The mobile app market size is impressive. The year-to-year growth for the coming years is expected to exceed 20%, and the current figure of $650+ billion will soon double. Thus, having a business and ignoring the countless digital opportunities is business suicide. Every forward-looking company should consider a digital transition to reach out to their clients online, while startups are bound to enter the market with a ready mobile app at hand.
So, if you’re unsure about how to design an app but need one ASAP, here is our guide. We’ll walk you through every step of designing a winning digital product.
How to Design an App? Step-by-Step Guide
Let’s suppose you have a million-dollar idea and a rough roadmap for its implementation. You need an app to enter the market with a digital channel for offering your unique product or service to customers. So, how to get from point A (idea) to point B (app launch)? Here are the vital steps.
No app development project should start without idea validation. It’s a huge risk, as you may waste time and money on an idea that won’t work. Sad but true, this is the reason why many startups fail. They pursue interesting ideas but do it without focusing on usability and user demand. As a result, their apps lie in the backyard of app stores, forgotten and neglected.
To make sure you go the right way, you need to make a list of business ideas and research them with factual market data and user opinions. Look at what problems your target users have and what solutions currently exist; focus on the unmet needs and offer a better product. At the end of the discovery phase, you should have clear answers to the following questions:
- Can your app solve the target users’ problems?
- Is there a need for such a product in the market?
- Do people want your app?
- What’s your unique selling point?
Don’t forget to validate the idea with real users. Either make a simple prototype or ask people questions about whether they would potentially be interested in your product. This preliminary research will give you a sound basis for further app work.
Next comes the stage of refining the user interface details and thinking about a positive user experience. You must guarantee an exciting user journey with your app, so the UI/UX component is a vital initial phase of all design. It’s better to go for an intuitive, minimalist design for the sake of helping users achieve their goals quickly and without hassle.
You’ll save much time and money if you develop user journey maps before the actual coding. The concept should be clear, with wireframes of the workflows ready and UI screens prepared for the front-end designers. This way, the process will go smoothly, ensuring that your final app doesn’t have critical functionality discrepancies.
#3 MVP Design
The following step is to create an MVP – a minimum viable product with all features you need to test with users. It is much simpler than the final product, but it is already a functional app that can help you collect feedback, introduce changes with minimal costs, and attract investors with a clear visual presentation.
#4 Development Plan Negotiation
Once your MVP gets reviewed and the following steps on app design are singled out, you need to get a new plan for the actual web development phase. It’s the longest and the most expensive part of the app design project. So, you should have all milestones and aspects fixed on paper to avoid delays and chaos.
The vital aspects to consider in advance are:
- The budget you can allocate to app design
- Core and extra features
- Choice of platform
- Choice of the underlying technology
- The number of resources you’ll need
#5 App Creation
This stage is the most responsible period of the app development project. During this phase, a team of coders works on your app’s front-end and back-end parts, writing the code and creating the app’s architecture. If you’re a layperson, you can hardly affect this process. But if you’ve done the previous steps right, you will receive the expected app with a specified set of features in the end.
#6 QA Testing
After the code’s creation, you need to test whether the app’s logic works as it should, whether it can perform the intended tasks, and whether using it is safe for people. In other words, it’s time for a serious QA audit.
A QA tester should perform all kinds of automated and manual checks to test your app’s functionality. The audit also includes a search for cyber vulnerabilities and holes in the app’s security, which hackers can use to steal data and assets. The final phase of the check should cover a load test; it helps app owners ensure that the app will work even if thousands of interested users flock to it within minutes.
Now it’s time to launch the app. You should create an account on App Store and Google Play in advance, checking the requirements for new app addition. Once the app is ready and passes a QA check, you can add it to the popular app stores, telling your community about the ability to download and start using it.
#8 Updates and Support
Many business owners believe that the app’s official launch is the end of work on it. However, every app is an ongoing project that requires 24/7 support and ongoing updates. So, be ready for a long-term partnership with your developer, focusing on stably high app performance and the addition of new features.
Take the Process Seriously
Now that you know what the app development process takes, it may be simpler to plan everything and offer a functional, user-friendly app to your target customers. Don’t take development light-heartedly; even if you hire an expert developer, you need to track the progress and monitor the development milestones. Many projects fail because of a gap between the developer’s vision and the client’s need, technical glitches, and organizational delays. So, the fate of your app is in your hands, and you need to strive for excellence to beat the competitors.