How To Create An App From Scratch
We all have witnessed the rapid increase of mobile App users from the last decade. Creating an App is not just an intelligent decision to digitally take a step ahead in your business, it is now an essential aspect of any business in the world nevertheless. Big Companies and Fortune companies can always hire their own App development teams to create an app, But most First time App Entrepreneurs or startups wonder about the best way to create an app or how to create an app from the scratch? Since any mobile app project involves a good amount of efforts, energies, cost and time it becomes pretty obvious that a new App entrepreneur gets worried about pros and cons of various methods of App development, hidden App developments cost, Maintaining the App and other nuances before actually jumping the gun. Therefore, we’ve got you covered and here is this comprehensive guide on how to create an App from the scratch, and how to monetize your App, and why you should work with the best App Development companies to keep things simpler.
But before we jump to the guide of How to create an App From Scratch in 10 Steps, let’s just quickly walk through some real advantages of having an app for different categories of businesses:
If you’re a SaaS company, An App is good because
- With An App, you’ll have more user engagement and repeat usage.
- An App lets you use the power of notification, increasing in more usage of your SaaS product.
- An App will help you selling more to your existing users, give them incentives to promote your app, and also for quick buying of subscription and their renewals.
- You won’t want to miss a great deal of increased mobile usage of your SaaS users by not having an App, or would you?
- An App is essential not only to consume the content but also to generate it, so go for it.
If you’re a business around an App (like uber, airbnb), then
- A strong, superior and high functional app is core to your business.
- An App that can bear millions of users concurrently is essential to keep you afloat.
- Starting with an App MVP and then growing it into a full product is a great way to go.
- Everything good that an App offers, means everything to you.
If you’re a Non Tech Business, An App is good because
- With An App Customers will have your brand visibility all the time.
- An App Creates a direct marketing channel for you.
- An App Adds immense value to your customers in terms of quick communication, getting latest offers, keeping updated and so on.
- An App Gathers the customer’s engagement and loyalty.
- An App helps you further digitally transform your business, and hence keeps you ahead of the competition.
If you’re a Big Brand, An App is good because
- With an App, your brand retention will be higher and you won’t be dependent upon third party platforms.
- You can launch all customer engagement programs on your app.
- An App let’s you gather consumer behavior data big time.
- A superior app gives you an advantage over other competing brands, and also make you a though leader in digital campaigns.
A guide to create an App from Scratch with Examples
1. Define Your App Objectives
Yes, we all know that the ultimate goal of any business is to generate a million-dollar revenue and an App business is pretty much capable to achieve that and more, however we suggest take one step at a time. First of all, define what Major Problem that your app is going to solve, then define secondary problems too. Figure out what is not already in the market that your app can fill with i.e Do an App Gap Analysis. Brainstorm about the main objective your app is going to serve. Will the app enhance the experience of all your customers or will it be generating sales and purchases? Will this App offer a unique technology that makes users life easier, or the app is going to be an extension of your existing business? Once you’ve figured out the Gap, Opportunity, and Problem then you can build an App startup business around it.
Let’s just understand this with the help of an App example. Do you want to build an app like Garanti Fintech App, that has a goal to create a mind-blowing service targetting millennials using their App iGaranti or do you want to head for an app like Amazon where you can sell or shop anything you want or a service booking app like taskrabbit which is a platform to sell or hire handyman or gig services?
Knowing the Goal of the App is one of the important decisive factors for your App marketing strategy, App startup fund raising strategy, App business expansion strategy, Exit Strategy and much more.
Following are some of the common Goals for which you create an App –
- To solve a problem through an App and build a business around it – like uber App solved the Taxi booking problem, Airbnb App solved the problem of accommodation, and like our very own HASfit App (yes, we made it for our client and it has 4 million users now) solves the problem of giving quality home based no/ low equipment workouts.
- To Extend your existing Digital Product (A SaaS product, or a Web based or Desktop Software) as an App – Like Google Ads App as an extension of their Big web based Google Ad console, or Linkedin has their own App. Such apps may or may not replicate all functionality of your existing tech product, but offers enough to keep users at ease.
- To Enhance your existing brand for better customer relationship – Like My BMW App for BMW brand, or a Mercedes App.
- An App for facilitating Transactions like Ecommerce Apps– like Amazon App or any other famous Ecommerce App, or any buy and sell app.
- An App as the core of your business but not all of it – Like the Food delivery Apps i.e Grubhub, where App is basically a facilitator for ordering from customers to the food restaurant to the delivery guy. Everyone will have their own App version corresponding to their action. In such a case, App is not everything of the business because actual actions are being taken on the ground, but a big facilitator. Without an App these businesses wouldn’t have crossed the 10 % of their current business volume. So not the core, but still a core.
