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How to Create a Successful App [Step-by-Step Look from Product Developers]

SpdLoad prepared an in-depth guide on how to make a successful app

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Walt Disney once said that “All our dreams can come true if we have the courage to pursue them.”

With this mindset, we will set on a course to understand how to make a successful app with this article.

Hear this, there are 1.96 million applications on the App Store and 2.87 million apps on the Google Play Store.

These applications are divided into 34 categories and the Games category has the highest share of applications on both platforms.

13.44% on Google Play Store and 21.86% on App Store.

From these statistics we can deduce three things:

  • There is cut-throat competition in the market
  • The idea you are thinking about right now may already be channelized
  • A lot of applications may be developed and deployed, but they are not used as desired

In this scenario, is it even possible to create a successful app, if yes, how to do so?

To launch a great and successful app, you need to follow a systematic pattern to develop and market your solution.

More importantly, focus on providing a solution to your end-users and not a service.

This way you will learn to circumvent the existing and upcoming pitfalls while steaming ahead towards success.

Every step you take in this direction is as important as the next one. So, the opportunity cost of bypassing or shunning one step is higher than you can recover.

Hence, it is essential to cover all the steps we cover in this guide on how to develop a successful app.

SpdLoad’s way on how to make a successful app covers the following steps:

  • What makes an app successful?
  • Where to Start? Idea Generation and Validation
  • Marketing and Competitor Analysis
  • Development
  • Product Management and Reiteration

Notice that we have kept development as the second last step.

This is something that most app developers might not share.

Because we are too focused on the development part that we miss the other equally essential parts.

In other words, there are three phases for how to create a successful app development;

  • Pre-Development
  • Development
  • Post-Development

Before discussing the way to create a successful and knowing how to build one.

Let’s discuss what makes an application worthy of a user’s attention and download.

Learn More About App Development Process

To build a successful app, you need to understand the challenges of a development process. Check our in-depth guide about it.

Read More

The Pre-development Phase of a Product Creation

What Makes an App Successful?

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.

That is why we say that there is no potion that will help you know how to create a successful app.

All you can do is follow a process and increase your chances of success.

Let’s see how we can help you maximize growth and provide the answer for how to easily create a successful app.

  • Unique 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

Where to Start? Find an 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.

When someone says, “Coffee is my kryptonite” the person is using a mythical word that has been ingrained into our linguistics so well that it has become a part of our speech.

That is the true power of an idea.

In the guide for how to easily develop a successful app, we will help you get one step close to your app’s idea.

Remember, before you understand how to easily make a successful app, it has to undergo meticulous planning.

This will, in turn, help deliver the best in class experience.

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.

Because Apple is a much larger brand than Clue, it has the leverage to deliver the app idea on a much larger scale.

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

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

For instance, Neo banks or localized dating apps can be a good idea.

The Problem or Solution Conundrum Moving on with how to make a user-friendly and successful app, let’s talk about the problem and solution relationship.

Every problem has to have a solution.

But how the solution is presented also matters.

Orkut came before Facebook, but today the Gen Z might not even know the name Orkut.

Ever heard about Taxi Magic? Or RideCharge?

No?

Well, these applications existed before Uber.

Understand this to know how to develop a successful app.

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.

Ever used a digital ledger book?

Well, it is like old wine in a new bottle.

With taxations and bylaws becoming more diverse and complex people need something simpler to manage the books.

Applications built on old bookkeeping methods are cutting the corners.

Provide the Same with something better Consider this example to understand this part of how to make a successful 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 the interface and how it feels.

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

Understood?

An idea does not have to be great or revolutionary.

To develop a successful app, know how to deliver the right user experience.

You can take any idea, research it, and then develop a successful app 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

Idea Validation and Discovery

After boiling down to the right idea, validate it.

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

There are two parts to idea validation and project discovery:

  • Market Research with Competitor Research
  • Target Audience

In how to develop an 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.

Here, you need to find the right cohort.

As you narrow down on your ideal customers, the market size will continue to decrease, but the potential of conversions can increase.

An app only for cardiologists and heart patients will deliver a better experience than an app for doctors and patients.

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

This analysis is essential in how to create a market-fit and successful app because of the volume.

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 a system like AppTweak to find out the right opportunities pertaining to your app’s industry.

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

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

Competitor research and target audiences are interconnected.

Here’s why.

Would you decide to open your burger shop in front of McDonald’s?

Most probably not?

It won’t work.

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

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

Narrow down your audience as much as you can.

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

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

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

And so on…

The answers to these questions will help you create a specific app, with efficient features, for the right audience.

With all this data in your hands, you can successfully create a wireframe and how to use the audience’s data to your benefit.

You will get help in creating user stories, which can be assistive in developing the value proposition.

The basis of all this discussion is to prove your idea’s worth.

Plus, this will help you build an MVP, which is the first development part in how to make a successful app.

The MVP part comes later in our guide on how to easily create a successful app.

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 why.

In all the other approaches, you will be made to execute marketing after the application is already developed and deployed.

But we want you to conduct your marketing research before development.

Ever seen a snowball when it starts to roll.

Initially, the size is so small that it can easily be missed.

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

Pre-development marketing is crucial to create a successful 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.

Building an application is not a daunting task.

The kind of resources we have access to nowadays make development a breeze.

You have the no-coding platforms for development teams and freelancers available in vast amounts.

