Everyone loves apps… but not everyone can build them. Chances are, if you’re reading this, you’re in the small but growing minority of those who don’t just love apps – but want to create them.

Let’s do a little myth busting first. 1) Apps do not cost tens of thousands of pounds to create. If someone tells you it does, they’re looking in the wrong place. 2) You do not need to learn code to build an app, in fact, you’re better off not, unless you’re already experienced in coding.

People on tube


1. Decide what you want to accomplish

Who is your app for? What is it going to help them with? How will it improve/simplify their lives? How will you market your app?

Successful apps offer a solution to a problem. This makes a successful app, but how will it make you successfully rich? You need to decide where/how you’re going to make money from your idea: will you charge for the app? Will there be in-app purchases or upgrades? Will you display ads?


2. Check out your competitors

Before you start investing time and money into this idea, you need to be 100% sure no one else has thought of it. If they have, how can your idea be better or offer more than theirs does? Make sure your name is also a stand-out concept – don’t choose something that closely resembles any other brand.


3. Sketch it out

It’s easier to work out the look of your app by physically drawing it. Yup, get your crayons out! Visualising sizes, buttons and colour will help you to nail down the look and functionality of the user interface, or UI in geek-speak. Have a look at some of your fave apps for inspo! If you have to involve third-parties, a visual representation of your idea will really help them to get on board.

 Apps on iPhone

4. Get a techie

If you’re not a coding maestro yet, and most of us aren’t, your first step is to find yourself one. You can either hire someone to entirely build your app for you, or seek out some sort of mentor to guide you through the coding process. We’d only recommend building a complete, start-to-finish app yourself if you know one of the following codes: Ruby, Python, PHP, Java, Go, C#.

If you need a little help, experienced programmers offer live 1:1 sessions on Codementor relatively inexpensively – these sessions could help get you on your way, or advise you on where to start looking for your coding aficionado.


5. Test, test, test!

Whether you’ve coded the first shot at your app, or someone else has – take time to test it. Schedule time for amendments and trial phases into your launch, or risk outing a product that’s riddled with bugs and errors. Coder’s have a proverb: code for 6 minutes, debug for 6 hours. Testing tools you could utilise include: Jasmine or Karma for JavaScript, Rspec for Ruby, PyTest for Python, PHPUnit for PHP or Quick and Crashlytics for iOS development.


6. Get a developer account

To launch your app into the big wide world, you’re going to need somewhere to launch it.  Andriod charges $25 a year for a developer account, and Apple will take $99 off you annually - so remember to factor this into your start-up costs.


Child using apps  


7. Don’t give up

“Mistakes everywhere! This app is never going to launch!”

You’re not the only app developer or business owner to feel this way. Spotify, iOS, Siri and many many many more, have all suffered ‘buggy’ updates or launches. But you can’t throw in the towel that easily. With all the intricacies of creating an app, it’s no wonder that the learning process just keeps on giving.


8. Get qualified

That wasn’t so bad was it? Fancy doing it all again? Or even, doing it all yourself? Many e-learning platforms offer coding courses and qualifications that could get you well on your way to being a fully-fledged app-developer – either for your own company, or as a new string to your bow.

If you’d like to know more about training in coding and developing, get in touch with us and you could be building the next Flappy Bird, Evernote or RedSpottedHanky before you know it!

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