10 Steps to Understanding App Development Life cycle
Looking for App Developers Melbourne? When you begin to research app development, you may feel a bit overwhelmed. Whether it’s the tech jargon or simply the gigantic amount of information being thrown at you, app development quickly becomes a harrowing task.
So, let’s break some of that information down into 10 steps you must take before starting mobile app development!
Step 1: Develop Idea and Pitch It
There are many methods you can use to create an app idea. Believe it or not, some people are “gifted” their app idea in a dream! However, for those of us who aren’t as fortunate to be visited by the app fairy while we sleep, we rely on other methods to develop an app idea. Try drawing ideas from your surroundings and what you know is popular on the market.
Another great way to begin shaping your app idea is to consult with your target audience. Your target audience is the group of people your app will be catered to. For example, if you already have a booming health supplement store that sells sports equipment or healthcare products, ask your customers as they come in the store if they would mind filling out a short survey. This survey can give you an idea of what your customers want to see in an app for your business.
Once you have an app idea and a general outline, or skeleton, of what your app will look like and how it will function, develop a pitch. A pitch is simply a sales presentation that you will give an app development firm, advertising partners, and investors. While it is possible to fully fund your app on your own, teaming up with other businesses as advertising partners (they pay you to run their ads in your app) or investors (they pay you for a piece of your profits) can help alleviate any financial constraints you may be experiencing. Making your pitch as impressive, energetic, and cutting edge as possible will surely win over those you are wanting to jump on board with you and your app idea!
Step 2: Research the Market
When you were in school and were assigned a project to complete, you probably began making trips to the library and the computer lab to do some research on your subject. Approaching app market research is very similar in practice, just not in location. You will need to gather information on what would be your app’s competition in the different markets on different platforms. If you are planning to release your app on just one platform, find out what your competition is up to on that platform. Additionally, if you are wanting to release your app on multiple platforms, research all of the markets where your app will be released.
Now, where to research? You will find some information on your app’s field and features if you do a general search in Google, Bing, or another search engine. However, the best place to look is your app’s future marketplace.
If you are wanting to launch your app on the iOS platform, look at the apps similar to yours in the iTunes Store. Likewise, if you want to release your app on the Android platform, look at apps similar to yours in the Google Play Store. Find out what is working for your competition by reading customer reviews and taking note of their star ratings. Once you have an idea of what your app will be up against, you will be better prepared and confident moving forward in your app’s development.
Step 3: Choose a Platform and App Type
Way back to the time of smartphone debut (okay, really only about 10 -15 years ago), there were many different platforms that app developers had to decide between and cater to. Now, we are fortunate to have only 2 predominant platforms to worry about: Apple iOS and Google Android. The simplification and narrowing down of platforms allows developers to focus on creating an app that is smooth-running and full of helpful features. So, which platform to use? After doing your research in Step 2, you will have a better idea of which market(s) seem to need your app the most. If you see there are a lot of apps similar to yours on one platform but not on the other, you will have a greater chance of success with the platform with less competition. Can you choose both? Absolutely! Many app developers are going the extra mile to make their apps compatible with both platforms. Although this takes more time, effort, and money, having your app available on both platforms ensures your greatest chance of success.
Now that you have decided on which (or both!) platform to use, you will need to decide what type of app you want. When we say “type” we don’t mean features, functionality, etc. Instead we are referring to a native app, web app, or hybrid app. An app’s programming language is a big and important difference between these 3 types. Depending upon the language your app type has, your development time frame, budget, and availability of developers will change. Now, you are probably wondering: Which type is right for my app? Here’s a breakdown of the 3 types:
Native App: Native apps are perfect for gaming or streaming because they are built with the capability of handling large amounts of traffic at one time. These also tend to be the most expensive because of their complexity.
Web App: Web apps are almost like shortcuts to mobile versions of a website. So basically, when a user clicks on your company’s web app icon on his device, he will be directed to a mobile-friendly version of your website. As you can imagine, this is the quickest and cheapest app option.
Hybrid App: Hybrid apps are a combination of native and web apps. They have root coding like a native app but are easy to maintain like a web app. Hybrid apps are typically available on both platforms and are perfect for apps with goals of productivity and enterprising.
