A great way to practice your programming skills is to create an app. This is a challenging project that can be rewarding and provide additional income if you decide to publish it.
Here’s how you can put your coding skills to use and create an app in just 10 steps.
In 10 Easy Steps, How to Make an App for Beginners
1. Create an idea for your app
It’s a good idea to either solve a problem or create an app that addresses the needs of users. You could create a new clock app or a different layout in a calendar app.
The aesthetic of your app may not be as important if you are creating it as a hobby project or portfolio builder. If you are creating your app as a passion project or portfolio builder, the aesthetic may not be as important. Instead, you should focus on making it user-friendly, functional, smooth-running, and beautiful.
2. Define your goals or objectives
Have you heard of “SMART” goals before? It stands for:
It is possible
Break down the tasks you have to create your app into smaller steps. This will help you stay on the right track, break down a complex project into manageable pieces, and set realistic goals. For example, if you have to build a calculator app, it might be difficult to begin. It will be easier to break it down. Here’s an example:
S: I will list 2 functionalities that I want my app’s to have and I will set aside X time each week to work with them.
M: I will verify these functionalities for accuracy. They should give a specific answer based on mathematical calculations.
A: I have X years of experience with [programming languages] (this will vary depending on your project).
R: I would like to add this to the portfolio and advance my career by working on something tangible.
T: I will finish the app in X months [or by date X] by working on it for at least X hours per week.
Setting realistic and achievable goals is important. It’s best to start small. If you have a 3 year-old app to create and perfect, you might consider changing the scope and timeframe to make it more manageable, perhaps to 2-3 months.
3. Do Competitive Market Research
Let’s say you are creating an app to solve a problem or improve the functionality of an existing app. Or to provide value to your users. It is crucial to conduct market research before you begin development.
You can identify potential problems and make improvements to your app by downloading similar apps. You can also narrow down the top requests from users for similar apps by looking at reviews and comments.
This data will allow you to make informed decisions about the design and functionality for your application. It will also give you a competitive edge by solving potential customer problems.
4. Plan Your App’s Functionality & Features
It is not a good idea to try to develop a mobile app using an “I’ll figure this out as I go” approach. It’s easy to eat too much and implement too many features and functionalities. They may not be compatible.
Start small and grow later. Apps can be updated so it is a good idea to create a basic app with a few key features. If you find that some functions don’t work or are too complex for your skill level, it can be easy to become discouraged.
Using SMART goals and planning to keep you on track, you can focus on the basics and spend more time working on the core features. This can save you hours of wasted time that could have been used to improve your app’s features or your programming skills to benefit future releases.
5. Make a wireframe of your app
An app wireframe is a 2D drawing that visually shows the layout of the app and how it will function. This wireframe is a basic version of your final product that will give you an idea about how it will work and how users interact with it.
Contrary to traditional website wireframes and wireframes for websites, your mobile app wireframe layout should be focused on its functionality. Don’t get too involved in the design details. These decisions can be made later.
It is crucial to have a solid foundation for your app, as you will be building it from scratch. Before you dive in, it is extremely helpful to create a wireframe.
6. Choose an app development type
Native App Development
This is when a mobile app is built exclusively for one operating system using its respective programming languages.