let's talk
🚀 Home App Development

How to Create a Successful Mobile App: A Step-by-Step Guide

Max Babych

Max Babych

CEO

11 min

Walt Disney famously said, “All our dreams can come true if we have the courage to pursue them.” With that spirit of ambition, let’s explore how to create a successful mobile app.

Get this – there are nearly 2 million apps in the Apple App Store and almost 3 million in Google Play. These apps span 34 categories, with Games taking the biggest share in both stores.

What can we make of these facts? A few key takeaways:

Competition is fierce. Your app idea may already be out there.

Lots of apps get made but aren’t catching on as hoped.

So, is it possible to launch a hit app in such a crowded market? And if so, how?

This article will walk through the key steps:

  • What makes an app succeed
  • Finding and validating a winning idea
  • Competitor research
  • Building your app
  • Managing and improving your launched app

Notice that development comes later in the process. Why? Because there are three core phases:

  • Pre-launch prep
  • Development
  • Post-launch optimization

Let’s break down what can make an app stand out enough to get noticed and downloaded.

Preparing for Development

What Drives App Success?

Before today you might have heard developers and entrepreneurs saying that an application is successful because of an XYZ reason. 

Plus, every successful application founder will have a different reason. 

  • Uber is successful because it serves a very specific user need unmet by other similar services. 
  • Tiktok is better than Instagram Reels as it creates a more engaging experience. 

So, two applications having similar functionalities are measured on different scales. 

Let’s see how we can help you maximize growth and provide the answer for how to easily create a successful web/mobile app without using app builders.

  • Unique web/mobile App Concept – Idea
  • Efficient UI and UX – Appearance
  • Provides a Solution – Usability 
  • Has protective layers – Security
  • Stable workflow – Performance
  • Quick User Access – Engagement
The formula of how to create a successful app

Finding a Winning App Idea

A new application is all about an idea that is executed and implemented with the right mindset. 

Successful entrepreneurs who worked on their ideas could do so because they were consistent with their efforts. 

Not that there was no application like Uber.

But today we use the word “Uber” for many other aspects. 

Like an Uber for doctors, an Uber for food, an Uber for real estate agents. 

That is the cultural impact of a successful idea. 

Here, we want you to take the simple route and find the void. 

What to Do How and Why
Imitation and Innovation Believe it or not, Apple copies the best apps on its platform, integrates them into its own solution, and markets them. 

One example is Clue.

Clue is an app that helps track periods. 

But now Apple has decided to use this idea and integrate it into their Health App. 

So, Apple can steal Clue’s thunder with a single move. 

We want you to follow the same strategy while learning how to develop a successful application, but on a local level. 

Brush up your geographical knowledge to find areas where your web/mobile app idea can deliver the right service. 

The Problem or Solution Conundrum Every problem has to have a solution. 

Understand this to know how to develop a successful application. 

The problems are there and old, but you have to give an alternative solution. 

Second, try changing or reversing the order. 

Use an old solution to deliver answers to recent problems. 

Applications built on old bookkeeping methods are cutting corners.  

Provide the Same with something better Consider this example to understand this part of how to make a successful web/mobile app. 

TikTok and Instagram are two apps that are great for time pass but not for productivity. 

They are called time-killing apps. 

So, how can you make one time-killing app better than another? 

Since the motive of both the apps is similar, you can only change theand monetizing your app. interface and how it feels. 

That is where TikTok is doing better than Instagram and making the headlines. 

Understood?

You can take any idea, research it, and then develop a successful application that is better than its counterparts. 

Throughout time, developers, businessmen, and entrepreneurs have novel ideas about how to get people to choose their solution over its counterparts. 

Here is what they have to say;

  1. Add an Incentive – Discount code, offers, etc.
  2. Create visuals to help users understand what you do
  3. Use referrals
  4. Bond with the user – personalization
  5. Show value to the users – make their life easier
  6. Gamification 

To know more, here is our guide on how to start a startup from scratch.

