Where to start with app development?

Must have mobile app features

| Where to start?

There is no doubt that creating an app is a complicated process. But don’t worry, there is no rocket-science here and you can easily do it without technological knowledge (that’s why it is good to have the right tech partner!)

Like in every process, the planning phase is very important and can be a crucial factor for your app's future success. Below we prepared a short step-by-step guide:

| 1) Start with research

You should spend most of your early efforts on research. You need to know everything you can about every part of your app! Start with asking yourself some basic questions – why do you want an app? Why do you need to create it? Then it’s time for questions about your target group – who are those people? Why should they use your app? What problems do they have that the app will solve? And lastly, ask about everything around your app – what is the market situation in the industry? Will there be big competition? Do they have some strong or weak sides?

That information will give you a perfect start and a strong overview on your future app. It will also help you to avoid some crucial mistakes in the future.

| 2) Plan the budget

It is very hard to have success without investment. And creating an app (especially a complicated one) can be very expensive, as it is a long and sometimes complex process. That’s why you need to plan your budget. We advise you to divide it into four phases:

- Predevelopment and MVP phase – you need to be sure that you will have cash in your pockets to conduct research and develop the MVP - a minimum viable product of your app with small amount of features, perfect to learn about your target group and their preferences

- App development phase – this will probably be the most expensive phase

- App growth phase – the success of the app depends on many different factors and implementing the right marketing strategy is definitely one of them. But just like development, good marketing can be expensive

- Maintenance and development – the development of the app never ends – you need to constantly add new features needed by your target group and make sure that the app works perfectly on different devices, systems and platforms

It is also good to think about how you will make money with your app.

| 3) Choose the platform and technology

When you conduct research and collect information for the app, there is another, very important question (for some – the most important one) – on which platform your app should be available (as each of them have a unique characteristic)? Mobile, desktop or web? If mobile – will it be sold in multiple app stores or just one (many apps, especially dedicated to an exclusive target group decide to appear only in the Apple Appstore and it was a very good decision). If desktop – will you use Windows, macOS or also Linux?

All that information will be useful in the moment of choosing the technology – if you decide to support only one platform, than a native app will be a good choice, but if you will need to support multiple platforms, it’s good to consider a cross-platform technology like Flutter – giving you the access to develop the app on all the most popular platforms like mobile, desktop and web with just one codebase.

| 4) Define your audience

Eventually all that matters is the audience you are building the app for. Before starting the app development process, you must do your research into the kind of audience you would be serving. Unless you do this, you may end up spending time, money, and other resources in building something that no one really wants.

| 5) Think about the money

Not only do you need to think about the kind of money you would have to spend on app development and allocating the required budget, but you also need to think about ways to earn money from your app. At this phase you must first calculate the cost of app development. The next phase is business model development. At this stage, you must figure out the revenue model, which would keep your app going. No matter what the purpose of your app may be, there has to be a sustainable revenue model which will help you create a successful app in the long term.

| 6) Choose the platform

The two major platforms for app distribution – Google Play Store and Apple App Store, each have their own unique characteristics. It is a good idea to be clear about the platform you want to target. This is determined by the audience you are targeting. The best thing, however, is to launch your app on both platforms. This lets you cater to a wider audience and eventually earn more.

| 7) Identify the gap your app can fill

Once you have conducted thorough research and have defined your target audience, you will be able to see the gaps in the market. It is these gaps you need to focus on. By gaps, I mean the questions, problem areas, and issues that are yet to be addressed by any of your competitors.