Apps have become a dominant force in our lives. Did you know there are now more mobile phones on the planet than people? It’s the biggest technological shift we’ve seen in decades. With the incredible rise of smartphones and tablets, it’s clear that our future lies in apps. There are already more than a million on the App Store, and the most popular make more than $1m every day. It’s a phenomenal market.
But, have you ever wondered what it looks like behind the scenes? What exactly goes into the development of these small apps we use every day. We spoke to some of the leading app developers to find out how a small idea is turned into a real application.
The first stage of any big project is a period of thorough research. It takes place in every industry, so it’s no surprise that app developers spend months honing their ideas. The app market is such a saturated place, it’s important to create a unique product. The app must stand out from others and have a unique selling point. Extensive research helps identify the competition. Most importantly, it helps identify a gap in the market. What smartphone features would make a mark on the future? At this stage, app development teams will start to think about monetisation. How will this their app make a profit?
Next comes the sketching stage. This often takes place with nothing more technological than a pencil and pad of paper. It’s the first time developers will transfer the ideas in their head to a real design. They’ll sketch the rough outline of every screen and landing page of the app. It allows them to understand the flow and user journey. Of course, at this stage there will be lots of paper thrown away! Designers will go through many stages of development here.
Once the final sketches are agreed upon, developers will transfer them to a more professional layout. Using wireframing software, designers can turn their sketches into a fully understandable blueprint. These blueprints are like architectural designs. The app will then be made according to this specification.
Finally, we enter the building stage. Ironically, this is often the shortest part of building an app. So long as the designs are perfect, the development stage is relatively straightforward. With a little research and tuition, it is possible to take on the build yourself. However, most individuals and businesses will outsource to a professional app development agency. After a short while, your developers will deliver the final and complete application.
Before the app can go to market, it must undergo rigorous testing. Now’s the time to throw everything you can at the app. Developers will test it in every way, and ensure it’s fit for purpose. They use focus groups to test it with their target audience. Even when the app is on the market, they’ll listen to user feedback, and issue regular upgrades.
There you have it, folks! That’s all there is to building an app. In fact, if you’ve got a great idea, why not turn it into your very own app?