There are a few frameworks to find idea and find out how to develop a successful app

Validating Your Idea for Success

After boiling down to the right idea, validate it. 

This is the next important link in how to make a great and successful application. 

There are two parts to idea validation and project discovery:

  • Market Research with Competitor Research
  • Target Audience

While developing a web/mobile app, both are equally important to become successful. 

Market and competitor research is essential from a wide variety of perspectives. 

By conducting market research, you are identifying the key indicators of your application idea. 

So, you need to choose between a small market with high potential or fierce competition, (high risk – high reward) and a larger market. 

More importantly, by adding competitor research to the process, you are also understanding what your competitors are providing. 

To conduct market and competitor research: 

  • Take to forums and Quora questions to find out what specific problems are faced by the users.
  • Go on Google Trends and get to know the trends. 
  • Go to the summits, events, and tech meetings to understand the market pulse and latest developments. 
  • Build polls and questionnaires. Sample them to identify the key issues faced by the people. 
  • Make a list of your competitors and know everything they are offering, doing, and planning to do. 
  • Check all the existing applications like yourself. 
  • Use an operating system like AppTweak to find out the right opportunities pertaining to your app’s industry. 

Moving on with how to make an app, find the ideal audience. 

The aim is to find who your app is for and why they shall use it. 

Competitor research and target audiences are interconnected. 

To answer how to make a successful app you need consider idea validation process

So, as an integral part of how to develop an app, it is crucial to define your audience. 

Include things like age, gender, demographic, location, region, hobbies, job, income, and preferences. 

Another group of aspects important in how to effectively create anl app includes:

  • Phone brand
  • Screen resolution
  • Saturation levels
  • Speed
  • Storage
  • Hardware and software performance
  • Battery life

And so on…

Before building the MVP, it is important to identify the scope of marketing. 

Marketing Over Development

The development budget is a part of the marketing cost. Let’s take a look at why.

As the process gains momentum, answers to how to effectively develop a popular app get vivid. 

Pre-development marketing is crucial to creating a successful mobile application and knows how to deliver the right product. 

Because by the time you launch the application, it will already have gained a lot of traction. 

The SpdLoad answer for how to develop an app considers app marketing before development. 

In app marketing, we want you to follow two activities:

What to do How and Why
Market Analysis Market analysis is pivotal in how to develop a popular app. 

By conducting market research, you will get the answer to;

  • Your competition (number and type)
  • Their strategies
  • Competitor’s strong and weak points
  • What are the gaps in product function and delivery?
  • Customers review the competitor’s product:
    • Social media, 
    • Quora, 
    • Feedback forums, 
    • Community forums. 
  • Competitor USP and Value Proposition

With these answers on how to develop a popular app, you will be able to:

  1. Avoid the mistakes by the competitors.
  2. Deliver an accurate product with no defects or inconsistencies. 
  3. Create foolproof strategies
  4. Provide a better and customer-oriented USP.

This is your way to stand out and understand how to make a customer-oriented and popular app. 

Competitor Analysis Create a profile for each of the competitors. 

Along with this, look at:

  • Number of app downloads
  • Price and Type of business model
  • Marketing campaigns
  • Keywords they use
  • Tools they are using

Get to the bottom of it and then add this with the market research and target audience. 

Look for the gaps and fill them in with your product to stand out from others.  

Moving on with how to make a tacit and popular app, we need to talk about the marketing strategy.

This includes discussing aspects like Ideal Customer Profile (ICP), Value Offerings, Channels, Strategies, Budget, Conversion, and performance metrics.

Think about marketing activities before development to find out how to create a successful app

We have already covered the ICP part above in creating a target audience. 

And to know how to easily develop a popular app, knowing your high-value customers is crucial for initial success. 

These ICP-based customers will become your foundation and act as referral heroes. 

So, while creating an app, it is essential to build the ICP. 

Along with this, recognize the channels you will use to market the product. 

For this, it is important to understand your customers and where they are active. 

In other words, you need to find out which are the most popular platforms used by your ideal customers. 