- An App for doing things that can’t be done on the web or desktop – A very simple but prominent example is none other than Google Map App, the turn by turn direction that it provides can’t be offered in the same way on a web app, and of course not at all on a desktop app (you won’t like to carry your laptop for directions all the time lol :-).
And then there are some more, like Dating Apps, Matrimony Apps, Fintech Apps, Home Automation Apps, Trading Apps and the list just keeps growing. So let us move on to the next step of creating an app.
2. Do App Competition Research, Analyze, Validate App idea, build a strategy
Even before you start thinking of actually creating an App, it is very important to do a deep App competition research, analysis, and know how to validate your app idea, and Build a strategy for MVP App Development, Full App Product Development, and launch and growth and of course, Exit!
Once you research on your competitors App, you may end up with one or more of the following scenarios:
Scenario #1 – Your App idea is absolutely unique and there is no existing App which remotely does what you want your App to offer.
Now this is a great App situation to be in. There is no App competitor, your App idea is unique so you’d think of going full force to build it, right? Well, not just like that! More important than not having a competitive App, is a viable business model that your App can support. In such a case where you’ve an App idea that doesn’t exist yet, you should be asking following questions –
– Will users pay for this app, and if yes then how (via subscription, via ads, via in app purchase)?
– How much scope of future improvement and enhancements is going to be there with your App idea? There must be a scope for scaling, enhancements to keep your users interested and engaged.
– There is no competition today, your App idea supports a viable business model too and that means you will soon have a competition! So what will be your plans once a competition takes birth?
Scenario #2 There are similar Apps out-there but you see a big opportunity to fill the gaps they’ve left.
This is a pretty common scenario, because there is an App for almost everything but so as with the automobile and they still launch new improved cars so you can still launch a new App, a better one than your competitors. A good thing in this scenario is that, you already have a market that is receptive to the App idea you’re contemplating to create.
There was myspace and orkut before facebook, there was google talk before whatsapp, there was bigbasket before zepto grocery delivery; and the list is just endless. This means, most of the successful Apps we use today had a big competition already and their App ideas were already implemented but they still made their way like a champ. You just need to take care of following points before starting to create the app:
– Check how efficiently and aesthetically you can incorporate the features and offerings that existing competition has left considering.
– Check if such new features and offerings are good enough to make your App a better alternative to the existing Apps.
– Check the usage analytics of those existing apps, are people liking them and spending time and money?
– Check their monetization methods, check their revenue and numbers and see how big the market is. Think of strategy where you can beat them with not just the features but also with pricing, offerings and content.
– Check if these Apps have left any geographies or demographics that you can cater to, and carve a niche for your own app in such locations and among such demographics.
Scenario #3 The Market is saturated with many Apps similar to your App idea.
Well, it doesn’t sound much promising or does it? Take an example of another Dating App like Tinder, and you may not want to make another one but still there are many new dating apps being launched every month and why so? Maybe because there is still a lot of untapped market around, may be because more localization is still needed, or because people need new things to try, or because majority of users of such apps are not getting their due. The reasons can be endless.
In such a case, you may consider addressing following concerns before going for creating the app –
– Can you raise enough funding to compete with already established apps in terms of positioning and marketing?
– What will be your early target market and demographics – same as the big apps are catering to or the ones who are left behind?
– What will be your core USP (Unique selling proposition) or differentiator?
– What will be your marketing strategy, channels of marketing, what features would you offer for repeat user engagement?
Scenario #4 Your App is an extension of your existing brand, product, services so competition doesn’t bother.
In such a case, it doesn’t matter how many other similar apps are out there because you’re not competing for the monies as such but to extending your brand for more user engagement. Things to consider before doing such an App are following –
– Think of ways how would you import your existing customers onto the app, through newsletters, or via ads, via your social channels or by multi-touch points approach?
– Do a survey with your customers that what most would they want from their app, do they want to check their customer account for loyalty points, would they want to get latest updates and discounts before anyone else or what else?
– See that the design, UI and UX of the app is well aligned to your corporate branding and then excel on it by leveraging the power of mobile platform.
– Make a long term strategy, you may start with creating a Brand App just to increase user engagement but in the future it can serve as the core platform for your business where consumers convene. So create the architecture of your app in such a way that adding more functional or complex features in the future is easy.
– Data, analysis, integration is very important. You should implement all the scripts that can track your user’s behavior on the apps (or across other apps) and be able to see and analyze the data for better business decisions. Also integrating your brand app with your other digital products (like website, social pages, widgets, even hardware devices) is absolutely important.
Figure out a Marketing strategy along these lines:
- What will be your early App Marketing Boost strategy, and then for how long would you boost aggressively?
