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How to Create an Online App

Since the turn of the millennium there has been a steady decline in the number of applications made to start businesses.

Much of this has been attributed to the growing monopolies of companies like Amazon, Google and Apple.

However, in the past 12 months as these megacorporation’s have continued to grow, so has the number of business applications.

It seems that the spectre of taking on a financial behemoth is not quite as off-putting as the allure of creating a tech start up.

In this article we cover one key facet that any new, modern business needs to get to grips with – creating an online app.

Read on to find out how to make one and how to use it to take your start up to the next level.

If you would like more information about the intricacies of starting up a tech business, this check list is a handy guide we wrote earlier this year on the topic.

Creating an Online App: Step 1: Research and Target Setting

As tempting as it may be to delve straight into the nuts and bolts of creating your app, it’s important to do your homework first.

Before starting out sit down and flesh out your idea by asking yourself and your team the following questions:

  • What will our app do?
  • How do we sell it to users?
  • What problem is it going to solve?
  • How will it make people’s lives easier?
  • Do we have the time and money to make this work?

If you can answer all of these questions clearly and in a well-defined manner your app has a much greater chance of success.

Now it’s time to research the competition, work out what they are doing and how you are going to do it better.

Use this as an opportunity to cherry pick the things that you like from your competitors as well as spotting the things that don’t work so well so that you can avoid them.

Before moving on to Step 2, sit down with your team and set some targets for your app.

Make them Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic and Time oriented (SMART) so that you can review them as you go forward.

An example of three SMART targets for a new app would be:

  • App to launch by June, 2022.
  • Download target of 1,000 by July, 2022, 5,000 by September, 2022 and 10,000 by December 2022.
  • 75% 5 Star reviews in first quarter.
Clear Light Bulb on Black Surface

(Boring as it may sound, sketching out your ideas and making a plan is of vital importance.)

Step 2: Wireframe

Tech can sometimes feel a little exclusionary, especially when terms such Mobile App Wireframing are used in place of perfectly suitable words like ‘storyboard’.

Whichever word you prefer, Step 2 is all about getting your ideas down and sketching out a semblance of a plan.

At this stage you’ll begin to think about things like menu icons. Do you want to go for a sleek, yet functional menu design like 888 Poker have to navigate users to their live poker event tab?

Or, do you want your menu tabs to be bright, colourful and eye catching like Google Keep?

Menus aren’t the only design variables you’ll need to decide upon at the Wireframe stage.

This is the moment when you’ll begin to get a pretty firm idea of how you want your entire user interface to look and feel. 

If you’ve completed the research at Step 1 properly, this should be relatively easy.

Step 3: Back End Design

If you weren’t familiar with the word ‘wireframe’ the next paragraph or so is going to be a baptism of fire.

With the look and feel of your app sorted, it’s time to delve down into the details and start working underneath the hood of your app.

Using your wireframe within your mobile app development you would have to perform processes such as delineate your servers, API’s and data diagrams.

If you don’t have a clue what this means, fear not. There are a number of great online services you can use to take care of your back end design.

Just do your research and go with a company that fits your budget and design proposals.

Silver Imac on Top of Brown Wooden Table

(The back end design of an app is an incredibly tricky and technical thing to get your head around. If you’re not technically savvy it’s prudent to outsource this stage.)

Step 4: Testing

Now that your app is starting to take shape you can release your first demo and put everything you’ve created to the test.

Whilst it’s important for you to take a look at your app, ideally you want the testing to be done by potential customers.

This way you can get valuable feedback from your target audience as to how they rate your app and what they would like to see done better.

Be sure to collate all of the feedback that you receive and then use that information to inform any tweaks you may need to make.

Step 5: Build It

Finally you can get on with the most exciting part – building your app.

If you’re taking on a hands on approach this might not be as exciting as you’d imagine, in fact it’s an awful lot of painstaking work.

If you’re lucky enough to have outsourced this part, all you have to do is wait for the finished product to be sent back to you.

After this it’s time to launch your app to the world, but don’t think your work is done just yet.

You’ll have to constantly keep an eye on your app, monitoring its performance and ironing out any bugs or technical difficulties that arise.

All whilst continuously marketing it and running your business in tandem. We never said creating your own app was easy…

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