WEB & TECH / NOV. 23, 2014
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How to Design your own App

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With 1.3 million apps created and made available to the App Store for iOS devices (iPhones and iPads) since 2008, it is hardly surprising that so many tech savvy millennials are turning to app creation as a means of generating income and boosting their career into entrepreneurship. App creation is not restricted to certified programmers though, in fact, there are a large number of platforms available to design your own apps without the need to have a computer science degree under your belt.

Why design your own app?

The U.S Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) has revealed that jobs in the field of computer science i.e. app creation, will be the fasted growing field between 2014 and 2019. By designing your very own app you can develop a tangible portfolio for future employment opportunities or alternatively, take your app to the marketplace and make it available to iOS and android devices in the hope of generating a steady income.

Steps to designing your own app...

Step 1. Initial market research

Before diving straight in to the world of app designing, you need to come up with an idea that is not only marketable, but achievable and realistic in terms of functionality and user-friendly design.  Ask your network, both close friends/family and acquaintances of apps they wish existed or problems they have with existing apps they use.

Once you have an idea in place, you need to check that the app does not already exist! You would be surprised at just how many people believe they have come up with a once in a lifetime app idea only to discover Google’s play store has is stored and is one of the top downloaded apps.  To ensure your idea is available to design and copyright, conduct a thorough search on Google, iTunes, Google Play etc. to establish if it is already created or a similar app exists.

If your app already exists or is very similar to an existing app, do not panic. Find out the flaws, weak points, or any negative aspects of the app and then go back to the drawing board to create a better version of the app. Be sure to check the reviews from app users! This is usually found in the app store download area before you need to download the app.

Step 2. Designing the app!

There are numerous platforms available online to assist you in creating your new app. Sites such as appmakr is a reputable option, allowing you to simply design the app with a ‘drag and drop’ functionality. The app is created in minutes, you can gain access to specific analytics related to your app, and get feedback on what your users think about your app.

Businessnewsdaily.com listed the top app makers of 2014, of which the top 5 were...

  1. BuildFire: Best for small businesses who are interested in creating their own mobile apps
  2. Como: Enables you to build professional apps with a wide range of themes, icons and styles available. Free trial available.
  3. Taplytics: Suited to mobile A/B testing systems which gives teams of developers and designs the ability to work on one app together.
  4. Appsbar: Permits the creations of apps for Android, iOS, Windows and BlackBerry devices.
  5. Appy Pie: Similar to appmakr’s drag and drop design function, this platform also ensures apps are automatically published to their respective app stores.

Step 3: Name your app

The name of your app can actually be half the battle in terms of brand recognition and user acceptance. You need to stand out in your category but don’t forget, you are one of 1.3 million other apps out there. It’s a big app world and you need to stand out as much as possible. Here are some basic pointers to follow...

  1. Be authentic! Don’t try to rip off another app’s name just because they are well known. This will only lead to trademark opposition from the original company should you attempt to register your name as a trademark (more on this at a later date!).
  2. Ensure the name is easy to remember. You need to think that the best form of promotion is word of mouth; if your app isn’t easy to remember, how will your users spread the word?
  3. Two name tactic works! Apps such as Evernote and Tweetbot effectively state what the app is while also giving the app an attractive and easily recognisable name.
  4. Keep the name short. Market research reveals that app names of less than 11 characters are better received.

Try out these name generators for additional inspiration: dotomator.com and nameboy.com

While this guide is act as an initial basis for your app creation, be sure to conduct thorough research before investing a large portion of your time, energy and resources into creating it. You need to be certain that the app is available to create and is something that would be welcomed by users.

Have you ever created your own app? Please let us know if you have any other advice to share!

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