I just signed a deal with an App Developer... Now what?

by Tim Bornholdt · Published on December 06, 2013

Congratulations! You've found the perfect team to bring your app idea to life, you've got your contract signed, you've solidified the wireframes and your developers are off and running.

But now what?

App development is a long, iterative process. In some cases, you could be twiddling your thumbs for a few weeks before you get the first prototype in your hands.

Every development shop is different. Some shops will take over every aspect of development so you don't need to worry about anything. In our experience, however, a lot of our clients prefer to take a more active role in the development process.

In that spirit, here are a few development tasks that any non-programmer can tackle:

Content

This is, bar none, the most important task you can complete to make your app development process go smoothly and quickly. Nothing slows down a programmer more than waiting for template PDFs or copy for the "About Us" page. If your app requires content of any sort and you are responsible for generating it, have it ready to go as soon as possible.

App Store Accounts

The second thing that can be completed right away is setting up developer accounts on the Apple App Store or the Google Play Store. The process is fairly painless but a bit time-consuming, so offering to take care of this task will allow your developers to spend more time on the code. Depending on the store, the registration process requires your bank account and tax identifier information, so make sure you have that handy.

Branding

While you likely won't be tinkering with Illustrator or Photoshop yourself, you still want to start thinking of how you want to brand your app. What will you call it? What color schemes are you interested in using? Thinking about these questions ahead of time will help steer your development team in the right direction when crafting your app.

Icon/Logo Design

One of the most important parts of marketing your app is the app's icon. It's the very first thing your users will see in the App Store. An icon which is merely adequate will get far fewer downloads than an icon which is visually striking.

Spend some time thinking about what icons appeal to you and present your findings to your development team. Again, your developers will likely have a designer in mind that can help you create the perfect icon. However, if you have a specific person in mind, it's good to let your development team know early on in the process.

Splash Screen

The splash screen is the very first thing that appears when you tap the app icon on the home screen. The content of the splash screen can vary depending on the type of app you have:

  • If you're building a game, you might want to have a "Loading..." screen appear.
  • If you're building an app for a specific brand, you might want to prominently display the logo.
  • If you want to provide the illusion of speed, you might want your splash screen to be the "shell" of the app (with empty toolbars or navigation controls). Once your app loads, the content of your app can fill in the "shell".

This is another step that the developer and designers generally take care of for you, but if you have a certain look in mind, make sure you talk this over with your team early on.

Marketing

A good chunk of our clientele are salespeople or marketers at heart. Generally, they already have a market in mind for the app and just need someone to take care of the tech side of things.

If this true for you, you can use this "pre-prototype" phase to figure out how you'll market your app. You might want to talk to potential customers or reserve the domain name for your app and build a little pre-launch buzz.

On the other hand, you might also want to wait to do a lot of your marketing until you get a prototype or a beta build in your hands.

In either case, if you're mostly in charge of marketing the app, be sure to coordinate your marketing efforts with your development team. Usually, they will have ideas or suggestions for you to increase the likelihood of success of your app.


Quality mobile apps take time to build. If you are looking for ways to speed up the process, just ask your development team what you can do to help. You might not have the technical skills or graphic skills to build your app, but everybody has something that they can bring to the table.

What tasks were you able to get done while your development team built your app? Let us know in the comments below. And, as always, if you have any questions about app development, don't hesitate to contact us today!