The 14-Step Process: How To Create a Mobile App That Attracts Users and Makes an Impact

Don't leave your apps success to chance. Follow a specific process to drastically increase your chances of success.


Heyalda specializes in mobile app, web service and responsive web app development. 

Mobile App Development

Native mobile apps for Apple iPhone and Apple iOS can provide an experience that responsive web apps struggle to achieve.

Web Service Development

Secure and scalable backend web services are a core component of native mobile apps and responsive web apps.

Responsive Web App Development

The new standard for web applications is that they look great on the desktop, laptop, mobile device tablet and phone.

About Heyalda

The founder of Heyalda, Jim Range, has over a decade of experience architecting and implementing software based solutions for numerous fortune 500 companies in industries such as financial services, retail, and insurance, as well as small businesses. Jim has an excellent understanding of the software development lifecycle, agile development, and how to manage the development of an app.

Over the past six years Jim has been focused on mobile software development. He has created over 138 apps that have been downloaded more than 9 million times form the Apple App Store, Google Play, Amazon.com and Windows Phone Store.

Jim also has experience as an information security consultant where he has provided numerous network and web application security assessments for Fortune 500 companies in the financial services, retail and insurance industries.

Heyalda’s primary focus is on creating iOS native apps in Objective C and Swift, RESTful web services with PHP and Laravel 5, and responsive web app development with PHP, Laravel 5, jQuery and Bootstrap.

What Heyalda Offers

Heyalda provides mobile app, web service and responsive web application development services that are comparable to other high quality development shops but at a very competitive price.

The reason that Heyalda can be so competitive is that Heyalda currently has just one employee, Jim Range. Jim has experience in project management, product development, software engineering & technology consulting. This experience allows Jim to wear many different hats when helping clients with small to medium sized projects. This translates into large savings for clients because projects can be run very efficiently.

But how the heck can one guy wear all of those hats?

Well, it’s really not that complicated. The following should give you a better understanding of the value Heyalda brings to the table.

Software Engineering & Technology Consulting

Heyalda can help you understand the technology that is available to build your app and how you can leverage it to achieve your goals for your business.

The founder of Heyalda, Jim Range, has over a decade of experience architecting and implementing software based solutions for numerous fortune 500 companies in industries such as financial services, retail, and insurance, as well as small businesses. Jim has an excellent understanding of the software development lifecycle, agile development, and how to manage the development of an app.

Over the past six years Jim has been focused on mobile software development. He has created over 138 apps that have been downloaded more than 9 million times form the Apple App Store, Google Play, Amazon.com and Windows Phone Store.

Heyalda’s primary expertise is with iOS native development in Objective C and Swift, RESTful web services with PHP and Laravel 5, and responsive web site development with PHP, Laravel 5, jQuery and Bootstrap.

Product Development

Heyalda provides product development advice from an engineering perspective, but this is not general product development consulting. Heyalda can help you understand what technology is available to create the app that you envision.

While Heyalda could provide general product development consulting, that currently is not a service that Heyalda provides. And this is one of the reasons that Heyalda can offer high quality solutions at such deeply discounted prices.

Heyalda wants you to own the product development 'why', 'what' and 'how' of your app. You should know why the app should be built, what the app should do, and the basics of how it will do what it should do. From there Heyalda will help you with the technology of creating your idea.

As you can imagine, product development is a very broad field. It involves marketing, design, engineering, and can pull from many other subject matter domains depending on the type of product that is to be created. Product development is an iterative process that involves gaining an understanding a specific issue that the target user needs/wants — that problem that is keeping them up at night wishing they could find a solution — and how to cost-effectively provide a solution to the targeted users specific problem. While not all products solve painful problems that people are actively seeking solutions to, some of the best selling products probably do fall into this category.

One might start their product development process by looking at specific issues that people need solutions for. Research if a market is large enough to justify attempting to create a solution that delivers more value to the target user than it costs to create the solution. Then try to select the best solutions that could meet the needs of the target user.

Project Management

An important aspect of effective project management is to be able to move seamlessly from the big picture to the detailed view of the project — and back again — while having a clear perspective of the current state of the project and the ability to manage the projects scope, time, cost, risk and communication. Simple tools such as Evernote, Excel, GoToMeeting, email, skype and phone work ok for managing small and medium sized projects, which is what Heyalda currently focuses on. Sure any project could benefit from having a dedicated project manager hovering over it 24x7, but the benefit might not always justify the cost.

It's the job of a project manager to ensure that the right things are done correctly and on time to meet stakeholder expectations.

For small and medium sized projects with a minimal number of people involved, it is possible for a professional such as an engineer, that is executing the project tasks, to also take on the role of project manager. And to do this successfully, the working professional needs to be good ad regularly moving back-and-forth between the high-level project objectives and the low-level details of executing the project; all while effectively and efficiently facilitating any communications required to manage and execute the project.

