Developing apps for commercial or business use has become a lot easier thanks to advancements in programming. Consequently, it’s now common for organizations to rely on applications to optimize business processes or engage with consumers. Having an application tailored for your business gives you an edge in today’s market. However, creating an app requires investment, and failure can be costly.
Fortunately, it’s now possible for companies to approach software development with more efficiency and minimized risk through low-code development. Through this approach, companies can build applications with little to no code. It optimizes the entire development process, reducing costs and speeding up delivery.
Furthermore, low-code development solves the IT gap most companies face, allowing them to save time and resources on hiring IT experts such as software engineers, Android or iOS developers, depending on your target platform.
While the low-code approach minimizes risk and makes delivery fast, many things can still go wrong in the development process. Your first attempt is only likely to succeed if you know what to prioritize and look out for. To help you, we’ve provided steps you can follow or take inspiration from to create your own app the right way.
Step 1 – Brainstorm app ideas
Obviously, before creating anything, you need to know what you want or need to create. If you already know what kind of software app you want to develop, you can proceed to the next step. Otherwise, you can benefit from learning a few techniques to help you figure out what you need.
Keep in mind that most apps are just variations or combinations of existing ones. You don’t have to come up with a 100% original idea when there are plenty of apps you can take inspiration from.
- You can take an existing app similar to the app you’ve envisioned and put a twist on it. You can introduce a feature that the original app doesn’t have or include a feature you’ve seen in another. If you can’t add a twist, look for its flaws and improve it.
- The top apps in the market have a common denominator — they all provide a solution to a problem. If you’re starting from scratch, you can begin by thinking about the problem you want your app to solve.
Step 2 – Research the competition
By conducting competitive market research, you can determine if an existing app is already addressing the problem your app is trying to solve. If it already is, it’s okay. That means the idea behind your app is viable. You can even use it as an opportunity to get an edge over the competition by studying what the existing apps lack and what improvements they need. Perhaps, you can even argue that all the existing apps fail to solve the problem, and since they’ve already done what doesn’t work, you can avoid it.
Step 3 – Plot the features
Now that you have a solid idea of what app you want to create, it’s time to flesh it out by listing down its features. This step is exciting as it lets you be ambitious and creative as much as you want. While the features will eventually be heavily influenced by user feedback, this is still not a concern for now. Think of what the users can do on the app and how it can help them solve problems.
Step 4 – Make mock designs
With features listed down, you can sketch out how your app will look like. What kind of theme do you want to use? What will the users see on the main screen? How will the users navigate the interface? You can do this on a computer or just draw them on a piece of paper.
Step 5 – Make the graphic design
While step four is mainly concerned with a rough sketch of your app’s appearance, step five finalizes how it looks. Your goal in this step is to create a representation of the final product. You want this graphic design to be suitable for use in presentations. Developers should be able to integrate the assets into the project.
Step 6 – Create a marketing plan
After step five, your app is now ready to be presented to potential investors or partners. This also means your app is ready to be marketed. With millions of apps in the market, it will take an excellent marketing campaign to stand out. Among the best practices for pre-launch marketing are the use of paid ads and having a pre-launch email list. Post-launch, it’s advisable to do press releases and use paid ads.
Step 7 – Build the app
This is one of the most exciting parts of software development, as this is where your ideas become tangible. There are different ways you can accomplish this task. If you have the time and determination, you can learn to code and build the app yourself. If you can find a programmer willing to partner with you, they can make it. You can use an app builder that lets you build the app without using any code for a fee. Lastly, you can pay for an app template and customize it.
Step 8 – Submit the app
This step simply launches the app in the App Store (iOS) or the Google Play Store (Android). You’ll have to go through the platform’s certification process, but there should be no problem if your app qualifies.
Once your app goes live on the platform, you’re done, sort of. You need to continue working on marketing and updating your app if you want it to succeed. If your launch goes smoothly, that’s great! But you should still expect problems such as major bugs and crashes that need fixing. You can stay on top of issues by familiarizing yourself with the best Android or iOS crash reporting practices.
Do you make mobile apps?
You make apps, right? Is that true? You’ve come here because you’re curious about them in some manner. Welcome. To begin, I’d like to provide a disclaimer. For a while now, I’ve been playing this game. I began off as a bright-eyed CPA and wound up in the software industry. Initially with an app development company, and now with the exciting area of AI and machine learning. It’s been an enjoyable experience. The learning curve was high and the competition was severe when I first got into app development. Many evenings were spent wondering why I had left my secure position in the organized and predictable world of accounting for one where technology and tools undergo tectonic shifts on a daily basis, talent is scarce, and clients are difficult to locate.
What drew me into this?
