Starting on a project such as creating a mobile app can be a large undertaking if you’ve never done it before. There are those who believe that making a beautiful user interface and adding tons of content will prove the application successful. Determining the many things to consider before one has the opportunity to offer it to consumers can be a tough feat that novice entrepreneurs seemingly overlook.
Over the years, there has been a growing number of applications that have hit the market finding both great success as well as faltering attempts. Although the movement towards no-code tools has increased, the framework to bring those projects to life is still imperative. Taking a design thinking approach towards the execution of these steps, having an understanding of the process will help you as you start this great journey.
One Step At A Time
In an effort to reduce the amount of steps needed to create your own mobile application, the phases discussed illustrate more of a high-level framework. This is done so as to not overwhelm those who are just starting out and trying to get a handle on the overall process. Some of the things that will not be covered in these steps pertaining to development, which has a front-end (UI, CSS, etc…), backend (database, etc…) and architecting. These phases have a bit of a learning curve that will exceed the sections outlined in this overview.
Observe what issues plague you and what exists on the market today to try and solve it.
1. Try Solving A Problem
As you move about on your daily errands while handling your many life tasks, there are issues that surface and cause many frustrations. Think about apps like Uber, which solved the problem of receiving a ride from a direct request and introducing a painless payment method. In doing these things in a simple way, the business created a movement that has dominated the real-time ride sharing space, altering the way we see riding with strangers. Apps like Zoom make video conferencing a breeze while SaSS products like Slack changed how teams communicate via quick messaging, chat and file sharing. In all of these examples, the founders looked to solve a single problem and found other people who were willing to pay for the service. As an initial step, look at what issues plague you and what exists on the market today to try and solve it. Write it down and outline a problem statement to work from which will be the source for your efforts that you can consistently refer back to for clarity.
2. Experiment With Solutions
Do you remember being in any science workshops or classes while in school? In these classes there is a huge focus on experimentation about a subject and/or task. These courses taught the ability to test a hypothesis and use various resources to discover, test, refine and repeat in an effort to conclude a fact. Product design and solutioning adopts the same principle, allowing you to embrace a wide variety of options in order to find the best solution for the problem.
One can begin doing this by engaging in exercises like mind mapping, user interviews / questionnaires and product discovery sessions. As you execute on the different methods, you will start to uncover pain points and uncover patterns that will help you narrow your focus. It is at this point you can begin to filter and sketch out ideas. From there, it is very helpful to explore layouts and direction for your mobile app idea. You can do this by creating wireframes which are void of color, with shapes and ui elements to help form the structure of your mobile application. Think of this as a similar way of building a home, which starts with blueprints and drawings before any foundation is laid.
Your interface design should be free of clutter, with an inviting experience that communicates to the user what actions to take as well as where they are in the entire experience.
3. Your Interface Reveals A Ton
At this stage, you are able to look at the steps leading up to what your stakeholders engage with directly. The user interface is the critical view that all users would access to help solve their own problem. This means that you would need to understand the brand and positioning of your offering so that it is reflected in the visual graphics. Branding items such as colors, imagery, typography, etc…all play a role in telling the story of the application and its purpose. Your interface design should be free of clutter, with an inviting experience that communicates to the user what actions to take as well as where they are in the entire experience. Refrain from being ornate in your visual design and focus on the connection between your brand message and your mobile app’s value proposition.
4. Prototype Your Ideas
When creating things and communicating new ideas to others, there are a few ways that you should think about sharing. Since people learn and process information differently, try executing beyond simple charts, lengthy word docs and presentations full of buzz words containing industry jargon. One special process in the mobile app design space would be to prototype your application. Whether it is a clickable prototype with tappable screens or a simple motion video clip of the app in use; you can help others visualize how it functions. This is a great way to test the user experience and unearth any challenges as well as promising interactions which tell the story and get feedback along the way.
Testing should be done early and often throughout the process to reveal any errors and deviations from the initial goal as well as help provide guidance to the users to get feedback.
5. Always Be Testing
During this somewhat final stage in the mobile app creation process, you want to test the product that you have spent a large amount of time making. Testing should be done early and often throughout the process to reveal any errors and deviations from the initial goal as well as help provide guidance to the users to get feedback. You can find insight from testing with friends, family, specified users and others to help clarify your application and will be vital to the success of the app.
These are some of the primary steps towards creating your own mobile app and a good way to help bring your idea to life. Once you’ve completed this, you will have a solid app to go out into the market and solve that issue of concern. Proceeding this, you can move into development and deployment to put the application into production, making it available for the world to use. Good luck on your journey and congrats on making it this far towards creating your own mobile app.
Your life has color, so design it that way. AD