- Would you spend your own money on App marketing or raise funds for it? if your own money then how much?
- Find out how much cost per new App user acquisition you’re willing to pay.
- Find out various channels of app marketing – like social media ads, video ads, blogging, PR reviews, celebrity endorsement and make a budget for it.
- Find out how much of free marketing can be done? We at Agicent always help our clients to gain first 1000 users using our inhouse App marketing team. Here is my quick take on How to gain first few thousands App users with almost free efforts:
And here is my quick take on how can you raise funds for your App idea?
Btw, choose a name for your App by now, book a domain for your app’s landing page – it never hurts to be prepared. 🙂
3. Define your App’s USP or Unique Bragworthy Proposition
As mentioned in the competitive research point above, figuring out your App’s unique selling proposition and then secondary propositions is of utmost importance. The world is however moved on from USP (unique selling proposition) to UBP (Unique Bragworthy proposition) as described well by Cred’s Founder Mr. Kunal Shah, Cred is valued at apprx $ 6.4 billion as of mid 2022 is one of the biggest unicorns in India. So we can take his advice about UBP pretty seriously.
The concept of UBP in case of the Apps means you need to make your App product in such a way and position it in such a way that their users just not get benefitted out of it but feel “Smug” about being its users and that becomes your no. 1 App marketing tool. Not every new App product can be Bragworthy for the users, but atlesat one should try. After all, as Les Brown said and we quote – “Shoot for the moon. Even if you miss, you’ll land among the stars.”
That being said, let’s discuss the App’s USP/UBP options with some examples –
– Zepto grocery delivery App’s USP or UBP is not that it delivers quality delivery on time; but the USP is it delivers quality delivery in 10 minutes. Now that is what beats everyone else. A lot of supply chain tactics and Artificial and Human intelligence must have gone into organizing such robust delivery mechanism and no doubt thousands of on ground workers make that happen through their hard work, but end of the day they offer something that is unique and to be bragged about.
– Uber App’s USP was to make sure you get a taxi without bothering about selecting the taxis, negotiating fares, getting the right price. They aggregated both taxi drivers and users and made a business around it that just became one of the most famous innovations of the century thus far.
– Whatsapp‘s App’s USP was they made messaging over internet as quicker and easier as regular SMS and that too for free. They played on simple design, quick onboarding, and ease of access as their core competency and by the time we could now what was happening, it replaced the stock text application already. Now when their initial product was successful, they introduce all bells and whistles but the core still remains the same – Quick messaging for free!
– Tiktok App is one such unique App product that made its way from bottom to top, which means they first targeted the regular demographics – your every day people by making it easier for them to create video content (because writing content is much more difficult than making a short video) and then it became so famous that it compelled celebrities to come on the platform because their followers were there already. No wonder, Instagram followed the suite by launching reels and Youtube by launching shorts.
The core USP of TikTok App was – making it easier to make content, making it easier to watch content all on the app. Their AI selects which content to render on priority, and loads them very fast and then its lean minimal UI made it an amazing product that no one could’ve ignored.
The examples are endless, there can be endless examples of App failures too and we should study both. Once you know your App’s UBP, you’re good to go to execute that into a real App.
4. Create App Wireframes or Write user stories or Use-cases
A wireframe is the next step in the process of creating an app. An App wireframe is the rough sketch of the mobile application you want to develop. A wireframe can be created on paper or also by using some very smart Mockups or Wireframes creating tools around that come with their mobile apps as well. We’ll talk about wireframing tools a little later, after describing an app specification document.
An App specification document is the one where you define what all a user (or type of users) will be able to do on the app like a story. You define how they onboard, what information they give to create their profile, what core functions they do on the app, how they edit their profile, how do they get notifications and so on. Here is How you can write App specs? This web page has a free app specs template download resource as well, so give it a try. It’s very simple to follow, you just describe the app the way you’re using it as a user and write your heart out, and bam – you are done!
Here is my quick short video on How to write App specs?
A well written App specification document provides enough insights to your App Development Company so that they can create a Scope of work and estimate that in terms of App development Costs and timeframes. Here is my take (as a short video) on How much does it cost to create an App, the example is Clubhouse –
Now let’s talk about How to create App wireframes or App mockups. Here is the list of most prominent and easy to use (even for a layman) App wireframes creating tools –
- Visily – Visily is an AI-powered design software for everyone and is free. It has recently become really famous among non tech/ non designers. It is absolutely easy to use, you can save your project, do unlimited iterations and then share and collaborate with your development or marketing teams or anyone else. Here is a quick introductory video of Visily Tool on their channel –
- Invision where online whiteboard meets productivity platform. The tool provides plenty of plugins and easy to use interfaces to create real life looking App wireframes. Although you may need to hire an app designer to make good use of Invision but with a little training anyone can use it themselves. Here is their Beginners Tutorial Video –
- Balsamiq – is one of the oldest and very famous App wireframes or mockups creation tool. As per Balsamiq, they make UI Design Accessible to – Business Owners, Product Managers, Business Analysts, Developers, Agencies, and anyone getting into UX. It let’s you create not only enriched wireframes but also great user interfaces. Many non designers/ non techs use balsamiq with great ease and create well defined wireframes.
