Application Development Platform >> Guide to developing an application
For CIOs, developing business applications is now a priority to make their organization more agile and streamline internal processes. Most enterprises build custom business apps that align with their business needs and challenges to improve collaboration, efficiency, and employee experience significantly.
However these apps are often expensive and difficult to develop. According to 76 percent of IT professionals, developing an enterprise app takes three months on average. With the time it takes to create a single app and the growing demand for applications, IT departments are barely able to keep up with 62 percent reporting backlogs in development projects.
The traditional approach to app development is expensive and time-consuming, and it's just not feasible anymore. As a result, it's not only necessary to understand how to develop apps but also as important to understand modern app development methodologies that can save time and investment in developing apps at scale.
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Why do you need to develop applications?
Application development is the process of creating an app. Some examples of commonly available application types include web browsers, image editors, and communication platforms. They rely on your device’s operating system to function.
As their popularity soared, apps became an increasingly important contributor to the economy. It’s estimated that by 2025, the worldwide mobile app revenue will soar to $613 billion. Furthermore, many enterprises have increasingly used apps to generate business and for mobile advertising.
They are also leveraging the versatility of applications for app verticals in industries like finance, entertainment, gaming, eCommerce, health and fitness, and travel.
"App development is a testament to the power of synergy between technology and user-centricity. Users don't seek out flawless lines of code; they crave seamless, intuitive experiences. Truly great app development endeavours to make the technology seamlessly vanish into the background, allowing users to focus solely on their goals and desires." - Tim Cook, CEO of Apple
How to develop an application in 2023
- Come up with an idea
- Know your audience
- Do your research
- Create a concept proof
- Determine the app features
- Create mockups
- Build a marketing plan
- Develop your app
- Testing and feedback
- Launch your app
1. Come up with an idea
Before diving into the actual app development process, you need to have an idea of what your app should be, what it should do, and how it can help your users. Determine how it will fit into your business goals or long-term vision.
2. Know your audience
Define who your target audience will be. Create personas so you can better understand who your app’s target users are and what platforms they’re using. Consider what type of app your audience will want to use time and again.
3. Do your research
Conducting market research is essential because with the millions of apps available today, how will your app stand out from the crowd? Knowing what your competitors are already doing can give you an edge and can help you know what you’re potentially going up against.
Start by doing research in your industry or market to find out what apps are already available within your niche. This can also help you determine what features or functionalities can help set your app apart. You can also consider doing interviews or getting feedback from potential users to have an idea of what they need or what their pain points are.
4. Create a concept proof
Concept proofing helps you find out if your app can potentially be a solution to an existing problem. Outline your priorities for the app and sit the team down, making sure that everyone is on the same page concerning your goals.
5. Determine the features you want your app to have
Create a list of possible features you want in your app. Note that these features may change depending on the actual development process and the feedback you get from your testing phase.
6. Create mockups and consider the graphic design aspect
Once you have your list of features, you can start creating mockups of what your app could potentially look like. You can start with a rough sketch before creating an actual mockup. When building a mockup, you must consider how your users will see and interact with your app.
Don’t forget to come up with an eye-catching graphic design for your app. When designing, you may want to work with a graphic designer who has experience with UI/UX.
7. Build a marketing plan
Your marketing plan is an important part of app development. How else will you put your app out there and get users to not only notice it but also download and use it? Ideally, you want to create a marketing plan even before you launch your app. Generate buzz for it by creating a website, sharing your app development journey on your social media channels, or using a pre-launch email list for your visitors or patrons.
8. Develop your app
Once you’ve nailed the basics down, you can start coding. But before you start writing code, you may want to consider several critical components such as the front and back-end development. You will also need to create a test environment for execution.
9. Do repeated testing and get feedback
Repeated testing is crucial if you want your app to be successful. During the testing phase, you’ll have to check for its front-end and back-end functionality, its compatibility with different devices, potential issues with integration, as well as installation and storage matters, such as the size of your app or if will it download correctly to the intended device.
