Today, 60% of worldwide businesses either have mobile apps or are in the process of getting one. Business leaders place cross-platform mobile application development among their top 3 priorities, finds a Gartner report.
Due to the digital transformation, mobile devices have become more prevalent, so investing in them would be beneficial to your company. Did you know that this year, in-app purchases and mobile advertising will reach $693 billion worldwide? Many think that this is just another number, but only a tech-savvy mind can appreciate how insane this projection is and what it means for the future of cross-platform mobile app development.
Many companies are bringing their A-Game trying to get maximum advantage of this landscape, while many are still not sure how should they approach the app development process. It is technically challenging to get an app developed but, thanks to low-code platforms, anyone with a basic understanding of coding can create a mobile app.
Let us walk you through our cross-platform mobile app development process at TechNerds to make sure your next app is a success, no matter how big or complex it is. Our process is divided into 7 sections covering everything from ideation to launch and postlaunch.
Our Cross-Platform Mobile App Development Process
- Coming up With a Cross-Platform Mobile App Development Idea
- Conducting the Market Research
- Writing Down Your App Features
- Putting Graphics in Your App
- Making a Marketing Plan
- Time to Submit Your App to App Stores
- Improve Your App With the Help of User Reviews
1. Coming up With a Cross-Platform Mobile App Development Idea
Ideas are the driving force behind all great inventions and innovations. Without them, nothing would have been possible. When you decide you want to achieve a certain goal or solve a particular problem in society, you go about creating an app.
A new idea is a very rare thing in apps, mostly they’re riffs off existing ones
Today, there are more than 4 million mobile apps available for download on different app stores. Only Android is home to more than 2.6 million apps, making it the biggest app store in the world. It’s followed by Apple’s App Store that hosts almost 2 million apps. It is almost impossible to come up with an idea that hasn’t been taken up by someone yet. This is why you see so many similar-looking apps that are just improved by another app with a few features.
We’re going to incorporate a few techniques that we use to generate unique mobile app ideas. We adopt these techniques before launching mobile apps but, if you already have an app idea, take it on board with us.
Mix and Match Technique:
One best way to come up with a perfect app is to mix and match your idea with already existing mobile apps. Having said that earlier, it’s hard to come up with an all-new mobile app so, what we do is to look around and see if any features can make an existing app function better, and we work on it.
This is a non-stop process that happens all the time, and even some of the great innovations are just riff-offs of already existing ideas. For example, Tinder is the most popular dating app but, users’ reviews suggest that authenticity is the main concern since you never know who are you talking to or if the person you’re talking to is real or not.
Bumble, which is another dating app, is getting popular among users, and you know why? It requires users to verify themselves using their driving license, identity card, or any other personal identity document (in the case of non-US residents).
We prepare a list of frequently used apps and note down the features that we feel are missing from them or need to be improved.
Brainstorming an App Idea:
Those who enjoy coming up with solutions to problems that they or others face would enjoy this technique. It doesn’t always have to be unique, sometimes it’s just a matter of solving a problem.
On top of that, what’s better than solving a digital problem with a mobile app in this digitally-driven age? So, write down the problems that you’re facing, and try to brainstorm potential solutions.
Improving an Existing App:
You’ll find people complaining about different apps and how just an extra feature could’ve done wonders for users. There’s always room for improvement, and our third technique is just about improving an existing app.
There are thousands of apps on app stores that never get an update, and we’re pretty sure you’ve had experiences of apps that you stopped using just because they were never up to the mark. Have you ever contacted app developers? We guess your answer is NO.
Instead of scratching a new idea all the time, we make a list of ways an app can be improved so that it performs better. If you have an app built long ago, and it failed just because you never think of improving it, it’s your time to bring your vision to life with us.
2. Conducting the Market Research
The next step in our app development process is to do competitive market research to find out which apps already exist to solve the same problem. Through this research, we discover what your competitors are offering and how to beat them.
We said earlier that there are not many apps with novel ideas. So, you don’t need to be worried considering how your app will compete with already existing apps. Instead, it’s a good thing that you’re working on an app that is more comprehensive and has a chance to upset those already existing.
Our analytical research contains data of other apps similar to yours. We focus on gathering the following data:
- App Downloads
- Rating and Reviews
- App Updates
- If the App is Monetized or Free
- Feature Set
Validating the App Idea
After the research is completed, it’s time to stop for a while, and let us decompose the idea for team validation. We compare your project with all the competitive apps to see where you margin out them. If the margins are great, it means you have a great chance of capturing the market by storm.
We also present your app to a group of people to find out if it solves their pain points, and what they think of it. This works two ways; first, you get initial public approval, and secondly, we get valuable public suggestions to make it function better.
3. Writing Down Your App Features
If you’ve made it to here with us, pat yourself as this specific stage involves a lot of fun, and things are about to take an exciting turn. This is the stage where you’ll be putting your app features on paper that people will be using. First thing, don’t get way too rigid while writing your app features and leave room for improvements based on users’ feedback.
Grab a pen and a notebook and put all the features on it you want in your app. Make sure that you stay realistic while finalizing features for your app because an unrealistic set of features would only lag time. So, the initial takeaway from here is to be realistic and keep things clean!