- Figma – By far, one of the most comprehensive, all encompassing wireframing and design collaboration tool is Figma – hands down. Figma is the loved by App developers, designers, entrepreneurs, enthusiasts i.e everyone! If you use figma you don’t need to use any supplementary tools. Figma’s wireframing and design software makes working with design feel approachable and inclusive. They have the free wireframe tools to let you design beautiful App wireframes/ mockups or web wireframes/ mockups.
This blog of their explains how to use Figma to create App wireframes. And here is their introductory video –
- Miro – Miro is another pretty neat design tool. It provides plenty of templates, mindmaps to start your creative journey and then amazing collaboration and integration options with other tools like Jira, Zoom, Asana, Notion.so and more. Creating wireframes using miro doesn’t need a prior design experience and you can use it to quickly create what you like.
There are many other App wireframes tools too like marvelapp, AdobeXD, Mockflow etc but the above mentioned are the ones which are most famous as of 2022.
We at Agicent can design wireframes or high fidelity designs using any software, and then we stitch the screens simulating a real app experience using Marvel App. here are some examples of our Marvel App prototypes –
– Crypto Trading App prototype – https://marvelapp.com/prototype/962ec18
– 3D Scan App idea Prototype – https://marvelapp.com/prototype/ic5afba
If you still find difficulty in creating your wireframes using these tools, you can always sketch it on a paper – click a picture and send across to us. We’ll convert that into high fidelity design asap and take you to the next step of creating an app.
5. Technical Feasibility – Create App’s PoC if needed
Things get serious from here. A big round of Technical Feasibility Analysis is to be done here and I’ll tell you the reasons also.
– To make sure that all what the App wants to achieve is achievable through the existing technology and libraries or would you need to build the technology from the scratch. For example, if I were to create an App that can scan the numbers on your credit card then I can use an OCR library like tesseract or any other computer vision/ Optical character recognition library and that will save me to create a whole new technology just for one app. However, in case of Apps which offer you an altogether new technology (Like Prisma App), you may need to work on the background technology (in this case – image processing) yourself and that can blow out the scope of the work to a whole different level.
So unless you are creating a pure Tech App, always use third party open source or paid libraries that can save yourself a big amount of time and hassle and help you creating your app rapidly. You decide to create your own code from the scratch only when there is no library or open source service available to achieve the intended functionality and such a functionality will need more programming skills and languages than just App development languages, for example we’ve created a Python and C/C++ for image and document editing that wasn’t available anywhere before.
– Search and compare for third party services, their pricing, their offering matching our app’s requirements and future scalability. We’ve to use many third party tools ranging from as common as Payment gateway (like paypal) to maps (like google Maps API) to user authentication (like FB authentication) to very niche ones like Redox Engine API for EHR integration or EPIC API for EMR. Some of these tools are free to a certain limit of API calls (i.e how many times your App calls to these APIs in a day) or charge a transaction fee (like payment gateways) and so on.
Knowing which libraries can help you achieve the desired functionality (so that you don’t have to reinvent a wheel) is important, and select the ones that provide you ease of integration, charges you on usage basis (so you pay only when you grow), and are widely used.
– Decide on hosting Technology – There are plenty of cloud hosting providers while most famous ones being Amazon Web Services (AWS), Google Cloud Platform, Microsoft’s Azue. Any hosting provider is good at the MVP stage, however when you scale it matters. If you already have other digital products (like other Apps, websites, internal Software Applications) running on a particular hosting platform we’ll advise you to use the same for your App unless going to any other platform is absolutely necessary.
Most of them offer 1 years for free or may be extended free usage but after a certain point they all will charge. For AWS, know how much does it cost to use AWS for your App here – How much does it cost to use AWS.
– Decide on Distribution/ Selling options – It is advisable to finalize the methods of App distribution right before you start developing the same. For one, the in-app purchase can be the only right option to sell their App’s subscription while some other app may need to use third party payment gateways to sell subscriptions. Apps that run on multiple platforms tend to sell their subscription through both in-app purchase and payment gateway, however putting more emphasizing on payment gateway sales because that is where they save a lot of margin. Payment gateways charge 2.9 % usually, while inapp purchase means Apple or Google will take 15 % of the total sale.
