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Planning to build a mobile app? Here's what you should do before coding.

What are some of the key things you need to know when you want to build a mobile app

Zoe Lim
June 21, 2017

At Next Academy, we are dedicated to nurturing our students to become great software engineers. App development involves many different steps, and it’s crucial to understand the process before embarking onto the journey of building your own apps. Let’s use an example to illustrate the process - building an e-commerce mobile app.

1.  The process starts with User Interface (UI) / User Experience (UX)

A great app that can make users want to use it all the time needs to have great UI/UX. If your app is easy to use, then there’s a higher chance that users will use your app repeatedly. Start by wireframing your app, you can think of wireframing as designing the blueprints for your app.As you are working on that, it’s important to keep in mind the key goals of your app. For example, in the case of the e-commerce mobile app, it needs to have these elements:

  1. Users should be able to view a variety of products.
  2. Users should be able to compare products of different brands.
  3. Users should be able to add a product to the shopping cart.
  4. Users should be able to checkout and pay for the products.
  5. Users should be able to check delivery status.

With these elements in mind, the first thing to do is to wireframe and design the app.

2. Event-driven programming

The elements mentioned above will each have a collection of associated events. You may wonder what that means, let’s take a look at an example.Let’s take element 3 for example, when a user is viewing a product page and likes the product, he/she will click on the “add to cart” button. This is called a user action. Now what do you think happens when the user clicks on add to cart? (These are called events)

  1. Your app would need to send a request to store data in the database (user XYZ has added product ABC into shopping cart)
  2. Your app would need to tell the user that product has been added to cart. (Most commonly, you’ll see a popup that gives you a choice to continue shopping or to checkout.)

By designing these events, you are laying the groundwork required to build your app.

Your turn to try!

Let's test your understanding. What events do you think should occur:

  1. When a user clicks on the checkout button?
  2. When a user completes the payment process?

Think about it and let us know what your answers are in the comment section below!

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