Ergo, in order to make and market an app, you need to implement the correct custom strategy. 

The tactics to market the product must be aligned with the desired results. 

In other words, use the requisite methods as per your product requirements. 

For instance, to capitalize on how to create a marketing-worthy and popular app, consider using these methods:

  • Creating a Landing Page and Start a Blog
  • Run ASO (App Store Optimization) strategies 
  • Social Media Marketing
  • Influencer Marketing
  • PPC
  • Email Marketing

Setting the budget is crucial in both pre-development and post-development strategies. 

Without a set budget, you will only end up dealing with cash burn without getting any results. 

This was all about the pre-development phase. 

With this in how to develop an app, we can develop the right and perfect application for the end-users. 

There are a few options to act when you are looking how to develop a successful app

Development and Coding Phase

In the MVP development phase of how to make an app, we will talk about:

  • Function and Benefit
  • Features Integration
  • Designing and Development
  • Cost

In software or application development, agile means discovering the requirements and identifying the solutions with a collaborative effort. 

In the development part of how to make a tech-savvy and popular app, agile implies combining the features, design, and cost of development. 

MVP development is the core of any application.

When expanded, MVP means Minimum Viable Product

To understand it better, an MVP is the most basic version of the application. 

It has an impressive app design with core functionality. 

The MVP is a low-cost version of the final application. 

The reason we need to build the MVP first is to analyze the market response and save money in the process. 

Contrary to it, if you build a full-scale application and it fails to receive the desired reception, you will end up losing a lot more than you can bargain for. 

Hence, it is important to build the MVP if you want to know how to make a successful mobile app. 

What to Do How and Why
Identify the Core Features Core features are those functions which will make your application’s central purpose visible and exercisable. 

For this, you need the ideal set of features. 

We recommend using the MoSCoW approach on how to develop a popular app. 

The four components of this approach are:

  • Must-Have
  • Should Have
  • Could Have
  • Won’t Have

Using this approach, you will be able to control the cost of MVP development

The purpose is to list down all the features of your application. 

Segregate them according to their importance and put them under each of the four heads given above. 

Features under the other three headings can be avoided with the MVP version. 

App Design and Development The next segment in how to build a successful app aims to develop the product or an MVP design

Post designing, you can hand it off to reliable development partners

But for creating a suitable design, it is essential to keep a few things in mind. 

  • Do not overdo the design part. Stick to the basic functionality with the MVP. 
  • While doing so, do not cross the Android and iOS guidelines. 
  • Make a responsive app design. This means to make your app successful, it should run on all sorts of devices. 
  • Learn how to polish the design. 
  • Leveraging the KISS (Keep it Simple Stupid) principle, add every element according to its role and functionality. 

The design is not a simple process for how to develop a successful app. 

Moving on with how to proactively create a successful app. 

The motive is to provide the users with a functional solution and not a rough sketch like application. 

For designing and knowing how to create a beautiful and successful app, use tools like Figma, Balsamiq, Adobe Studio, and others. 

Coming to the development part of how to make or develop a successful app. 

Development becomes a lot easier if the app developer is aware of the project goals and objectives. 

  • Back end
  • DevOps
  • Testing
  • Database
  • Security
  • Third-Party Integrations

While choosing the technologies (mainly back-end and front-end) make sure to consider your audience and the type of device they are using.

This marks the completion of the development phase of how to develop a successful app. 

By completing these steps, you will get one step closer to launching an MVP and monetizing your app.

Launch Budget

The last thing we need to discuss here is the cost. 

The usual cost to build an MVP is $30,000 to $50,000. 

But there are a lot of things that can bring about a difference in the cost. 

The main requirement if you want to know how to make a successful app is to focus on MVP

The costs are highly unpredictable. 

The final call for the cost in how to develop a cost-efficient and successful app depends on the team you choose and the integration of the features. 

Choosing a diversified team of freelancers will be cost-effective. 

The third option you have is outsourcing the work. 