Sometime organizations may want to distribute the App privately, to their own organization’s teams only and don’t want it to be publicly available. In such a case, you distribute the app through Apple’s Enterprise distribution platform or Google Zero touch.
Essentially, it is advisable to figure out the distribution strategy in advance so you don’t end up changing the architecture at the time (or after) of the development process.
– Create Proof of Concept (PoC) version of your app
This is not something that you would like to do for every App project. The Apps which are regular in types, have been done before (like ecommerce apps, dating apps, brand apps etc) don’t need to create a PoC because we know they are feasible and can be done with the technologies in hand.
However, in some case where you are creating something unique or building a new technology altogether- it is advisable to ask your developers to create a PoC first to demonstrate the core part of the solution is working fine and as expected, and then you can build all other regular features around it.
6. Create High Fidelity Designs
Once your wireframes are finalized, the development looks all feasible, the technical architecture is selected now it is time to convert your wireframes into high fidelity screen designs that developers can use to incorporate into the project.
For high fidelity designs, you do need a professional designer who can use tools like Adobe Photoshop, or Sketch or Figma for creating high fidelity screens. Agicent can definitely help you with App wireframes, App high fidelity designs, and ofcourse App development. Here are some latest design examples and App concepts we are working upon – App Ideas
7. Choose Front end and Backend Technologies
Now that you have the objective, goals, market research and framework ready, the next step to proceed forward is the the coding at both ends – Front end (The App side) and backend (the backend technology, admin panel, content management, database and APIs). There are plenty of ways to build an app but the most important call to take while building an app from the scratch is to finalize which technologies to use. This highly depends upon the App type, Budget, Future scalability, and timeline.
Here are some of the common technology choices for creating an app:
- Native App development: Native App Development means using the Native technology stack separately for iOS and Android. For iOS – Xcode with Swift or Objective C is native; while for android its Android studio with Kotlin or Java.
If your App heavily uses device’s resources like Camera, Location, Accelerometer and when your budget allows then its always recommended to prioritize developing using Native App Development Technologies. Check our following article to know more about this topic – Native Vs Cross Platform App Development.
- Cross Platform App Development: Cross platform App development is an amazing choice these days when we’ve high end cross platform frameworks like React native and Flutter. This means that you write apps for both iOS and Android using one framework and programming language and hence get a single code base shared across both platforms. Do note that the backend technology will still be different.
You can use Cross platform technologies like Flutter or React Native for almost all kind of apps, saving the ones that heavily use device’s resources (as explained above) or need a great deal of third party services integrations (Native rules the roost with integrations FYI). Here’s my quick take on Native Vs Cross platform (React native/ flutter) –
You can also know more about our Cross Platform and Native App Development Services here –
- Hybrid App Development: Its a combination of both Native and Cross platform App Development. Take an example of Uber, its taxi booking page is pure native App while its Ride History page is a web view; similarly Facebook is overly made in react native however it still has pure native screens for its onboarding part. If yours is a heavy content oriented app then you can wisely decide between which parts to be done native and which ones to be left as web views or cross platform ones.
- Using Low Code or No Code Platforms – Low code platforms like Bubble can let you create very simple apps without coding using drag and drop but it limits itself to that only. In order to create any level of useful app that can compete with others in the market, you will have to go for custom App development and choose between React native or Native or Flutter or any other cross platform technologies.
8. Choose your App Developer
When all of above is in place, you now have to launch your project and for that you need an App Development Team. There are some options to go about creating your app as follows –
- Hire an App Development Company – You can always hire a reputed App Development company like Agicent to create your App. App Companies like ours are usually equipped with the right development, design and testing teams and can quickly start working on the project and delivering that. You can either hire an App company on fixed price for fixed scope of work; or can opt for hourly model (Check out Remote App Developers )pricing.
Following are some of the major benefits of hiring an App Development Company –
– Rapid Development and Delivery: We are ready to start on any new project in a matter of days or maximum 1 week as we keep our app development teams ready for new projects.
– Expertise and Experience: We leverage our years of experience in the app development for your project’s benefit.
– High grade accountability and reliability and long term support: Branded App companies like ours are very sensitive about accountability and reputation and hence you will get the best services in professional manner. A good App company will remain there to support for long years, for example Agicent has been working with HASfit for 10 years, for Aiko & Egor for 8 years and more.
– All Skills at one place: We’ve all skills at one place – ranging from design, wireframing, front end development, backend development, Testing, Deployment, Troubleshooting, App Marketing and what not. Once you hire us for your App project – you can totally focus on your business areas/ raising funds/ promoting the app while we take care of all things tech.
– Professional Project Management: You get an Account manager, a business analyst, a very senior technical architect just complimentary. So your App project is always being looked after by seasoned professionals.
