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5 Things You Should Know Before Building a Mobile App

5 Things You Should Know Before Building a Mobile App

5 Things You Should Know Before Building a Mobile App

Editorial Team


Mobile app development has become a cornerstone in the tech world, revolutionising how businesses interact with their consumers. In today’s digital age, having a well-designed app can be a game-changer for any business. However, before diving into the development process, it's crucial to understand several key factors that can make or break your app's success. 

This article serves as a comprehensive guide, covering everything from understanding your audience to estimating the cost and time needed for development. Moreover, the importance of mobile apps in business cannot be overstated, and our next article will delve into why having a mobile app is pivotal for your business.

Here are the 5 things you need to know before building your mobile app

1. Understanding Your Audience and Market

Understanding who your app is for is the first step towards success. Audience research is vital as it shapes the app's design, functionality, and marketing strategies. Tools such as surveys, social media analytics, and focus groups can be invaluable in identifying your target audience.

Once you know your audience, assessing the market needs becomes crucial. This involves examining what your competitors are doing and identifying gaps in the market. Strategies like SWOT analysis and market trend analysis can provide deep insights into where your app could fit in the market.

2. Choosing the Right Platform and Technology

The choice between iOS and Android can significantly impact your app's reach and performance. iOS boasts a dedicated user base and streamlined app store policies, while Android covers a broader demographic with diverse devices. Technical differences, including development environment and language, also play a key role.

Frameworks like React Native and Flutter have revolutionised app development by allowing for cross-platform compatibility. They offer the advantage of reduced development time and cost, though they come with limitations in performance and access to native features.

3. Design and User Experience (UX)

The design of your app is what first catches the user's eye. Principles of mobile app design emphasise simplicity and user friendliness. Tools for prototyping, such as Adobe XD and Sketch, enable developers to create intuitive designs and gather user feedback.

An engaging user experience is essential for app retention. This can be achieved through personalised content, smooth navigation, and regular updates. Case studies of successful apps can offer valuable lessons in enhancing user engagement.

4. Time Required to Build an App

The time it takes to develop an app is influenced by several factors, including the app's complexity, the technology used, and the experience level of the development team. Here's the average time spent building an app across different phases:

  1. Conceptualization and Planning (1-4 weeks): This phase involves defining the app's purpose, target audience, and core features. It includes brainstorming sessions, market research, and creating a detailed project plan.

  2. Design (2-12 weeks): The design phase includes creating wireframes, mockups, and the app’s user interface. This phase is crucial for defining the user experience and visual aesthetics. It can be relatively quick for simpler apps but can take longer for apps requiring detailed design work.

  3. Development (3-6 months): This is the most time-consuming phase. It involves actual coding, setting up the back-end infrastructure, and integrating third-party services if needed. For simpler apps, this phase might be shorter, but complex apps with numerous features and customizations can take significantly longer.

  4. Testing (1-6 weeks): After development, the app undergoes rigorous testing to identify and fix bugs. This includes usability testing, performance testing, and security audits. The time for this phase can vary based on the number of features and the complexity of the app.

  5. Deployment and Launch (1-2 weeks): This final phase involves setting up the app on app stores, including filling out store listings, adding descriptions, and uploading app icons and screenshots. For some apps, this process might be swift, but it could take longer if the app faces issues passing the app store’s review guidelines.

  6. Post-Launch (Ongoing): After the app is launched, ongoing maintenance, updates, and potentially further development are required to keep the app relevant and functional. This is an ongoing process and its extent depends on user feedback and market demands.

For a simple app, the entire process can be as short as 3-4 months, but for more complex apps, it can take 6 months to a year or more. Large-scale enterprise apps with extensive customizations and features could even take longer. 

5. Budget Required to Build an App

The cost of building an app can vary greatly. It encompasses development, design, testing, and maintenance costs. Different pricing models, from fixed price to time and materials, offer flexibility in budgeting. Here's the average cost spent building an app across different phases:

  1. Conceptualization and Planning (1-5% of total cost): This initial phase includes market research, identifying target audience, defining features, and planning the project. Costs here are mostly related to time spent on research and planning, and may involve consultancy fees if external experts are involved.

  2. Design (10-20% of total cost): The design phase includes creating wireframes, designing user interfaces, and user experience design. The cost depends on the complexity of the app’s design and the number of screens.

  3. Development (50-70% of total cost): This is usually the most costly phase. Development costs depend on the complexity of the app, the number of platforms (iOS, Android, web), and whether the app requires backend development.

  4. Testing and Quality Assurance (10-15% of total cost): Testing is crucial for ensuring the app is bug-free and works as intended. This includes various types of testing like usability, performance, and security testing.

  5. Deployment (2-5% of total cost): This involves setting up the app in app stores, including the costs associated with app store registration and initial setup.

  6. Maintenance and Updates (10-20% of total budget annually): After the app is launched, ongoing maintenance is essential. This includes fixing bugs, updating content, ensuring compatibility with new mobile OS versions, and possibly adding new features.

A basic app with minimal features might cost anywhere between $10,000 to $50,000. A more complex app with custom UI/UX design, more sophisticated features, and maybe a backend server might cost between $50,000 to $250,000. High-end, complex apps, especially those requiring significant backend development, advanced features like AI, AR/VR, or extensive data integration, can exceed $250,000, sometimes reaching $500,000 or more.

These costs can also vary significantly based on the development team's location. Developers in North America and Western Europe typically charge higher rates than those in regions like Eastern Europe, South Asia, or Southeast Asia.

In short:

  • In today’s digital age, having a well-designed app can be a game-changer for any business. 

  • Emphasising the importance of audience research and market analysis is essential to shape the app's design and functionality.

  • Building an app can be costly and time-consuming. It's important to do comparative research and weigh the different options that best suit your budget.

Turn your app into a Super App with Boxo

Boxo is on a mission to accelerate the adoption of Super Apps globally. We enable the seamless integration of a range of value-added services, such as marketplaces, flight booking, and insurance, into any app. We deliver these services through pre-built, white-label miniapps across various sectors, such as E-commerce, Travel, Financial, and Lifestyle. Boxo currently works with 10 Super Apps worldwide, including GCash, Binance, Touch’N’Go, and VodaPay, and empowers more than 600 miniapp integrations, reaching a combined user base of over 500 million.


立即预约演示,了解有关 Boxo 如何重新定义您应用程序的旅程的更多信息。


立即预约演示,了解有关 Boxo 如何重新定义您应用程序的旅程的更多信息。


立即预约演示,了解有关 Boxo 如何重新定义您应用程序的旅程的更多信息。