There are a number of reasons to consider creating an app. Some hope to make money off of an inventive new game while others want to use their own mobile app as a business tool. Whether you already have an idea for the greatest app ever or you are considering dangling your toes in the ocean of mobile app creation, here are some simple steps to getting started.
1. Make Sure Your App Exists for a Compelling Reason
The number of apps for sale in Apple’s app store alone soared past one million last year. This means that originality is going to be pretty hard to come by. The chances are that even if your app is neat and unique, there will be several other similar applications competing with you.
Because of the fierce competition out there, your app will have to have a significant reason to exist. It must either be vastly superior in design and usability or offer an important feature that the consumer can’t live without.
For businesses considering making a special app for marketing purposes, it is equally key to decide on the purpose of the app. “If the goal is just outreach and exposure,” writes Business Insider, “an app is unlikely to be the answer.” Platforms like Facebook, Twitter, Yelp and others already exist with “significant mobile reach” as a tool for engaging an online audience.
But there are also numerous cases where an app will improve the efficiency of business operations or work to keep customers happy. Many mobile apps offer special deals and coupons to bring shoppers into stores. Some help companies to go paperless. Still others improve the customer experience. Chipotle’s mobile app, for example, was created by Blue Rocket and allows customers to order before arriving at the store to decrease long lunch lines.
2. Decide on the Right Route
After you have brainstormed and decided that your app will serve a real need and is worth developing, it is time to make an important choice between outsourcing and attempting a DIY project.
For companies, there may be some benefits to assigning app creation to an in-house team. If you have people who possess the aptitude and the willingness to start a long process of learning, then creating your own app in-house can be a great tool for knowing your product better and being able to more readily perform updates in the future.
However, this process will also take longer as it involves training and a steep learning curve. For businesses who want a guarantee of professionalism and timely delivery, then it is probably best to contract the project out to a full-time developer.
Working on your own can prove much less expensive that hiring a third party and is a great opportunity to learn new skills. However, hiring a professional developer can produce the final product you envision and easily work out any bugs in a matter of a few weeks. So this is an important decision to make while moving towards app development.
With these initial steps in mind, you or your company will be ready to discuss app development and decide on the best way to proceed for your knowledge base, time available, budget and expectations.
Jessica Socheski is a freelance writer who enjoys researching new technology. You can connect with her on Twitter.