A useful checklist for building an app

According to data collected by Statistica, 3.3 billion people on earth own smartphones, there is no denying the impact of this channel for boosting brand awareness.

If your mind’s made up and an application is for you, you will need the required information to relay to your tech team. Let’s break it down.

1. What kind of app do you want to build and why?

Is it a Native app for iOS, Android or Windows Phone? A web app, which mimics a mobile app but is reached via a web browser? How about Hybrid apps, which are web apps disguised as native apps?

  • Choose the type of app you want.

  • Why do you want to build it? This is a vital question to ask, and doing a discovery session can help.

  • Determine your must-have versus nice-to-have features, prepare your roadmap and get on that competitor analysis ASAP.

  • Figure out your unique selling point (USP) and monetization strategies: is your app paid or free?

  • Know your audience, personas and targets before starting the process; there is no point in building the thing if no one is going to use it.

  • What does the market look like for your kind of app?

We recommend: AppMonsta for app market data.

2. Is your system ready for it?

Before building your tech stack, make sure you are ready to manage it.

  • Figure out your testing strategy and tools.

  • Assess the risks of your application, so you are aware of potential vectors of attack and can take precautions

  • Keep an eye out for performance risks and bottlenecks

  • Decide on what data you want to collect via the app. If you are storing sensitive (personal) data, you need to be compliant with data laws.

  • Look for a developer or development partner that has a strong process and is familiar with modern development methodologies such as agile, scrum, etc.

  • Set up your accounts with the app ecosystem you are developing for and enable their beta testing programs.

We recommend: TestFlight for iOS or Ubertesters for Android or any app.

3. Development and Visuals (Front End)

  • Do you have an idea of how you want to design it?

  • What user usability testing have you done?

  • Create a mockup of your app featuring its UI, layout and flow. Mockups are not a final product; they are there to help you figure out how to get from screen A to screen B, what button does what and more. There are great tools available to help you do that.

  • Make a graphic design for the app. Get a designer that specializes in your app type; this is highly beneficial and saves time.

  • Check out human interface guidelines for your app type. Every app store has specific criteria. Here are Apple and Android guidelines.

We recommend: Balsamiq and Mockingbird for mockup platforms.

4. Team Building

  • App building is a niche technology, and you’ll need a specialist, find the right developer/design team for the project.

  • Get a tech freelancer! Tech freelancers are excellent at integrating with existing in-house teams who would have built the existing code base.

  • Make sure they are fluent in whatever coding language you need. For Android, that’s Java, Kotlin or C/C++. For iOS, that’s Swift or Objective-C.

We recommend: CodeControl to help you find the best freelance developers and designers in Europe.

5. Deployment

  • Can your vendor report app crashes when they occur?

  • Do you have an update plan organized?

  • Do you have a quality assurance team able to test the app?

We recommend: App.io for a demo tool.

6. Build a landing page

  • Create a landing page for your app. Every app needs a landing page; it is excellent for marketing and describes what your app does.

  • Essentials for the landing page include:

    • Screenshots of the app functions
    • A clear written headline, description or video
    • App features breakdown
    • An About Us section
    • CTA to install the app

We recommend: Unbounce is great for quick and easy landing page building.

7. App marketing

All products need marketing, even the awesome ones. Once the app is done and dusted, it’s time to put it out there in a targeted and sleek campaign.

  • Infuse every campaign message with, “What problem does your app solve?”

  • Decide on your marketing budget.

  • Decide on a release date.

  • Look at which social channels you want to target first, i.e. Facebook, Instagram or Twitter.

  • What’s your UVP (Unique Value Proposition)?

  • How are you positioning your app in the market?

  • Build an outreach list for when you start promotions.

  • If you need funding, create a pitch deck.

  • Optimize your app store page!

We recommend: TapStream for app marketing analytics

There you have it. Feel free to print out this list and start checking off what you need to build the best app for your business. Good Luck!

Have more questions? CodeControl’s experts can help you through every step of your app-building process. Click here to get in touch.


Über den Autor

Danielle de La Bastide is a copywriter and content creator based in London, who currently specialises in writing for the tech sector. She has worked with BuzzFeed, Freespee, Microsoft, Interesting Engineering, London Pass, New York Pass and more.