Creating a website could just be the start of your online DIY skills. Mobile phone apps are more popular than ever with thousands available to download and counting. With the continual growth of the smartphone and iPad, the number of people using apps is only set to increase. What was once only associated with large companies has now expanded to small businesses.Having an app will enable your consumers to access your products and services on-the-go. Although it’s all very well having your webpage available on mobile devices, it’s even better to have an app which your consumer can instantly access without having to search or browse. It will also help your company brand to expand as it’ll be a new way for people to discover your business.
Who is your app for?
You’ll want to decide who you are going to target with your app. Android, Blackberry, Apple and Nokia all have different requirements so you’ll need to decide which ones to focus on. Apple products which include the iPhone and iPad are an obvious choice as they are especially designed to accommodate a whole range of apps.
Different models of phones will have different screen sizes so consider how your apps are going to look on each one when designing. Other things to consider are that some phones are touchscreen while others use a keypad. You’ll need to think about how the hand is positioned when holding the phone and therefore where to place the buttons and features.
Do your research before you start. The best way to do this is to browse app stores and look at all the current ones available. What works for them? What doesn’t work? Each app should be rated according to customer reviews. This will give you a good idea of which are the most popular and any faults they may have.
Make your app slightly different from your website. You might want to add an extra feature or come up with a cool idea to catch your audience’s attention. However, keep it simple as the purpose of an app is to be quick, effective and streamlined. What are your goals? What would you like to achieve with this app and most importantly how will it benefit your consumer? People are far more inclined to download something if they are able to take something from it.
Do it Yourself
If you’re on a budget then you’ll probably think about creating the app yourself. Although it’ll still cost something, it’s a cheaper option to hiring a professional designer. There are many web tools available which will enable you to create your app. They’re designed to be easy to use so you won’t need to be an expert.
There are many tools available on the web to help you to design and produce your app.The App Studio is a great website for making an Apple app. No programming or code is needed and you can design and produce your features through the editor on the website. You can either build the app from scratch or choose from a selection of samples. This is ideal for those with a varied skillset. The finished app can then be submitted to the App Store to be downloaded.
Another option is ViziApps which is great for beginners and allows you to select from a variety of templates and then a number of features can be added to the app while you steadily build it.
If you’re designing an app for an android phone then try App Inventor. Part of Google Labs, you’ll be able to work through tutorials. From here, you’ll be able to share your app and show it off.
These are great options for affordable and efficient apps. However, if you want something really advanced then you’ll have to hire a web developer which will cost you a lot more money. There are so many available out there and if you’re paying out you’ll want to choose the best one for your company. Look at their portfolio. Does their work fit in with your visions? Having somebody that you can work with and share ideas with effectively is really important.
The design of your app needs to be appealing to make people want to download it. You’ll need to think about your main icon which is what your user will see first. Make it bold, eye-catching and as closely related to your brand as possible.
Make it clear what your app actually does. There’s nothing more confusing than finding an app but not really being sure what it is. This is certainly not the way to get your app noticed
Once the design and production of your app is completed, it can go live on an app store. Here consumers old and new will be able to download it and experience it for themselves.
Alex Woods is an online writer and blogger at BaseKit – an online website builder. She enjoys finding interesting topics to write about and sharing them with others.