Lesson 1: Introduction
The introduction will firstly give the student a bit of background on me, my relevant credentials, and why I love apps. I will then discuss the fundamentals of smartphone apps (ie. What are apps? What are the different types of apps?), and explain who the course is aimed at (everyone!), before outlining the various topics that will be covered in the course.
Lesson 2: Ideation
The lesson on ideation will be about fleshing out and defining your app idea. Here, students will be required to think about what problem their app is solving, and be taught how to perform some preliminary market research to see what similar apps to theirs exists - or whether their app idea (or app name) has been done before.
Lesson 3: Validation
This section will outline validation strategies, or more specifically, ways to quickly test that people will use - or pay for - the app being built (e.g. competitor analysis, validation board). It is here that students will be introduced to the agile concept of the iteration. They will be taught how to pivot their app idea in iterations, based on what they learn from their tests (requirements = product features), until it becomes something that users will use. Finally, I will offer some useful tips for giving an app an appropriate and outstanding - and hopefully catchy - name.
Validate! Validate! Validate!
Lesson 4: App Platforms
Students will learn about the iOS and Android platforms, the benefits and disbenefits of both platforms, and the considerations they will need to make when deciding which platform to build on. Various strategies will be discussed here, such as building first on iOS and following with Android, versus building on both platforms from the beginning.
Platform Wars: iOS vs Android
Lesson 5: App Design
The design lesson explains interaction design, and shows how to go about creating the first impressions of the app, based on the problem it aims to solve. Students will be introduced to the concept of user experience, given some easy-to-use tools to make their designs, and taught design considerations that need to be made throughout the design process. Some tips on achieving high quality designs will also be given here, as well as sources and guides for hiring app designers and animators.
Always Judge An App By Its Design
Lesson 6: App Development
In the section about app development, the never-ending debate on learning to code versus hiring an app developer will be mentioned, along with the benefits and disbenefits of taking either route. In addition to this, students will be given some tips on interviewing developers, and raising funds for development.
To Code or Not To Code/Hire a Coder
Lesson 7: Monetisation
The monetisation section will look at app pricing, and the various business models (ie. freemium, subscriptions, in-app purchases). Students will be taught how to appropriately price their app, and how to go about implementing a business model in order to monetise their app.
Lesson 8: Prototyping
This lesson is in ways like an introduction to agile product management; students will be taught how to manage the development of their app’s features, in iterations and in order of priority, all the way until the product is delivered. This is where the students see their app idea (or at least a simplified version) become a reality for the first time.
Lesson 9: Beta Testing
With a working prototype, students will be taught how to plan for beta test sessions, how to run the sessions, and how to collect feedback from beta testers. They will also be shown how to evaluate user feedback, in order to make the right decisions for updating their app. Testing strategies, and tools for app testing (ie. HockeyApp vs TestFlight) will be given, along with the benefits and disbenefits of the various options.
Alpha Beta Theta or Always Be Testing
Lesson 10: Launch
The final lesson in the course will outline the items in a launch plan and pre-launch checklist, and provide a guide to submitting an app to the Apple App Store or the Google Play Store. Students will be given a brief look into the different analytics tools they can use to gauge the success of their app, some tips on how to market their app, and tips for success in general. At the end of the course, students should know how to launch an app on one of the app stores.
How to Make Your App Idea A Reality