App Development Questions

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    Ellingford Enterprise is offline Junior Member
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    Default App Development Questions

    Hey everyone! As the title suggests, I have a couple questions on App development. I have an idea for an app that I feel incredibly confident about. I have no idea how to approach it however. I have done a fair amount of research, and from what I can find, this idea hasn't been done before as a whole. It seems like everything I come across on this subject is different in some way. Is there any developers on here that could point me in the right direction?

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    Not sure what you are asking? How to start programming it yourself or where to get it done or?
    I’m a hypocrite and if I weren’t I’d be a success story.

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    First and foremost build a prototype and get it into usability testing before you engage a design/implementation firm. This can be done very simply with low-fidelity results, or by using a prototyping powerhouse of a program (such as Axure) to create high-fidelity mock-ups. I use the latter of the two so I can hand to developers who then code towards a designed set of proven interactions vs. just an idea.

    Building IP around apps is difficult, so the next step would be rigorous quality assurance and a grand launch into either of the two major app markets, where you will be several months ahead of your inevitable competition.

    That being said: getting an app into the market is very, very easy. Supporting and scaling said app is where many stumble. Many (including myself) have partnered with a design firm and define profit sharing terms so they can shift the heavy load to someone who has skin in the game.
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    Ellingford Enterprise is offline Junior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by .G. View Post
    Not sure what you are asking? How to start programming it yourself or where to get it done or?
    I apologize for missing the main question in my post. I'm mostly looking for all the steps for taking this from an idea to a full blown app that's available to anyone.

    Quote Originally Posted by ADR3NALINE FIX View Post
    First and foremost build a prototype and get it into usability testing before you engage a design/implementation firm. This can be done very simply with low-fidelity results, or by using a prototyping powerhouse of a program (such as Axure) to create high-fidelity mock-ups. I use the latter of the two so I can hand to developers who then code towards a designed set of proven interactions vs. just an idea.

    Building IP around apps is difficult, so the next step would be rigorous quality assurance and a grand launch into either of the two major app markets, where you will be several months ahead of your inevitable competition.

    That being said: getting an app into the market is very, very easy. Supporting and scaling said app is where many stumble. Many (including myself) have partnered with a design firm and define profit sharing terms so they can shift the heavy load to someone who has skin in the game.
    Thank you for suggesting Axure! I have been looking for a program such as this since I originally had the idea for an app. Does this program strain the computer when you have a relatively complex app on there? Also is it complex/hard for a beginner to use? As for the business aspect of running the app, do they usually start up along the lines of a traditional business, in the sense of filing for the business name, accounts, etc.? Or is it different due to the global potential of an app?

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    Do homework on it and make sure it's even possible. I have a lot of friends pitch app ideas to me, but most of them aren't something that can be made, or they are extremely difficult to make and support. Some of them can be done, but have little chance of making a decent amount of money. Just really think about how realistic the app is, and how realistic your monetization plan is.

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    Like everyone said do homework on it, figure out if it is something people will use. Also make sure that it has a way to generate income and is not just a cool app.

    After you get a good enough breakdown start getting in contact with developers to get quotes and time frames. With that you will be able to figure out start-up costs and then see if it is a viable option.
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    Ellingford Enterprise is offline Junior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by anonymoose View Post
    Do homework on it and make sure it's even possible. I have a lot of friends pitch app ideas to me, but most of them aren't something that can be made, or they are extremely difficult to make and support. Some of them can be done, but have little chance of making a decent amount of money. Just really think about how realistic the app is, and how realistic your monetization plan is.
    Quote Originally Posted by WhiteLion View Post
    Like everyone said do homework on it, figure out if it is something people will use. Also make sure that it has a way to generate income and is not just a cool app.

