As much as programming is the most in-demand skill of the 21st century, it is still very much possible to build an app without any prior coding skills. With the advancement in technology and progression in development trends, the tools and resources concerning app development also saw considerable growth. So now anyone can build websites and other mobile apps without having any programming knowledge.
This must-have cleared your doubts to some extent, and since apps have become the most engaging platforms bringing in massive Return On Investments, traffic, conversions, customers, so on, and so forth – it has become almost a necessity to invest in a well-built app. If we take a web app into consideration, since the majority of the browsing is conducted through mobiles, the UX/UI design should be mobile-first optimized. And since WordPress is charging the majority of the sites, WordPress’s 2020 trends have revolutionized the way websites behave.
Of course, you have the option to collaborate with a software development firm that will convert your vision into a functional app. But, since we are here to explore how one can equip themselves with the necessary knowledge and tools to create one on their own- let us dive into the details, immediately.
Build an App Without Programming Experience with these Easy Steps
The steps may be easy but require a lot of effort, understanding, and research by non-IT persons. So be ready to invest a lot of your effort in every phase discussed below.
No project is complete or even accurate without prior-research. You simply cannot dive straight into development – which is a recipe for failure in the cut-throat IT industry. You need to do adequate research to know you are on the right track with your idea, its market value, long-term-potential, mobile platform, and much more.
The research phase will test you in many areas – your resilience, your patience, your attitude towards failure in the research phase, and so on. There is a high chance that once you start researching the potential of your mobile app idea, you might realize that it is bound to fail. This is why this step is so important.
So here are a few things you would need to perform in order to move on to the next step of building an app:
Market Competitive Research
If your app idea is already developed, then look into its established market and your competitors. With 2.8 million apps on Google Play alone, there is little room for innovation – so you might come across multiple apps that are providing the same services as you have in mind. Do not fret, simply look into their products, read their reviews and see where they are falling short, and find out what you can do differently and better for your customers.
If you have a successful brand already and simply creating a mobile app to extend your services further, then you have nothing to worry about competition. Simply focus on creating original and SEO optimized content.
Find out About Your Target Audience
They are the main focus since these are the people that will make or break your mobile app. So you need to know as much as you can about them. And how to achieve that? Run surveys and ask what features or solutions they would want in the app; see what they are talking about on the forums and what problems do they face; conduct market research data; last but the best way is to create audience personas.
Devise a Monetization Model for Your App
One of the most important sections of the research phase is determining the revenue model of your mobile app. You need to be able to get a good ROI for your business. And of course, there are a number of monetization models to choose from. Some of them include Paid downloads, in-app purchases, in-app advertisements, and Native advertisements.
Like every project, a mobile app development cost is also something to look into when it comes to building your app. The budget depends on various key elements that include: mobile platform, the development team (in-house or outsources), functionalities of the app, design details, and the monetization model discussed above.
Setting a Deadline
You need to have a deadline and a launch date decided for this new venture. If you need your app to launch at a specific occasion to attract users, then you would need a stricter deadline with reduced elements so the development can be smooth and not rushed.
The important factors that determine the deadline to successfully build an app and launch it are: The mobile platform, functionalities (simple to complex), number of developers, testers, and designers working for your app, third-party APIs, and the time App Stores might take to approve your app.
Designing the App
Now once your research phase is over, there is still another crucial step to take before development – which is the design of your app. This is the section where you get down to the smallest of details about the functionalities and behavior of your app. This particular phase will help you bring your app to life and also help you clearly see any missing functionalities that you otherwise wouldn’t have known.
There are a few elaborate processes to go through before finalizing your app’s design.
Sketch Your Idea on a Paper
You do not have to turn into an artist for this and simply design your main features – the foundation of your app, if you may – then simply take it from there. It could be as simple as the figure below. Just know that this is just the start of design yet to evolve into something completely different when in the final stages. These sketches will enable the team of developers and designers to better understand your vision.
This is a step forward from rough design sketches to elaborate mockups, giving a clearer picture of your app. A wire-frame is detailed and involves every element of your app (from big to small). Do not worry if you are a non-IT person or someone that lacks coding skills. Creating wireframes has become easy with open-source free prototyping tools and apps, such as InVision, Lucidchart, Pencil Project, and HotGloo.
