One of my friends once urged me to download a certain mobile application and share feedback about my experience of using it.
I downloaded the app and found, it was a commerce application dedicated to handicrafts and gift items. I liked the products offered in different categories but, to my surprise, I couldn’t shop for items online on the application.
I went back to my friend, shared my experience of using the app and asked what is this app all about? It wouldn’t even allow me to order products through the app
To this he said, “The app is dedicated to my father’s handicrafts shop. I develop it just to showcase a range of products in the shop. I have provided contact details and address of the shop. You can search for products, read about them, and check their price online. If you like to order the item, you can contact at shared details to purchase the product. It will be delivered at the provided address.”
Let me clear this here. My friend is a software professional and has rich experience in Android app development. He developed the app to help his father expands the business beyond the local area/market.
To my surprise, I found an entrepreneur in my friend. “I developed the app to build an online presence of the shop. Right now, I kept it as a platform to collect information. If it will help increase some sales, I will think about adding more features to allow online commerce”, he said
So, what I learned from it?
Mobile application has the potential to change commerce not just for large scale companies, but also the smaller ones limited to the local market or audience.
All it needs a true business sense and expertise to merge an idea with technology to make the business concept functional for target customers. My friend has leveraged his professional skills to develop a mobile app for the business that possesses a massive potential for growth.
I believe there are many people around the world who are thinking about bringing their business to mobile applications or wish to disrupt the whole commerce system with breakthrough mobile apps. If you belong to one such category, then this blog post is for you.
If you are sure about your business idea that it will work, then all you need is its technical part done right. There are two options available that one can consider to build mobile applications.
- Learn To Code and Build an App Yourself
- Hire a Professional Mobile App Developer/Agency
My friend chose to develop a mobile app for his home’s business/shop as he knew how to build mobile apps. However, both the two options have their pros and cons.
Either you choose to learn to code and build the app yourself or decide to hire a professional app developer on a freelance basis or an agency, depending on your budget. There are a few essential things about app development that should be known first:
Types Of Mobile Apps
The app my friend had developed for the handicraft shop was a native android application. However, back then hybrid apps had not proven results like today. But at present, lots of options are available to start mobile app development for a business.
Here are the common types of apps:
- Native Apps: These are developed for a specific platform such as Android, iOS, and Windows.
- Hybrid Apps: These are developed once and can work on more than one platform
- Responsive Web Apps: These are developed that work on both desktop and mobile devices
So, well, first you need to choose the type of app you want to build.
You must define the objective behind mobile app development at first before getting your hands dirty in frameworks and libraries. A clear idea of why you’re building a mobile app helps you achieve the desired outcome.
Like my friend developed the app to give an online presence to his family’s business. He developed the app to expand the business’s reach, but he choose to build a mobile app, not a website.
There is a difference in mobile apps and website. It was clear, he wanted to leverage the opportunities that mobile apps offer through on-the-go opportunities. However, there are many other reasons people want to get applications developed such as starting a new business or simply as an add-on to mobile website.
Once you are clear with the objective of mobile app development, you should first hand decide
- Your Target Market
- Target Audience
- Their Expectations
- Target ROI
- Potential Results, and
Features and Functionalities
Now that you know the goals of your app, it is time to prepare a list of functionalities and features that should be in an app. Once you are done with the list, check the features and functionalities that should be developed for the first version of the app. You can’t possibly include all features at once.
You will need feedback to figure out the shortcomings and work on them. The app will evolve over time and accordingly you can add advanced features like my friend decided to add in-app purchases in the future.
Therefore, you can focus on including all the basic and important functionalities initially.
A wireframe is a handy document for developers to look back and maintain the track of app development. The wireframe usually consists of lines and verticals and represents the functional elements of the app.
The wireframe will be a sketch-based layout of your app, including all the functionalities and features and details of how a feature works, what happens when you click a particular button, size, shape & color of various elements, etc.
You need to plan things like database, data storage, the team and the development approach, the architecture you want to use, and most importantly, the backend of your app. Besides that, you need to figure out the right language for the development of your app.
Planning is a crucial part of mobile app development. You have to decide tech stack(we wrote a detailed blog on it, check it out) on which an application is going to rely for its look, features, functionality, performance, scalability and easy maintenance.
Take some extra time and decide tech stack for the mobile app you want to develop whether you are planning to develop the app yourself or seeking a professional vendor.
Once you are done with a road-map, you can develop the app yourself or take professional help for the same.
When You Decide Learning To Code and Build App Yourself
Learning to code might sound interesting since it saves you money, but not everyone has the potential to build an app.
There are pros and cons of learning to code when you want an app to get developed.
Let’s look at them first and try to identify whether the step would be a good option for you or not.
[table id=proscons /]
Learning To Code – Not Your Cup Of Tea? How About Going Alternate Ways?
Connecting with a vendor or hiring a freelance developer are the options available to you. When you prefer to spend time growing your business, it’s better to get technical parts done right, through the professionals.
But which option is more feasible?
Hire A Freelance Mobile App Developer Or Mobile Application Development Company
Many options brings many confusions. However, if you have good knowledge about the market and a clear vision for the requirements, it is easy to avail the most appropriate solution for the problem. While choosing between a mobile app developer or a complete mobile application development company, you must look out for their benefits and drawbacks.
For example: hiring a freelance developer cost you less rather than hiring a complete agency. However, before reaching any conclusion, let’s look at the benefits and drawbacks of each option.
[table id=3 /]
Conclusion: Should I Hire Someone Or Learn To Code?
We discussed several pros and cons of different options available to develop a mobile application.
Learning to code and then developing an application is however not seems feasible. Though the idea is good, it will get too hectic to manage things and there is a good chance you may leave the task midway or even the whole idea of doing online business.
The option would be good for people passionate about programming, trying their hands on live projects in any company and thinking about becoming an entrepreneur in the future. Investing time in learning to code and gaining experience then sounds like a good option.
Among the options of hiring a mobile app development company or a freelance developer, we already know an agency full of dedicated resources is a true tech partner for a business of any scale. You get dedicated resources at a single stop destination.
Which option would you prefer for your app – hiring a developer or doing it yourself? Share your experience in the comments.