Turning a great idea into a successful app
It felt like the right fit for me to make my first blog about creating apps. The reason for this is most days I have people come up to me and say “I have the best idea for an app”. It seems everyone has an idea that’s going to make him or her the next Angry Birds app or Paper Toss, making millions of dollars revenue a year..
So here we go, I want to try and write a simple guide so people who have these amazing ideas can transform them into reality. The one thing most people don’t realise is that there are a number of steps involved, a lot of different skilled people you need too have working for you if you are outsourcing all aspects of the app.
The steps in making an app involve, having the idea, how you think the app will work etc. The next thing you need to do is sketch down how the app will look on paper, and what each button will do and so on. Then you need to send these sketches to a graphic designer who will design the graphics for you. Once the graphics are completed your next step is to send then to a developer who will write the app code and transform your graphics into a work of art. Once this is complete you will be sent a test flight model of your app to your device, where you are able to use the app and see if it functions how you want it too. Finally you will need to set up an apple developer account and submit the app to iTunes for them to review and post your app to the app store.
Now that all seems like a lot to take in I’m sure, so I will break down each step for you and also the best way to go about hiring the professionals you will need to help you create your masterpiece.
Step One – Firstly, and this is the most important job- create how you want your app to look and work on pieces of paper or by using this website www.moqups.com. By using this free website you can create each screen and how you want it to look for the graphic designers. Here is a design I created for my app PE Videos App:
Step two – Hiring a graphic designer to turn your sketched screens or mock ups into the graphics you will use for your app. With this process it’s extremely important that you are very clear with what graphics you want and their functions. The more detail you give to the graphic artist will enable them to produce the app to the standard and quality you are looking for. Here are some of the websites that I use.
www.elance.com – This is actually the site I use to get my graphics and also find my developer, but I will talk about that in detail soon. On elance you can create an account for free and post the job that you are looking to have completed. Then graphic designers from all over the world will give you quotes at how much they will charge. My biggest tip is don’t award the job to the cheapest quote. Check out all the designers’ portfolios and pick one that has great reviews and a high quality portfolio.
www.99designs.com is another website where you go on and post the job you are after. The quality of work on 99 designs is normally a little bit better then elance, but it is also more expensive. Both sites offer top quality graphic designers at a fraction of the price.
www.fiverr.com is the cheapest option and probably the most interesting. This website basically offers anything you want for just $5. Here you can get app icons, splash screens, logos and basically any sort of graphics created for $5. It is a great option if you are trying to work to a budget, but the old saying, “you get what you pay for”, might be worth remembering.
Step Three – finding an app programmer to put your graphics and ideas into a working application. This step again is about selecting the right person for your job.
For all my apps I have hired through www.elance.com. This is the same as when you post a job for the graphics, but this time, you will include a very detailed summary about your app, how it works and what functions it needs too have. Then along with your graphics you will post them and wait to see what developer best suits what you are after. Again don’t always go for the developer who quotes the lowest price. Check out their portfolio and also their feedback, as this will give you a good indication about the quality of work they will produce.
I have been lucky in this regard, one of the first programmers I hired was very good, and he has been extremely helpful with advice and assistance with all of my future projects.
The best tip I can give you here is, once you find either a graphic designer or programmer that is very good at their job and has great communication skills and feedback, only use them.
Step Four – Once your app has been completed, and you have tested it on your device, it is time to submit this too iTunes. Again this is something that is quite complicated, so when I post my job for the programmer, I also put in the agreement that they will submit and upload the app in my account to apple. You will however need to set up a developer account with apple; this costs $100 a year.
Finally I wish you good luck, enjoy the process but don’t count on making millions overnight! Apps are a fantastic tool and can make you money, but it wont happen overnight. If you have an idea and you know this will save you time or be useful for you in every day life, then I’m sure others will feel the same way. Please feel free to contact me if you have any questions about anything I have written, I will be more then happy to help and pass on some of the things I have learnt since I made my first app last November.