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Do you need a team to build an app?

Updated: Jul 3, 2020

Colorflow Creative Blog: App Academy: Do I need a team to build an app? (post cover)

While apps like AirBnb have massive teams behind them, you can build an app that can be great jumping off point on your own if you have a few necessary skills...

Do you possess all 3 of these skills?

1. Visual Design

You know your way around Sketch (which is the industry standard when it comes to user interface design) or a similar tool that can accomplish the job of visually designing your app.

HTML code

2. App Development

You know how to hand off your designs to an app developer or you yourself can develop the app. Basically, you need to understand how apps are assembled, how to communicate technical requirements and hand off your visual designs to your developer (unless that developer is you.)

3. User Experience

You understand how your target users interact with apps, common behavioral trends and do’s and dont's that you need to consider when you’re fleshing out your app’s user experience (UX).

If you’re not a digital ninja and don’t possess all three of the above skills (most of us are not), you’re going to need at least some help.

So who does a typical (minimal) app team consist of?

UI/UX Designer:

This person works with the Product Manager (PM) to map out user flows (how someone will interact with your app) based on technical requirements and then creates visual mockups of each screen within the app, exports the assets (images, icons etc.) and hands them off to the developer. (This can sometimes be two separate people on the team — a UI designer and a UX designer.)

Product Manager (PM):

This person is in charge of taking the business requirements and translating them into technical requirements that a developer will understand and be able to execute on and the User Experience (UX) designer will use as a guide in shaping the user flows within the app.

Example user flow: someone booking an AirBnb through their app — from when they open the app, to hitting “Book Now” at the end of the flow.


This person takes the visuals from the UI/UX designer and technical instructions from the Product Manager (PM) and builds the app.

Business person:

This is you. You’re in charge of explaining your vision and business goals to the PM who will then work with the app team to build your app to align with these goals. #nopressure


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