There’s no denying that the world is quickly going mobile. From games, shopping, educational materials, to dating, cooking, and entertainment, almost everything is quite literally, on your fingertips. So it’s common for folks of all ages to want to develop their own app.
In fact, the mobile app industry is expected to generate a revenue of about $189 billion by 2020.
But don’t get too excited just yet! If you’re not careful, building your app will not only cost you money, but also invaluable time and effort. Avoid going into this project half-heartedly.
Interested in changing the world? Or maybe you just want to learn how to make an app like Tinder? Whatever your reasons, here are some things you need to think about before building your own app as a beginner:
Things To Consider Before Building an App
1. Understand what app you want to build
First of all, you need to know WHAT you want to build and WHY. Understanding these fundamentals is crucial not only in helping you target your consumer-type but also so you can avoid being derailed by irrelevant details that won’t be related to what you want to create.
For instance: say you’ve made up your mind that you want to build a native app. From here, you can factor in costs for development, which platform you’re going to use, and which code you need to learn. You can’t exactly draw a blueprint without visualizing the end product. Make sure you sit down and think these through.
2. Get the necessary skill
There’s no going around it: if you haven’t learned to code, you have to if you want to create your own app. Whether it’s Java, XML, C++ or HTML programming languages, you need to start somewhere. You can always hire an app development company, but that would cost you.
If you’re already a programming student, then this is one of the best projects to tackle during your summer break. Don’t worry – there are plenty of resources online. From YouTube, Khan Academy, to Code Academy, you have the option to use free or premium services.
3. Learn to use an IDE
An IDE or Integrated Development Environment is a software developers use to combine various aspects of writing a computer program. If you’re a beginner, then you will benefit from using this environment as it can help you generate automatic code, debug, and organize imports – all in one platform.
Lots of seasoned programmers still use IDE. Think of it as a handy tool to help you focus on coding rather than on minute details. Plus, if you’re a beginner, it’s convenient for exploring code.
4. Create an MVP
You may have heard of this term from tech startups. In essence, an MVP or minimum viable product is a pared-down version of your grand product. It should have three important components:
- Initial but fully usable features;
- Potential or room for growth; and
- The feedback loop for your testers.
While you may think that it’s quite pricey to make an MVP instead of simply moving forward with your ‘real’ product, remember that nothing will go smoothly on the first try. An MVP can help provide users a glimpse of your vision, all while assisting you in improving your app.
5. Prioritize interface and usability
Ensuring even non-tech savvy folks can use your app is a great way to build trust among users. Making it beginner-friendly, with seamless interaction across any mobile platform, as well as the right engagement, should be your priority.
Even if your app is still in its developmental stages, you need to make a good first impression. That’s because, for apps, the first impression is usually the ONLY impression people will ever have for your product. So make sure it’s an excellent one.
6. Don’t forget security
Make sure you take care of this aspect, particularly if your app gathers personal information (like names, email addresses, photos, etc.). More so if you begin accepting payment. Understand how you would carefully collect, handle and store user data before you even build your app.
7. Have enough time
Making your own app isn’t something you do because you’re bored. Make sure you allot the right amount of time needed for this project. It can get time-consuming, especially if you’ve never learned code before.
Be realistic. Ask yourself if this is indeed something you’d want to commit hours of your day into.
8. Get feedback
If you created an MVP (as suggested in tip #4), you already have this in the bag. However, if you decided to go on with your actual product, make sure you have a pool of testers who could provide constructive feedback. Ideally, these should be comprehensive, or detailed reports showing where you need to improve on.
Some of the questions you want answers for are:
- Can you see yourself using this app every day?
- Is it easy to use and navigate?
- Did you encounter any difficulties while using the app? If so, what are they?
- What would prompt you to download the app if it were displayed in Google Play or the App Store?
- What feature(s) do you wish the app had?
Be open to suggestion and tweak your app as you go. Remember: you’re just getting started so there’s definitely a lot of room to grow.