How to Start an App: The Things No One Tells You

Lilly Thuma Picture

by Lilly Thuma | Last Updated: Aug 29, 2020

Trying new things can be scary. I get it. When you don’t really know what’s going on or what you should be doing. But, that isn’t a good enough reason to not try them. Lets look at app building as an example. Building an app sounds like a lot of work and maybe it is something you never thought you would do, but if building an app is what is going to take your mobile marketing strategy to the next level, is being scared a good enough reason not to do it? Of course not! So, to ease you into it here are some things you should consider when thinking about how to start an app. Anyone Can Start Building an App Apps are for everyone. They can be used by everyone, they can be built by anyone, and most of them can be used on every mobile device. So, let's stop thinking only software developers can build apps, okay? There has actually been a rise in citizen developers, AKA anyone who has the ambition to build an app using a low code app builder. This means if your brand is ready to take on a mobile app (which I highly recommend you do), you don’t have to wait for IT to work with you (I’m looking at all of you marketers out there 😉). Instead look into low code and no code app development platforms or app development tools and get started on your own! Different Apps Serve Different Purposes Next, not all apps are the same. There are native mobile apps, web apps, and Progressive Web Apps (PWAs). Native mobile apps are great when you want to build an app that is compatible with a phone’s hardware so it can access features like your camera or send push notifications. However, it is important to note native mobile apps can only be downloaded from the app store, and smartphones users have been downloading fewer and fewer apps. Additionally, native mobile apps can only be accessed on Android or iOS devices, and separate apps have to be built for the respective operating systems. If you are looking for an app that is less of a commitment than a native mobile app, you might consider a web app. A web app is basically a web page that can then be saved to the home screen. The barriers to access a web app are very low, and users can access the app on any device. But, users can only use web apps when they have service. If neither of those options sound like they fit your brand’s goals, then a PWA is for you. A PWA is a happy medium because the app is hosted through the web, can be saved to a home screen, and works in low connectivity. PWAs also avoid the dreaded download, and instead the app can be activated in a variety of ways including a QR code, an NFC, URL, the list goes on and on. All of these apps have a right time and place for when they should be used. So when you are getting started with an app, think about what your goals are for your mobile app, and then assess which type of app most closely aligns with the goals. Always Keep the End Goal in Mind Finally, always keep your end goal in mind. And in case you forgot, your end goal is providing users with a positive user experience that offers real value to them. This is so important when you start building an app, and can often get lost in all of the technicalities and details that come with building an app. But at the end of the day, your app will only be successful if people find it useful and enjoy using it. Some ways this can be done is by giving users an out of this world user experience, or offering a loyalty program through the app that is too good to pass up. Whatever it is, make sure every step of the app development process has the end user in mind. Ready to get started building? Check out Lumavate’s PWA platform to see if it is right for you!

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