In this article we will break down the steps needed to develop an app from scratch. Creating a mobile application for Android and iOS can be easy if you have a complete app development team. Here you will learn all the steps to know how to create a mobile application correctly.
How to create an app
Quick guide to create a mobile app from scratch. The entire app creation process has been broken down by a technical digital product development team composed of 5 experts, including a project manager, a UX UI expert, a testing engineer, a web designer, an app developer and a back-end developer.
1. Defining the app idea
Starting from an idea, the client will define the app in 3 simple steps. The first step is based on having a general idea of the application, then the basic functions of the application will be broken down, and lastly and most importantly, a complete sitemap will be made, listing the main sections of the application.
An example of this first step would be the following:
1.1 Create a marketplace application for agricultural products, where users can publish and sell their products through the application.
1.2 The functionalities needed to implement the application from scratch would be: geolocation so that the customer can see suppliers nearby, online sales system with commission on sales per product, the app will be in 2 languages, monthly subscription system for suppliers.
1.3 App sitemap:
- Login/Register/Forget password.
- Home: where all suppliers are shown filtered by location (Madrid, Barcelona, Malaga...) and category (tomatoes, bananas, peppers...).
- Search: search section with more filters (publication date, price, popularity, product type, category, location...).
- Map: in this part you will be able to see a map showing your position and the nearest suppliers.
- Become a supplier: section to register farmers.
- FAQs: frequently asked questions section.
- News: section to publish news sorted by date and category.
- Contact us.
We consider important to break down at least the sitemap of the application so that a professional can estimate costs approximately. Any estimated budget of an app without taking into account a complete sitemap, can lead companies to give a much higher budget or worse, to estimate costs below the real costs, leaving the app unfinished.
2. Create the prototype of an app
What is an app prototype?, the prototype of an app is the design procedure of the different screens that the application will have and the interaction between them. A UX UI expert is in charge of designing the complete application, taking into account the best practices for the design of the app prototype, for example, size of the buttons, contrast between colors and distance between links, taking into account the simplicity at the time of elaborating a prototype for an app.
The prototype of an app is also made to present the app idea to investors and to seek funding for its further app development, the investor will be able to see the complete design without having to develop the application. The costs of creating a prototype and technical documentation (also essential to present to investors) are usually around 15% of the entire project.
How to make an app prototype?, UX designers use design programs such as Invision, Figma or Adobe XD to create the designs from scratch. The designer of the app prototype can work with the sitemap and some design examples of other applications that the client has as a reference.
3. Technical documentation of an app
At this point, the application designers are connected with the developers to produce a technical document that breaks down, screen by screen, all the app's internal functionalities.
The technical document includes all the functionalities of each of the sections of the app. At this point, the developers in charge of all the programming of the app, will break down all the internal functions in each of the screens of the app prototype.
The technical document serves to evaluate the development costs with greater precision even before starting the development of the app, the latter being the one that takes most of the costs of the project. It is also necessary to include along with the prototype to present to investors.
4. App development
What is app development? App development is the internal programming of both the application and the control panel, turning the initial prototype into a functional and interactive application.
To develop the application from scratch, the following steps must be taken into account:
4.1 Development of the administration panel (Back-End) connected to the app. Every application needs administration to manage customers, orders, billing, modify products or any necessary part of the content of the app. It is advisable to have a basic content management system for the application.
4.2 App development. There are many types of ways to develop an app, our team of app developers uses React Native technology to create apps for Android and iOS. Some of the most important apps today such as Netflix, Airbnb, WhatsApp or Instagram are developed with React Native.
4.3 Connections between the app and the administration panel. At this point, all the functions required by the administrator and the different user roles for their management will be created in the app.
4.4 External API connections. If you need to connect some external platform to display data in your app you will have to take this point into account. An example would be the Google Maps Api for the geolocation of the mobile application.
5. App testing
One of the most important points before launching an app is to perform a complete review of both the code and the functions. The test engineer is in charge of reviewing the entire application, performing a complete debugging before releasing the app to the market.
6. Publication of the app in the marketplace
Once the app is debugged, the next step will be the publication and submission to marketplaces. Our main recommendation is to have a landing page where users can directly download the application, after this, we will perform the publication process in Google Play and AppStore.
The publication time on your own landing page is immediate, and any investor, user or potential customer of the app will be able to download the app on their cell phone. The average time of publication in Google Play is approximately 1 or 2 months, as for AppStore can take from 2 to 6 months of waiting.
7. Scaling an app
Once your app is published from scratch in the first basic version, what we call MVP (minimum viable product), it is important to have a trusted company for its scaling. Every app needs new versions where you can add new features in the app that appear in the data collection of the first customers. It is also possible to add functionalities that were left out of the initial budget to reduce costs.
8. Marketing plan for an app
Along with the scaling of the app to monetize and improve its performance, marketing campaigns can be added at this point. A marketing plan for an app is in charge of giving visibility to your app and generating new users for further study.
These are the basic steps that we recommend through our team of application development from scratch to create an app correctly.
Creating a new idea is a broad process that can become complicated without knowing what steps to follow. You need a team of experts to help you in the technical process of an app and you can dedicate yourself to what you really like, watching your app grow.