Let’s be real – building an app is no child’s play. This particular venture demands time, money, dedication and foremost, perseverance. And, when done right, the effort most definitely pays off.
Successful platforms like Facebook, airG, King and Instagram that have created some of our favorite apps are the result of extensive hard work someone burning both ends of the candle to put forth something phenomenal.
“Having a great idea is just 5 percent of the process,” asserts Mikka Olsson, co-founder of the app development firm, Ebbex. “It’s a huge opportunity, but you have to gear up and really want it.”
According to Olson, while having an idea is paramount, the real work often lies in bringing it from conception to high-tech reality, which is exactly what this article will discuss.
Putting all your energy into the project of your dreams only to have a mediocre outcome is heartbreaking. Therefore, we’ve created here, a mini guide to aid you, so that the next ‘most trending’ app has your name in the headlines and you can steer clear of spammy apps.
1. Analyze and validate your idea
Ask yourself the following questions: are there other apps offering similar services already? What features will your app have that will give it an edge over the others? What features are the previous apps lacking that yours would offer?
Validating your idea is another crucial step. You must identify the demand for your service. The Google Keyword Planner tool is an easy way to look at the number of people seeking out what you’re planning to do. Having an insight into your potential future customers’ needs is essential.
If you have yet to come up with a groundbreaking idea for an app, remember, observation is key. Look around yourself. People desire convenience. What sort of service could make life, in a personal or professional setting, simpler? Some of the most popular apps have been a result of a problem being solved, or a task being simplified.
“Try to find a way to easily solve a common problem. An app like Uber is so successful because it provides convenience and saves time. Anytime you can offer a convenience, you have the potential to be wildly successful,” says Jonathan Long, founder of LAWYE.RS.
2. Narrow down your market
Building your app with an initially small audience gives you the opportunity to collect feedback, identify limitations and enhance your product before it reaches a broader market.
Facebook was built on this same principle.
When Mark Zuckerberg started making the platform, it was meant only for Harvard students. By the time it became popular amongst a larger population, Zuckerberg had enhanced it to be ideal for the market.
As Paul Graham wrote, “Sometimes the trick is to focus on a deliberately narrow market. It’s like keeping the fire contained at first to get it really hot before adding more logs.”
3. Focus on design
Entrepreneurs often tend to make the mistake of dismissing the design of an app as an insignificant detail. This mistake is a recipe for disaster – by some estimates, 80% of gamified apps fail because they are poorly designed. The experience a user has on an app depends largely upon its design.
Hence, when looking for a developer, make sure they focus on design. Finding the right developer is also important. You need to have the assurance that your developer shares your vision, listens to you, and keeps you in the loop throughout the entire process.
Vinod Khosla of Khosla ventures states– “Design is a way of making technology useful.”
4. Know your competition
According to developer Mike Rundle, researching the competition is crucial and can determine what other apps in the space are doing right and wrong.
Ignoring the competition leads to the unfortunate downfall of 19% of startup failures.Therefore, do not ignore your competitors. Try to stay updated with what they are doing — whether it’s marketing strategies or the latest products they might introduce. This will help keep your project up to date and also define your own USP.
5. Prepare app for submission
Android and iOS are very different with regard to marketing apps. You must prepare your app for submission. Review the submission guidelines.
For Apple, this includes the iOS Human Interface Guidelines, the Apple Watch Human Interface Guidelines and the App Store Review Guidelines.
For Android, follow the Android launch checklist. Take time to understand Google play policies and agreements.
For iPhone and iPad apps, app creators must register with Apple for $99 a year. Apple’s terms allow the company to collect 30 percent of an app’s profit, with the creator taking in the remaining 70 percent. Both Google and Amazon have similar terms.
These steps are not sacrosanct, but act as a guideline to building your app in the most profitable manner. Once you’re prepared to start, you must know that creating the mobile app is the easier part. Getting and retaining customers is the real challenge, which can only be accomplished with the right amount of time, patience and most importantly a strategy of trial and error.