Posted in Business
Have you come across stories of people who became millionaires by developing a mobile application? Most probably, you have. Whether you want to strike gold or simply make a living, mobile app development can be the right path to success. Mobile application market has grown significantly in the past few years and Apple covers a large chunk of that market. By June 2015 there have been 1.5 million apps in the Apple App Store with overall 100 billion downloads! Figures speak for themselves ─ iOS applications are of high demand.
The good news is that app market is accessible to everyone. In case you cannot develop an application yourself, find potential investors or iOS app development companies that will consider your idea as unique and feasible. But before you set off on a new journey, take some useful tips for startups.
The idea and the focus
“Everything is created twice, first in the mind and then in reality”, said Robin Sharma. This means, as soon as the idea of the new app is born, you have accomplished the most important step and are ready to move forward. However, entering the world of millions of apps with your own product is a challenging endeavor. The newly created application should be useful, informative, or entertaining in order to ensure initial chances for success. First and foremost, you should register as an Apple Developer here to become a member and gain access to support materials. No payment is required for basic registration which enables to develop and test apps. However, you will need to pay for yearly membership to sell one.
The main reason applications are so widely demanded is they are easy to download and use. Simplicity is not gained by accident. Applications are software programs built to perform one single function – providing access to daily news digest, giving a quick update on weather forecast, entertaining you with a game, to name just a few. Consequently, it is crucial to sharpen your focus and set a clearly defined goal: what do you want your customers to get? Can you phrase the answer to this question in a single sentence? If yes, congratulations, you have done a good job! If no, keep on polishing and specifying your idea.
Your focus will determine the type of method to be used in your project. Three main approaches are exercised by most of the app developers: waterfall, agile and iterative (the hybrid approach). Waterfall development implies having a holistic idea of the documentation process before getting down to a project. Oppositely, developers choose agile development style if they prefer to figure out the code on the go. The hybrid approach is called iterative in which case engineers have part of the documentation ready before the development process and leave certain aspects to work out in the process of app creation.
Don’t forget to choose the design style: user experience (UX) or user interface (UI). By choosing UX, you plan to create user-oriented app which meets customers’ specific needs and helps to achieve particular goals. UI, on the other hand, concentrates on the interface, by making its usage easy, efficient, and enjoyable. As a rule, these methods are used in combination and versatile designers start either way to test their product for usability and efficiency. Consider another reason to care about focusing your idea. Adding features to apps costs additional money. Startups, usually having limited resources, are particularly advised to be scrupulous about what they want to include in their final product and stick to the predesigned version. Obviously, it is of high priority to think of every detail before you start realizing your idea.
Watch the market
Research is absolutely essential if you do not want to waste your precious time and resources on reinventing the wheel. Keep in mind that mobile app market has become a crowded and competitive space. Ask yourself what’s new in your app. Do not get down to development if you find no novelty in your application yourself. There is a useful resource for you to make an exhaustive list of the apps you might want to look for. Visit Vionza to search for all iPhone and iPad apps in the market.
Research provides other benefits as well. It enables to learn both success and failure stories. If some people succeeded, what were the key factors for them to get everything done effectively? On the other hand, if they failed, what was the reason for that?
Offline research is also highly recommended in order to meet real life examples. Be proactive. Contact as many key personas as possible to get first-hand information on how the app development and implementation works. Go to LinkedIn to explore your competitors’ profiles and learn more.
You can go beyond LinkedIn and visit CrunchBase and Mattermark - platforms that will enrich your research with valuable information about key professionals in the field, leading competitors or rising talents. Effective and thorough research will assist you to end up with successful partners or with a clear idea who to team up with to accomplish your project successfully.
Time, scope, budget
The idea you came up with proved to be unique and is now focused. It’s high time to make your product tangible. Time to plan! For managing any kind of project, there are three main aspects to be taken into account: time, scope and budget, which can be explained in the following way: what is the estimated time for realizing your project? What are the tasks you need to fulfill and what resources do you need to complete them? Finally, what is your budget limit? To handle this issue, you need to set priorities. Make a decision on what you need in the first place: quality, a fast turnaround or the cheapest option? Double-check if you have the required budget to ensure quality and speed in limited timing. Most experts in this field state that companies or people do not manage or cannot afford having everything in one basket. The most practical option will be to select two of the mentioned aspects (quality, speed, price) by relying on the priorities you have set.
Finding the perfect fit at reasonable price is really challenging. The price range for developing an application can vary from a couple of thousand dollars to half a million. A quick hint: whatever budget you plan for your project, always anticipate extra expenses.
As for the timing, usually a mobile app development takes 12-20 weeks. The project timeframe greatly depends on whether you work with off-shore or in-house developers. Generally, more time is required to run a project with offshore engineers; however, it costs much less. In-house developers will charge you more but you will have the chance to watch the processes of creation and design more closely.
Hire a firm or, if you can’t afford it, go to freelance platforms, like Upwork, to find individual developers. Always organize face-to-face and Skype meetings with your potential partners. The app development process stands in need of efficient communication and cooperation among all the parties. And knowing your partners is essential to carry out this communication successfully. When discussing the details of the partnership, check the payment system: are they going to charge you a fixed price for the whole project or an hourly rate? If the hourly rate option is selected, you should make sure that time tracking is available. You want to be confident that you are paying for actual worked hours, don’t you?
Testing, support, and revision
Testing is a must. Before launching, make sure you have gone through every single section of your app, opened each link, and effectively completed any action that you plan for your users to take. Involve friends and colleagues of various backgrounds to get feedback from different perspectives. Stimulation can be of great help: design a prototype of your app to experience its real-life operation. In short, consider all the nitty-gritty details to ensure enjoyable and useful experience for your users.
You cannot foresee every single problem, though. Get ready for customer support and bug fixes; otherwise, the highly competitive market will devour your newly-created app with negative reviews. It is crucial to be prepared for support services before your app is downloaded in users’ mobile devices. Perfection can be achieved through informed revisions. Consequently, the initial check-up and readiness for support are not waste of time. Both the testing process and customer feedback are irreplaceable tools to take your app to a higher level. Get those prompts and be ready for revisions.
Be available and memorable
When you are done with the development, time has come to spread the word about your app. Think of engaging headlines and create easy-to-understand instructions. If necessary, prepare video tutorials that will explain any aspect of your app you find worth clarifying. Make it as easy as a pie. To increase your application’s visibility, go to social sites to share the information on the hottest news: how is your app going to change people’s lives? Promotion matters, but keep in mind that your success will fall back to these main requirements: whether you managed to create a useful and/or entertaining application.
The era of mobile apps has already begun. Join this evergrowing platform with your cutting-edge idea. Unlimited opportunities are at your disposal to research the current market and find out how competitive your idea is. Focus your plan and identify the key strategies you will use in developing the app. With consistent efforts, put forth for project realization, you will open doors wide to new challenges. Random success cannot last for good. However, if it is planned, you stand a good chance to become the next app millionaire!
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