Do you want to know the secret to making a mobile app as EXCITING and ADDICTIVE as Pokemon Go?

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You have an AMAZING app idea that you know is a winner, but you feel confused about the app development process.

Or maybe you already have an app in the stores that isn’t getting as many downloads as you’d like.

Try this free App Cost Calculator to see how much it'll cost to make/update your app.

If you’re nodding your head right now, this post is dedicated specifically to you.

Today I’m going to tell you the 3 most important steps that will help you make your mobile app completely blow up like Pokemon Go recently did.

A bit about me: I’ve personally coded for apps reaching over a million downloads, was the lead developer for an app partnered with IBM, and now I run my own mobile app company.

I get the app development process, and soon you will too!

Step 1: Test Your App Idea


Most people will skip the testing phase because they’re overly confident (read: cocky) about their app idea. As a result, they end up spending a lot more money down the road for revisions, which leads to a very buggy app.

You need to be ABSOLUTELY SURE your idea is both amazing and unique. There’s enough crap littering the app stores already, so make sure you test your idea before trying to develop it.

How do you test your idea?

There are millions of ways to do this, and I’ll save the specifics for another article, but in general:

  1. First you make a prototype of your app.
  2. Next, get in touch with your target audience.
  3. Finally, show them your prototype and get feedback on what they like / don’t like. After a couple iterations of this, you now have a market-driven app idea primed for success.

Make sure you don’t skip this step — it’s literally the key to your success. Think of app development like building a strong, sturdy house.

Would you build a house without a blueprint? If not, then why would you build an app business without a prototype?

Step 2: Get a Prototype


A Prototype (also known as the MVP, or minimum viable product) is simply the designs of your app. You hire a designer to work closely with you to flesh out your idea into an app that’s both beautiful and addictive.

Warning: don’t try to design the app on your own unless you are a professional designer specializing in mobile apps — it will likely cause long term issues in scalability.

Finding a good designer to make your mobile app is the key determining factor as to whether or not your app will get downloads. You could be sitting on the next “Pokemon Go”-level idea, and yet no one will download your app because it’s ugly or unintuitive to new users.

That’s why I never suggest going for the “cheap hire” in the Prototype phase. You want someone highly experienced in the app industry and extremely communicative with you throughout the design phase.

The craziest thing is that hiring the best designers will actually save you overall costs in the entire app process.


  • To create an app, you need 1 designer and 1-3 developers, depending on the app.
  • However, good designers are much cheaper to hire than good developers. This is simply because of supply and demand; there are far more designers fighting for a job than developers.
  • Over 45% of time/money spent by developers is planning how the app is going to work in tiny detail. Actually coding the app only takes about 24% of the time.
  • Therefore if you can make really detailed designs, you can wipe out a significant portion of developer costs by transferring the “planning” part over to the (much cheaper) designer!

In other words, you can LEVERAGE great designers with “okay” developers to maximize quality and minimize cost.

Besides, hiring better designers will attract way more users to download your app anyway… so they practically pay for themselves.

That is the secret to making a solid app on a tight budget.

I know, it’s unintuitive to spend more on a premium designer, but the truth is that good design will make the development phase smooth and relatively bug-free.

Statistically, 54% of development is spent doing reworks and fixing bugs. It’s when you tell the developer, “No wait I change my mind about this, try this other thing” that the costs rack up.

Hot Tip: code becomes very buggy when developers try to band-aid over old code, so be as clear as possible in the design phase!

And honestly, it’s not even that expensive to hire great designers. For example, our company here at Clear App Development hires only the most elite, world-class designers and we’ve brought clients from ‘app idea’ to full-fledged Prototype for as little as 1.5k USD.

Try out our free App Cost Calculator to find out how much your prototype will cost to make.

STEP 3: Develop Your App


Development should be pretty straightforward assuming you made the Prototype correctly. A legit prototype will detail exactly which buttons, fields, and elements are required for the final version of the app screen by screen.

A lot of my new clients ask me how much app development costs. A quick google search will tell you apps cost anywhere from 5k – 100k+ USD. If your app is a game, it will cost significantly more (Pokemon Go spent millions in development).

The truth is, cost depends on two factors:

  1. How complicated your app is (it takes around 150-300 hours to develop a typical app)
  2. How cheap your development team is (lowest I’ve seen is $20/hr, my company charges $100/hr)

As you may guess, the cheaper the developer, the lower the quality… right?


The TSA for example spent $47,400 on an app that does nothing more than tell people waiting at the airport to go left or right at random, which can be done in just a couple lines of code.

Often times you can hire developers from developing countries like Russia or India to create a solid app for you at a much lower price, simply because their cost of living is so much lower than the US. This does come with some downsides, such as:

  • English is not their first language, which sometimes leads to miscommunication about objectives
  • There are many unethical companies that will scam you
  • If they’re really cheap, they may not have the skill to develop complex apps

Obviously, if you want a top notch app, you want to hire top notch developers and there’s no escaping the high costs of that.

But if you’re really on that $5k budget, it’s still possible to get a sturdy app made by outsourced developers, assuming you make a really clear prototype (if you’re worried about where to find good but inexpensive app developers, shoot me a message and I’ll send you in the right direction).



There you have it! You are now ready to start the incredible journey of turning your app idea into something people will know and love.

Hopefully in a couple months you’ll be living a life of PASSION, FREEDOM, and PASSIVE INCOME from your mobile app.

Personally I suggest spending much more than 5k on a mobile app if you can afford it, but if you can’t then now you know how to leverage your budget to make a quality app you can be both proud and excited about.

Do you know any other steps to making a successful mobile app? Share them in the comments below!

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