Despite the growing adoption of Android...
In case you don’t know where to start with app developmentIf you contact a vendor and say something like “I have an idea for an app. How can I make my first million?”, be prepared to hear uncomfortable truth. App development is all about money. According to Clutch, the average cost of mobile application development is $ 171 thousand. Don’t be scared, though. The dev prices depend on several factors, including type and functionality of an application and a developer’s hourly rate. Hourly rates vary in different countries. If you outsource app development to Eastern Europe, the minimum cost of a mobile application starts from $ 10 thousand.
There are three options to get the wheels turning:
- You are tech-savvy & have great expertise in custom application development;
- You’ve actually got the dough and can afford a reliable developer;
- You have the next Candy Crush Saga on your mind. In this case, you can present the project to business angels or launch a Kickstarter campaign (for example, the Walker smart productivity app was developed this way).
- Idea. Top-grossing apps usually fall into two categories: “drugs” (games that users simply can’t stop playing) and “painkillers” (solve some real problem). A UK teenager, for instance, developed an application which summarizes content from multiple news websites and eventually sold it to Yahoo for £18 million;
- Excellent user experience. 80% of mobile users need only 20% of an app’s functions. Simple architecture and focus on core tasks (e.i. order a pizza or check flights) will do you more good than fancy features and heavy visual effects;
- Appealing design. It takes users only 50 milliseconds to understand whether they like your application or not.
How do you create an app?You’re not taken aback by what you’ve read, are you? Well, we’ve got more things to discuss! Here’s a step-by-step “How to make an ideal app” guide for non-tech innovators:
- Validate your idea. Are there no similar products on Google Play and App Store? How do you know people actually need it? After all, is the idea worth investing in? A proper marketing research will provide answers to all these questions. The study can be conducted by a market research agency or your vendor. However, the cost of a custom research ranges from $ 5 thousand to $ 50 thousand (and more!). Not sure your budget can handle it? Run a small survey yourself, but don’t expect 100% accuracy. You can use the Apptrace and Xiologic analytic services to detect top-grossing apps in your category and the number of downloads they generate;
- Choose platform. It’s not just about the cost of creating an Android or iOS app (although Android vendors usually charge 10-20% less). It’s about choosing the operating system your target audience dwells on (more research). Such monsters as Instagram and Angry Birds were initially crafted for iOS and scaled up later. You certainly don’t want to blow the entire budget on cross-platform development – you don’t even know whether your efforts will pay off;
- Determine your app’s functionality and special features. Every single feature, be it a payment mechanism or QR code recognition, means additional investments. What options are essential right now, and what features can be added later via updates? You’ll never know until you create a minimum viable product (MVP). The MVP concept is about pushing an application to the market ASAP to collect user feedback and find out what features it lacks. Although an MVP is unfinished by definition, it should possess the core functionality of the end product. If your budget is limited, you can also go for micro-testing (create an app landing page, launch an ad campaign on Google AdMob and estimate the app’s market appeal).