- Create your App yourself – If you are a tech enthusiast and have plenty of time and you are looking to create many apps for your various App ideas then it can be a viable option. However, if you want to do it on your own you’ll have to learn very distinctive skills like Front end App Development is very different from DB programming or API Development or Designing. It can be a very time taking process involving a lot of ups and downs, the good part is that you won’t need to pay to anyone but at the cost of your own learning and time.
- Hire an App Programmer Freelancer: It is an option as well, however you’ll need more than 1 freelancer because many developers are good at only one side of the development (Either front end or backend) and then design is an altogether different skill and then Tech Architecture is an important part too which freelancers usually ain’t good at. Freelancers are usually good at creating the type of apps that they’ve already created before and are confident of doing it again. If your App involves something more than what they’ve done before, they can get stuck and since most of the Freelancers have a day job they may not be able to prioritize your work over their daily job.
Since they ain’t legally incorporated App Development Company, they can be less accountable and less professional. Managing a Freelancer Vs managing a company is a different ball game altogether. For small chunk of works, freelancers can do fine (that too the reputed ones) else always hire an App Development Company to create your app.
9. App Project Management, Delivery Plan and interim releases
Now App development project management is largely the job of your app development company, however it is always beneficial when you get involved as the prime stakeholder and get a visibility of the ongoing project yourself – may be a few minutes per day. Things to set up for a good Project Management process are –
- Set up and use a Project Management Tool: We use tools like Jira, Confluence, Trello or Basecamp for managing the project. These tools are quite advanced and provide real time insight on the project workings to every stake holder easily. All of these tools have their handy mobile apps as well.
- Setup the Testing Tool: Most project management tools like Jira have bug tracking function inbuild so use it to keep on adding new test cases (by testing team or by anyone who is an app user) and keep on prioritizing those for the App Development team.
- Create an App Acceptance Criteria: An App acceptance criteria is minimum quality and performance criteria that you want in your app. For example – uploading profile picture is an App feature, while uploading a profile picture within 3 seconds can be an App acceptance criteria. You can keep on updating the acceptance criteria as the app progresses using these collaborative project management tool but a base App acceptance criteria is always beneficial and keep the team on the path of quality app development.
- Divide project into major milestones and weekly sprints: Your project manager at Agicent will divide the whole scope of work into several tasks and sub tasks, assuming that they’ve to deliver a working interim release every week or fortnight. They assign the tasks to corresponding developers and then integrate different code-project into one for a working interim app release.
- Set up a code repository tool: A regular backup of the code and its versions is very important and we use tools like Github or Bitbucket or Gitlab for code repository and that can be accessible by teams sitting across various locations and many people in different geographies can work in collaboration and merge/ checkin their App code frequently.
- Consider setting up CI/CD pipeline: Even though MVP apps ain’t that big but it is always helpful to have the right continuous development and integration and deployment process (CI/CD pipeline) in place for smooth and automated deliveries. It can slow down the dev process initially but in after sometimes, it makes it really faster especially when the Apps are live and you’re doing continuous enhancements.
- Create Apple and Google Publishers accounts: If you’ve not done it already then its time to create your own Apple App publisher Account and Google Android App publisher accounts. If you’re a company then they will ask you for some documents, though for individual it is usually very quick. Check this out for Apple’s enrollment and Android
- Meet your Development team regularly: Having a 5 minutes stand up every day followed by a weekly conference call is always beneficial in order to bring the whole team at one place. Creating any App is a collective effort and more you know about your team and vice versa the better will be the outcome of the project. We’ve seen that clients who get involved in the process more often really help the team in filling any gaps or miscommunications and hence ensures a smooth App delivery every time.
10. Test your App and Polish and repeat
QA is one of the most important steps for creating an app from the scratch. Once the app is ready, test it on different devices of the same OS to check if the app is adaptable and all the functionalities are working as planned. Be the first user of your application and always act as a user while browsing the app. Make sure that the app works online and at least loads while there is no internet connection. Check the chatbots, payment getaways, cancellation, log-in and maximum functionalities. The app does not need to be a perfect App at one go but the App testing team has to make sure that all the bugs are caught properly so that the developers can fix it before it goes live in the market and a user complains about the app.
At Agicent following is the testing process –
– Creation of App Test cases and keeping on updating those, clients also get the access to keep that updated with their test cases too.
– Prioritizing the App test cases among show stopper, Critical, Mild, Low priority so on. One can use any verbiage so far as the App Development team is well versed with the lingo.
– Continuous execution of the App test cases through out the development cycle and not just at the end of it.
– Continuous feedback to the App development team and regression testing.
– Using automation App testing tools like Appium wherever needed.
– Consider App performance and acceptance criteria as non negotiable.
