How To Make Your Own App From Scratch

woman programming on a notebook

Are you ready to build an app for your business, but don’t know where to start? Here is a complete guide on how to make your own app from scratch!


by Raza Noorani | Tech entrepreneur & Founder of Impero IT Services – an award-winning software development company! Raza has worked with 500+ clients, from Startups to Enterprise levels. Raza’s key expertise around mobile app development, and tech consultation, where he assists businesses by creating a roadmap for their digital journey. Raza and the team at Impero are also greatly recognized by Forbes and Clutch for their outstanding services! Follow Impero IT on Facebook.

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There are more than 4 million mobile apps comprising both iOS and Android app markets. There is an app for everything we do in life and business. No wonder, apps present the primary digital footprints for any business now. So, for your business, you must be wanting to make a fresh new app.

Do you know how to make an app from scratch? If you hail from a non-technical background, you may need to learn the basics of app development. In this article, we are going to explain the tested and tried steps in building an app from scratch.

Step 1: Develop an app idea

Since there is no dearth of app solutions for every conceivable problem in life and business, coming up with a unique app idea can really be challenging. But even if you cannot offer a never-before app idea, you can still come up with a unique value proposition for your target users. Let’s find out some ways to hit on a great app idea.

  • One great way to come up with a superb app idea is to mix several useful features from multiple apps of the same niche that users may find helpful.
  • Another cool way to embark on an app idea is to go deeper into the problems and issues you face in life and find app solutions that others are fully not aware of. Well, this is how many great app ideas are born.
  • The third and most common way to come up with a great app idea is to improve an existing app with more features and value propositions.

Step 2: Validate the app idea

Now you have a few ideas that sound really great for a fresh new app project. But until and unless they have the nods from the market, executing it can be really risky. This is why you need to validate the app idea through market research.

Just compare with the similar kinds of apps in the market and ask what unique value propositions it can really offer to users. Secondly, just allow peers to give their thoughts on the usefulness of the app. Lastly, reach out to your social circles and some industry people about their opinions. According to Delve Richardson of Imperoit, “Validating the app idea is the most important initial step devoid of all biases. This is when you know how hard it is to work on a new app idea.”

Step 3: Find the audience and competitors

The third most important step is to know who is going to use the app and what apps your app is going to compete with. Determine the demographics and all other characteristics of the user audience. Figure out their reasons to find your app useful.

You also need to figure out the competitor apps you are going to fight for market presence. Download all the major competitor apps and analyse their strengths and weaknesses in detail. Secondly, read their reviews and important market KPIs to determine how they are doing. Based upon these findings you can further make value additions to the original app idea.

Step 4: Figure out the app features

Now, you need to figure out the core or elementary features of the app and the additional features that can appear next on your list of priorities. Make a list of these primary and secondary features and user experience attributes and explain how they are going to determine the overall app user experience.

Step 5: Decide among hybrid, cross-platform or native development

Now, it is time to take a call on whether you need to roll out the same app on iOS and Android simultaneously or you can go slow by targeting one platform at a time. For the first, you can opt for either hybrid or cross-platform development and for the second you have to opt for native development.

Hybrid development can be cost saving and faster as you are just building one app for all platforms. But it has serious shortcomings in respect of user experience. Cross-platform apps, on the other hand, reuse maximum code across platforms but keep options open for building the native UI layers separately for iOS and Android. Lastly, native development is always great in terms of user experience and performance but it involves much higher development cost and time.

Step #6 Plan an MVP product

Just in sync with your lists of priorities for app features, you need to build a basic app with the core features first. Once this Minimum Viable Product (MVP) is rolled out and feedback continues to come, you can further plan for app changes or value additions through subsequent updates.

This MVP development approach on the one hand will help you build and launch the app quicker at a lower budget and on the other hand, it will prevent you from draining resources on all features without getting the market feedback. In MVP development, you need to concentrate on building the priority features first.

Step 7: Wireframe & prototyping

Now it is time to create a simple hand-drawn wireframe showcasing the app screens and the basic look and feel of the app. The wireframe will be further worked on by the UI design team and after several checks and balances will move to the prototyping stage. A dynamic prototype is built to showcase how the app actually works and to a great extent looks like the real app.

Step 8: Quality Assurance (QA) testing

As soon as the MVP app is developed and running, it requires rigorous testing before the launch. QA testing basically begins with the debugging of the app followed by user testing in actual OS environments and devices, performance and stress testing and security testing in the end.

The QA testing is going to guarantee the performance and user satisfaction of the app and hence it must be taken with utmost seriousness. When quality assurance is done correctly, you can actually evaluate the true performance and user experience of the app.

The Takeaway

The above-mentioned steps in building an app from scratch have already been tried and tested across a multitude of app projects for both iOS and Android. Shaping the success of an app project largely depends upon how well align your project with the industry-best development practices and these steps just explain them in clear terms.


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