After testing, you’ll need to have test users use your app so you can get user feedback and find out what else your potential customers may need. And getting feedback doesn’t have to stop at the testing phase. You can continue gathering feedback from users even if the app goes live.
10. Launch your app
The final step is the actual launching of your app on your preferred app store. You’ll need to follow your preferred app store’s regulations and requirements before you can successfully launch your app. While you can publish your app on both the Play Store and the Apple App Store, you may also want to focus on publishing on a single platform.
Types of applications you can develop
There are plenty of apps available today, such as music apps, database software, team collaboration apps, and multimedia software. While you can develop a wide range of apps, there are three types of application development that you need to prioritize:
Web application development uses browsers to perform a function. It facilitates enhanced communication between you and your customers, and they can be customized according to your business’s needs. For example, a web app can help you collect information or complete transactions with your customers. Unlike other app types, creating a web app doesn’t require much maintenance and is accessible anytime, anywhere using a web browser.
Furthermore, custom web applications can be accessed using different platforms, whether your customers are using a desktop or a mobile device. Some common web apps include Google Docs, cloud storage, file conversion programs, and email programs.
Learn more: Build custom web apps without coding
Creating business apps such as communication apps, time-tracking software, or customer relationship management apps, helps streamline a company’s operations, whether it’s a large enterprise or an SMB. This type of app allows businesses to better manage their teams, finances, schedules, and business data.
Learn more: How to build a custom business app in 3 steps
Desktop apps are applications that require a desktop computer to run. These are typically developed to run on specific operating systems, such as Windows or Mac, and any updates should be manually installed by the user. Unlike the other two apps, desktop apps function in an isolated environment, which can give users better security.
3 steps to consider before developing an application
Before you set out to build your app, there are three key things you should consider before developing an app:
Your business goals
This might seem surprising, but before building an app, you may want to ask yourself if you need one in the first place. Reassess your business goals. How will developing an app help you reach your goals? What role will it play in your long-term vision for your enterprise?
Who are you building an app for? Knowing who your target audience is will play a major role in app development, including what features you’ll need to put into it. There’s no point in building an app that has a limited scope.
Learn more: How to create your own app without coding
The app development process
Application development can use up a lot of resources. Even if you have the right team or the skills needed to build the perfect app, you must also consider the testing and debugging aspects as part of the process. Therefore, you will still need to allot time for these steps prior to launch.
Learn more: App development technologiesTwo approaches to app development
When you develop an app, there are two approaches you can follow:
Traditional app development
In the traditional approach, such as the waterfall model, only professional developers are involved in the application development process, given that this requires manual programming and writing lines of code from scratch. It also tends to follow a downward flow, from initial planning to the release, which can be expensive and time-consuming. However, it does give developers more control over how they write their code.
Modern app development
With the modern approach, such as the agile methodology, you’re using cloud-native architectures along with other microservices that facilitate faster time to market. It also provides a more flexible way to develop an app, allowing you to recalibrate your application according to your customers’ different needs. The modern approach also allows companies and developers to optimize app development costs and develop an app remotely.
The low-code approach is part of the modern way of developing an app. Here, developers or even business users leverage a low-code platform like Kissflow with pre-built templates and a visual drag-and-drop editor for application development.
How application development can be a game changer
Low code application development platform makes building apps for businesses more democratic. With apps quickly becoming a central part of people’s lives, knowing that you have other options to build an app, aside from the traditional approach, can help jumpstart your journey to developing the best app for your needs.
Furthermore, with application development, you don’t need to be a professional developer. You can use app development platform like Kissflow to speed up the process, all while having the flexibility of designing an app that will cater to your audience’s changing needs.
Kissflow is a low-code, no-code work platform that allows you to do more work within a single platform. It bridges the gap between business users and IT teams while truly embracing the philosophy of simple.