You have already validated your great idea and know that this app will conquer the market? Now you want to hire instantly an app developer and get the job done? Congrats! This way you will not only lose precious resources in terms of money, as the developer would have to start from scratch, but you will also regret that you haven`t set up a prototype to better understand your final product.

If you have the chance, understand and optimize your concept beforehand. A prototype doesn`t cost a dime and it helps you to become clear about what exactly you want to build. In such an early stage it is a thousand times easier to change the prototype and its design. You can show the concept to customers, receive feedback from friends, pitch it to investors and you are still able to adapt.
The know-how about modeling your app towards the final stage you will get here:



Startup Creator

In a first step you will build your prototype in form of a wireframe. A wireframe is a simple blueprint of your app screens. This skeletal framework visualizes how your bare screens will look like and guides you through the app. It lets you understand how the user interacts with your app.
Before you start to bring your ideas on paper, look for inspirations in similar apps or product categories. After some brainstorm sessions, sketch your screens with a pen on a paper and do not put too much importance on whether it is well designed or not. It’s a rough working model of your product and only has to be functional.
To make your screens interactive and shareable, you may use the POP app. With POP (Prototyping On Paper) you can plan the design flow of your drawn sketches and execute quick user testing on your phone.
As an alternative to good old pen and paper, you can also use Powerpoint or Online Wireframe tools.
Keep in mind: The ease of use as well as the structure and linkage between the functions are important. Nothing else. You are probably thinking about a ground breaking app with countless innovative features, which will blow everyone`s mind – stop dreaming and keep your expectations at a realistic level. The first version of your app simply needs the basic functions of your MVP (Minimum Viable Product). By adding more and more features, your product becomes less flexible at the early stage and app development costs will increase with any additional component. Focus on the core value of the product and the quality of the user experience.



Startup Creator

A mockup is no longer the mere prototype of your vision. It breathes life into your wireframe and specifies the final design of your screens. You can build your mockups by using a combination of free photos and icons and edit them in Photoshop. If you don`t have the skills to design them, approach a professional designer and get it done at a low price. For the developers of your app it`s crucial to receive mockups in form of PSD files (Photoshop) or AI (Adobe Illustrator) so that they can work with the different elements and layers of your screens.
After the design, you might use Invision app to comment the screens and discuss functions with co-founders and developers to understand and improve the whole workflow.
Congratulations! Your own prototype is set up and you are so close to make your dreams happen. Let`s create it – Now!



Startup Creator

As the front end is defined, you can start with the back end of the app. Either you code it by yourself or you let it develop by mobile app programmers. The back end is not just about coding. It`s also about the set-up of databases, servers, APIs, developer accounts and finally the release of your app in the app market place.
When your app is deployed in the app store, you can take it to the next level – Visibility beyond the app store! But that`s another story…
Photos: © Deedman, © MagicDogPhoto, © maglara/


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