So, what do you want to make?
Want to know how to build a mobile app? First, you need an idea. Not just any idea – an idea that solves a real problem or meets a real need. Oh, and one that resonates with people. At Bowen Media, we focus on websites and apps that make people’s lives better. It just so happens they scratch some of our own itches, too.
Think about it. Why would anyone use a product that doesn’t help them? Uber owes its success to solving the problem of waiting for and hailing cabs. Slack, an app to help teams communicate internally, replaces hundreds of email threads with a simple and searchable team chat interface. You get the idea.
Okay, so what is the app going to do and why will people use it?
So, you have an idea. Now, it’s important to tear it apart, breaking it down to its bare bones.
- What is the overall concept?
- What are the core features and functionality?
- How do each of those features provide value to users?
Answer these questions and you can make a decision of what version 1 of your app will look like.
Now, let’s do some homework.
Research (homework) must be constant throughout the process of making an app or website – or any product, digital or not. Your research should help you answer some important questions.
- Who are you making the app for?
- What problems do these potential users have that I can solve?
- What is the competitive landscape?
The research phase is also a great time to choose a business model for the app. There are plenty of available options to choose from – including premium, freemium, free + ads, and subscription. It’s up to you to figure out which one is best for your app.
In the end, choosing your business model depends on a few key factors:
- the category of the app
- competitor pricing & model
- your target users
- the vibe you want to give off from your app
Right now, the freemium model is hot. It’s easier to get customers in the door (people love free stuff) – which makes it easier to sell to them.
Mock that app up!
In the initial stages of app creation, mockups are fundamental. A mobile app mockup is a great way to visualize how the app will look and how it will function. It also stops you from just talking about the app as an idea – and forces you to get your hands a little dirty.
Mockups are also great to hash out the user experience (UX) and figure out how to dazzle your customers.
Prototyping on paper is a great way to test out your app even before you have anything coded. Draw out rough sketches of some screens and flip them around like a real live app. Get a feel for the real thing. Get initial input and feedback from friends, family, and potential customers. Go nuts.
There are plenty of mockup resources available. Print out a stack of iPhone wireframes and get creative!
These processes are not meant to be quick and dirty. Creating successful mobile experiences takes time, patience, and a lot of thought. The processes do however lay the groundwork for what will be your completed app. It’s important to spend the time to get it right the first time (it pays off in the long run). It’s the little details that people notice.
Find the right design and development partner.
Once you have everything in place, it’s time to hand it off to a designer and developer. This is a make-or-break step for someone going out on their own to develop an app.
At Bowen Media, we trust our world-class designers and developers to create amazing mobile apps. When you’re choosing a design and development partner for your app, make sure that you are both on the same page. From the features to the timeline and budget, flesh out the all details – to promote a smooth process.
In the app world, you only get one chance to really impress your audience. That’s why it’s crucial to create a well-polished product. Release an unfinished product – and no one will use it.
Bowen Media is the mobile app and web design company driven by digital fluency, creative innovation, and client success. Contact us today to launch a mobile app – and discover the Bowen Media advantage.