Once you have decided on your platform and app type, you are ready to move on to the next step!
Step 4: Create a Business Plan
You have already made some important decisions and are well on your way to app development. Now you need to create a business plan for your app. Believe it or not, you already have a few components of your business plan taken care of! Here are a few points your business plan should include:
- App Idea (and general overview of app’s functions)
- Description of Target Audience
- Choice of Platform and App Type
- Outline of Benefits App Will Provide
- Overview of App’s Security Features
- Short-Term Goals (pre-launch)
- Long-Term Goals (post-launch)
- Desired Time Frame of Development
- Desired Budget of Development and Maintenance
Your business plan isn’t set in stone. It can be adjusted according to new ideas presented by your app development team, investors, beta testers, etc. The point of a business plan is to organize your thoughts and research. With a clear business plan, you will virtually eliminate miscommunications between you and outside parties that are assisting you with your app development, which in turn eliminates wasted time, money, and effort.
Step 5: App Developers
You are moving right along! The next step is to choose an app developer. Here are the types of app developers you will choose from:
Offshore Freelance Developer: These developers can be found on freelance websites such as Upwork. With freelancers you tend to get lower rates, so that’s a plus. However, you also must keep in mind that freelancers may be completing your app’s development as a side job. Therefore, you may run into time constraint issues. One other problem you may encounter is the ability of the developer you hire to work well with the designer you hire. App development requires both a developer and a designer. So, if you choose to hire a freelancer for one or both of those roles, you may have to search to find two individuals that work well as a team.
Permanent, Long-Term Developer: Think of this type of developer as a tenured employee of your company. You hire them with the intent of them being there to develop and maintain your app for years to come. While on a rare occasion you can find this type of developer for a great, low rate, they tend to run on the costly side of the scale. This is because you are relying on their knowledge of many programming languages as well as design. Also, they are more expensive because you are asking for a long-term commitment in which they will to turn down other offers so they can be there for your app’s needs. Just be prepared to pay a higher rate for this type of developer.
Development Team and Development Companies: Development teams and development companies are beginning to pop up all around the world. These developers bring many benefits to the table. They offer great teamwork and communication, guaranteed work, long-term app maintenance, and so much more! App development companies, like Gomeeki, are dedicated to their clients and offer cutting-edge knowledge, skills, and work ethic. If you are wanting your app to be an expansion of your business or a business on its own, these are the app developers you want to hire.
Hopefully, you weren’t under the impression that you had to develop an app all on your own! You definitely have options out there and support systems in place to make your app idea come to life!
Step 6: App Development Pricing
Money, money, money. They say money is the common denominator throughout all cultures, locations, and peoples of the world. Well, in-app development, it does play a significant role. Do you have to be a millionaire to develop an app? Absolutely not! It would help, but it isn’t a requirement. ?
App Development Estimates
Before starting the mobile app development process, so many people want a general, bottom-line figure to develop their budget around. Is there such a number in existence? Not really. This is because every app is different and any given app requires more or less work, time, and subsequently, money. After your developer or development team has looked at and analyzed your app idea, business plan, etc., then a rough budget can be developed. App development cost is always a general estimate even though it is tailored to your specific app. Developers never know exactly how many hours (and therefore money) will need to be put in to develop an excellent quality app. Some parts can end up being more complex to develop while others are completed ahead of schedule. So, please don’t take your developer’s estimate as a definite app development price. Use it as a guide that will be adjusted up or down throughout your app’s development and maintenance.
It’s a ballpark figure that will help ensure your lack of funds won’t hurt your app’s chance of success. In other words, app development pricing prepares you for the best and worst-case scenarios when it comes to your app’s financing.
Step 7: Funding
In Step 1, we talked about pitching your app idea to potential partners and investors. As we also stated in that step, you do have the option of funding your app’s development all on your own (more power to you!). However, if you are like 99% of the world’s population, you don’t keep thousands of dollars just laying around for a “rainy day.” So, if you need help finding your app’s development and maintenance, consider partnering up with another company by running their advertisements in your app. They will pay you according to the frequency the ads appear in your app and how often they are clicked on by interested users. Advertising partners receive the benefit of reaching new customers while you receive the benefit of an additional revenue stream.
