Since the launch of iOS and Android devices in 2007-2008, the app market also exploded. Developers were making apps for all sorts of purpose, such as games, productivity, health, entertainment, education, finance apps, etc. These days, the app market has become oversaturated. As of 2016, there are approximately 2 million apps in iTunes App Store and 2.2 million apps in Google Play Store. With this in mind, you need to be well-prepared before deciding to start with app development.
1. Understand Your Purpose
Some people make apps to make money from the apps itself, some wants to promote their existing business or open up a new sales channel. If you want to make money from the app itself, know that it’s not as easy as developing an app. As with any other business, you would need to do marketing or promotion for the app, pitch to potential investors or find other ways to monetize. You can’t just ask the developer to do this part for you.
2. Do Market Research
Many people came to us saying “I’ve got this really great idea for an app and I’m sure it’s worth millions of dollar”. Well, an idea is a start but it certainly not going to guarantee you can successfully make money out of it. Lots of people think their idea is unique and extraordinary, but chances are similar apps are already out there in the market. Do a market research to determine the marketability of your apps, study how similar apps fare in the market and analyze their success or failures. Try to answer the following questions:
- Who are my target market? Is it sizable enough?
- Who are my competitors? If they failed, what went wrong? If they’re successful, what did they do right?
- What can my app offer differently?
Answering all of these questions will force you to think through your ideas and prepare you for the road ahead.
3. Prepare Your Product
Formulate your ideas into a wireframe or conceptual prototype of your app. There are various tools out there to help you create your app prototype, but the easiest way is to start sketching with pen and paper. Try imagining the flow of your app, how one page leads to another, and what each button do. If you have design skills, you can produce high fidelity mockup on Adobe Photoshop or Sketch to get a better visual on your end product.
4. Assemble Your Resources
Take a good look at what resources you already have, and what else you need to bring to the table to deliver your app:
- Design. If you have designing skills and know how to design on Adobe Photoshop or Illustrator, you could probably design your app yourself. Not all designer can design for mobile app, though, as each OS have its own design limitations. A good app designer would have knowledge on what is achievable through the app. If you have no design background at all, you will need to look for UI/UX designer to design your app and produce the icons and design assets to be used in the app.
- Backend development. If your app requires user account or stores information that can be updated regularly, chances are your app requires a backend server. A backend developer can help you choose the most appropriate server and develop the server and database for your app.
- App development. The app that can be downloaded by end user needs to be coded by a mobile developer. Depending on the platform you’re developing for, you would either need an iOS developer (for iPhone/iPad apps) or Android developer (for Android devices). There are also cross-platform developer that can develop for both platforms but with some drawbacks compared to native apps.
- Marketing and App Store Optimization. Just like traditional product, you would need to market your apps and make it discoverable among millions listed in the app stores. An App Store Optimization (ASO) expert can help you improve your discoverability on the app store. Other than that, you can also hire public relations (PR) expert that can help spread the news about your apps to media outlets.
- Funds. If you are doing all of the above yourself, then you probably don’t need to spend anything other than to feed yourself. However if you engage professionals to work on your app, expect to spend a considerable amount of money depending on the scope of the project. Unless you’re a seasoned pro with proven track record, don’t expect that all developers would want to work for free in exchange for a share of the app.
For all these resources above, you can either do it all yourself or engage a professional to help. A professional would considerably speed up your process, deliver quality product, and may offer valuable insights for your app.
At Dihardja Software, we provide design, backend development and app development. For the best app development experience, we would typically ask for wireframe or design mockup at the beginning of the project. This would help us gauge the development effort and provide a quote for app development. Ready to start developing an app? Contact us now!