    After you get a good enough breakdown start getting in contact with developers to get quotes and time frames. With that you will be able to figure out start-up costs and then see if it is a viable option.
    I have been doing research on it for a while now. So far I've only come across a few apps that are remotely similar (not even 5). Id say its a very complex app as a whole, though that's coming from someone that has no experience with programming/app development at all, and judging from those few apps, I know it can be done but it'll be difficult and costly at first. When it comes to whether or not people will use it; the way I would be marketing it, how it will be designed, and the way it works will bring in users while also generating income. Well I hope so anyway Currently I am working on condensing the notes and getting a business plan of sorts prepared to make any presentation much easier to give and understand.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ellingford Enterprise View Post
    Thank you for suggesting Axure! I have been looking for a program such as this since I originally had the idea for an app. Does this program strain the computer when you have a relatively complex app on there? Also is it complex/hard for a beginner to use? As for the business aspect of running the app, do they usually start up along the lines of a traditional business, in the sense of filing for the business name, accounts, etc.? Or is it different due to the global potential of an app?
    Axure is a full-blown prototyping tool, with a medium/heavy learning curve. I'm in the field yet it took me 2 weeks to become proficient. If you're not up for that, you could go the route of InvisionApp.com. It's a free prototyping tool but requires that you create static images of the app's workflow, and then link them together via InvisionApp. Very easy program, and easy to share with others for use as a feedback tool.

    Apps are in a grey area as far as fundamental business requirements. You can be an individual coding an app in your garage, although if you want to monetize via advertising partners, you're going to need a tax ID & the whole nine yards. Some start out without any sort of business front and then once the app is at the point of monetization (gained X amount of downloaded customer base, or are positioned for acquisition) then they file for those credentials.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ellingford Enterprise View Post
    I have been doing research on it for a while now. So far I've only come across a few apps that are remotely similar (not even 5). Id say its a very complex app as a whole, though that's coming from someone that has no experience with programming/app development at all, and judging from those few apps, I know it can be done but it'll be difficult and costly at first. When it comes to whether or not people will use it; the way I would be marketing it, how it will be designed, and the way it works will bring in users while also generating income. Well I hope so anyway Currently I am working on condensing the notes and getting a business plan of sorts prepared to make any presentation much easier to give and understand.
    If you need help wrapping your head around how difficult it will be, I can probably help you out. I started out like you, just having ideas and not app development experience. Now I have a bit of development experience, so I have a much better understanding of that side now. Just PM me if you want any help. If you don't want to tell me exactly what your idea is, you could just tell me the apps that are similar and I could tell you the challenges of developing those apps.

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    Hey Ellingford Enterprise,

    I saw this yesterday and meat to respond but didn't have time. App development is a tricky business and there are as many options for building your app as there are apps to be built. If you want to give your application the best possible start in life it can have, start by defining a workflow. What i mean by that is all the information your application is going to collect, and what you intend to do with that information in its various stages. Most applications are developed on a relational data model: Relational model - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia if your good with spread sheets this should be right up your alley. Omni chart is a pretty common data organizational application for people trying to build out their concepts prior to coding.

    After you have a solid idea of all the information your going to be gathering and what you intend to do with it I'd highly recommend finding a firm to build your prototype. There are a lot of advantages to going with pro's over doing it yourself ( unless your a programmer ). Making good decisions with your prototype can result in usable code that can be rolled into your final product, or at least be loosely based on rather than re-written from scratch. Additionally most good firms are up to date on design trends and will make sure your UI/UX is second to none.

    Any firm that your interested in should present a plan that involves the mobile platform itself and the server based application to run it. My recommendation would be to look into phonegap: PhoneGap | Home

    phonegap will let you ( or a developer ) write mobile applications in html, css and javascript. These can then be compiled for any mobile platform, one set of code to rule them all! This is a huge cost savings in terms of maintenance and the cost of the kind of developer you need to maintain that code. Phonegap isn't really great for games but apps as large as LinkedIn's mobile app are on their platform. ( now using a new tech called node-webkit these apps can also now be compiled out into desktop applications for mac, windows and linux )

    Applications by themselves are pretty useless, they need to exchange data with a server in order to really be dynamic. Most commonly this is done via a RestFUL JSON api. Your mobile application will request a web address and a JSON formatted file is returned from a server, its lightweight, fast and efficient ( i.e. cheap ). My best recommendation is to find an application developer who builds their API's with Ruby on Rails. Rails will scale ( when written properly ) to unbelievably huge amounts of traffic.

    As a final note, whatever you do, dont put your app on Heroku. Heroku is a cloud hosting service that will rape your of all your money. I've worked with a few apps that where paying 15k+ a month in hosting. We moved one to amazon aws and that went down to ~3k a month.

    Feel free to ask me any questions and sorry for the book, hope it helps!

    Knowledge Source - Professional Application Developer / Working on building my own app.
    Dylan Gaines

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