Individuals and companies come up with different app ideas every day. There is a dream that this idea will become a game changer and blow up the market. They visualize how their potential audience will resonate with their application and how popular it will become. However, there are many key steps you will need to take in order to turn your vision into reality.
Your first key step is to write down all the features and ideas you have for the application. You need to jot down everything, no matter how unimportant you feel it might be at the time. These written down features should be reviewed and refined. Writing these items down will allow you to conceptualize the app and decide whether this idea is something that you can move forward with.
Talk to potential users
Identify potential users of this application and ask them if this is something, they can find useful. This accomplishes two things. The first thing is that you will find out how feasible this idea really is. These people will let you know what they are using right now, if any, and also who your competitors are. The second thing you can get from this are potential users. You have shared your application idea with them which has garnered their interest, if this idea is as good as you think, they will be your first users. *Have them sign an NDA before sharing your application idea and its features*
Do a market research
Now you need to do a market search to identify what is currently on the market and who your potential competitors are. Look through and check their reviews, feedback, ratings and more. Identify the opportunities your app can take advantage of in terms of uniqueness and attractiveness to your potential audience. If there are no similar apps on the market, then you might have found a potential attractive opportunity.
Know your audience
The next step is to narrow down the potential users of your application. Know the demographics of your audience such as age range, location, income, profession, industry and so on. Once you have this done, you can then tailor your app to suit what they like so it can resonate with them better once they start using it. The aim of building your app is to build engagement, so its very important that you know who your users are going to be in order to build something that will grab their attention.
Okay so you have come this far, you know you have a good idea with a potential market and audience. Now you need to figure out how you will make money off this idea. There are many ways you can monetize an application, you can use
- Subscription based
- Sell in-app ads
- In-app purchases by users
- Sell user data
You can choose one or more of these monetization strategies. The strategy you pick depends on your potential users and the type of application you are building.
Create a mock up or wireframe
A mock up or wire frame is a rough sketch of what the application will look like. This can be used to determine the requirements for your application and get a visual representation of what you would like your idea to look like. There are a lot of easy online tools available that you can use to create a design of your application. To perform this design, you don’t need to have any technical skills but just an idea of how you to navigate through the feature list of your application.
Approach developers and get estimates
Armed with your mockup or wireframe, you can now begin to look for developers who can bring this idea to life. You should identify a couple a few developers in order to do a comparison between them to pick the ones who are both cost-effective and experienced enough to do a good job for you. You should make sure you give as much detail as possible as to what you want the application to look like and its performance. A good developer should also provide you with some guidance and ideas on how to make this application better. Do you research to make sure you are selecting the right developer checking their testimonials. Review all their proposals which should include cost and time of development, then pick the one. *Have them sign an NDA before you go into detail with your potential developers. *
The first step your selected developer will proceed with is developing the UI/UX interface. This is creating the representation of your mockup so you can begin to see the look and flow of your application. This design will have the theme, color and font that you desire for your app. At the completion of this stage, you will have a picture of what your application will like and what your potential users will interact with. It is important to make design something user friendly, crisp and tailored to your audience. If your app appeals to children, it should be fun, goofy and engaging but if you are appealing to a more professional crowd, it should be clean and refined. Keep your potential audience in mind and make sure your developer understands this as well.
Build your application
With you UI/UX interface completed, your developer can now start implementing the functions and flow of your application. You should be given constant updates on the progress they are making on your project. This can be done on a weekly or bi-weekly basis, depending on you and your developer. You should also be able to test the work they have completed along the way in order to keep the project on schedule and approve of the work they are doing. Your potential users that you identified prior should also get an opportunity to test the application as well. Any potential issues or tweaks can be identified quickly and resolved which will most likely guarantee the project’s success.
Launch and Market!
With development and testing complete, you can now launch your application! The potential users you discussed your idea with in the beginning could be your first users and provide testimonials in order to get other users to buy in. You should also do some marketing in order to get the buzz out there. You should sign up on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter to spread the word. You can also reach out to bloggers who may interested in writing on your app to gain some attention. A free press release also wont hurt your chances. If you have a big enough budget, you can hire a professional marketing firm to handle this aspect for you.