions.

Everyone wants to have an all-in-one app or an app with really cool features, but before of all that can happen, core functions need to be put into place. This will be critical to your end mobile app design, so make sure you decide on these early on. Here are some sample functions that most apps will need some variation of:

  • Users can make an account and login with it.
  • Users can change their passwords.
  • Users can retrieve their passwords.
  • Users can message other users
  • Users can view their account info.
  • Users can delete their account.

Coming up with core functions like these will save you time and money in the long run.

ux design

Sketch your app

Once you have figured out the core functions of your app, now you need to put those functions and your other ideas on paper to see what sticks. Sketching and wireframing are where you begin to create the visual component of your app and work out what is doable with your app.

Don’t be afraid to try new things here. This is a brainstorming exercise more than anything, so lean into any ideas you have on your app. Who knows? It could lead to something exciting.

Plan the UI Flow

At this point in the process you should have a good understanding of each process users will complete and the different elements of your app. The next step is to plan the flow of the user experience from start to finish. This also includes every variant of the experience. For instance, what happens if they forget their password?

Although this part can be meticulous, planning the UI flow here will lead better user interactions and UX design in the long run. It is also worth reiterating that keeping things simple at this point is important. If you get too bogged down in the flow of your app, so will your users. Keep it simple and your users will thank you for it.

Design the database

Now that you know how your users will interact with your app, we now need to look at where the information they are going to give you will go. In shorter terms, you need to design your database. This will look different depending on the kind of app you make, so conduct some research to see what sort of database you need to make your app work.

For instance, if you are building a web-based app, you will need to have a cloud-server database that your app can access. Meanwhile, if you are making an app that will use an API (for using specific data), you will need to gain access to that API or design it yourself.

Read more: Guide to REST API Best Practices

The database design might not be the flashiest part of how to develop an app, but it is a key to creating a great app. Make sure that you have this down pat before moving on.

Create UX wireframes

If you didn’t enjoy the sketching part of our process with the backend, we are sorry to report that you will need to do some again when creating the front end design. However, this is the last of the artistic stuff and it means that you are close to completing the app, so get excited!

Creating the UX wireframes is a simple process of sketching out the way you want your app to look. You can choose different factors such as colors, button sizes and shapes, etc. The main thing you want to focus on is making sure that your users know exactly what steps to take to do what your app was designed to do, whatever that is.

programming tools

Seek out solutions

Once you have everything laid out, all that is left is to build your app. Unfortunately, this isn’t as simple as pressing a button that says “Build.” This will be where you seek out solutions and actually put in the work to develop your app.

Now, if you aren’t a technical person and don’t want to do all of the coding work yourself, don’t worry. There are many different solutions available, such as hiring an independent contractor or outsourcing app development. All that matters is that you get the solutions that you want, the rest is just deciding what route you take to get there.  

Build your app

Finally, once you have laid out your design and decided how you will build your app, all that is left is to do the damn thing. Depending on the development framework you work within, your app might be ready to show the public in as soon as a couple of weeks. However, before that can happen, there are a few more things we need to mention. You still need to:

  • Submit your app to the App Store or Google Play Store.
  • Test your app repeatedly for bugs and glitches.
  • Set up a website for your app that redirects to a download page.
  • Anything else you believe can make your app successful.

From here, the rest is in your hands. All that we can hope is that this guide on how to develop an app will have paid off and your checklist will be completed with ease.