// Mobile apps
How to Create a Mobile App for your Site?
// Mobile apps
In this article, we will tell you how to create a mobile app for your site in detail and with examples. You’ll find out how to define the project’s goals, choose main and additional features, what the design and a tech stack should be like, how the process of app development takes place, and how much it costs.
What goals a business should have according to SMART criteria. Source
One way or another, before you move on, you have to define your project’s goals. This is important because it’s going to influence the development of design, functionality, and approach to monetization (if it’s required). And the more clear and specific these goals are, the better the chances that they are achievable. For this reason, we recommend using SMART criteria, which can guide the setting of your project’s goals.
SMART is a mnemonic acronym for:
Comparison of internet users’ interest in planner apps with the help of a free service Google TrendsResearch is an essential step in the process of mobile app development. It can help you understand whether your target audience needs your service and if so, what exact app they would like: design, features, and business model. The research will help you understand how competitive the market is, what your competitors are doing right and what they are doing wrong.
You can conduct such marketing research on your own by using public data and free tools such as Google Trends and Keyword Planner. However, you should do it provided that you know what to look for and how. If you don’t, then better hire a marketing agency or a full-cycle development company such as Merehead.
Information architecture. This is a scheme, which shows logic, structure, and relations of the contents and systems of organization, navigation, and search within the app. An information architecture aims at organizing content in such a way that users can get used to the app functionality easily and quickly and find everything they need effortlessly.
An example of the information architecture of a mobile app. Source
The first draft of a wireframe is usually done on paper and then it’s moved to e-version with the help of Swiftic, Native Scripts, React Native, or Adobe Photoshop. Here is what the app wireframe may look like:
An example of a mobile app wireframe. Source
Difference between wireframe, mock-up, and prototype of the app design. Source
Support of both iOS and Android. These are two operating systems that almost all smartphones in the world run on: a share of iOS is 29,06%, Android — 70,43% (according to Statcounter.com). Along with this, both platforms are popular in almost all countries. Only in several ones such as India, Brazil, and Nigeria, one OS (Android) is dominating. This means that when developing a mobile app for your site, you have to implement support of both operating systems.
High performance. Modern phones are very fast and able to work with several programs simultaneously, due to which the users can perform many tasks at once switching between running programs. The problem is if your mobile app loads or performs some function too long, your users will turn it off and start doing something else.
Integration with social networks. In a world controlled by Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, YouTube, and Twitter, close integration with social networks is necessary. They simplify registration and allow sharing achievements and content, communicating with friends and acquaintances. It’s important to have integration with popular social networks because it makes it possible to spread information about your app on the web, share it with more people, and attract new users.
Autonomous app operation. This feature is optional for the majority of apps, but the users would appreciate it if some of your app’s capabilities were available offline as well. So try to predict what content and features your target audience might need when there’s no Internet connection. For instance, Spotify has this mode (music playing), Google Maps (interactive map and user’s location tracking), and Bridgefy (Bluetooth message sending).
Personalization, settings. Users like products, which offer many opportunities for settings. The best app allows choosing screen themes, fonts, background, color schemes, privacy levels, parameters of notifications and search. Implement such capabilities in your app. Let your users make your mobile app look and function the way they want.
Search system, filters. Pay attention to the search feature in your app especially if it has a lot of content and/or features like on Facebook, Amazon, or Google Maps. Search on such platforms has to be very simple and guess what the user wants, correct his mistakes, and give recommendations based on the first letters of a word or past requests.
Regular updates. The development of a really great mobile app for your site requires a continuous process of improvements and updates. They are necessary so that your platform stays relevant over the years and not just right after the launch. Moreover, these updates are needed to fix bugs and errors that are present in any software.
Security issues. Since many online platforms store personal and confidential information, medical records, or bank information, a high level of security is absolutely essential for any mobile app. For this reason, you need to encrypt the internet connection and databases as well as introduce additional safety measures:
Correspondence to GDPR. This regulation aims to protect the personal data of all European Union citizens at the legal level. Its implementation doesn’t require additional legislation in EU member countries, but it requires everyone, who stores, processes, and uses the user data of EU citizens to change their software in accordance with GDPR principles. Specific features and solutions to implement such accordance depend on the project.
A tech stack is a set of various software tools for the development of software including mobile apps. It consists of programming languages, frameworks, compilers, database management systems, API, etc. The chosen tech stack influences requirements to the hardware of the user’s device, software’s reliability, performance, development time, and development cost.
The tech stack is usually divided into a frontend, backend, and API.
Frontend is a user interface, system interface, and other elements, which an end user interacts with. Here is an example of a tech stack for the creation of a mobile app’s frontend:
Backend is an internal hardware/software part of a mobile app responsible for the work with databases, functionality, and everything that is hidden from the user’s view. I.e. it’s everything that works beyond the user’s device. Here is an example of a tech stack for the backend:
API (Application Programming Interface) is special protocols to connect frontend to backend and integrate with external services, which expand the app’s functionalities. For instance, a taxi app needs integrations with online maps, GPS systems, and payment gateways. While a mobile app for managing electronic medical record (EMR) might need the following APIs:
The average cost of creation of the mobile app depending on its complexity and the developer’s location
Mobile app development is no trivial task, which requires considerable experience and knowledge. That being said, you need experience and knowledge of not only technical details but also the field, which the app is going to work in (e-commerce, banks, insurance, video games, health care, mass media, and the like). This article describes how to find a technical partner: «Choose a custom erp software development company».
Cooperation with a technical partner is going to take place according to the following algorithm:
You need to test the following things: