How to Develop a Successful Mobile App [Step-by-Step Guide]

People are addicted to their phones. Studies show that the average person checks their phone an average of 63 times per day. What better place to launch an application to reach a lot of people?

If you’re asking yourself how to develop a mobile app, look no further. Follow the step-by-step guide below to learn the best way to create a successful mobile app.

Develop Your Idea

Not everyone can come up with a great app idea on a whim. It isn’t usually something you randomly think of during the day. If you want to create a great app idea, you need to sit down and put some thought into it.

The first place to start is to figure out what kind of application you want to create. Do you want to solve a problem or create entertainment for mobile users?

Put yourself into the shoes of the people you’re trying to target. People have a lot of app options on mobile marketplaces. Make sure you develop an idea that stands out, and people won’t hesitate to download.

Identify Key Features

Once you have a better idea of the app you want to build, you can start focusing on making it happen. Ask yourself this question: what features can I provide that will solve the problems of my users?

This phase requires you to put yourself into the shoes of your users. Thinking as they do will help you understand their problems and develop an easy way to solve it.

You may need to get in touch with potential customers as you answer these questions. Your idea might not be the solution that they’re looking for. Talking with these people will help you refine your idea and get your app right the first time.

Once you get a list of features, it’s time to narrow them down. You likely don’t need all of them in your app when it’s released. Figure out which ones are absolutely necessary and remove anything else in the beginning.

You can add more features later on in the process. Keeping a lean mobile app will help you reduce bugs and launch your product more quickly.

Research Competitors

The chances are that you aren’t the first to market in an app marketplace. Businesses have had years to develop every app you can think of. Use this to your advantage.

Look at the other applications on the marketplace to see which ones have similar functionality to yours. Download each of them and use them to see what they can do.

Your goal is to find features that stand out. Do they do things better than your idea, or does your product offer something better?

It’s also smart to look at user reviews. Many commenters will post complaints about their experiences in their user reviews. See what problems other apps have and make sure to address those issues with your software.

Create a Monetization Strategy

You have several options to make money when you create a mobile app. Before you consider your options, you need to understand your customers and their preferences.

Many app developers choose to go with the free option. A free application has ads on the application screens. Your ad network will pay you for every click and each view.

Your next option is a paid application. Instead of forcing people to watch ads, they need to pay a small amount to download your application. Many users prefer not to pay for their mobile apps, so be careful how you price things when you release your app.

Your last option is a mix between a free download and paid content. You build a store inside your app for in-app purchases. You can add to these stores during the life of your software to continue adding value and generate money in the future.

Design Wireframes

The last thing you want is to start the development of your program before you get the design right. To do that, you need to create a wireframe that lays out your whole application.

You can do this on paper or with a digital application. If you plan to share your idea with team members, it makes more sense to use an online program to handle the design process. You’ll be able to share it with others so they can view your wireframes and offer feedback.

Make sure you include every part of your program in your wireframes. You need to consider each screen, colors, typography, branding, and any other aspect of your application.

This process is also where you’ll develop your customer journey. Your goal is to provide an excellent experience for users, so make sure you consider the best way to move users through your application.

Figure Out Development

Designing an app worth downloading is only the first part of the process. Once you have your idea developed, you need to find someone to bring your vision to the market.

You can do this by learning to program yourself or working with an app creator. If you decide to do it yourself, you’ll need to learn various app developer tools. It can take a long time to develop the skills you need, so don’t plan on a quick release if you go down this route.

You can speed up the process when you get a mobile app developed by a pro. A freelancer can be cost-effective and give you what you need. If you have a larger budget, working with an agency will provide you a team and offer you a streamlined development process.

Hiring a developer is a big step. Make sure you have a plan for the interview process. Research the type of questions to ask so you can gauge whether or not the person you’re talking to can handle the job.

Create a Testing Plan

You aren’t going to get things right the first time around. Depending on the platform you build on, you’ll have numerous devices to deal with. You can’t assume your app will work the same on every type of device.

Your testing phase will make sure your app has a seamless experience on all platforms. You can handle this through emulation.

Emulators will simulate the environment for different mobile devices. Load your app on these devices and make sure all functionality works. Doing this will save time during your next phase of testing.

Your next step will be to gather a small group of people for beta testing. You can gather this group by reaching out individually to your target market or creating ads marketing your test. Send these users your application and let them work their way through your app to find bugs.

Identify Marketing Channels

It’s unlikely that you’ll be able to put your software up on the app store and get downloads straight away. You might be able to get a few downloads here and there, but you won’t see a massive amount of traffic unless you get lucky.

You need to market your app if you hope to have success. The first place to start is mobile app review sites.

You can provide review sites a preview version of your app before you release it to the public. They’ll test your application for you, give it a rating, and post it on their site when you finally go public.

Many of these sites get millions of views a month. A good review can provide many initial downloads.

Getting a large number of downloads can help you stand out on marketplaces. Many stores will showcase popular apps on their front page.

Provide Regular Updates

Your work isn’t complete once you launch your mobile app. Successful app companies rely on user engagement to keep growing. If your users open your app once and never use it again, you can’t count on making money or keeping your ranking in the app store.

If you want your app to keep growing, providing new features will keep people engaged. The app store ranking is influenced by the amount of engagement your app has with users. If you show that people keep coming back, you’ll rank higher in the app store and continue getting new downloads.

You’ll also encounter new bugs as people keep using your software. Nobody can release a bug-free program the first time around. Pay attention to when users experience problems so you can quickly release fixes for common bugs.

Now You Know How to Develop a Mobile App

Many people dream of creating a successful mobile app, but not many people can fulfill that dream. Now that you know how to develop a mobile app, you’ll be able to increase your chances of success.

Once you’re ready to get started, you need to start building a team to take your app to completion. Read more of our articles to learn how to find the right people for the job.