10 fundamental steps to convert an app idea into a real product

by Sachin

There is no short of app ideas. Many companies, professionals, and even people are coming up with fantastic app ideas, which can really be converted into big products, for their industries. These sorts of apps are generally aimed at reaching a new audience-base or serving the existing customers in a better way. Whatever the case is, it’s seen that very few people are aware of the steps-to-be-taken or the process-to-be-followed for an app development project.

Often time the creator of an idea does not have sufficient technical knowledge of building an app. Here, our article aims to provide the best of the support you need. Let us begin with a step-by-step process.

1) Note down the list of all features that you need in the app

Begin with writing down some notes listing all the features you want to see in your end-product. You can list down whatever you think can benefit your app. With having all features written on paper and prioritized, you would find yourself more focused on creating an app idea as well as expanding on it.

Because it’s just the beginning, you can write for your idea and list features in many ways and then choose the best out of all. With final draft is ready, you will find yourself confident in convincing your investors, making your expectations clear to the designing team, a lot more.

Make sure you sign an NDA with everyone you will share your document.

2) Perform a market research and make changes in your list of features

Once your list of features is ready, it is time you move ahead to perform a market research to analyze the competition, ongoing trends, and market needs. Begin your research by discovering about apps that may be a direct competition to your app. Find out reviews, ratings, and feedback for competitor apps. This will also help you make your actual plan of action ready. With the findings resulted out of the market research, you should update the list of features.

3) Identify the audience or the user-base and then carry on the development

The step 3 is to find who would be the audience to your app. Audience or the user-base can be sorted into various groups of particular age, gender, region, industry, income, profession, etc. Once you have identified the demography about your users or audience, you would also have information about who you have to actually target.  Also, when you know about your audience, you are able to re-engineer your app to get better results as well as add those features which attract specific user-base.

4) Identify the monetization strategy

Whatever the purpose your app will serve to, it is supposed to monetize directly or indirectly. If your app is aimed at selling goods and service online, it will serve as a medium. Here it will not monetize directly but will help in selling goods and services. If your app itself is a product, for example, it’s a game then the popular ways to monetize it includes subscription, in-app purchase, in-app ads, user data, and sponsorship.

But which one of the monetization methods will work for your app? It depends on the app type. An app can have one or mix of these methods for the purpose of monetization.

5) Create a rough sketch/wireframe

This is another vital step you will need taking before employing developers. Create rough sketches / wire-frames which cover various screens, buttons, menus, and processes to define the concept and refine the requirements of your product. The best way is you draw these sketches and wireframes using paper and pencil instead of using any software which requires investing too much time and money.

With each version of wireframe, you will be able to polish various elements of the app, from features to navigation to UI to UX. You don’t need technical skills to create these drawings but common sense.

6) Approach local mobile app developers and get estimates

Now homework is done and, it’s time you move ahead to employ developers. What you are going to do now. Will you hire your own internal development team or developers from third-party software companies?

Whatever the way you choose to deploy developers on your mobile application development project but, make sure you hire local people to do that.  Once you shortlist 5 to 6 good vendors, get NDA signed from them before sharing any project details.

A good vendor is one which checks every detail you provided and asks lots of questions. Make sure you provide every answer precisely as it’s the phase, in which vendor is trying to learn about your idea and your expectations. So the more you provide, the more you will get. A good vendor provides its own inputs to improve your idea.

Try to get the proposal from more than one vendor and check how they have interpreted your idea. Once you shortlist the proposal/vendor, start personal-level research which includes vendor’s past performance, technology know-how, compliance, reviews and the number of downloads on particular apps.

With more positive points in favor, you should be able to hire a particular vendor.

7) Complete the UI/UX

Now you have hired developers. The work will start with creating UI and UX. They will also create detailed wireframes of the app so that you can visualize every screen, various functions and flow of the functioning. You should be asked to review the wireframes by the developers. Here you should provide your inputs/reviews to get changes done.

Upon finalizing the wireframe, developers should create visual designs of the app. The design should consist of color, font & font style, and visual appeal. Here you can reevaluate the development plan, app development cost, and time.

8) Get the app developed and tested

Coding begins when the design is finalized by you and then a day comes when your developers say that the app is ready for testing. In software development, the testing is the crucial part of the whole process. It lets developers find bugs, performance issues, battery consumption, and lots of other problems in an application. Without proper testing, no app is said to ready.

For the testing, developers have their own team of testers but you can involve your friends too. Maybe you get genuine remarks, reviews and suggestions to make some enhancements. If you come with new set of features, get advice from your developers, discuss with them and also get cleared how much these new features will add to the budget you finalized.

9) Launch the app and market it

When testing is done and you are satisfied with the end product, it’s time you launch the app on stores like App Store and Google Play Store. This is also the point of time when you should start marketing the app; however, you can also start the marketing and promotion during the development phase if you have already announced the release date.

Begin marketing app on social platforms like Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, as well as on LinkedIn if it’s an enterprise app. When you will share app-related content on this social platform, you will get reviewed asking several things about the app. Also, you can begin a blog where you can update latest things about your app.

10) Gather market response and prepare for the next phase

After the first launch of your app, make sure you are collecting every portion of data gathered from the users as well as from reviews on the app-page and comments on the blog page. Manage this data in a way so that you can make it a reference or base for further development or enhancement of the app. When making any changes do follow Step 1 to 9 again.

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