Another funding option available to you is investors. Investors are companies that help fund the app by buying a portion of your app. For example, an investor may offer you $10,000 in exchange for 20% of your profits. It will be up to you to decide if investor offers are reasonable and worth it. However, if you are unsure, feel free to consult an outside source. Many companies and banks have investing departments that specifically deal with investors and investing patterns. They can usually provide tips of the trade and negotiation tactics that fit your app’s needs and goals.
There are many ways to fund your app. In addition to self-funding, partnerships, and investors, you also have the option of funding via users. Charging subscription prices and in-app purchases are great ways to ensure a steady stream of revenue.
Step 8: App Pricing for Users
Continuing along the lines of funding for your app, it is important to cover what your app will cost users. Many apps are attractive to users because they are free to download and use to a certain extent. Some apps require a one-time fee, a monthly fee, or an annual fee in order to access all parts of the app’s content and features. You and your development team will need to decide what pricing options work best for your target audience and the goals you want your app to meet.
Charging a subscription fee for a shopping app isn’t realistic and is sure to fail. Instead, present the shopping app as free to download app where users can make in-app purchases of your products. You are reaching more users by offering a free to download app and drawing in new customers who will hopefully become loyal, life-long customers!
Step 9: App Marketing Plan
This plan is similar to your business plan that you completed in Step 4. However, instead of focusing on the app and its development, this plan will outline the marketing strategies you will use to promote your app. Here are a few points to include in your marketing plan:
- Marketing Goals (pre- and post-launch)
- Website/Online Presence
- Social Media Presence
- Digital Advertisements
- Paper/Billboard Advertisements
- Promotional Events
- Marketing Budget
Since marketing strategies depend upon your app’s function and target audience, your marketing strategies will differ from your competition’s. Having unique, tailored strategies gives you a push on your competition and help you stand out from the crowd. So, how do you decide which strategies are best for your app? If you have hired a development team or company, like Gomeeki, to develop your app, marketing expertise is usually part of the package. That means you will have access to professional app marketers that will bring a slew of advice, strategies, and tips to help your app stand out in the public’s eye. How awesome is that?!
Now, it’s important to remember that marketing doesn’t end when the app is launched. Marketing should continue for as long as the app is available to the public. For example, revitalizing strategies, such as sale events, may be used years after your app has launched so you can attract new customers. The importance of marketing should never be underestimated.
Step 10: Expected Maintenance
The final step you must take before starting mobile app development is laying out an app maintenance plan. Every app will need maintenance. Whether it is fixing a glitch or adapting your app to the newest platform update. You will need someone to keep a watchful eye over your app and make adjustments as needed. You will also need to consider the number of hours that will be put in to update content, run data analytic software, generate reports, etc. So, for this step, come up with a list of expected maintenance and present this to your developer or development team. They will factor your expectations into their decisions when pricing your app before development begins.
App development is a complex, grueling process. However, we hope these 10 steps will help you be better prepared when you begin your app development journey.
Remember: You are not alone on this journey. Gomeeki is an app development company that walks you through every step and will not leave your side at any point. We are here to answer your questions, guide you through the app development process, and we guarantee your app’s success. Don’t wait another minute. Contact Gomeeki today!
Brands We’ve Worked With
“Smartphones and tablets are transforming how and where we consume news and information. The ABC must meet the challenge of delivering content to the audience at a time they want and on the device and format they prefer.”Mark ScottManaging Director, ABC
The Broncos evaluated numerous Fan Engagement solutions over recent years and Gomeeki's passionate & experienced team, combined with their innovative FanTribe platform was the only solution that we believe will deliver a winning mobile experience for our fans.Terry ReaderChief Commercial Officer, Brisbane Broncos NRL
“Health Partners selected Gomeeki on the basis that the services provided are far more than just an app development house. The relationship to date has delivered Health Partners the benefit of a much deeper insight into digital strategy, the power of Gomeeki’s Ubiquity platform and a disciplined, structured development process. As a customer, we have been delighted with the quality and outcomes to date.Colin LangmeadCIO- Health Partners