With a coding school of some sort available to almost anyone these days, taking a meandering idea from a passing thought to an actual real life product is a very attainable goal! In fact, even if you had no idea how to code when the idea hits you, according to Houston Coding Academy, you could be a full stack developer in as little as nine months. But coding is only a single piece of the puzzle. To successfully launch an app, you need to be able to walk it through from inception to fruition. Here are five simple steps to help you get through the process:
- Brainstorm and Get Feedback
The first thing you have to do is flesh out the idea. Have a brainstorming session and really delve into the nitty gritty. Then take your brainstorming to the streets (or maybe a few close friends.) Get honest feedback and constructive criticism to take your idea to the next level.
- Map It Out
Once you have a fully developed idea, start putting it to paper. Map out your app in detail. How will it flow? How will you make it user friendly and engaging? Envision yourself using the app in a multitude of scenarios and map out exactly how you see that experience developing. You’ll need to be well organized and very detail oriented to successfully complete this phase.
Here’s where your coding skills come in. Being able to develop an app yourself saves a ton of money and gives you more creative control. However, if you just aren’t comfortable with your coding skills or don’t have the time to master the craft, you can always source this task out. If you do though, you will need to be prepared to communicate your ideas articulately and clearly in order to realize your vision as closely as possible.
- Test, Tweak, and Retest
I can’t stress this one enough. You don’t want to launch an app that is glitchy, full of bugs, or simply has a terrible user experience. Find a test group and test, tweak, and retest until you get it right. Otherwise, you’ll ruin your app’s reputation before it gets out the door. Obviously, you’ll still encounter tweaks and bugs upon launching even after multiple tests, but you want to make sure that your first edition isn’t’ a total bomb that nobody will even bother updating.
- Launch and Market
You’re finally there, ready to set your baby off on its journey into the world! Take the time to give it a big send off! Plan a countdown marketing plan to your launch date and follow through. Define what success looks like to you and create a detailed marketing approach tailored to help you get there. This should include press releases, videos, social media. Get your app out there and noticed! In fact, Hubspot offers an excellent guide to launching mobile apps that you can check out here.
So there you go! Five steps from muse to made. Think outside the mere ability to code and give each step the care and attention it needs to bloom and you will see your efforts pay off handsomely. What are you waiting for? You’ve got work to do!