Recently there has been a lot of buzz about the development of new app without any experience in programming. For instance, Proto.io has also published an article about some practical tips, some of which you can find below.
How to make an app: tips from professionals
We asked three entrepreneurs to share their wisdom and tell how to create a mobile app (even if you do not have any experience in app development or design), hire creative developers and make great prototypes. Although all these people know a lot about the market of app design and are acquainted with technical peculiarities of their development, their tips sometimes differ.
- Paul Ferro, the president of 5 Nerds Software Development, an agency working in the field of design, branding and app development.
- Andres Max, the founder of Ideaware, specializing in product strategy, UX/UI design and front-end optimization. Before funding the studio Max had worked as a leading UX designer in Mashable.
- Daniel Hindi, Chief Technology Officer in BuildFire, a platform for creating mobile apps, used by more than 50,000 companies. Even if you do not know how to make a mobile app, with the help of WYSIWYG BuildFire editor you will be able to make a professional app.
The answers of these businessmen help us to understand that the creation of a mobile app is not necessarily connected with programming or using Adobe. Having a bright idea, business acumen and making some efforts, you will be able to drive future Uber. Let’s take a look at their ideas.
Paul Ferro advises how to make the first step as he didn’t only started his own business, he helps other businessmen to fulfill their ideas:
You have quite a nice idea for a mobile app. This is a new virtual game or a software utility desperately needed by many people, or maybe other app helping to express yourself in society. Anyway, you are convinced that the idea is really brilliant and eager to share it with everyone. Firstly, it is very important to specify your idea. No doubt, you can figure out the main concept of your app, but have pondered over all little intrinsic peculiarities making a fantastic app different from a usual app? It is really important to sit down and think over the experience of your future mobile app usage. If it is a game or something like that, you do not need to imagine every level in your head, but you need to have a clear picture how levels differ. You should decide if users can buy something in the app, whether they can play in a team or be connected via social networks. If you can answer all these questions, you will be able to imagine the whole game and cope with some problems and pitfalls that might arise. And if someone develops the app for you, he will want to know everything before the very beginning of the development.
Present your idea to your friends, relatives and colleagues to get a feedback
All people think that their ideas are unique, don’t they? Presenting your project to the audience will show if it can be interesting for others. Use your inner circle of friends as a sanitary border, checking your ideas.
When you have an idea that may work, it’s time to check if it is as good as you think. There are a lot of different app with similar functions but some of them become popular and others vanish in the long run. Your app do not necessarily need to be number 1 in a shop to become popular or profitable. But for sure it should have some advantages. Disseminate your ideas among as many people as possible and get the feedback. Experts advise to tell your friends or relatives that the idea is not really new, that someone has already tried it and you want to invest into it. Then explain the core of the idea. Your listeners will be much more honest if they know that this idea is not originally yours and you can lose your money, investing into something that can appear not very successful. Ask them if they are going to use it. If they are, ask them the details. If not, why not? Ask them to point out the disadvantages. Ask them if they have already seen something like that before. This approach is far more productive than only getting to know that you have a lot of friends and relatives who do not want to hurt you.
If you tried this method several times and you have a kind of positive result of such experience, it is time to start. You can hire someone to do it for you or do it by yourself.
Even if you are not capable of making a mobile app, you can make an excellent prototype.
Andea Max also highlights the importance of checking the efficiency of the offered idea before launching its development. “I always encouraged entrepreneurs to carry out market research. Dig deeper to estimate the demand for your idea, find out what was effective in the past, what failed and then start to make adjustments”. For instance, you may think that you have an excellent idea for working with photos and then discovered that a similar add has already been created and went for sale. It does not mean that you need to stop working at the idea, it is only a hint what can be improved in the app.
One of the best ways to compare is to make a prototype. Max says: “After you improved your idea, create and test a prototype. Gather all necessary information using it”. A prototype can be just a sketch of your design, or you can create a full-scale add in any instrument like Proto.io. You will not even need skills in programming or design.
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Decide if you are going to turn to a studio or a developer, or use how to do it on your own
Next step, says Ferro is to understand who is going to convert your prototype into a real app. It can seem impossible, but you can learn how to create the app on your own (without any previous experience). In case, of course, your app is rather simple:
Learning how to create an app can be a difficult task, especially if you do not have any experience. If only your idea concerns the peculiarities of some functions, not just technologies. But it is possible. Let’s take Flappy Bird. The app itself is really simple. But the original idea appeared to be unique and entertaining. Now let’s consider Apple Passbook. The idea itself is rather simple but the technologies providing your data storage, giving access to the sellers if needed, recognizing a fingerprint are relatively complicated. If you need advanced technologies in your app, that will use the device in such a way that it has never been used before, you are unlikely to cope with its development. Figuring out the whole range of mobile functions may take years. If you are sure that you are able to develop it on your own, it is really great. But even you do not have any skills in programming, you can get the skills you need quite quickly.
Make sure that you use the right instrument for creating a mobile app
Many beginners are eager to learn programming as quickly as possible. You can take a programming course (there are a lot of resources) or you can use instruments that are created for beginners. For instance, BuildFire, explains Daniel Hindi:
What if you have a crazy good idea but you do not know how to create an app? That is why our platform BuildFire was created. We have more then 80,000 apps created both by small companies and large corporations and they were created without any background knowledge in programming. It is really easy for simple apps but when it comes to more difficult requirements you may be limited by functions available at the platform. BuildFire is working to solve this problem and soon we are going to open API for developers, that will enable adding additional functions to BuildFire. We see that more and more startups and small companies start using our platform to create apps that are rarely logged in. However, after the app proved to be popular, they ask developer to create the elements their apps lack. Thus companies can save huge amount of money and time.
Make sure you hire the right people
Not matter if you hire someone to finish the project, started at the platform like BuildFire or create an app from a draft, it is essential to find the right developer, says Ferro:
Now if you have decided to hire someone to develop your app, it will be much easier to develop an app then in case you do it on your own. However, the main reason can be the price. Hiring a company can have many advantages. They have enough experience and they are aware of possible pitfalls. They will do a good app, its design will not be horrible and the development will not take much time. I think you understand pros of professional work. But you should make sure that you hire the professionals you need. First of all, it means search for the company that will be able to understand your needs even before starting to develop the code. Many companies will try to start the development at once and ask you to pay. But it is not the right way. Consult several companies to find the only to help you and meet your needs. You should feel yourself comfortably, be able to communicate and cope with problems together. Believe me, you will have some difficulties! When you found the right company, things will work out. They will deepen into your ideas, fill the gaps, solve difficulties and offer additional functions, providing an excellent service level. The best ideas occur when an excellent idea works together with a perfect team that fulfill it.
Time to start
To sum up Ferro reminds businessmen that creating an app and making people download it are two different things:
At last you developed the app. Don’t stop at this point. Promote it. Speak about it. Share it in social networks – everywhere! There many ways to promote your app and you should try them all. Blogs always search for new offers which can be covered in them. Get in touch with blog moderators. If your app is a software utility, find out where it can be used most of all, tell people about it. Whatever you do, you should share your add as often as possible.