Such prototypes will make your app-building process a breeze. How? You can use this wire-frame and find developers, software development firms, or independent freelancers that can give their quote based on these designs. Moreover, your vision depicted in these wire-frames can then be converted into a proper mobile app UI by the designer with their own improvements added.
So invest your energy in making a great wireframe. However, your app design journey doesn’t end here. You have one more step to follow before your app can be pushed into the development phase.
Describing your app design via wire-frames is one thing, but showing how each screen of your app will behave once a user is interacting with it – is a whole different ball game – one which should be explained to the developers in detail. What better way to do that than by storyboarding?
A comprehensive storyboard explaining how the app will behave from the start to end will allow the developers to create the app with ease knowing the navigation and flow of the app. Another great benefit that you receive when storyboarding is the identification of any loop-holes and weak or missing functionality. You can even have real users test your storyboard and give valuable feedback.
All in all, the design phase will help you determine, test, and plan out the requirements, functionalities, and behavior of your app.
Developing Your App
We have finally reached the step where you actually develop your app. For this, you can approach this in a number of ways: either through a custom app development company, freelance developers, or mini teams to help create your idea into a tangible money-making mobile app.
Now everything boils down to the app and its level of functionality. If you are going for a complete mobile app experience with extensive features, then you need to invest heavily as well. However, if your app has basic functionalities then you approach a small company that would do the job for you with basic skill-set.
Nonetheless, when you pay a high price for higher skills then you are bound to receive better quality and impeccably developed apps by some of the finest developers in the market.
However, if you are still confused as to who to approach, then we would recommend outsourcing your app development needs to a reputable software development company. Not only the charges will be reduced considering the country and its economy, and you will derive maximum value at a cheaper rate.
The only obstacle that arises when you are looking for an outsourcing firm is which one to choose? Here’s what you need to look out for:
- Their clients and their feedbacks.
- The projects they have undertaken and completed.
- Their reputation within the market.
- Their services.
- Their portfolio.
- How they communicate and assist you.
- Will they provide an MVP?
These few points will help you to determine the best outsourcing form for building your app from scratch.
Stay Involved During App Development
This is where agile development and testing play a big part in keeping the owners in the loop throughout the development and testing phase. It is best to keep testing your app and openly communicate any necessary changes to your developer. This will help save money, time, and resources compared to asking for changes when development is complete.
You can even test your app yourself by installing every iteration or build on your own smartphone. For Android, all you need to do is download the app file onto your mobile or computer and test in a live environment. For iOS, you will need to download platforms like InVsion or TestFlight to test your iOS app.
Remember, testing never stops, even after the launch. So keep on checking for any bugs or errors beforehand so your customers won’t have to point out the inconveniences.
Start Pre-Launch Marketing Before Official Launch
So now your app is ready, but did you create the hype to attract potential customers while the app was developing? If you didn’t then it is best to run some pre-launch marketing campaigns before your app hits the app store. Why is this necessary? For a number of reasons:
- For app/brand awareness
- To reach out to the targeted audience
- To nurture leads and convert them into consumers
- To have loyal user-base
- Building a landing page website for your app and search engine optimizing it for better ranking
These are just some of the benefits pre-launch marketing of your new app brings to your business. After all, you need to sell your app to the relevant market and audience. Make sure you do App Store Optimization as well when you are launching your app on the store for maximum visibility within the app store. Lastly, make use of all social mediums that are used by your target audience and keep enticing them with fresh and high-quality content.
For this, your marketing team should be on top of their game and churning out great video and image content to boost your app’s visibility and reach.
We hope this guide has proven to be insightful and has answered the question of ‘how to build an app without any coding skills’. You need to be resourceful and have a working knowledge about the platform and technologies you would want your mobile app to make use of. Apart from this, as long as you focus on the process of developing an app and take everything step-by-step whilst making sure you are saving cost, time, and resources – you are all good to go.
Ending note: Never compromise on user experience (UX) and make sure you test that again and again before releasing your app. In this modern-day and age driven by technology the only way to win audience is through impeccable user experience.
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