You don't need coding chops or technical expertise to come up with an idea for an app. However, these skills would be advantageous in your idea's execution. Nonetheless, if you've never built an application in your life, clearly labeling what steps you'll need to take to make it a reality may be extremely challenging.
Luckily we're here to elucidate and advise you on which moves to make so that your first application is a successful one.
Bringing Your App Ideas to Life
You may think that the first thing you need to do is learn how to code. Don't get us wrong, learning how to code is easier than ever, so much so that you can do it through games. However, thanks to no-code tools, you don't even need to learn how to code to capitalize on your app idea.
Before you proceed, you need to understand your target audience. According to Statista, there are over 2.8 million apps in the Google Play App Store and nearly 2 million in Apple's App Store. Try to make sure that your idea is as fresh as possible or at least does something unique.
1. Protect Your Idea
Trademark and Copyright Your Application
If you're really serious about your desktop or mobile app idea, we suggest that you ensure that it is protected. Speak to a copyright lawyer that can give you advice and help you trademark your app's name and logo.
Reserve Your App Name
You may find that you need to reserve your application's name on the app store(s) you plan on hosting it on. Luckily Google allows you to host multiple apps with the same name. Unfortunately, Apple isn't as lenient.
You can reserve your app name by creating an app entry in iTunes Connect without uploading an app build. Additionally, you'll want to reserve a domain name for your application, as well as set up various social media accounts and pages for it.
Document Every Step
During the planning and development phase, ensure that you document every single step. This is important from a legal and business stand-point. You'll be able to use it as evidence if you ever get into a court battle and you'll be able to see what mistakes you made during the app development phase.
2. Pick A Tool
It would be a good idea to hire someone to build the application for you if you can afford to. However, if you don't have a flexible budget to work with, it might be better to execute your app idea yourself using a low code solution.
This would allow you to have complete control of how your application looks and performs. Some of our favorite tools include:
Bubble.IO is an online app and website creation platform. You can build apps for web browsers and mobile devices. Prices are flexible. If you're developing apps as a hobby, Bubble.IO will allow you to access some of their app creation tools for free. You then have your choice of annual and monthly subscriptions with different access levels.
Adalo allows you to create mobile applications in three easy steps. You can use its drag and drop graphical user interface builder to create the look and feel of your app. You can then assign an action to each component of your GUI. Finally, you can build a database to hold all your app's input and output data. Adalo provides you with three price plans, including a Free plan, Pro Plan, and a Business Plan.
Thunkable is another great drag and drop no-code alternative app builder. You can create a cross-platform application using a single project. Additionally, Thunkable has a thriving community that can help you overcome any issues you may encounter on your journey to solidify your app idea.
If you want a more detailed list of no-code/low-code development tools, visit our guide on the best mobile app development platforms.
3. Build Your Application
This is probably the most obvious step in converting your app idea into a reality. However, we need to explore what developing your app entails. Proper planning will affect how smoothly you can build your desktop, web, or mobile app.
First, you'll need to think about the front-end of your application. This is basically your application's face. You'll need to decide how the different elements of your app work together. Once again, Adalo does a good job of illustrating this.
Prior knowledge of software design or logic is not necessary for the successful execution of this step. However, a little would help. What you have to understand is that the two most important parts of an app are its frontend and backend.
Design Your GUI
First, you'll need to figure out how many slides/windows your app will have, the color scheme, the controls, etc. Take some time to actually design a prototype of your app's frontend using GUI design software such as Adobe After Effects, Axure BP, or Balsamiq.
Alternatively, you can go through the old-school route and use a pencil and paper to sketch out how your frontend will work. Keep in mind that you're designing this app for other users. So it's important to understand your target audience.
To get a good idea of how your frontend should work, pick an already well-established desktop or mobile app, and note everything it does well. Before you finally build the GUI using the tool you picked in step 2, make sure that you have a logo for your app.
Once you have the frontend done, the backend will fall into place. Many no-code tools will automatically build the backend database for you and connect it. For a more in-depth guide on application building, marketing, and monetization, visit our guide on starting a mobile app development company .
4. Upload It to an App Store of Your Choice
This step will depend on what type of app you've developed. For instance, you won't have to upload a web-based application to any app store. You can make money from it through a subscription model or ads. When it comes to web services and SaaSs, all you need to think about is how you'll host them and how you'll market them.
Once again, services like Thunkable allow you to build multi-platform applications. You can simply develop native Android and native iOS apps with a single project and Thunkable will help you upload them to an app store.
However, if you want to upload your app to a single store, you can do this too. Do not limit yourself to Google or iOS. Amazon and Microsoft also have app stores of their own. If you choose to, you can create apps for Chromebooks or Linux too. The possibilities are only as limited as your goals.
For more information on App Stores and how to monetize your app, you can read our guide on how to create an app and make money from it.
If you have an idea for an app, there is no reason to feel discouraged or intimidated. App development may seem a little complex and scary when you're an outsider but with the right tools, it can be made easier. Hopefully, the above content comes in handy for your next app development journey. As always, thank you for reading.