app development process overview

How To Build An App: An Overview Of The Process

I’m not going to get into the nitty-gritty of coding an app.

Because you’ll need a lot more than an article to become a software engineer.

However, I do want to talk about how you as a non-developer can leverage the experiences of an app development team to create your own spectacular mobile app.

Starting with…

Step 1: The Idea

I’m assuming at this point that your inner entrepreneur is breaking out and your mind is bubbling with cool app ideas.

The first thing you want to do pick out your strongest idea.

Not your most expensive, and not the simplest one with the intentions that it will fund your future apps, but the one that you feel most passionate about.

Listen to your entrepreneurial instincts and…PLUCK…out the best one.

Step 2: Find Your Developer

There are many ways to do this, and there are many ways to get this wrong. Follow my instructions to minimise risk of failure.

Due-diligence. As an entrepreneur you will naturally look for the cheapest developer.

Let me clarify this for you: In the mobile app development industry, whether you’re looking for an iPhone app developer or an Android app developer, if you pick the cheapest you will most likely get stung.

I can almost 100% guarantee that.

You must be careful. Pick the developer that seems the most capable, but also adds the most value to your idea.

“From my own experiences, a developer who is able to make your app better, even just conceptually, is your best choice.”

An app can go horribly wrong when the people who are meant to be experts in the area aren’t able to assist you in improving your idea.

However, find someone who can and hold on to that developer. Because you just found a gold-mine!

See also: 10 Tips For How To Pick The Right App Developer

Step 3: Observe and Monitor

Make sure you have a deadline in place for the developer with milestones along the way. You need to ensure that you stay on top of your project to get it out on time.

You also want to monitor the progress of development with beta builds, to make sure that your app stays on track.

“A Beta build is an incomplete versions of your app released to you for testing the functionality of the app at milestones. It is provided by the developer.”

This is important because sometimes developers can get a little ambitious and make executive decisions that may cause the app to look and feel slightly different to what you’ve got in mind.

Beta builds also help you determine the progress of development.

Step 4: Test-Test-Test

Have you ever had an app completely crash on you? Has it ever happened twice?

App crashes are common and can be the cause of many things. For the most of it, it is brought on by poor coding.

Mobile app developers tend to rush things at the end of the deadline to get the app completed in time.

It’s not uncommon to give a developer another 2-4 weeks for testing time once the app has been completed to make sure that the app is bug-free.

An app that tests out perfectly before the launch is going to get a much better response once the app is released.

“Regardless of perfect testing results, app crashes can happen.”

See also: The Definitive Guide To Mobile App Testing

Step 5: Marketing

An app can pull in $100 a day, organically, without any marketing power at all.

However, if you’re anything like me, and you want to make 6 figures per quarter from your apps, then marketing better become a very dear part of your skill-set.

Leading mobile app developers spend on average 14% of their focus on marketing and over $30,000 on marketing alone.

Now am I saying that you need to spend $30,000 on marketing your first app?

Absolutely not. But be ready to spend either $10,000 in your own time, or $10,000 in employing a team of marketers.

See also: The Startup Marketing Plan Template For Never Ending Revenue

Step 6: Reap The Rewards

You worked hard. You took a big risk and you should be proud of that.

You’ve done what 99% of people in this world are too afraid to do so give yourself a big pat on the back.

I’m serious. Use some of the earnings from your app to treat yourself. You earned it.

Now do it all again!

startup guide to app development

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Logan Merrick is the co-founder and Director of Buzinga, as well as one of Australia's most recognised entrepreneurs, keynote speakers, investors and mentors. His writing on startups, technology and mobile marketing has been featured in The Australian, Business Insider, Startup Smart, Smart Company, and more.
  • Productivix

    I think it is a good methodology . But as far as point 2 “find your developper” is concerned, I do not agree. You can find free apps to build and test your mobile applications without developper, such as Tracerplus you can find free with English and French support on Saisie.

    • Hi Productivx,

      I see where you’re coming from, and to some degree I do understand. However, the folks who read this blog are looking to develop mobile apps commercially for profit. They see this as an investment opportunity in which they need to minimise risk.

      So, taking the same argument to the construction industry, we can look at the concept of building a complex of apartments as an investment, and compare it to app development.

      In this instance, would you go out there, buy the land, draw up the building plan yourself, and do all the labour yourself?

      Absolutely not. And not just for the sake of health and safety, but also because most people don’t know how to design an apartment complex, let alone a mobile application.

      There are certain guidelines that you learn either through trial and error (by losing a lot of money) or by hiring an expert development team to show you how to do it, and to do it for you, professionally.

      It’s pretty straight forward. But keep in mind, that app development isn’t just something that you decide to do one day and the next day you’re the talk of the town. It takes time and experience to get good at it. And it takes true passion to become great at it.

      Thanks for dropping in Productivx :) hope to chat soon!


  • Nathan

    Very good article.

    I have recently managed an iphone mobile app ‘Story Train’ – FREE app for kids with moral stories for kids and activities to learn and write and color and draw.

    It is a FREE app and was done for a noble cause for kids education. Download it from itunes and write a positive review if you like it.

    • Hi Nathan,

      Thanks for your appreciation. You’re game looks great and I’ve shared it to my followers on Twitter :)

      Regards Logan

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    • Hi Anelie,

      Please feel free to post an article here. I would love to hear and see your point of view.


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  • Frankie

    I really like your blog. Is there any way you could talk about Utility apps?

    • Frankie, I’ll do that just for you my friend ;)

  • Hi,

    Thanks for posting.

    The idea of this post was to show people how they can develop top quality mobile apps and make a living from the app store without having to learn how to code.

    To become an expert software engineer can take years of practice and a huge commitment in time and effort, which for most people makes this goal un-reachable.

    However, leverage someone else’s expertise to develop your own unique app is the way of the 21st Century.

    Look at it as if you to build a house. You wouldn’t go and learn how to do it yourself… Surely you’d be too busy for that.
    Instead you would hire an expert builder to do it for you.

    If you are determined to code your own application then perhaps look into doing a night course in your local area. That’s a good start anyway :D

  • sweetie

    thanks for sharing valuable info but which programming i need to learn for creating app?