Moving forward, we always think of your app as a user. What would you like in your app? How elements would be displayed such as main screen, navigation controls, and how the app will function? If you have a plan, well done, otherwise, we got a team of terrific developers and designers to assist you in the process.
4. Putting Graphics in Your App
Since we’ve already written things down, let’s give them a visual appearance. There are a variety of tools available (both free and paid) that we use to design app elements. We’ll give you a sneak peek into the top 3 widely used tools that we use to prepare initial mockups.
As one of the most powerful experiences design platforms available, Adobe XD enables our team to collaborate on creating the world’s best experiences.
The good thing is, this tool is available for free for the community to use, however, there are a few elements within the app that are locked and can be accessed by purchasing them. In the current market, it’s wise to offer this tool to maximum users so that more people can design their own apps.
The sketch is a worldwide famous tool for designing the user interface (UI) and user experience (UX) elements created by a Dutch company. It’s only compatible with macOS and is a paid program, making it a reliable tool for designing mobile apps.
The tool has been regarded as the industry standard for designing mobile apps. The best thing about this tool is you can up or downscale the size of your design without losing the quality.
If you’ve know-how of the designing world, you probably have heard about Figma. It’s almost another version of Sketch since these two are very similar in design and functionality. The only difference is that it’s browser-based, which means it can be used on PCs and Macs.
5. Making a Marketing Plan
Marketing is always fun at TechNerds, and you would surely enjoy your app marketing journey with us. With more than 4 million apps on different app stores, it’s essential to layout
a top-notch marketing plan to get your app pre-hyped.
Marketing your app before its launch is a great idea, especially since competition is fierce. For example, you can kick off marketing with email marketing as it’s a great way to reach your target audience with a value proposition. Moreover, you can utilize paid marketing on Facebook, Instagram, Linkedin, and Google as well.
So, we segregate the marketing plan into two main categories:
- Pre-launch Marketing
- Post-launch marketing
App developers and business owners like their marketing plan to create hype among the masses even before it launches. This ensures you create a buzz in the market and get people talking about your upcoming app.
There are a few great ways we recommend to pull off a great pre-launch marketing plan that involves the following:
Create a Landing Page
It’s important to have a landing page built for your upcoming app so that people can get a prerequisite for your app. Added with an FAQ section, the landing page could do wonders since people will be getting answers to their initial questions.
You can take the example of the Clubhouse app that hit the market back in March 2020. The creators developed a landing page directing users to download the app. There’s nothing fancy you get to see there despite two download links for Android and iOS. Even today, the app’s landing page displays only the above information.
In case you lack coding skills, several drag-and-drop platforms are available, such as Shopify and WordPress. Using one of these platforms, you can create a landing page in no time.
Social Media Hype
We believe this is the most sought-after marketing medium at the moment. Social media platforms have propelled thousands of businesses to massive success, and maybe it’s your time to get the maximum advantage of these platforms to ensure your app is a hit.
We suggest going with Facebook and Instagram paid marketing as these platforms are home to more than 3 billion users. You can reach out to your targeted audience segment by availing of our surefire marketing strategies. One up of working with us is, you are always in control of your marketing endeavors.
Arrange a Presser
Arguably, the most cost-effective marketing plan out there is doing a press release and spreading the word about your app. Apart from its cost-effectiveness, it sounds like a corporate thing to have creators and leaders announce an app launch.
Continue With Paid Marketing
If the results you’re getting are exactly what you wanted, and they are cheap, there is no point in stopping them.
We don’t forget to let your email subscribers know that the app has launched. We email them to announce the app release with a download link.
Discover our marketing strategies in depth Digital Marketing Services for Small Businesses
6. Time to Submit Your App to App Stores
Making it to this step means you are all geared up to submit your app to an app store (iOS or Android or Both). But this is not over yet, there are some final hurdles you’ve to clear, and we make sure you do it properly.
Here are the steps to get your app approved:
- Your App Should Qualify
- Fill in Meta Data ABout Your App
- Upload Your App
- Connect BAck and Review
- Wait for a Reply
- Get Approved
In case your app was not approved, repeat the process with more focus so that you can get your app featured on app stores.
7. Improve Your App With the Help of User Reviews
First of all, congratulations on successfully posting your app on the app store. Now the real game begins, and that is to consistently bring improvements in your app to make it user-friendly and more functional.
Once you’ve launched your app, prepare yourself to receive a mix of positive and negative feedback from the public, but never lose your calm. Always take the criticism positively, and thank your users who allow you to bring more improvements to your app.
We always say, think of your app as a user and thrive for betterment so that you have the most realistic view of how things are for users. It shows you haven’t abandoned your users, and you’re always there to improve their experience with the app.
Your mobile app may beat out other niche apps that don’t do this over time!
Here’s hoping this article answers your most pressing questions about how we develop mobile apps and sets you on the road to start working on that app you’ve been thinking of. To be honest, the cross-platform mobile app development process never stops, and you always remain in a hustle to bring improvements.
TechNerds is one of the leading cross-platform mobile app development accompanies in the USA. We have the right expertise to develop business mobile apps across different industries including FinTech, Healthcare IT, Logistics and Supply Chain Management, Construction, Retail, Brick and Mortar, and many other.
We hope you find our app-making process interesting and helpful. Don’t forget to reach out to us to kick off your next mobile app project.