Close this search box.
app development

How To Develop An App

There’s an app for everything, from eCommerce and small business apps to religious and internal employee communication apps.

You can make an app as an extension of your existing business, or you can create a new app as its own entity.

Whether you want to create the next Uber or you just want to make a mobile app that will streamline your business operations, here’s a complete guide for you.

3 Questions To Ask Before You Develop An App

Below are three vital questions to ask yourself before developing an app.

Answering these questions will help you determine your goals, target market, and budget.

Is Your Timing Right?

You can have the best app in the world, but no one will care if you launch it at the wrong time. Before you start developing your app, do some market research and figure out if there’s a need for your app.

If there are already a hundred apps like yours on the market, you might want to reconsider your idea.

It would help if you also considered the current trends in app development. Trends to watch include the latest features, technologies, and popular platforms with users and developers.

The right timing will ensure that your app has a chance of being successful.

Do You Have A Business Model?

Creating an app is not cheap. It would be best if you had a solid business plan in place before you start spending money on development.

Your business model should include a way to generate revenue from your app. You could generate revenue through in-app purchases, advertisements, or subscriptions.

You also need to consider the costs of maintaining your app. Maintenance typically includes hosting fees, customer support, and updates.

Finally, you should have a plan for marketing your app. Marketing is critical because even the best app will fail if no one knows it exists.

Do You Understand Your Customers?

You need to understand your target market well to develop a product that people will love to use.

You need to know their needs, wants, and pain points. Only then will you be able to create an app that meets their appetites.

You also need to consider the demographics of your target market. Demographics include things like:

  • Age: An app for seniors will be very different from an app for teenagers.
  • Location: A popular app in the United States might not be as popular in South Africa.
  • Income: Your target market’s income will also dictate the type of app you develop. For example, someone with a high income is more likely to pay for an app than someone with a low income.

By understanding your target market, you can create an app they’ll love to use. It’ll also help you determine the best way to monetize your app and market it to your target audience.

How To Develop An App In 8 Easy Steps

Below are 8 steps you can follow to develop a successful mobile app.

1: Start With A Clear Goal

One of product developers’ biggest mistakes is starting with an idea instead of a clear goal.

Before developing your app, take some time to figure out what you want it to achieve. Your goals could be anything from increasing sales for your business to improving customer service.

Your app’s goal should be something that can be measured so that you can determine if it’s successful.

For example, if your goal is to increase sales, you should track the number of sales made through your app. If your goal is to improve customer service, you can follow the satisfaction levels of your customers.

Once you have a clear goal for your app, you can start developing it with that goal in mind. 

2: Choose The Technical Features You Need

After you’ve decided on your app’s goal, you need to choose the technical features it’ll need to achieve that goal.

Technical features include:

  • The platform your app will be developed for (iOS, Android, Windows Phone)
  • The type of devices your app will be compatible with (smartphones, tablets, phablets)
  • The features your app will need (GPS, push notifications, social media integration)

Choosing the correct technical features for your app is critical. Select elements incompatible with the devices your target market uses, and they won’t be able to use your app.

Additionally, suppose you choose features that are not necessary for your app’s business goals. In that case, you’ll be wasting time and money developing unnecessary features.

3: Design Your App For The User

After you’ve chosen the technical features you need, it’s time to design your app. You need to create the user interface (UI) and user experience (UX).

The UI is how your app looks, and the UX is how your app works. Both are important for creating a successful app.

The best way to create UI and UX is to create a wireframe on a piece of paper or in a software program. This will help you figure out how the different elements of your app will work together.

Once you’ve created a wireframe, it’s time to start designing your app. Choose the colours, fonts, and images used in your app.

Remember to keep your target market in mind. Identify all technical challenges your target market may face, and address them in your design.

For example, if you’re targeting seniors, your app should be easy to use and have large fonts. If you’re targeting children, your app should be colourful and engaging.

Your app’s design should also be consistent with your brand. Use the same colours, fonts, and images you used in your other marketing materials.

4: Plan To Succeed

Create a development plan before you start coding your app. Figure out how much money you need to develop your app and how long it’ll take.

Creating a development plan will help you stay on track and avoid going over budget. It’ll also help you set realistic expectations for yourself and the people helping you develop your app.

There are two main approaches to application development:

Native App: 

A Native app is an app that is developed specifically for one platform. For example, an iOS app can only be used on iPhones and iPads. In contrast, an Android app can only be used on Android devices.

Native apps allow for better performance and a more seamless user experience. However, they are more expensive to develop and maintain.

Progressive Web App: 

A Progressive Web App (PWA) is an app that uses web features to provide a native app-like experience. PWAs can be used on any platform, including smartphones, tablets, and computers.

The term progressive means that PWAs are constantly improving. They run on a traditional web interface, but they progressively load more features as they are needed.

 5: Develop Your MVP

Your MVP is your minimum viable product. This version of your app has the bare minimum number of features required to succeed.

Developing an MVP will help you save time and money. It’ll also help you get feedback from users early on in the development process. Use this feedback to improve the final version of your app.

The MVP should include all of the core features of your app. For example, if you’re developing a productivity app, your MVP should consist of the core features that allow users to accomplish their tasks.

Do not include any non-essential features in your MVP. You can add these in later versions of your app.

6: Test Your App

Testing your app is essential to ensure that it works properly. Testing should be done throughout the development process, not just at the end.

There are three types of testing:

  • Unit testing: Unit testing tests individual code pieces to ensure they work correctly. Unit tests are written by developers and run automatically.
  • Integration testing: Integration testing tests how different pieces of code work together. 
  • User testing: User testing is a type of testing that allows real users to test your app. User tests can be conducted manually or using automated software. User tests are essential to ensure that your app is easy to use and provides a good user experience.

Test your app on all of the devices and platforms that it’ll be used on. 

8: Continue To Evolve Your App

Your app should continue to evolve after it you’ve launched it. You should add new features, fix bugs, and improve the user experience. You should also continue to market your app after you’ve launched it. 

Using a continuous development model is the best way to ensure that your app continues to evolve. Continuous development is a type of development that focuses on small, incremental changes.

The main benefit of using a continuous development model is that it allows you to respond quickly to user feedback. This is essential to keeping users happy and ensuring that your app remains successful.

Simplify App Development With A Trusted Partner

At Digitlab, a complete digital marketing agency, we simplify app development so you can focus on your business. 

Our experienced developers can quickly help develop the perfect app to complement your business.

Contact us today to learn more about how we can help you develop a successful app.


Champion your company’s digital ascent.

With over a decade of transforming companies, we help you confidently embrace the digital economy.

Learn more about digital