Multiple testing cycles for the App surely takes a lot of time and some additional budget, but end of the day it proves to be fruitful as you have a high quality App product right at the day 1.
11. App Going live followed by a quick App Version 1.1
Now that the App testing team has done their part appropriately and the app is up without any live bugs. For the next step, the app is now is good be hosted on the app store or google play. The Database/ APis/ Backend should be hosted on the production server. All test accounts should be deleted and it should go like a fresh app.
Be ready to launch a soft new update in a couple of weeks after first version is launched, just to show to your early users that you are serious and continuously working on the enhancements. Apps that update regularly tend to get more user engagement and more new users as well. Keep a strategy for regular updates, keep your app development team on retainer for continuous development.
This App store upload process takes a decent amount of documentation and protocols involved at places related to security purposes. From generating a signed apk to creating a developers google play account or iTunes Account for iOS App, from creating application forms to adding the description of your app, from selecting the pricing tab to maintaining the reviews and rating, this process has a lot to do. However, we’ve you covered here as well- we give you a simple information gathering excel sheet to fill and once you send that back to us – we do the app upload on the store, manage the communication with apple or google; fix anything that they respond with and make the app live.
There are some common (and mild) reasons for which Apple (and sometimes google too) can reject your app and ask you to do some mild changes. Such app rejection reasons can be read in detail here.
- Mentioning wrong category for your App: In cases where yours is a dating app but you put it as a social one, or when yours is an education app and you put it in wrong category then Apple tends to reject and ask you to fix that and then they accept it.
- Not giving essential features for App user’s security and Privacy: If it is an app where people interact with other people, then you have to give options to report profile, flag content, be able to delete profile, show apple the whole reporting and redressal mechanism, keep privacy. You can always appeal to such issues, get them fixed and reupload for acceptance.
- Bypassing in-app purchase even when it is not be bypassed: Long story short – if your app sells something digital that can be consumed on the app itself then it has to go through the in-app purchase mechanism. You just can’t bypass that and sell subscription via third party payment mechanisms. Apple rejects such bypasses and you should adhere to their guideline in this case even though you can still sell subscription on your website or elsewhere.
- When the app’s functionality is not clear: Sometimes in case of app that show data according to locations (like social connection apps) Apple editorial team can’t go past the initial screens because they see no data. For such scenarios always keep some dummy data to be shown to the editors for successful testing and also give them a video of the actual functioning on the app. Be gentle and genuine while appealing to Apple, show them whole functionality and they’ll accept your app.
- Using banned libraries in the code: Never do that, always use genuine open source or propriety libraries for apple won’t accept anything that can hamper user’s security or privacy.
- Claiming false offerings, betting, banned services, hate content, NSFWC content: As self explanatory as it can be, App’s that contain such kind of content will be banned and they might not even get a chance to appeal.
12. Gather Customer feedback, App Analytics data and Enhance
Like any other business or product offering, your App product needs to be continuously improved and enhanced and who else can give you better improvement ideas than your existing App users. So here is what you should be doing:
- Create a feedback form inside your app, on landing page and also send frequent feedback surveys via App notifications.
- Create a Facebook group for your App users where they can talk about features, ask for a new feature, take suggestions on best ways to use your app and its content and keep them engaged. HASfit Tribe FB group is one such example where users interact on daily basis and share their fitness journeys, concerns and others help them like a family. You can’t build a more loyal user base than having a dedicated and active FB group exclusive for your VIPs i.e your App users.
Collect data and review it to know which are the most pressing App features that users want.
- Prioritize those App features and plan their development and delivery with your App Development Team.
- Keep an eye on usage analysis (by google analytics or any other Analytical free tool), see which areas and demographics are most receptive to your app and what is their user behavior on the app and then focus on improving the app for them at first, and also make them as an audience and you can then create a big look alike audience and retarget those new users via FB, Google.
- Keep your users engaged and involved by launching incentive schemes for referring their friends and families. incentivize the ones who buy bigger subscription, probably bring early users on your youtube channel to talk about your app.
13. App Maintenance and Support:
App maintenance is another important aspect of the process of creating an App. At Agicent, we offer free 3 to 6 months of App maintenance warranty after going live and that covers most of the critical time. However, after a certain point you will need more dedicated maintenance team and we’ve several plans for the same.
Also, do give a read to this article on How much does it cost to maintain an app?
