March 14, 2015

The 4 Step App Plan

Creating an app is easy once you have a plan in place.
Grant Glas
grant@app-press.com

As co-founder and CEO of App Press, Grant created his first app in App Press, and has since built 300 more with over 1M+ downloads.

‍Creating an app is easy once you have a plan in place

Step 1: List the features

A simple one page description of your app is extremely helpful. Bullet point each feature and try to be as specific as possible. The more descriptive you are the easier it will be to produce a fixed cost estimate early on in the process. If you are struggling to list the features, start by answering these questions: 

Always ask

  1. Are you building for iOS, Android, or both?
  2. ‍Do users login? If yes, via Facebook, Twitter or Email?
  3. ‍Do users rate anything (Stars, Like, etc)?
  4. ‍Does your app need to connect with an external website or database?
  5. ‍Will the app’s design be basic or beautiful?
  6. Do you need an icon design?

Step 2: Understand the cost

Every new customer wants to understand their costs at the beginning of the project. At App Press, we work diligently to establish an estimate early in the project so there are no surprises along the development path. By answering the six aforementioned questions, you can receive a ballpark quote quickly. If the cost is too high, consider reducing the feature set. For example, supporting both iOS and Android can be more costly. Try launching on one platform first to save money.

Unlike most companies, App Press has the mobile authoring infrastructure (the App Press platform, designers, developers & project managers) in place, which can save you between 25-75%. This results in lower development costs so you can focus on design and features.

Step 3: Design (even if there is a disagreement about features)

A lot of people get stuck here. They have a cost estimate, but there is a disagreement about the feature set. To solve that dilemma, start designing!  50% of the population are visual based learners. That is why discussing a list of features may cause disagreement. By building a prototype to illustrate each feature, your teammates or clients that are visually inclined decision makers, will understand how the app works and why a certain feature is needed. Simulating the user interface and user experience is extremely powerful and allows everyone to get on the same page.

  1. ‍Start designing in your App Press account. 
  2. ‍Let App Press designers do it for you.
  3. ‍Let's work together. You initiate the design and we'll do the rest or vice versa.  

Step 4: Structure your project in three phases

Prototype phase (25% of your cost and time)

The prototype phase is where the screens for the app are designed. The entire user interface (UI) will be created including the color scheme and the design of the navigation icons. Also, you will link the screens together to understand the end user’s experience (UX) while navigating the app. It’s important to understand how each screen transitions to the next and where key functionality lives.

Development phase (70% of your cost and time)

The development phase, depending on the complexity of the app, can take 60-120 days. During this phase, start by mapping out your system architecture to understand how your app fits into your existing IT infrastructure. The development stage is actually the easiest part but the most time consuming.

Q&A and deployment (5% of your cost and time)

Launching your app is a complex process, but App Press is here for you. We've already submitted over 50 apps this year!

Publishing via the App Store and Google Play can take 1-2 weeks. Before you submit your app to both stores you are going to want to test the final binary for several days to make sure there are no critical bugs. After you submit your app to the App Store the review process by Apple can take 6-14 business days. Google Play is different, there is no review process and once your app is submitted it is live on Google Play in 24-48 hours.

  1. ‍The App Press support team will test your app before launch
  2. ‍An App Press project manager can publish the app for you
  3. ‍Let's work together. You initiate the publishing process and we'll do the rest or vice versa. 

Creating an app is easy once you have a plan in place. By using the framework above, a complex app can be simplified guaranteeing a successful launch. 

Do you need help? The App Press team wants to be your partner for any phase of app development! 

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