How to build a mobile app
How do you make a mobile app? One option is to hire a developer. Or you can take the DIY route to save time and money. Hiring a mobile app development firm or freelancer to build a fully-functional app from the ground up can get pretty expensive — to the tune of tens or even hundreds of thousands of dollars. For most small businesses, that’s definitely out of the question. Instead, you can use an app builder to create your app from scratch and reach customers on their mobile devices without breaking the bank.
But that doesn’t (necessarily) mean you have to take an app-programming class. Like the early days of the Web, several tools have risen that will allow anyone to create a product with little-to-no programming language. (But if you have the coding skills, it will give you the ability to make a truly unique thing).
These third-party services will even handle the process of submitting your app to the various stores (e.g. Google Play, the iOS App Store, or the Windows Phone app store). Now that you’re ready to join the mobile revolution and want to know how to make an app, you’ve come to the right place.
Even if your company doesn’t have a large CRM or enterprise software running, an intranet or an internal employee communication system (like a chat), you can still benefit from an in-house app. You can easily build an app with some of the following features, accessible to a limited group of users:
• RSS feeds to create a collection of press clippings relevant to your industry
• Custom content pages for private content or pull content from an existing web page (ie. intranet, or even a WordPress blog)
• Internal Directories of employees with their contact details, bio and more
• Social Media company pages to keep everyone updated & engaged on news
• Forms for employee feedback Plus: make use of mobile engagement tools like push notifications to alert on company events, updates or reminders. So, which are the steps to create a mobile app?
1). Plan ahead
You know you want an app, and you may even have some ideas of what it will look like, but as any pro developer will tell you, usability will always trump features and design. Take a step back and understand what your mobile customer wants from your app and start jotting down the types of content and pages you’ll need to include. Make a note about where you’ll grab this content too, for example, will your photos come from your Facebook albums, or will you need to custom upload them.
2). Start creating a prototype
With a clear understanding of all the content you’ll want to include, it’s time to start building the “shell” of your app. You can do this like the pros do, with pen & paper, or you can add placeholder pages based on ready-made templates directly in the app builders. This stage is all about getting a good model of how the app will work, how your users will access info and perform tasks.
3). Make an attractive design
Now that your content is up it’s time to give your shell that look & feel your brand is famous for. Set up the layout of your menus with easy to understand icons, include promotional banners on your homepage, set header and background images and customize the size/color of your fonts. And, don’t forget to design a splash page and icon for your app.