How To Turn An App Idea Into A Real Product

Posted by Tom Locke on February 1st, 2018 filed in Business, Technology

APP Picture

A tip of the hat to ymedialabs freelance editor Rae Steinbach** for the following contribution:

Maybe you just came up with an idea for the next great app. That’s a start, but ideas are only the beginning. What matters is knowing how to take a good idea and turn it into something real. People have inspirations for the next great mobile app all the time, but most of them never get past the point of just being a vague conception.

If you want to take your idea for an app and make it into something that people will use, you have to know how to design the app, develop it into something that can be used, and then get people to install it on their phones. This may entail partnering with professional iOS developers or other app design agencies, or you may have the technical know-how to go it alone. In this guide, you will learn about the steps that will take you from having an idea to having a real app that people use.

The Basics

The first thing you are going to need to do in the app development process is get the basic concept for the app down. You might have a rough idea of what the app is going to do, but you need to develop a clear picture before you can really move on to design and development.

First, you have to figure out the type of mobile app you are going to develop. Consider the following question:

⠏ What is it going to do for users?

⠏ Why would people want to download this app?

⠏ Does your app have a specific audience? If so, who are these potential users?

You also want to think about whether you are going to develop for iOS or Android. To determine the right operating system, you might need to do some research to find out which type of platform is most common among your target audience. As an additional point, you may also want to consider that iPhone users tend to be more profitable for companies that build a business model around an app.

Some of the answers to these questions might be easy and intuitive, but you also should conduct market research. Things like surveys and focus groups can provide information about what your target audience may be looking for in an app. You could also research industry trends and look for information about competing services.

Design & Development

Once you have worked out the basics of what you want the app to be, it is time to move on to design and development. You want to get all of your ideas down on paper, build some wireframe sketches, and do some prototyping.

You could start prototyping on your own by using one of the many prototyping tools that are available, or you could choose to start working with a design and development firm that will help to guide you through the process.

Even if you do choose to handle most of the design stage on your own, you may need to hire a developer to help build the app once the design phase is complete.

When you are looking for a development partner, you want to make sure to hire someone that has the necessary experience. Ask to see their portfolio and request a few references. Along with that, you should discuss your concept with the developer to see the types of ideas they have, and get an idea of how well they will work as a collaborator.

Launching Your App

With the development process complete, you’ll have an app that is ready to hit the market. At this stage, you need to think about what you can do to get people to install your app. Regardless of whether you developed for Android or iOS, you have millions of other apps to compete with, so you need to do what you can to raise awareness and get people interested in using your product.

One of the first steps you could take is to optimize your app for higher visibility in the app stores. One tip is to use a keyword in the title of the app. This should make it easier for people to find it as they search. You could also advertise your app on social media and through email.

It takes some time and effort to take an app idea and turn it into something that people want to use. Even when you see that people are downloading the app, that is not the end of the process. No app is perfect on its initial release; you need to look for any bugs that may have been causing problems, and you also need to look for user feedback to find ways that you can improve the experience.

** Rae Steinbach is a graduate of Tufts University with a combined International Relations and Chinese degree. After spending time living and working abroad in China, she returned to NYC to pursue her career and continue curating quality content.

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