Ten years ago, you could have gotten away if your business didn’t offer an accompanying app. Not today. Any business you can think of, retail clothing, food delivery, bookstores, even your neighborhood hairstylists, all have apps.
What’s An “App”?
An “app” is short for the word application. An application is a software designed for use on a platform. You can have apps designed for use on a desktop, or you can have apps designed for mobile phones and tablets. If you have a food business, your app can help customers order items off of your menu for pickup or delivery. If you are a hairstylist, your app can help clients book appointments.
Because having an app now is more the norm than the exception, you may be wondering how to build an app yourself.
Elements Needed To Build An App
When you’re developing your app, it’s best to split the process into two: technical and non-technical aspects.
The technical aspects will cover things like the code or computer language the app will be based on. It will also take into account things like whether your app will be a native or hybrid one. Native apps are designed to work with only one operating system. Hybrid apps, meanwhile, can work on any operating system.
If you have a computing background, it can be an advantage when working with your app’s technical aspects. It’s okay if you don’t though, a flutter app development company, for example, can help you with that. Technical aspects of your app’s development will also include the UI or user interface, as well as what platform your app will be designed to work on.
The non-technical aspects of your apps will include research analysis for the app. You won’t want to create an app that nobody wants or needs. The research will help you determine what problems users want to be solved. Business development is another non-technical area. This will map out how you plan to market your app.
Building Your App: Technical Considerations
When you decide to build your app, one of the first things you’ll have to decide is whether you have enough skill to tackle the technical aspects yourself, or if you want someone else to do this for you. You can contract a company to do this for you, or work along with a freelancer. Both options will have advantages and disadvantages.
Knowledge of programming languages is a must when building an app. Some of the more popular language apps are built on are:
Depending on the needs of your app, you may use different languages.
The next technical aspect you will want to settle is one we’ve touched on above. This is whether your app will be native to a particular platform or operating system. Or, whether it will be a hybrid and can function across multiple operating systems and platforms.
Native apps are generally more secure and offer a smoother user experience. However, hybrid apps tend to enjoy more popularity as they can be used across platforms. Hybrid apps also take less time to be developed will their native counterparts could take years going through the various phases of development.
The design of your app is the technical area that covers the look of the app as well as how the user experiences the app. These are referred to as UI/UX (User Interface/User Experience). People will not use an app that isn’t attractive to the eye. They also will not use an app that is difficult to use.
You also want your app to be secure. When people use your app, they entrust you with personal details, financial data, and the like. You don’t want an app that can be easily hacked.
Building Your App: Non-Technical Considerations
The technical aspects of your app’s development require significant capital outlay. It’s likely you got into app development to eventually recoup your investment. You can’t do that if people don’t know about the app or don’t use it.
This is why your app needs someone to market it. There are over 4 million apps in the Google Play Store alone with similar functions. How are you going to make yours stand out? That is where a solid marketing plan behind the promotion of your app will come in.
Before you even get to marketing the app, you will need to do your research to see if the app idea is needed or wanted. You need to know what your competitors in the same space are doing. This way, you can design an app that fits your customer needs better
Another often overlooked non-technical area of app development is financing. App development can be costly. You need to know how you will pay for it. Will you be crowdfunding your app? Getting an investor to back you? Taking loans? Will you be using your own money?
When you launch your app, you want people to come back and use it again and again. If you don’t have some way to maintain the quality of your app, you’ll find it getting increasingly negative ratings from users. Having a quality assurance model is an important non-technical area in your app development
How will you assure quality? Will you analyze customer feedback on reviews? Use a star system. There must be some system in place to assess app user’s views.
Something that app developers often forget is the user interface tends to have some kind of text. You don’t want text that the app users find difficult to read because of poor spelling or grammar.
Hire someone to write content for your app. You don’t want to lose business or users because you forgot this simple step.
Over time, as more people use your app, it will generate a variety of consumer data. You will want someone who is skilled at interpreting this data. This data will help you anticipate customer needs and develop solutions for them.
You see now how creating an app isn’t as difficult as you think. It just requires breaking what you have to do, into the app’s technical and non-technical aspects.