App from Scratch: Designing and Building a Mobile App in React Native - Part 1

Join me as I build a mobile app from scratch using React Native. Together we'll walk through ideation, wireframing, design, development, deployment, and even marketing. In this multi part series, I'm documenting my entire process. First up, the birth of an idea, and the start of a marketing plan.

I've always been attracted to the concept of bringing a piece of software to life from start to finish.

Starting with nothing but an idea, I wanted to conceptualize, design, and code an app and put it out for the world to use, and gain a relatively wide user base, all on my own, using the many intelligent people creating wonderful courses and tutorials on the Internet as my sole resource.

This post is the beginning of that journey.

A little bit of backstory before I get into the nitty gritty of the plan.

My wife is a photographer. She specializes in lifestyle photography for familes and couples, and we are always exploring the outdoors of Northern Colorado for great places to shoot.

On our last location scouting trip, she mentioned that there wasn't really an easy way to keep track of her locations, or see locations that others may have discovered.

And with that, an app idea was born.

So, a few initial features the app must have in order to get an MVP going:

  • A map view that allows you to quickly pin a location and have it save, even if offline
  • The ability to go in later and edit that location to add a name, description, and photos
  • The ability to mark locations as either public or private

With those three main features, I had my work cut out for me.

I started doing some research into how to best accomplish this. I have some experience in React, and have always been interested in developing a mobile using React Native, so thought this would be the perfect opportunity.

After using Balsamiq to quickly mock up some (very) rudimentary wireframes, I'm ready to start building this thing in React Native.

I usually do my designing with code in the browser, so I'm not super familiar with design software. The wireframes were more so I could get the idea I had in a notebook into something at least a little bit concrete.

In addition to creating the actual app, I'm working on a marketing plan to grow an actual user base as well. As of now, I'm going to be utilizing Instagram, as it has a large photographer market.

As a disclaimer, I have not begun any research or actual coding, so I don't actually know how difficult what I've described above will be to build, but that's an adventure for another post.

For now, I'm going to go write some code.

My name is Ken. I design, code, and write.

I'm greatly interested in the process of taking websites, software, and digital products from idea all the way to execution and beyond.

I write about the intersection of design, development, marketing, and entrepreneurship, and how to build great things that make a difference.

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