Are you interested in developing your own Android app? Do you think it’s tedious to build new Android app by using mobile app maker? But, to your great surprise building an Android app isn’t as hard as you might think. Initially, you can focus on creating simple app rather than tedious application since it involves simple Java coding. You can build your own app with the help of Android studio and it’s really easy to use.
It just takes 8 simple steps to build your app with the help of android studio. If you are successful in creating your own app, then possibly you may even earn a promising career in mobile development.
Now, it’s time to see the 8 simple steps.
#1- Install Android Studio
Initially, go to http://developer.android.com/sdk/index.html to download android studio and follow the instructions to install android studio in your device.
#2- Open a New Project
• After Installation, open android studio and select start a new android studio project.
• On the “Create new project” dialog box, give a name to your project and save it. You need to note the location where you are saving your project and you can also change your location if desired. Then, click next.
#3- Edit the Welcome Message in the Main Activity
• After then, shift to activity_main. xml tab and make sure whether the design tab is open on the activity window.
• Click and drag the message from the upper left corner of your phone display to the center of your phone screen.
• Then, click on strings.xml file in the values folder. After the entered message, you may also add “welcome to my app!”
#4- Add a Button to Main Activity
• Now, shift to the design option of the activity_main.xml tab. In the menu appeared select button and drag that button tab and drop it underneath your hello message.
#5- Creating a Second Activity
• In the “add on activity” option on your mobile, select empty activity and click next.
• After then customize the scree settings by keeping the default values in the customize activity screen. Click finish.
After some time of processing, android studio opens IDE. Now, review the files created.
#6- Building the Layout
• Before building, ensure whether the project window is open by selecting view> tool windows> project.
#7- Run Your App
• Launch the Android Virtual device manager by clicking Tools> Android> AVD Manager.
• Click create virtual device in your virtual devices screen. You can select your hardware from the select hardware screen.
• Finally, in your Virtual device screen, select the device and click launch AVD in the emulator.
• Once emulator is booted, Click the app module in the project window and then click Run.
#8- Publishing Your App
• Congrats! Now, you have completed your android application with basic functions. Your app will possess a page to greet the user and a button to navigate user to net page.
• Finally, you need to add components into your apps and you can publish it.
Overall, if you are keen to build your own android app, then you can refer to this course and if you follow the above steps, you will end up with your own android app design.
The mobile market is estimated to have about 4.5 subscribers globally. With the ever growing industry, statics show that the number of mobile phones will exceed the world population. This shows how the industry is growing drastically with promising and advanced devices. Usability testing for android app development may not take the same grit as designing and development stages. However, the professionals who are involved in the exercise play a significant role in giving the end users an unforgettable experience. Just take a look at top reasons why you should test your Android apps.
1. Remove bugs
During app development, there may be some bugs during the coding process. Testing your android app helps you identify any bugs that may be present. This improves the user experience and gives them the pleasure of wanting to use these apps often. A US recent study conducted showed that about 86 % of mobile users spend their time exclusively on mobile apps. This illustrates how testing your app is critical.
2. Functionality of the app
Apps are developed to perform certain tasks. The effectiveness of an app is known to be equivalent to the user’s acceptance. Testing their usability helps determine whether the end product is capable of performing all the tasks it was tailored for.
3. Determine if it meets all the accessibility options
We were not born the same. Some people have disabilities. Launching apps without usability testing can hinder the user some rights. Running it through all the preferred testing stages allows you to determine if it offers all the accessibility options before launching.
4. Test compatibility
Compatibility is the ability of your app to work or run on different devices. At this stage, you determine the type of operating system the app can run without any bugs as well as its ability to work with other applications. How best does the app satisfy the end user needs? Is the user interface friendly? Answers to these questions can only be got through proper testing of your app.
5. Draft the final documentation
During the testing stage, testers may propose some features to be added to the app. These changes may affect the user manual for the app. Keeping track of all these changes during this critical stage allows you to draft an error free user manual.
Usability testing for Android app development is one of the crucial steps before launching any mobile app. Mobile usability testers play a significant role in seeing the exercise a success. However, the testers should also involve Beta testers to go through the app before making any conclusions. This helps ensure that there are no bugs and the app meets the entire targeted consumer needs.
The Importance of Having a Mobile App
Smartphone and tablet are mobile devices that have a huge importance in our daily activities. Advancement of technology has made it more affordable and accessible and thus, seeing people busy doing stuffs on their devices is not an unusual sight nowadays.
In line with technological development, businesses have also transformed themselves to keep up with the changes. We can see that majority of brands now have their own website or at least social media accounts. While website is great for people to research and know more about the brand, it has some limitations. For example, websites are usually not convenient to be accessed from mobile devices. The comprehensive content provided may also make it slower for people to find the information that they need.
Responding to these issues, mobile app development is starting to gain its popularity. Previously assumed to be appropriate only for big companies, mobile app development can give competitive edge to small and medium sized enterprises as well. Here are some ways having a mobile app can benefit your business:
- Increase brand visibility: As previously mentioned, people use their phone a lot. If people download your app, the icon of your brand will appear on their phone. With the higher exposure, it is more likely for your brand to be on top of the customers’ mind.
- Improve customers engagement: People bring their mobile devices almost everywhere and mobile app means that your brand is reachable wherever and whenever the customers are. By having a mobile app, customers can easily access your product and service with just a few clicks. Moreover, it also allows you to have a more effective and error-free operations as everything is recorded digitally.
- Cultivate customers loyalty: Mobile app can provide extra values for your customers. For example, you can use push notification to inform them about latest promotions, offer exclusive in-app discount, or create a loyalty program by point accumulation. Mobile app development helps brand to connect and engage customers in a more meaningful way, which in turn build trust and loyalty.
