The global smartphone market share is continuously growing. Nowadays, a responsive website or native mobile app is a MUST-HAVE in order to support your presence online.
So, how to start a mobile app from scratch?
Step 1. Specify The Application Concept
Depending upon the type of application, different amounts of time and effort may be required to achieve it. For example, an ecommerce mobile app, a healthcare app, game or augmented reality – each of these requires a different approach and each varies in terms of the technology that must be used for completion. Once the concept is defined, it’s time to hire professionals (preferably a contractor who has expertise in a similar area). In terms of technology and general expertise, for example, you may need an IT professional from a development background who is focused on business mobile apps, e-learning iOS apps or CRM; the mobile market differs from the game studio.
Step 2. Competitors
Review successful competitors. Time is money, so forget the idea that a large-scale successful project can be replicated quickly and for a low price. Remember instead that each product/service has its fair market price. For all large-scale and feature-rich projects I would suggest starting from proof-of-concept, which is just Phase 1. During this phase you will see how the development is going and how fast feedback arrives, and based on that proof-of-concept you will have a clear project plan for the next stages.
Step 3. SOW (Statement of Work Document)
Generate a brief describing the workflow for the entire app. The major focus here is that if you are planning a large app, it is best to have the Statement of Work document ready BEFORE development starts. This will save you money and time in the future. Prepare mockups to make the user flow and use cases crystal clear and design graphic concepts for any major page(s). Share your GO-AHEAD to a development team only once the SOW / specs/ sketches / wire are completed (at least briefly).
Step 4. Data Flow
There are 2 types of mobile apps: stand-alone; and client-server (with the server-side integrated via web services). A stand-alone is a static app where there is no server-side so that each time you need to add anything, you need to use a developer and resubmit the app into the marketplace.
A client-server mobile app allows you to add and edit data under your mobile application via a web-based user interface; when planning a client-server app, please consider that you will have to discuss that interface with a web developer as well.
3rd party API integrations should be discussed with a development team before starting the project (starting from Facebook and Twitter API and up to some specific 3rd party services for retrieving products, services, shipping etc.).
All new data, such as product listings, new posts, new videos, and all new info appearing under your mobile app should be retrieved from some server side; it can be either your current website or external services. Remember that both platforms (iOS and Android) do have serious limitations in terms of the formats supported. So, for example, if you’re planning to retrieve a video under a mobile app from some cameras online, always take some time to discuss the available formats for streaming so that your development team can come up with suggestions regarding formats.
In order to succeed with a mobile business app or on the gaming market it is essential to follow these four simple steps. As a result, you will have a clear understanding of the scale and scope of the app, so you can track where you are with the development progress. You will easily be able to plan the budget and costs as well as effectively planning the launch date and marketing activities.
The right beginning makes for a good ending.
Itera Research Team