I'm thinking on developing an app for cognitive behavioral therapy for insomniacs. I have a full-time job so I don't have much time. I would like to prove that my idea works without spending a lot of time. My focus will be prototyping, testing and doing UX/Usability tests keep improving the app. What is the easiest way to start? I've found this: http://www.siberiancms.com/ but I'm not sure if that's good. Should I focus on Android because the approval process is easier? I see two main functions in this app, data collection from patients so the psychologist can keep track of his patients and also education for the patients. I might get some help from a freelancer but I want to be part of the architecture process so I can learn too.
I admire your ambition but I really do need to caution you against learning to code as a means of building out your app. If you want to do this as a fun hobby to teach yourself to code, then by all means do it but if you seriously want to build and launch an app that you think has a potential commercial appeal, then you need to do it in a way that maximizes your chance of success.
I'm happy to refer to you reasonable mobile development shops that do excellent work. You should budget a *minimum* of $25,000 USD to build a single platform app that is fully functioning and launch-ready and another at least $25,000 in reserve for paid user acquisition.
If you can't invest $50,000 or find friends, family or strangers willing to support this pursuit financially, I'd argue that you'll be wasting your time.
Happy to talk to you in more detail in a call.
The main question to be asking yourself is this an app that people really want or need. I have been working in healthcare for over 20 years and I can tell you that on the surface it seems like a good idea.
My suggestion is to first get a conversation started regarding your product then make sure that you are offering specifically what the market demands. You can do this be participating in LinkedIn groups, etc.
Finally, I work with a lot of programmers and startups and suggest that you look around for places to outsource the work. I will not give any lists of places here, but I will tell you that prices vary from one place to another.
By the time you become a programmer the timing for your app may have passed and the demand may have been filled. Start learning, but don't count on doing the work yourself.
Don't Stop and Take Massive Action.
Michael T. Irvin
My books are now available on Amazon.com by searching for books by Michael T. Irvin
First, that sounds like a promising idea for an app.
To give you some idea of my background, I'm a professional programmer and also founded a website that managed the outsourcing process for over 300,000 programmers. Testing and usability tests are great things for a non-technical founder to be doing. However, you really should not be doing the architecture. It would be like if I wanted to run a company to design bridges, and told the engineer that I was going to share architecture duties with him. I just don't have the expertise, and it's not something that can just be picked up in a matter of months.
Here's my advice for you. There must be some reason why you are thinking that you want to be involved in the architecture. I'd recommend examining those reasons, and finding out if there is another way to accomplish your goal. If you want to discuss further, feel free to hit me up, here on Clarity. Good luck with your endeavor.
Do you expect to run a business with this app ?
If yes, fill a leancanvas (on paper or http://www.leanstack.com/), validate your assumptions with interviews of patients and psychologists, show them mockups of the app with uxpin or balsamiq. When it's validated that you can earn money (how much are they willing to pay, how many are they), outsource the development.
If no, find a student to get the job done or if the app is not very complicated, learn to do it yourself with mobile app builders (http://mashable.com/2013/12/03/build-mobile-apps/).
If you need more advice, feel free to have a free call with me https://clarity.fm/laurentroger/white665or on www.sohelpful.me/laurentroger