Here are the major tasks that are covered in our App Maintenance Plans By Agicent:
|Complete App QA Testing by a dedicated QA Engineer and Business Analyst to figure out all possible Bugs – One-time effort.||One Time atleast|
|Fixing of App Bugs as reported by the users or client on priority on Front end (iOS, Android) or Backend.||Anytime, as, and when needed.|
|Periodical App Code clean up whenever there is an update at both front end and backend if needed. ( A regular Practice)||If Needed|
|Recording and managing the timesheets with tasks and hours gone into fixing those.||Regularly, Real time|
|Upgrading the App for latest iOS, Android Version whenever an update comes from Apple.||Anytime, as, and when needed.|
|Upgrading the App or backend for the latest version upgrades on any third-party APIs used in the App (like map APIs, yelp APIs, payment APIs, Authentication APIs etc.)||Anytime, as, and when needed.|
|App Code repository maintenance||Anytime, as, and when needed.|
|App Data backup||Monthly|
|Any new App functionality development, feature enhancements or design change (beyond maintenance tasks).||Anytime, as, and when needed.|
|App Store upload whenever client wants with new functionality added.||Anytime, as, and when needed.|
|Communication on behalf of client with App store, third party API or service vendors in case of any anomaly (App rejection, malfunctioning or anything else that is not expected).||Anytime, as, and when needed.|
Frequently Asked Questions
Agicent App Company: We'll sign an App NDA with you the moment you share your contact details with us. We are sound both legally and morally and we very well understand the our client's trust is the no 1 thing that keeps us running so your App idea and vision will be safe with us.
Agicent App Company: The cost of creating an app from scratch depends on various factors i.e. complexity of the app, design, integrations and many other things, but we have made this simple for you. Want to know how? Here is our guide that will tell you how much does it cost to build an app from scratch. Also, we made it easier for you by creating an app cost calculator that tells you the average cost of app development from scratch.
Agicent App Company: of course, that's what we do. We get involved with our clients at a very early stage (App idea stage precisely), so you just book a Free app discovery call with us using this link https://calendly.com/sudeep-agicent, and we'll listen to your app idea, may ask you questions and then will write down an App specification document for you and also provide you an app development quote.
Agicent App Company: Of,course we will. We'll go through the app specifications, feature list, seeing which features are good to go with cross platform or native and tell you what works best for you with the reasons.
Agicent App Company: Yes, and we'll also do a free App testing as well and help you identifying the scope of the work, its estimation in terms of App development cost and timelines.
Agicent App Company: The source code and files of the existing project, any existing specs document, access to code repository (if, any), access to third party accounts used in the app and then we'll take it forward smoothly. A knowledge transfer session will always be helpful but if we've App and backend source code files - we'll take care of that as well.
Agicent App Company: Depends upon features, complexity, design and much more. On an average, any useful App may take 20-25 Weeks of design and development however more simpler apps can be quick to develop too. Although as mentioned above, if your app is continuously getting users then it is good to keep the development/ enhancements on.
Agicent App Company: You'll see team in action via App project management tool likeTrello. You'll receive weekly or fortnightly interim app release to test on your own devices or on the devices of the app users that you want to test the app (circle of friends or families). This cycle continues till the time App goes live to its respective App stores.
Agicent App Company: Yes, always. We'll help you creating your iOS and Android publishers account and then give you an excel sheet to fill details related to your app and help you with the content too and upload on your behalf as your developers. In case app stores communicate, we'll do that on your behalf as well.
Agicent App Company: Yes, you can. You can always hire 1 or more App programmers or web developers from us for any duration on monthly fee if not fixed price. Here is the offshore developer's cost calculator for you - https://www.agicent.com/offshore-remote-team-calculator.
Agicent App Company: Yes, you'll talk to them several times before actually signing up the project. We try to be as thorough as possible right before starting the project in order to avoid unforeseen scenarios during development and for that we'll have several rounds of interaction (or as many as you want) with you even before you hire us officially.
Agicent App Company: Yes and because we are your App development team. App Investors and their teams can ask about several things about App's technology, libraries, App features and we'll be happy to answer all those questions for you as your own team. Because we are your own App development team?
Agicent App Company: We do offer payment plans and especially to Startups owned by Women, Minorities, people of color, Student Startups. So instead of paying for a project in 4 months, we let you pay in 12 months while we deliver the app in just 4 months and go live.
Agicent App Company: 12 years and on! We started in 2010 and since then help various App startups, brands in converting their App ideas into high quality digital products. Come, be a part of our family!
Agicent App Company: Yes, we'll be happy to work with your App designer and yes it will save the App design cost. We will be happy to work with your other programmers as well (if you've another team), we do such collaborative projects all the time.
Agicent App Company: Your App project coordinator will be available every day up to 3 PM EST hours on Skype, Slack, Phone and emails. We usually open a new Slack Channel for a new App project or we can create a group chat on WhatsApp or skype for regular communication besides formal communication on the emails. As mentioned above, you'll be seeing the real time update on the project by using Trello project management tool and there will be daily standups where we summarize and discuss tasks done in a day.