How To Make A Mobile iOS App: Step-By-Step

Posted by Davzo Inc

Posted in Development

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If you have a good app idea that you feel can be turned into a useful and engaging iOS app, there’s nothing that can stop you from making the most of it. App development has become more affordable than ever, and today, if you know what kind of app you want and take the time to plan its development, you can build it at a reasonable cost, and in a short time.

A step-by-step approach to creating a mobile app often proves more effective than rushing headlong with just an idea or two to the nearest iOS app developer Google leads you to. To help you build an engaging iOS app that iPhone and iPad users will enjoy, here is a straightforward step-by-step guide. Don’t worry, you don’t have to be a technical expert to complete it. All you really need is to have used mobile apps on a smartphone or tablet before.

  • Make sure your app idea solves a problem that mobile users have, or else has the potential to provide entertainment in an engaging format. The best iOS apps are not just multi-purpose apps targeted at everyone. They are highly-focused, single-purpose solutions to particular problems that mobile users, or a specific group of mobile users are facing. If your current app idea doesn’t solve a problem or provide entertainment, try to improve it until it does. This is the key to building a successful iOS app.

  • Find whether there is enough demand for your app. Doing this is easier than it sounds. If you are a company or organization, reading the feedback your customers leave you and their demands can be more than enough. If you don’t yet have an audience for your app, use the Google Keyword Planner tool to condense your idea into a keyword phrase and then find out how many times those keywords are used as search queries. Also, look at existing iOS apps similar to the one you want to build and see how many downloads, ratings, and comments they get. Knowing that there is demand for your app will empower you to proceed with confidence to the next step.

  • Make a list of the things you want your app to do. Keep this list short and to the point, omitting unnecessary features, or features that would be too costly to implement at this stage. Whether we are talking about lifestyle, business, utilities, or entertainment apps, the most downloaded and best-rated ones in the App Store do one thing and do it smoothly and effectively. Aim to imbue your own app with the same purposefulness top apps have.

  • Highlight the one or two core features that define your app. The more simple and more focused your app is, the easier it will be to develop. Those one or two core features will be the ones making it into the first version of your release. The other features on the list can be sorted out based on their priority and implemented as updates into later versions. Eliminating features from the initial release isn’t easy, but as the French writer Antoine de Saint-Exupery said, “Perfection is achieved, not where there is nothing more to add, but when there is nothing left to take away.” By focusing on core features, you will not only streamline your app, but also keep the development costs down and speed up the app building process, so that your app will hit the App Store in no time.

  • Wireframe your app. Don’t be daunted by this strange word – wireframing essentially means sketching your app’s interface. It’s a way to envision it on paper before sending it to a developer. You don’t even need to be a good drawer to do this. Using pen and paper, draw a rectangle as big as the screen of the iPhone. Sketch first the home screen, and then the other screens your app will have, using simple shapes, arrows, buttons, and text. Put a letter (A,B,C,D, etc) at the top left corner of each new page you draw. Draw a line from each button and put at the end of it the letter of the screen to which that button will take the user. In the margins note gestures such as swipes or double-taps for every page.

  • Understand the user flow. Once you’ve made the drawings, spread them over a table in a logical sequence and see how they all fit together. This will give you a good idea about the user flow, or the experience that people will have using your app. The smoother the user flow is, the more compelling your app will be. Don’t take the user flow you have for granted, but rather try to improve it by simplifying the design of your app.

Also, ask yourself these three questions:

  • Have any unnecessary features made it into this version of the app?

  • What about the buttons? Are all of them needed? Are they well placed and purposeful?

  • Can I remove some of the screens/pages to make the app tidier? Look at each page you’ve drawn individually and, if you can improve it in some way, redraw it. This process will take some time, but it’s well worth it because it will help you build a better iOS app, as well as reduce the cost of development.

  • Turn your drawings into digital wireframes. Use a presentation software such as Apple Keynote, Microsoft PowerPoint, or LibreOffice Impress to assemble all your drawings into an online presentation. You don’t have to be an expert at making presentations to create a wireframe because you only need to use basic shapes and simple text to represent your app visually. You can then play the presentation to get an idea of the user flow. Going a step further, you can save the wireframe you’ve created as a PDF and then email it to your iPhone or iPad. You could then navigate the wireframe on your mobile device, going from page to page, as if it were an actual app.

  • Share your wireframe with others. Although by this stage your wireframe should be good enough to be sent to a developer, you may want to email it to a few friends first and ask them to try it out. If you can find a few people who represent the audience your app is targeting, all the better. Consider their advice carefully, even the small details, and be especially careful to any issues they may point out that could affect the user experience.

  • Send your wireframe and app ideas to established developers and request a quote. By this point you already have a solid wireframe, so developers can give you a fairly accurate estimate of the total cost of turning your wireframe into a mobile app, as well as a timeline for its development. Make sure you ask for a fixed bid, to know exactly where you stand. Before choosing your app developer, compare multiple providers based not only on their price, but also on the quality they promise.

  • Market your new iOS app. You can start marketing your app even before it’s ready for launch, by creating a landing page for it and encouraging email sign-ups, featuring it on your blog, and spreading the word about it on social media. Twitter seems to be especially effective at marketing a mobile app, so you may want to focus your efforts on it.

  • Launch your app in the App Store when it’s ready. Having your app tested after it’s developed – a good developer has its own team of testers, or else outsources testing to the right team – is crucial to ensuring your app is free from major bugs that could ruin the user experience. Once your app is live in the App Store, monitor carefully the comments and ratings you receive. Incorporate relevant suggestions into future updates of the app, alongside bug fixes, new features, and other improvements.

As you can see, building a mobile app isn’t all that complicated, and if you take the time to follow every step of this guide, you can do it without much hassle. However, you will have to invest some time into the process. If you don’t have that time, there is an even simpler way to build an engaging iOS app. Tells us what app you want to build and we can bring your ideas to life, in the form of a wonderful app that will meet all your expectations. Contact us to learn more about our iOS app development services.

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