Developing a Great Mobile App
When designing a mobile app, the most important thing is to focus on the users and understand their needs. Accessibility, simplicity, and speed are the main features that make mobile app superior to the standard website. With these factors in mind, there are some practices that can be implemented to create a great mobile app experience:
- Simple navigations: In a mobile app, complex design that may baffle users should be avoided at all cost. Once frustrated with the app, it is very likely for users to abandon or delete the app. Thus, simplicity should be considered and applied to all aspects of the mobile app. For example, it is recommended that mobile app navigations are easily found and only include the most essential functions. Personalization of each user’s experience can also be done by recording their behaviour while they are on the app. That way, users can find what they are looking for in less steps.
- Refining Usability: A good usability means that users can reach their goal easily. For example, having a search filter for online retail app will make it easier for the users. Placing buttons within the reach of thumbs will also help as users won’t need to hold their mobile device with two hands. Finally, the app should give constant feedback to users and is free from error.
- Minimal User Interface: As people are in hurry and have limited attention, cluttering a lot of information on mobile app page is not a good idea. Minimalist design can create clarity, meanwhile the use of white spaces can direct users’ attention to the important contents. In addition, occasional use of images is alright, but using photos and videos excessively can be distracting and slow the app itself.
Utilizing App Store Optimization
After the thorough process of development and getting things done, your business mobile app is ready to launch. However, one of the biggest challenge in this step is to make your app noticeable amid of million others on the app store. Here comes the App Store Optimization (ASO) technique. In case you wonder what it is, the concept is similar to Search Engine Optimization (SEO), but for mobile apps. The goal here is to drive traffic to your app’s page which in turn will result in people downloading it.
To increase the chance of your mobile app to be discoverable through searches on the app store, here are some things that you can do:
- Keywords: Mobile apps that have relevant keywords on their title are proven to be downloaded more often than those that do not. This is because having keywords in title increase the app search ranking.
- Visuals: Your app icon is the first thing that people notice. If it has a good face value, people tend to feel more confident of what your app is about. Apart from that, providing screenshots of the app’s page also give people a clear picture of the app’s functions and interface.
Reviews: Ratings and reviews can affect people’s willingness to download your app. Good ratings can also make your mobile app rank higher. To improve on this aspect, mobile app can prompt users to give ratings while they are on the app.
Resource: how to make an app
The Difference of UX and UI
Often heard together and used in the same sentence, User Experience (UX) and User Interface (UI) design are two terms that might be confusing to some. While people have different stands on this matter, and some even maintain that they are not comparable, there are differences between UX and UI.
In the words of Don Norman, the man who coined the term UX itself, user experience encompasses all aspect of end-user’s interaction with the company, its services, and its products. Simply stated, it concerns the whole experience that users feel from the very beginning to the end. We can see from the definition that UX goes beyond the visual interface of a product. In fact, it covers the entire process of the users’ interaction with a product or service.
On the other hand, UI generally deals with the visual design aspect and focuses more on how a product looks on the surface. By no means less important than UX, the interface of a product is vital in delivering its substance into attractive and interactive visuals that can be appreciated by the users. UI in its most basic sense consists of the screens, pages, navigations, buttons and icons used to interact with a product.
So, while both UX and UI are equally critical in designing an excellent product, there is a distinct contrast between them.
The Importance of User Experience
In a time when technology is getting more advanced and there is a shift towards the digital era, user experience becomes an essential aspect in today’s design process. Website or mobile app often are the first point of interaction between brand and potential customer. By creating a great user experience for these products, customer satisfaction can be achieved and they are more likely to use the products again, which eventually increases the chance of them making purchases.
UX also acts as part of a business’ branding nowadays. When a website or mobile app is poorly designed, the business comes across as incompetent and ignorant towards the customers. People may then form an impression that the brand itself must be lousy one. Thus, neglecting user experience costs a lot. On the other hand, if your products have great interface, simple navigations, loads quickly, provide constant feedback, and are error-free, people will have a pleasant experience. Therefore, to maximize customer retention and make all the budget allocated to product marketing worth it, user experience should be the foundation in designing a successful product.
User Experience Research Methods
To come up with a great user experience, relying solely on the product designers’ opinions is not sufficient. As the team has been working with the product for a long time, they get familiar with the product which makes it difficult for them to have an unbiased view towards it. The UX field has come up with various user experience research methods to deal with the issue. For example, card sorting, online survey, focus group, interviews, and usability testing, to name a few. Each of them has its own unique characteristics and should be chosen based on the resources we have and the type of insight we want to obtain:
- Quantitative or Qualitative: Quantitative research can produce numbers and figures, and is extremely useful to observe a trend or pattern. It also gives exact and detailed answers to specific questions. On the other hand, qualitative research touches on the broader questions and is helpful in identifying underlying themes. The answers it provided is also more in-depth than those of qualitative research.>
- Attitudinal or Behavioral: Attitudinal research seeks to find out users’ feeling towards certain aspect or design of a product. It is usually measured by asking the users to indicate their preference by giving ratings or assigning rankings. Meanwhile, behavioural research focuses more on observing how users interact with the product in real life contexts.
- Location and Time: Some types of research such as interview and usability testing require users to be on-site and participate in a face-to-face study. They also take more time as researchers need to take note of the user’s’ actions. Other method such as online questionnaire allows participants to complete the task remotely. It is also suitable to obtain many data in short period.
Having mentioned the differences in various user research methods, it is important to note that in general, UX researchers usually combine more than one method to gain a better and more wholesome perspective on the users’ needs and motivation. By providing an idea of what works and what doesn’t, user research method is also important in determining which functions to retain and which ones to omit.