This will save cost and still provide an equally efficient, agile, and modern solution. 

So, the costs and development part of how to make a good and successful app are also covered. 

After Launch

This is the part where you need to track your app’s progress, customer response, and feedback.

So, integrate analytical tools like Google Analytics, Flurry, Mixpanel, Fabric, Localytics, etc to connect your application’s performance. 

Here, we look at four ways for application or product management, post-development. 

  1. User Engagement
  2. Customer Satisfaction
  3. Customer Acquisition
  4. App Performance 

As an entrepreneur, you need to align the customer’s response with your post-deployment development. 

And to track the response, set up some metrics. 

To name a few:

  • Churn Rate
  • Retention Rate
  • Daily Active Users
  • Cost per Acquisition (CPA)
  • Lifetime value (LTV)
  • ROI
  • Monthly Recurring Revenue (MRR)
  • Average Revenue Per User (ARPU)

Based on these metrics and the customer response, you can scale the application. 

Once these new features are added and deployed, maybe you can also rethink the revenue generation. 

Based on the user feedback, you can also create a new and inclusive business model. 

Added to the tracking and analytics, don’t forget to set up systems for customer support. 

Cost identification is important to create the requisite revenue generation model. 

To find out how to create a successful app pay attention to calcualte key metrics

Ready to Build Your Own App?

Creating a successful mobile app takes careful planning, research, design, development, and marketing.

If you have an app idea you think is viable but need an experienced developer to bring it to life, our team of mobile developers and consultants is here to help.

We specialize in building custom mobile apps for startups and businesses that not only look great but are intuitive, reliable, and achieve real business goals.

Get in touch for a free consultation to discuss your mobile app project. With diligent preparation and expert development skills, we can collaborate to create your next hit app.

Subscribe to our blog

Recommended posts

How Much Does It Cost to Design a Mobile App (Full Breakdown)

How Much Does It Cost to Design a Mobile App (Full Breakdown)

11 minWalt Disney famously said, “All our dreams can come true if we have the courage to pursue them.” With that spirit…

read more
How to Build a Successful Healthcare App: A Step-by-Step Guide

How to Build a Successful Healthcare App: A Step-by-Step Guide

11 minWalt Disney famously said, “All our dreams can come true if we have the courage to pursue them.” With that spirit…

read more
HIPAA Compliant App Development: A Step-by-Step Guide

HIPAA Compliant App Development: A Step-by-Step Guide

11 minWalt Disney famously said, “All our dreams can come true if we have the courage to pursue them.” With that spirit…

read more
Telemedicine App Development: The Ultimate Guide for 2024

Telemedicine App Development: The Ultimate Guide for 2024

11 minWalt Disney famously said, “All our dreams can come true if we have the courage to pursue them.” With that spirit…

read more
EHR Software Development: A Step-by-Step Guide

EHR Software Development: A Step-by-Step Guide

11 minWalt Disney famously said, “All our dreams can come true if we have the courage to pursue them.” With that spirit…

read more
How Much Does a Small Business Website Cost in 2024 (Full Breakdown)

How Much Does a Small Business Website Cost in 2024 (Full Breakdown)

11 minWalt Disney famously said, “All our dreams can come true if we have the courage to pursue them.” With that spirit…

read more
Website Development Cost in 2024 (Full Cost Breakdown)

Website Development Cost in 2024 (Full Cost Breakdown)

11 minWalt Disney famously said, “All our dreams can come true if we have the courage to pursue them.” With that spirit…

read more
SaaS Development in 2024: Process, Challenges, and Tips

SaaS Development in 2024: Process, Challenges, and Tips

11 minWalt Disney famously said, “All our dreams can come true if we have the courage to pursue them.” With that spirit…

read more
How to Build Your Own eLearning Platform: A Step-by-Step Guide

How to Build Your Own eLearning Platform: A Step-by-Step Guide

11 minWalt Disney famously said, “All our dreams can come true if we have the courage to pursue them.” With that spirit…

read more