They all are ready to build an app.

But none of this will matter if you do not let the customers know that you are coming to the market with a new product.

The SpdLoad answer for how to create a successful app considers marketing before development.

In marketing, we want you to follow these activities:

What to do How and Why
Market Analysis Amalgamate this point with the target audience point given above.

Market analysis is pivotal in how to develop a successful 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 create a successful 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 successful app.

Competitor Analysis Sun Tzu in his book “Art of War” says, “If you know your enemy and know yourself, you need not fear the result of many battles.”

With this approach, we want you to decode your competitors.

Figure out everything you can about them.

Create a profile for each of them.

It is always helpful to know how to develop a profile if you want to have a successful app.

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.

These three aspects are the core of startup marketing and will lead to the development of a product/market fit product.

Moving on with how to make a tacit and successful 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.

Add to that, we deliver the ICP by integrating the firmographic, environmental, and behavioral traits of your ideal customer.

The purpose of the ICP in how to create a customer-first and successful app is to figure out the highest value customers.

And to know how to easily develop a successful 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, in how to create a successful 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.

For instance, if you keep on marketing a product or service best suited to aged individuals on Instagram, it won’t bring conversions.

Until 2018, the senior citizens were most active on YouTube and Facebook, says a Pew Research Study.

The truth is that you will find a lot of developers and marketers claiming to market your product and bring conversions.

But only a few experienced marketers will understand the power of personalized marketing.

Because every product offering is unique, it must be presented as such.

Ergo, in how to make and market a successful 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 successful 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

It is not essential to use all of them.

You can select only those tactics which apply to your product type and ideal audience.

The last two essential aspects of how to market and develop a successful app are budget and metrics.

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.

A good marketer will always look to optimize your marketing spend.

Added to the budget, set some metrics to track the performance.

How such metrics matter is also crucial to create a successful app.

Because without knowing the result of your marketing campaigns, it won’t make a difference how much money you are injecting.

This was all about the pre-development phase.

Until this point, we did not talk about development.

Our focus was on business development rather than technical development.

Here, too, it must be noted that there is no one-size-fits-all approach.

With the type of application, the consortium of marketing tactics and strategies will change.

Hence, it is essential to identify all these things before development.

Plus, the pre-development marketing phase also helps fabricate a better understanding of the product’s potential.

With this in how to develop a successful 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

The Development Phase of Product Creation

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

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

Your aim must be agile product development.

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

So, until now, we have been creating an agile marketing framework.

In the development part of how to make a tech-savvy and successful 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.

When a new TV show is to be launched, the producers first check out the first episode or pilot episode.

If they like the pilot, the show is given a green light.

Similarly, in how to develop a good and successful app, MVP is like the pilot.

If the MVP gets the required result, then you will move onto the next step in how to develop a successful app.

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

It has not an impressive, rather functional 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 app.

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

With the MVP, you are incurring a low risk and testing the market with your product.

For this, you need the ideal set of features.

We recommend using the MoSCoW approach on how to create a successful 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.

So, features like Login, Profile Creation, Search, among others will come under ‘Must Have’.

Because without these features, your application won’t get the required functionality.

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

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 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.

But it is a rewarding process, provided you do it the right way.

Use the design techniques that best relate to your product goals.

You can choose between low fidelity or high fidelity, rich or standard UI/UX elements.

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.

Even if you are building an MVP, it needs to look and feel great.

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 developers are aware of the project goals and objectives.

Plus, you need to decide the technologies required for different aspects of development.

  • 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.

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.

But the management will be painstaking.

Choosing to work with a local US development company will provide a great product but at a much higher cost.

The third option you have is outsourcing the work.

This will save the 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 launching the application, start the post-development product management.

The Post-Development Phase of Product Creation

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

Right after deployment, set up analytical tools.

To know how to create a successful app, you need answers.

The analytical tools will provide these.

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

If the situation permits, you can also run beta-testing before the official MVP launch.

Product management in how to make an easy-to-manage and successful app becomes even more important here.

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.

If you follow our process for how to proactively develop a successful app, you will surely experience the excitement to scale your 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.

The approach should be not to let the customer pay an extra price.

They must always be content with paying and getting the right service.

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

Because as you add additional features, there can be possible queries about the additions.

Plus, always take care of the quality control and minimizing the risk during post-development scaling.

Due to application scaling, the process and the cost of how to make a successful app will also rise.

Costs 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

Interested in App Development?

As we have said earlier, there is no single answer to how much does it cost to build an app.

But you can follow our guide, which explains the entire process.

Learn More About App Development Process

To build a successful app, you need to understand the challenges of a development process. Check our in-depth guide about it.

Read More

SpdLoad has been building timeless and modern applications for years now.

Where we have different development and design frameworks for every app, the process is similar.

Our model of how to create a successful app has helped several clients deliver the right products to their customers.

The idea validation, feasibility reporting, and discovery workshop lay a solid foundation for the product.

Whether you want to know how to develop a successful app or want us to help you develop one, contact us today. We have a huge portfolio full of entrepreneurs we helped to build their dream app.

Read More

Check our in-depth guide about stages of app development

Read More

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Posted by

Max Babych

Max Babych

I am CEO of SpdLoad

I launched SpdLoad almost 7 years ago and now it has 20+ successful products in SaaS and Marketplace industry and several own products. I am an expert in Marketing, Lean Methodology and Customer Development approach.

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