How to Build Your Own Mobile App

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Updated: October 7, 2017
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The App, short for Application, is basically the equivalent of computer program, designed to run on a mobile device such as a smartphone or tablet. Apps took the world by storm with the onset of the mobile operating systems Google Android and iOS, providing a platform for budding software developers and coders to show off the skills and offer useful solutions to life’s everyday inconveniences.

Whether you’re interested in developing a free or paid for app, success, quantifiable by popularity and the number of downloads will open doors for your career and might land you a lucrative buyout deal. Read on to find out how you can go about creating your first app.

Step 1: Define Your Objective

This feasibility or pre-design stage should see you focusing on your goals for your app. The questions you should be asking yourself are; what would I like my app to do? and what problem is it solving?

This should then provide you with the blueprint for your development process, identifying clearly defined milestones to be achieved.

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Step 2: Research

Your next step is to sample the market. Market research is critical to the success of your project as if there is no demand for your solution, or someone else has already beat you to the finish line, it might be worth revaluating your goal or at least considering how you could do it better.

There is a lot of competition within the digital app space so don’t be put off if you find the market saturated. Take some time to download and use the competition to identify flaws as well as analyse user feedback from your potential customers.

Step 3: Visualisation

Once you’ve fleshed out your idea, it’s time to start sketching. Use a pen and paper to draw your home screen as well as the main pages of your app. Consider your use of colours and the overall design and theme of the app.

A good design, structure and layout are key to attracting and retaining users. The design should be up to date and reflect what you’re trying to achieve.

Step 4: Monetization

Some apps are completely free to download and use. Some offer a free download but require in-app purchases to unlock more advanced features. The route you take to monetize your app, if at all, is entirely up to you. Free apps will always be more popular but if you’re offering something groundbreaking, don’t be intimated into not charging for it.

Again, market research is key. Conduct a survey to find out people’s thoughts on whether they would be happy paying as well as how much.

Step 5: Build

This is the fun part. If you already have some programming know how then open up your suite of tools and begin writing. If you struggle with the basics of navigating Microsoft Windows, consider hiring an app developer instead. There are several companies offering the development of mobile apps in Sydney, so feel free to make some enquiries and see how they could help you realise your vision. An app can take anywhere from 4 weeks to 6 months to build depending upon complexity and size.

Whichever route you take, there are many programmers who have already made this journey so it might be worth joining some of the well-known forums if you ever need advice or feedback.