All working professionals should have this capability, regardless of the size of the project that they are working on. It empowers the working professional to self-assess if they are doing the right thing to meet the goals of the project.

What is it like to hire Heyalda?

Heyalda has a process for each engagement that ensures that you, the client, receive far more value for your money than you would expect. The following is an overview of the Heyalda Solution Development Engagement Process.

Heyalda Solution Development Engagement Process

It all starts with a conversation. This is a quick conversation where Heyalda can learn more about what you are aiming to achieve and where you can learn more about how Heyalda can help you.

If we are a good fit and can help you achieve your objectives, then we can move forward to assess what it would take to achieve your goals. This includes conducting a scope and cost assessment so that Heyalda can provide a fixed bid cost for the services that Heyalda can provide.

Scope Assessment

The Scope Assessment involves meeting with Jim Range to discuss the features of your app and how the various components of the app are to interact. This primary involves:

  1. Mobile App Views: define the views (also referred to as screens, windows or pages) that the user will interact with in the app. What user input is possible? What information is presented to the user? What are the styles and formatting of the views?
  2. Data Models: define the data models that will be required for the app. These are often derived from the features that the user interface is required to provide.
  3. RESTful Web Service: define the backend web service that the app will be able to interact with.
  4. Responsive Web Site: define the views for the responsive web site. What user input is possible? What information is presented to the user? What are the styles and formatting of the views?

Heyalda is not an idea incubator or a design firm. For Heyalda to deliver high-quality and low-cost deliverables, it is important that the app idea be well though out and you have the means to effectively communicate your requirements for the app in a meeting with Jim. This doesn’t mean that you have to have detailed wire frames and design samples for the app. If you do, that would be great, and it will allow you to have much more control over the outcome of the app.

In addition to wire frames and design samples, there are many other ways to communicate design requirements. Some of these include:

  • Hand drawn sketches
  • Photoshop or Illustrator drawings
  • Sketches and drawings organized into a storyboard showing app flow
  • Screenshots of similar apps that have the desired look and user experience
  • Narratives that describe how the app is used
  • A list of features and for each feature the user/functional requirements that feature must provide
  • Use case narratives that describe steps a user takes in the app to achieve a certain outcome

Cost Assessment

After reviewing the scope and agreeing on what is included and what is not included, a fixed cost estimate for creating the solution is created.

The cost assessment references any supporting documentation that you provide that are used to define the requirements for the app.

Risk Assessment

Each project gets a simple risk assessment created before the contract is signed. This purpose of the risk assessment is to clearly document any known issues and assumptions upfront so that the client and Heyalda are aware of them. This includes any issues that could impact the project scope, cost, or timeline.

Project Timeline

An estimate of the duration of the project is created. This includes scheduling the sprints and the features that will be implemented by the end of each sprint.

Contract Signing

After the client and Heyalda decide to work together, a contract must be signed before the project can begin. This contract references the cost assessment, risk assessment and project timeline.

Project Communication Plan

After signing a contract to proceed with the project, document who must be informed of progress and issues as the project progresses, the preferred communication medium (e.g. skype, phone, text, email, GoToMeeting, etc.) and when communication should occur.

Project Plan and Execution

Heyalda uses an agile like project management methodology for creating apps. The project is chunked down into units of time called sprints. A sprint is effectively a set amount of time that will be dedicated to accomplishing a specific set of features for the app. At the completion of each sprint the current state of the app will be delivered to the client for review.

A simple Excel spreadsheet (or Google Docs Spreadsheet) is used to document the sprints and the features for each sprint.

The client review process may involve some back-and-forth between Heyalda and the client for tweaking the app user interface or app functionality. This tweaking time is typically limited to 20% of the duration of the sprint. This limit is not a hard rule. But a time limit must be set because without a time limit, the desire to make minor adjustments to user interface or functionality could go on for weeks. To avoid having to make too many alterations, it is preferred that the client have a clear understanding of the desired user interface and functionality and provide wire frames, storyboards with screen drawings, sample user interface styles seen in other apps, or other design aids that clearly communicate the look and experience that the app will provide.

Payment

Typically 20% of the fixed cost of the creating the app is provided to Heyalda before starting to build the app. The remainder is paid after the successful completion of each sprint, divided up by the number of sprints that the project plan lays out. So, for example, if there were to be four one-week sprints to complete an app, then 20% of the cost would be paid upfront and then 20% would be paid after the successful completion of each sprint.

The duration of the sprint is determined when the project plan is created, so there is some flexibility of when payments are made.

While a check is the preferred form of payment, you can also pay via PayPal if that is your preference.

Final Deliverables

The final deliverables include:

  • source code for the mobile app,
  • source code for RESTful web services,
  • source code for responsive web app,
  • word document and PDF that describe the app architecture.