Make an App When You Can’t Code (a Step-by-Step Guide)

1. Refine your idea

2. Narrow your audience and test for demand

“Competition is great — it validates a concept. I think there’s a healthy level: Too much competition means the market’s oversaturated; not enough competition might mean that the idea is not that viable.”

Nadia Masri, founder and CEO of Perksy

Focus on solving that one problem incredibly well, and once you do that, “customers will end up basically helping you define your product road map,” says Greechan. You’ll receive requests for adding certain features, and you can use them to help chart your way forward in product development.

3. Pinpoint your audience, and test for demand

Once you’ve pinpointed a niche audience, you can start investing in it long before your app launches. If you’re creating an app for writers, for example, you could start a Meetup group, host events or even launch a podcast or blog. The aim is to build an interested community. If no one clicks on your posts or displays any interest in the events, that could be an indicator that you’re not on the right track, says Cowan. But if you do see some interest, try to quantify it. One of the easiest and most effective ways to start is by creating a landing page for your app, explaining your goal and collecting email addresses from people who are interested.

Before Biederman launched his marketplace for MBA students, he tested for user demand with a $9 landing page on GoDaddy and asked people to enter their email addresses if interested.

Options include Launchrock and Carrd. After you’ve built your landing page, get the word out — and pay attention to how many email addresses you collect to gauge interest levels. If you go on to develop your app idea, ping your audience semi-regularly with updates.

4. Make it work on the cheap (MVP)

For mobile app: ThunkableAppy Pie and AppMachine

For web app: try Bubble or Shoutem

For marketplace app: consider Sharetribe or Kreezalid

For e-commerce app: Shopify

5. Make the first version of your app

After your initial set of sketches, try pairing your design ideas with free online tools to create high-quality mockups, such as, InVision (no coding required), Adobe InDesign

To find software developers or engineers to help you bring your idea to life, you can reach out to your network, attend networking events and Meetups, search by skills on LinkedIn or check freelancer websites like Gigster.

“Find engineers who have full-time jobs who are willing to take this on as a side project.”

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