Then it hit me: this is what I’ve been missing all along. What drew me in was the fact that it was fast-paced, tough, and fluid-moving. I had learned the necessary abilities for managing finances and projects throughout my time as a CPA, and I had evolved into more of a project manager who could manage a tight deadline and budget as a result of osmosis along the way. Isn’t this the ideal match? Wrong. One of the most appealing aspects of embracing the agile concept is that it allows you to fully embrace change and work toward a goal without having to deal with annoying gatekeepers, which is typically the case with waterfall.
What freedom can you enjoy
You get to operate proactively rather than reactively, while giving your team the freedom to provide what’s important when it’s needed and let go of what isn’t when it’s time. Consider the must-haves rather than the nice-to-haves. They appear later, particularly in MVP mode. Your clients will like this strategy since it allows you to shorten the SDLC while still allowing the project to evolve as new insights and information become available. Just a heads up. Agile isn’t an excuse for bad planning! Communication breakdown Even in the best of circumstances, many teams, large and small, fail to communicate effectively. When things are going well, it isn’t a problem; however, when things aren’t going so well, it’s almost as if the problem has been amplified and given steroids! A breakdown in communication between the client, project manager, UX/UI, and front and back end developers can lead to the project’s final failure. The main risks are reputation and revenue, which are two of the three R’s that can kill a person and their business (see my friend’s blog for the third R!). Effective communication may be accomplished with relative ease, and there are numerous tools and ways that can help.
The two that I have discovered to be the most beneficial are:
- Establish standups to address what has been accomplished since the last standup, what hasn’t worked, what we need to focus on before the next standup, and what our blockers and dependencies are. You’ll cover a lot of stuff with your kanban board if you’re using agile. If you don’t know what to do, just stick to these rules.
- Documenting challenges, finished work, revisions, and backlogs is vital, whether it’s using a basic spreadsheet, google doc, or post-its on a wall. People leaving a firm without conducting a handover is one of the most common difficulties I’ve seen and heard about. When the stakes are high and clients are waiting, the challenges of speed to competency and cost are very apparent. Time squandered getting someone up to speed is not appreciated when the stakes are high and clients are waiting.
All in all
All of this is to say that there is fragmentation across tasks and tools, integrations, too many communication channels, and so on. That’s why my team and I created Adevi, a new solution that solves many of these issues for you. To learn more, contact us or go here to see how we overcame this. What was missing was a genuine ability to solve difficulties that my clients were having, problems that were only partially answered owing to the inability to provide a comprehensive solution that involved technology. That was the missing element, and it was also the day I decided to “burn the boats” (as Tony Robbins would say) and go all in on starting a now-successful App Development company. By this point in my career, in 2011, I had realized that there were two things I was passionate about. Problem-solving and business. I’d also discovered that I was developing an interest in accomplishing this not only with mathematics, but also with technology. What I hadn’t anticipated were the difficulties that just that one factor, Technology, would bring! Technology was a prize fighter, and it was my first time in the ring. I was in for a real beating! Fast forward seven years and I’m still bumping into these learnings and occasionally getting hit, however over time I have managed to fight the good fight and walk away with some wins, more wins than losses I’m proud to say. As expected, certain problems kept surfacing. I also found that when speaking with others in the industry, that they were facing the same challenges. Now, I’m not claiming to have the magical antidote here, but here are some of the most common themes I’ve seen and how I’ve dealt with them. Many of these solutions have been shared with my peers, who have found them valuable, therefore I’m passing them on to you in the spirit of sharing and giving back! Cashflow Cashflow, or the lack thereof, can kill a company, whether you’ve launched a new endeavor or have an existing one. Consider it your company’s “oxygen.” As a practicing CPA, I used a few basic approaches to solve these issues for businesses:
- Look at your pricing – You’re obviously providing value however are you extracting the right amount of value in exchange? Looking at the way you price your services can mean a big boost to your cashflow. Think about fixed pricing with all or 50% upfront, retained work or a subscription based model
- Terms – Look at terms with your suppliers and your customers. Essentially you want to extend supplier terms and shorten your customers. Consider rewarding customers for good behaviour and penalising them for bad behaviours. Also don’t fear asking your suppliers, they’re doing the same with theirs!
Every dollar spent on User Experience Design can bring up to 100$ dollars in return.
This a fact. We are all users of something and we get frustrated daily over a bad user experience of a website, email, software and how we try to get rid of it soon.
User experience (UX) plays a crucial role in the design of a digital product should be an integral part of the design process, from early concepts to the final product.
The look of the digital product is also vital but the key aspect is how the user interacts with it, users must be able to easily navigate through the digital product or platform and also they should be able to understand it and it should have clear signals of the outcomes.